Saturday, 24 December 2016

Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017

I honestly can't believe this year has gone so quickly and I am SO excited to see what 2017 brings. I feel like I have achieved so much this year but a New Year is such a perfect opportunity to give yourself goals to work towards. I've split my goals into two categories: personal and blogging.

Personal Goals

Declutter: I don't think there is a better time to prepare for a fresh start to the new year than by decluttering. This could include just tidying your room, sorting out that bag of old clothes for the charity shop that you said you were going to do ages ago, or rearranging the book shelf or windowsill that always manages to collect random bits no matter how much you try and keep it clean. I love doing things at any point when I walk into my room and feel anxious at how full it feels or untidy it is, but at the end of the year it just makes sense to start the year with a clean slate (or room). Once I've cleaned and decluttered my room, I legit always feel 10x happier, it gives me such a sense of calm!

Closure: Now this could be a personal one for you, but for me it is about not harbouring any bad feelings towards anyone. Any negative thoughts or energy is ultimately going to affect me and my life, so I would like to try and fully close the chapters that took a tumble this year. I've learned a lot from these relationships and I don't regret anything, but I do believe it is time to put these to bed and leave them in 2016.

Reflect: This is such a big thing and I honestly don't do it enough! Reflecting on big and small achievements alike is so important to see how far you've come. I love this little blog and whilst I am no Zoella, I should feel proud of myself when I hit certain milestones or achieve things that I never thought I could. I might even start documenting these achievements; although I don't want to 'show off', so I'll think about this! I want my blog to be a positive place, ain't got no time for haters!

Blogging Goals

Go to a blogger event: I really want to attend an event next year, I think it will be such a great experience for me and it slightly relates to number two on this list as well. If you follow me on Twitter, I tweeted recently that I felt like my anxiety would make it really difficult to attend a bloggers event, but the support that I received was amazing and I felt so reassured. I need to push myself past it and I know it's something that will make me much stronger!

Make more blogger friends: I think going to a bloggers event would make this easier, but I really do want to make some blogging friends. When I started out, it was very difficult not to just follow a million bloggers and tweet them and hope to magic up a friendship out of nowhere. Recently, I have been a bit more strategic and follow those whose blogs I read and enjoy, and that way when I do tweet them it will feel more genuine. I also joined a few groups, and tried to participate in as many blogger chats as I could. Such a good tip for anyone wanting to have good interesting conversations and to get your blog out to more people!

Quality over quantity: I want to make sure that I post content that I am happy to be up on the Internet, and that was one of the reasons that I didn't participate in Blogmas this year, because I knew I wouldn't have enough time to prepare and I didn't want to post for the sake of posting! I also want to care more about my content and my photography, rather than stats. I have tried very hard not to look at how many hits my blog gets because it's so off-putting! 

What are some of your goals for 2017?

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Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Ice-skating at the Natural History Museum

One of the things on my Chrismas Bucket List was to go ice-skating, just because it makes me feel so Christmassy. I love London anyways as I was born and bred here, but at Christmas time it's so lovely and holds such a special place in my heart.

We originally wanted to go to Somerset House but it was all booked up so we decided to go to NHM instead, as it was another place on my list. It was so beautiful, even though we went during the day so next time I want to go in the evening and stare at all the lights forever and ever.

I really don't think I'm a very good skater, but I try every year just because the adrenaline rush is amazing and you're never going to be the only one who's struggling on the ice, believe me! It usually takes me around 10 minutes to shuffle along the ice and then I gain a little bit more confidence, and the next thing you know, I'm gliding along like a pro! (Only joking, I lean forward a bit and feel really cool, until I nearly fall flat on my face and have a mini heart attack. Oh, life!)

In all honesty, it is one of the most Christmassy things that I like to do and it is like a proper work out as well, so make sure you treat yourself to a hot chocolate afterwards (that's the way those calorie things work right?)

Have you been ice-skating yet? Where did you go?

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Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Spa Day at Hilton Syon Park

For my sister's birthday a few weeks ago, we decided to go to the spa and have afternoon tea. I thought this was such an amazing idea because we could spend all day relaxing and because of work and University, we don't always get to spend a lot of time together, so I thought this was a great idea. 

We booked a day in at the Hilton Syon Park, and my voucher included two treatments, which we could choose out of a Body Scrub, a Back Massage, a Body Wrap or an Express Facial, all of which were 30 minutes long. We also opted for the Afternoon Tea instead of lunch, because I'd never had Afternoon Tea before - I was so excited! Full use of the facilities were included: there was a heated swimming pool, a jacuzzi, a steam room and a sauna. There was a gym as well, which we all walked straight past...

On arrival, we were given a quick tour of the spa area, the relaxation room, and the changing rooms, and given our fluffy white robes and soft slippers. As soon as we had changed, we lounged on the sun loungers dotted around the pool area and did a bit of swimming, before heading to the relaxation area for our treatments. 

The relaxation area was gorgeous, it was a dimly lit room with the most comfortable beds and soft music playing and jugs of cold lemon water. Just amazing! I opted for the back massage and the body scrub. My therapist was so lovely and made me feel so relaxed the entire time. She did the body scrub first and it smelt amazing, I think it was pomegranate-scented but it was overly fruity smelling. So she scrubbed my whole body and then I had to rinse off using no soap in the adjoining shower room, and I kid you not, my whole body was as smooth as butter. After the scrub, she oiled my whole body which was just insane, I'm sure I was sleeping half the time she was doing it! And then came the fabulous back massage. OH MY GOD, it was amazing. Even though I get a little bit ticklish, I had so many knots in my back and she used high pressure to get those knots out, and I felt so much better after it. Afterwards, we kicked back in the relaxation room and spent a little more time in the steam room and sauna. After one more dip in the pool, we got changed and got ready for our afternoon tea.

With our afternoon tea, we also got a glass of bubbly which was a nice little addition (and my Mum doesn't drink so guess who got TWO glasses, woop). The afternoon tea consisted of sandwiches, (yes smoked salmon and cream cheese, come at me!), a mixture of plain and sultana scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam which were just gorgeous, and then a selection of sweet treats. I chose the gingerbread chai latte, which was lovely, very festive!

After a fabulously relaxing day, we headed home, feeling thoroughly refreshed. I think my sister had a wonderful birthday and I would fully recommend visiting if you're ever in the area! The staff and facilities are amazing and I already want to go back! 

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Monday, 12 December 2016

Christmas with Snapfish + GIVEAWAY!

I'm a huge sucker for personalised gifts, especially around Christmas time. I find it's so much nicer to receive a present that has a sweet family picture, or a great memory on it, just to make it that extra bit special. 

That's why I love websites like Snapfish, because they have such a wide selection of things to purchase, like personalised calendars, mugs, photo books and so many more.

I was kindly invited by Snapfish to review some of their products and I was honestly spoilt for choice. I loved all of their products, and I loved looking through my photos to pick some that I liked. 

I ended up choosing: a Christmas card, a slim photo canvas and a Christmas ornament, just because I wanted to choose as many Christmassy things as possible, and I was so impressed, especially with the quality but also with delivery time and customer service. I also liked the fact that the website tells you when your pictures are too grainy, because the last thing you want is to receive something that is super pixelated. 

As you can see I've chosen family photos for the canvas and the ornament, and then pictures of me and my OH for the card (saves me buying one from Card Factory - win!). I thought the family items would be really nice additions to the home.

Christmas Card: £1.99*
I really loved this card! It's a lot cheaper than Moonpig or Funky Pigeon, and they have some really cute and festive designs! It was so easy to create as well.

Slim Photo Canvas*
I loved this canvas. There are lots of different sizes to choose from, I chose a slim one just because I don't like my window sills or tables to be too crowded, so I thought I'd choose the slimmer one so that I could add candles and stuff (obvs). 

By far, my favourite on their entire website. I loved this so much! I didn't read it properly and I thought it was going to be a bauble, but actually having it as a hanging decoration is so much better because there are two sides of it so it's nice to see it twirling around on the tree where you can see your chosen picture. I chose this cute picture of me and my sisters when we were children (yes I know we're in the bath, but we look so cute so who cares), and I just think it looks sooo cute! The best part of this is that we can re-use this every year and it's added to my permanent collection of tree decorations! I kind of want to do this every year until I have a tree full of Snapfish photo ornaments...

Now for the exciting annoucement! Snapfish have kindly given one of my readers the chance to win a £25 voucher to spend on their website! 

All you have to do is: be following me on Twitter, be following Snapfish on Twitter and retweet this tweet! That's it!

T's & C's

The giveaway is UK only.
It is open from the 12/12/16 until 11.59pm 16/12/16.
Winner will be chosen at random and will have 48 hours to claim their prize until another winner is chosen. 

Good luck!

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Wednesday, 7 December 2016

The Christmas Tag

Only 18 days to go until Christmaaaas! I actually don't even feel that excited yet so I thought I'd do the Christmas Tag and try and get myself in the Christmasssssssy mood!

1. What is your favourite thing about Christmas?
Omg it's just too fabulous for words, it's the most wonderful time of year after all! The thing I love most is decorating the house, all those twinkly lights just make me feel so cosy inside. I also love spending time with my family, watching Christmas films and drinking all the hot chocolates!
2. What is your favourite makeup look for the favourite season?
I'm not a huge fan of the red lip because it doesn't suit me that much, so I stick to my gold smokey eyeshadow and a darker burgundy lip because it suits me so much more and I like that goth kind of look.
3. Real tree or artificial tree?
We've always had an artificial tree at home, but I always say when I have my own house I will buy a real tree because they just smell so good. I will also have to buy one of those mini hand-held hoovers because apparently they shed like mad!
4. Do you open your presents on Christmas morning or evening?
Christmas morning! I just think it would be wrong to open any pressies before Christmas morning? I know some people open Christmas pj's etc, to wear for Christmas morning but sadly we don't have that tradition :-(
5. What is your favourite Christmas film?
SO MANY. I love Elf obvs, who doesn't? I also love Santa Clause, 1, 2 and 3, Home Alone, Home Alone 2, Home Alone 3, The Holiday, Miracle on 34th Street, and of course Love Actually. <3
6. What is your favourite festive food?
Yorkshire puddings, omg I could eat all of them. I also love pigs in blankets and roast potatoes! Ahhh I'm so excited for the food!
7. What tops your tree?
It used to be a little angel/fairy that me or my sisters made at school I think? But now it's a glittery star which I loveeee.
8. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?
I always wear my most comfortable pyjamas and watch any of Q5, whilst drinking a hot chocolate. 
9. Giving or receiving presents?
I would be lying if I said I didn't like receiving presents, but there's something amazing about giving someone you love a present that you put so much thought into.
10. What is your favourite Christmas song?
I love Fairytale of New York, All I Want For Christmas Is You, Driving Home For Christmas, White Christmas, and sooo many more. There is nothing better than wrapping presents and listening to a few Christmassy tunes.
What’s your favourite part about Christmas? If any of you have done the Christmas Tag, I'd love to read them, so leave your links in the comments!

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Sunday, 4 December 2016

Christmas Bucket List

Last December, there were so many Christmas-themed things that I wanted to do, and I didn't get a chance to do everything. So this year, I thought I would blog the list so I would be more inspired to (hopefully) complete everything!

1. Visit a Christmas market

I love Christmas markets sooo much! The dream is that one day I will visit Germany and go to a real life Christmas market but for now I'll have to stick with London's Christmas markets (which aren't too shabby!). I definitely want to visit the Southbank market this year! 

2. Visit Winter Wonderland

This is kind of number one as well, because Winter Wonderland has a great Christmas market so I'm kind of cheating here (oops!), but I really want to go to Winter Wonderland this year. I have been before, but me and my OH went when it was really rainy and muddy, so it wasn't fun. This year, I feel like it will be super busy but it's worth it for the magical feels!

3. Spend all day watching Christmas films

I'd be lying if I said I didnt do this every year anyways LOL, but it's a must when it comes to December! This year, I have to watch Arthur Christmas and Nativity because I've never seen them (soz)! Elf and Love Actually always make the list! As does the Gavin and Stacey Christmas special!

4. Watch a Pantomime

"IT'S BEHIND YOU!" I have ALWAYS wanted to watch a Panto during Christmas, I just have to find someone to come with me! If anyone has any recommendations, please do comment below! 

5. Find the perfect scented candle

Not that I dont have a million candles anyways but I will always be hunting for my perfect scent. As much as I love all the Christmas scents, I haven't found the scent that I want to repurchase again and again. Here's hoping for this year!

6. Buy special Christmas pyjamas to wear on Christmas Eve

I've seen Zoella do this every year and it always makes me want to do it as well! I want to buy matching ones for my sisters and Mum but I don't know if they will wear them!

7. Go ice-skating

There are so many amazing places to go ice-skating in London every year and I've got my eye on a few. I'm not the best skater in the world, but after 5 minutes of stumbling around like Bambi, I get the slight hang on of it, and then the hour is over! It's always weird when you put your shoes on and the floor isn't icy?

8. Make the perfect hot chocolate

Hot chocolate around this time of year is just insane, and as much as I love going to Starbucks and Costa for festive drinks, there's something so cozy about sitting at home in warm pyjamas and drinking a homemade hot chocolate whilst watching all the Christmas films. I need whipped cream, mini marshmallows and mini candy canes!

9. Kiss under the mistletoe

I have hardly seen any mistletoe this year, but next time I do, I'm dragging my OH and giving him a big old smooch, because it's Christmas! And what's Christmas without a little smooch?

10. Bake Christmas cookies

This was originally going to be make a gingerbread house, but I'm not a huge fan of gingerbread and I don't think anyone in my house will help me eat a whole house. Maybe when I have kids it can be a cute little activity to do, but for now (whilst I can), I'm going to be selfish and make Christmas cookies and eat all of them myself, YAY!

What's on your Christmas bucket list? 

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Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Zoella Lifestyle Haul

Ever since Queen of the Internet aka Zoella, released her Lifestyle range I just knew that I had to get my hands on it. As much as I love Zoe and her YouTube channels, her previous beauty ranges just didn't appeal to me. I felt like they were aimed at a younger audience and they just didn't excite me in the same way that her Lifestyle range has. This range is definitely aimed more at her older audience and it is amazing.

First of all, can we just take a second to appreciate the packaging. I fricking love it all! Light grey with rose gold detailing (could she be anymore of a blogger?!), so every blogger in the world wet their pants a little bit (no, just me?).

As we all know, I'm obsessed with candles at the moment and I feel like I've repeated this so much recently (lol), as you can read about here, and here, and *ahem* here.

Anywayyyyys, I bought all of Zoella's candles. OOPS.

Like I've said before, I find it so hard to buy candles online as I think any candle lover will find, because its impossible to know if you're going to like it or not. I did find some reviews but I just thought that I would buy all of them and then return any if I didn't like the smell. Rookie mistake obvs.

I really like the packaging on all of the candles, I think the little box with the small hole in so that you can sniff the candle is so cute, and the way the candle opens is amazing. The little picture on the inside of the box is a welcome touch. I also think her candles are reasonably priced (£10) especially for the size and for how long they burn.

My Eden: "Surround yourself with the scent of a garden in full bloom. Fresh roses, jasmine and luscious geraniums float on a warm summer breeze."

I really loved this one, I didn't expect to because I'm not a huge fan of floral scents but this really reminded me of my garden in the summer time, and I think that was the type of scent she was going for. It's not too strong, which I really like because its a subtle garden smell but I can imagine that it would make your whole room smell like there were flowers there. Saves you buying flowers!

Gingerbread Village: "Set your home a glow with the sweet, spicy warmth of gingerbread. Cosy up by the fire as fragrant scents of ginger, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg fill the room."

I mean, even if I hadn't bought her entire candle collection, it would've just been rude not to buy this scent, especially around this time of year. This is the same scent that her Christmas collection is in and it smells like Christmas in a candle. I adoreeee it!

Seaside Stroll: "The scent of fresh air and ocean mist will leave you feeling like you’re beside the sea no matter where you are. A sunny seaside walk in a jar!"

I really liked this scent, it's very fresh-smelling and it does remind of being beside the ocean, so she's done well with this scent!

Daisy Picking: "Transport yourself to a Summers day. The scent of wildflowers and luscious green grass fills the air as you tiptoe through the meadow."

Even though I'm not a huge floral scent fan, this is lovely light scent and it is very uplifting! I like burning this during the day, it provides a fruity yet gentle smell that fills the whole room. 

Lazy Days: "Fill your room with the essence of calm. With notes of fresh linen and cotton, it’s the perfect scent for a lazy day."

This was one of my favourite things that I bought and in her collection. I love the feel of these socks, they are just perfect for winter time, and the candle is very warming and relaxing. It's one of those candles that you want to burn once you clean the whole house. 

I also bought the Zoella Travel Backpack, omg I need to stop shopping. It is originally £50, but when I bought it, it was new to Boots and it was £26 which I thought was a bargain. The Travel Backpack includes: the Cream and Sprinkles Travel Mug, the Write-on-Point pencils, and the Inspire keyring. For what you get, I think it was pretty good value! 

As much as I love the colour scheme of everything, and the quality of the products, I do have a few complaints about the backpack itself. Firstly, there is not small pocket inside the backpack. I know, its not the worst thing ever, but I really like having that little pocket because it's so convenient to put things that you will need quickly. I also didn't like the fact that the flap-over is very flimsy and doesn't buckle properly so for me it felt insecure. Especially because its a backpack and it will be on your back when you're wearing it, I feel like extra precaution should've been taken when designing that, just for safety and security reasons. 

The actual backpack is a beautiful light grey faux leather, with neon coral inside and adjustable straps. I like the fact that the Z is barely noticeable, and it's very minimal. 

Having said that, the products are beautiful. Like I've said before, I'm glad that Zoella has aimed this range at her older viewers, because the whole feel is very classy with its marble and rose gold design. I have heard mixed reviews about the Travel Mug, some people have had problems with their lettering fading, but I haven't used mine yet so I don't know about that. 

I really like the keyring, even though I have way too many on my keys right now! I think the idea behind it is really nice, that you look down at your keys and feel inspired and inspire others. 

The pencil pack was one thing that didn't overly excite me. I don't have an office or desk space and I'm more 'grab the nearest pen' kind of person, rather than collect cute stationary. Maybe I'm going wrong somewhere, but they are still very cute and I do adore their little quotes. 

So in conclusion, I love Zoella's lifestyle collection! 

What's your favourite product from the collection? Have you bought any of it?

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