Blogmas 2017 #Day 15 My History With Christmas 

Most people who have celebrated the holidays don’t really think twice about it. For me though, it’s quite a new thing. See, Christmas for me used to be anxiously waiting for the What’s on Tv guide to come out, so me and my sisters could sit down and go through all the films that were coming on. We would highlight everything  we wanted to watch and then work  out a schedule for all the ones that clashed. As technology progressed and sky plus came out, we were able to record the programmes we couldn’t watch, but it was still a fun thing to do!

It was the only time where everyone was guaranteed to be off work/school. We would literally eat chocolates, chill and watch movies all day!

I got married in 2013 and my husband and his family could not be any more different to mine! He has always celebrated Christmas, even though he isn’t Christian and at the time didnt really believe in any religion. Now that we are married, we have taken on each others traditions. Instead of chilling at home watching movies,  I’ve  been out buying presents, going out for meals and having a full on white traditional christmas! I love it. I love the vibes, the traditions they have, the funny stories and just seeing their family all getting together.  They do a Christmas quiz, which is taken very seriously. It has nothing to do with Christmas but it’s so much ich fun and I always look forward to it.

Now that we have a child, we’ve  changed our views again. Whilst i still take part and enjoy the season, i dont like the idea of santa and lying to children.. Yes I know its all about the magic and innocence but its a decision I  can make and i dont think we should be teaching her those things . Instead, she will know that we work hard to buy her things and she can appreciate the value of everything she has. 

Everyone has different traditions and I would love to know what you do! 

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Blogmas 2017 #Day 14 Shopping For Secret Santa

I’ve mentioned a million times in different posts this December, that I’ve only participated in Christmas since I’ve been married, but prior to this, the one thing I ALWAYS took part in was Secret Santa. It is such a cute idea and even better when you get someone that you would enjoy shopping for!

I normally take part in Secret Santa at work and have pretty much always been given some really good things. The funniest moment I have had was when one of my colleagues asked me to help her pick something for her Secret Santa. We laughed and joked about it and decided to go with a joke gift ( a bar of soap that said FACE on one side and ARSE on the other) I even ordered it for her as I was purchasing my gift from the same place. Little did I know that when I opened my gift on the day, it would be the bar of soap staring back at me! I can’t believe that I helped pick my own gift and picked an awful one at that!

The best gifts are always the thoughtful ones and I feel all warm inside when someone gets me something that they know I love. For example, last year I received a Dr Who Diary. I am a HUGE fan of Dr Who and I love writing, so this was such a thoughtful gift for someone to get me. I never wrote in it in the end, but still have it because it is beautiful.

I thought I would write a quick list of ideas below, to help anyone who might be stuck on what to get their Secret Santa!

  1. A gift card – You can’t go wrong with this! Pick one that offers most stores on the high street or if you know that person shops in a particular store, they will love getting a gift card for it.
  2. A mug – Almost everyone needs a mug at work, so this is always a safe bet!
  3. Chocolate! You can sometimes feel like you are wasting £10 on something that person will never use but you can’t go wrong with chocolate. It may not be personal but they will eat it.
  4. Candles! This is mostly for females (possibly) but most women love candles. They never go to waste and during the winter season, are a must! You can never have too many candles.
  5. A gadget – Let’s face it, Secret Santa is usually a joke. People normally buy stupid things that are either going to be offensive or a funny. It’s the only time that you can get away with it, so my advise would be to at least get something that you know they would use.

 

Blogmas 2017 #Day 13 The Gift Tree

For the last 2 years in a row, I have taken part in my town’s “Gift Tree” I think it is such a cool idea. There are so many children out there that don’t have a home or family to celebrate the holidays with, so within the shopping centre, they have set up a huge Christmas tree with tags all over it.

The idea is that you pick a tag from the tree and purchase a present to go with it. Each tag has a name of a child and their age. I think it is such a lovely thing to do and for 2 years, I have always picked a few tags.

Put aside for a second that it’s Christmas, because any time of the year that these children do not have permanent homes or families, is a really horrible thought. This time of the year focuses hugely on family, so imagine if you knew you weren’t going to spend the holiday with yours! I was quite shocked to see how many teenagers were on the tree.

 

This year, we decided to pick one tag to start with. We picked Nathan, age 2 and will purchase something for him. This age is perfect so a lovely little toy will brighten his spirits. I really wish that they would let you see the reaction from the kids when they open the present! I absolutely love giving people gifts and do it all year round, but to see a child open a present and get so excited by it would literally just make my year.

Does any one do anything similar?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blogmas 2017 #Day 12 Tanya Burr Sweet Days Advent Calender Review 

If you know me well, you will know that I am OBSESSED with certain Youtubers. Yes, yes, I am aware that 28 year old married-with-one-child women, probably should have better things to do in their spare time, but sod it! I LOVE watching YouTube. One of my favourites is Tanya Burr. 

Tanya has her own cosmetics line, which I genuinely love and my little sister purchased her advent calendar for my birthday! As its a 12 day calendar, I thought it would be a good idea to review the contents today. 

Packaging


Firstly, I absolutely love the packaging. It is good quality and beautiful to look at. You can display it on a shelf, on a dressing table etc and it will look amazing. I love the design and the detail in each window. Based on the packaging alone, I would have purchased this myself! 

Contents

There are 12 doors and in total you get 3 nail polishes, 3 lip glosses, 2 glitter eyeliners, 1 nail file, 1 mirror and 2 glitter eyeshadow pigments. 

What I loved… 

I LOVE her nail polishes. If you wear them. On their own, they chip within the day, but with a topcoat I find that they last well over a week. You get a stunning red, a gold glitter and a silver glitter. I’m not going to lie, I am not a fan of glitter so the red nail polish is my favourite, but the pigment of the glitter is amazing! I also love the two coloured lipglosses! I am not a fan of lip gloss but I found that it looled amazing and wasn’t sticky. Also, a nail file is always good to have! 

What I didn’t love

 I found that the mirror was a little on the small side. As explained, I am not a glitter fan, so the eyeliner and eyeshadow glitter was not for me. I can make the eyeliner work for parties but the glitter pots are ridiculously small in size, which I also didn’t like.

Overall

Regardless of the glitter, I still love this calendar. Its beautiful, the products are good quality, even if they aren’t all my taste. I would really like her to do a 24 day one next year. Her products within the calendar are worth it so I would pay to get more variety of things.

Blogmas 2017  #Day 11 Christmas Tree

Since I’ve never had a Christmas tree before, I was not overly fussed about having one in the new house either. My husband has grown up with one every year, so to keep the tradition, I agreed that we could have a small one this year. As usual, men do what they want, so he purchased a fake Christmas tree and a random mixture of decorations. I thought I would showcase it anyway, since it sort of looks OK!

So this is the tree for this year! It is a bit odd I think. Clearly my husband doesn’t have the knack for decorating, however since he decorated it with E, I will let him off. I thought about re-doing it once he had left, but the more I look at it, the more it makes me laugh, so I kept it up!

If you ignore all the stuff around it (we’ve just moved and some things haven’t found their home yet!) I think it looks good.

I have seen lots of trees this year and so many people go out of their way to decorate theirs!

The best part about Christmas Tree’s are the fairy lights! I tried to take a good picture to show the lights, but let’s be honest, they are not that great. However, it still has a cosy, homey feel to it. The lights are white and are set on a timer. You can program them to flash on and off, twinkle or blink. I think we currently have them set to do all 3, at different times obviously!

Last year we purchased a white tree and I’m glad he purchased a green one this year as I feel that they can look tacky sometimes.

 

The ornaments are quite unique as well! (borderline tacky) He purchased a pack which had different gold and silver decorations. We have a reindeer and a shoe (what is so Chrismassy about shoes???) They are a sparkly gold colour and look quite heavy. There are a few scattered around the tree.

   

I’m not too sure how I feel about the white decorations. The bauble doesn’t look too bad on camera but it looks awful in real life. It is a glittery ball and the snowflake again is borderline tacky. He purchased the products from The Range, so I guess that is what you get when you buy decorations from a cheap store.

   

I am sure everyone else has had better trees but would love to see them all, regardless!

Blogmas #Day 10 Christmas Books!

I used to love all the new festive reads, every year but recently I haven’t purchased any new books. Whilst I don’t know what is currently in the chart, I did want to highlight one of my most favourite Christmas reads. This particular book is so touching and I always remember the story and the way the characters made me feel!

Cecilia Ahern – The Gift

9780007326334I own a LOT of books written by Cecilia Ahern. She has such a crazy way of writing, that makes you fall in love with her characters and empathise with them through the entire story. One of her more popular books was turned into a move (P.S I Love You) but ‘The Gift’ has to my favourite book that she has written. I love her simply because of the magic that she creates. It seems like such an ordinary book with real characters and real life situations, but then suddenly, there is pure magic involved, which can’t be explained in real life.

‘The Gift’ is about a man called Lou, who is constantly busy. He always needs to be in two places at once and struggles to balance time between the office and his family. One morning, Lou meets Gabe, a homeless man who sits outside the office building every day. He offers him a job in the post room, but would never have believe what would happen next.

It is such a magical book that teaches you about appreciating what you have. Lou isn’t really a character to love, I feel. It took me a little while to warm to him, but when I did, I loved him till the end of the book. There are small supporting characters, but mostly the story is about Lou and Gabe.

I think that during the holiday season, and with real life not as magical as it should be, this book is perfect to read. It is a little sad but it has a good message and Cecilia Ahern is an amazing writer.

I also had a quick look on WHSmith’s book chart and this book is back on at number 40, which is brilliant, considering it was published in 2010 originally!

Blogmas #Day 9 Winter Lipsticks

This is usually the time of month where all the brown/berry/red lipsticks come out! I am a huge fan of lip products and like everyone else, ADORE liquid lipsticks. I have found this winter that my lips are incredibly dry. This was due to a series of events : My trusty NUXE lip balm ran out, we moved house, so I didn’t have time or the money to buy any more and now I just need to stop being lazy and purchase it again. Due to this, I’ve not really been wearing lip products, but nevertheless, the odd times that I am going out to a party or event, I have some favourites!

Gerard Cosmetics Hydra Matte ‘1995’

20171209_132140283297823.jpg 20171209_134042225517771.jpgThis is a new favourite. I recently purchased it from Beauty Bay, when they had their 30% off sale. I’ve heard mixed reviews about their lipsticks, but this particular colour has always been praised. Firstly, I want to say that I don’t like the packaging. It feels a little cheap and flimsy to me! Also, I don’t like how you can’t really see the colour properly, through the tube. The colour however, is perfect. It’s a really nice nude, almost brown. I went out for a dinner and even after eating pizza, the lipstick didn’t budge. However, it was super easy to remove at the end of the night, so this is always a plus.

The Balm Cosmetics Meet Matt(e) Hughes ‘Trustworthy’

20171209_1321062012705951.jpg20171209_1341392132955452.jpgI love the dark brown colours from Meet Matte collection. I find that they are extremely pigmented and they don’t budge. I have a few favourites that I wear all the time and this is actually a lighter brown. I think they are perfect for winter and they smell lovely! I find that depending on my lip condition that day, the colour comes out different every time, but mostly it is fairly similar to the Gerard Cosmetics one.

NYX soft matte lip cream ‘Vancouver’

20171209_1343061795127200.jpg20171209_1341191442423919.jpgYou have to wear a berry tone during winter. My favourite is more of an actual purple though. I love the NYX soft matte lip creams. They smell like chocolate and are so pigmented but unfortunately they don’t stay put. I find that the colour smears if you eat and it fades very quickly. It is one of those lip cream’s that you would have to keep on you, when you are out, to keep topping up. Nevertheless, it is a lovely deep purple colour and looks the best during winter times!

The Balm Cosmetics Meet Matt(e) Hughes ‘Loyal’

20171209_132201749460756.jpg20171209_134156931189378.jpgLike the purple, wearing a red lip colour is a must for the holiday season. I am a bit nervous to wear red, so I don’t own many. My favourite would be The Balm Cosmetics ‘Loyal’ because I know it won’t move around on my lips. You only have to apply one coat and once it dries, it is there forever. They have a few different shades of red, but this one has to be my favourite, because it’s a beautiful deep dark kind of red.

Tanya Burr Cosmetics lip gloss ‘Cranberry Melt’

20171209_1342471205471805.jpg20171209_134225811188760.jpgLast but not least, another new favourite. I got this lip gloss in Tanya Burr’s 2017 advent calendar (which I am absolutely loving, can I add!!) and instantly, I disliked it. Without even trying it on, I hate lip glosses. However, the colour looked sort of pretty, so I tried it on AND I WAS SHOOK. It is such a pretty light red colour. It is obviously a lip gloss but after a little while, you lose the sticky feeling, without losing any of the colour! I love the smell – it’s like a Christmas chocolate box – wait no! It smells like cranberry, which it should, because that is what it’s named after!

 

Blogmas 2017 #Day 8 My Top 10 Christmas Movies!

10. Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer

photoThis is quite hilarious. It is a full on Christmas movie and I absolutely love it. Every year, it comes on TV super early in the morning, but it is honestly my favourite. It is about a family who own the only store in the town that has not been purchased by Austin Bucks. Grandma refuses and she then goes missing. The rest of the movie is about the grandchildren trying to save the day and find Grandma.The story is hilarious and completely ridiculous and the main clue is a fruit cake. I am sure it must be aimed at kids as it is animated, but I still love it.

9. Small Soldiers

R-1347865-1336749785-9200.jpegI don’t know if this counts as a Christmas movie, but I have never watched Small Soldiers at any other time. It is about a company that accidentally send “toys” that have intelligent chips in them (made for war and battle) to an actual toy shop. I love the characters, I love the story. It is quite an old film, but I think the CGI is amazing and it’s a deep film to watch over the holidays!

 

 

8. Toy Story

c3c2b4a3323c4a71929cd5fc76bcda4df7157175Again, I have always watched Toy Story during Christmas time. I could not pick a favourite. Whose ingenious idea was it, to make a movie out of toys that come to life when you are not looking! In a way it is like Small Soldiers but much more fluffy! I love Woody, he is so relatable and the way that he felt replaced when Buzz came along, actually made me feel about the toys I stopped playing with (when I was younger, of course!) Believe it or not, I teach E to show love to ALL her toys equally and we rotate favourites.

7. The Snowman

590x372.fitandcropThis is a classic. Everyone has either watched this or heard the song. It is a beautiful movie. I have to be honest, I get to the scene where they are flying over the woods and I start to switch off, but I love the beginning, up until you get to the song. There is no speaking, just pure music and the animation is good. It is very old but one that I will show E.

6. Bridget Jones Diary

Bridget-Jones-Tour-530-7LOVE THIS MOVIE. I love the books and I love Bridget. Again, so relatable and so hilarious. I love the male leads and even though I have watched it a million times, I laugh on every stupid thing Bridget does and cry at all the moments she does. Especially now that we have seen 2 sequels (and the third is 100% my favourite) the first movie is a classic Christmas movie for me.

5. Miracle on 34th Street (1994 version)

large_l6rhHX5Cshf4aqcNuaaMVWvfcBZIt is not Christmas holidays unless I have watched this movie. It is one that the whole family sits down to watch. It is about Kris Kingle who is actually the real Santa Claus, but set in modern day time, and about a single mum with her daughter whom don’t believe in Santa. Santa gets caught up in real human trouble with the law and the movie is about proving in a court of law, whether Santa is actually real or not! I LOVE this movie. The characters are brilliant (the child lead is the actress from Matilda) and the story line is amazing. I love the idea behind it and it is SUCH a festive movie.

 

 

4. Home Alone

Home_Alone_SliderHome Alone. A fantasy that I am sure most kids have! I think the first and second movies in this franchise were amazing. Kevin is hilarious and I love the big family! The booby traps and sheer thought that went into creating all the different obstacles at the end of the movie were hilarious but for me, it is more about Kevin and his mother’s relationship.

3. Love Actually

love-actuallyI watch Love Actually any time that I can, but it is really a Christmas movie to me. Different characters, with different stories (some actors were not famous at the time, but 100% are now!) I cannot get enough of it. Like Bridget Jones, even though I have seen it a million times, I still will watch it with fresh eyes. The jokes are hilarious and each story is brilliant on its own. I love Liam Neeson and his son. I LOVE Hugh Grant as the Prime Minister. Even the sad storyline with Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson breaks my heart. Amazing movie!

2. Arthur Christmas

download (1)If we were talking about PROPER Christmas movies, Arthur Christmas would be the one for me. Arthur is the youngest son of the 11th Santa Claus. He is in charge of letters but one day, a child’s present is left behind. The story is about Arthur, making sure that no child get’s left behind and that present is delivered. It combines family, traditions and hilarious adult jokes. I loved the animation and even E was interested! I love how they explain all the “magic” of Santa as science and actually it being possible.

1. Harry Potter

Harry-Potter-Wizarding-World-WeeklyOK, OK maybe this isn’t an ACTUAL Christmas movie, but actually, to me it is. I have always seen HP in the cinemas around Christmas time. A main part of the movie is when Harry is at Hogwarts during Christmas and of course a Harry Potter marathon runs throughout Christmas, so this has to be number one!!

 

Blogmas 2017 #Day 7 Xmas Jumpers!

I have never really been into Xmas Jumpers, but I’ve been watching Zoella on YouTube for 5 years now and she is HUGELY into her festive jumpers. Since watching her, I’ve been more interested in them, but I probably would never buy one, unless it was requested at work!

I have pulled together my top 5 Christmas jumpers that I have seen. It would be interesting to see how many people would pick the same jumpers!

 

Aldi literally sell everything these days! I normally like subtle jumpers but think it’s quite cute!

 

I love cats, i much prefer lighter colours. The colours and style on the jumper isn’t tacky.

This jumper dress is a perfect alternative to a jumper. It’s a beautiful colour scheme and I love the design.

Sometimes a tacky jumper is the right move. I love slogans as well.

This is probably my favourite jumper. Its subtle, cute and very festive!

Blogmas 2017 #Day 6 My Fave Advent Calendars

Who doesn’t love an advent calendar! I don’t care too much about chocolate ones, but in the last few years, alternative advent calendars have really overtaken the market. Every single year in November, I look through ALL my options and think about which one I want to buy. Some of them are so worth the money but others seem like they cost so much. I thought I would pick out 5 that have really caught my eye this year!

Look Fantastic “Beauty In Wonderland”

I fell in love with the beauty of this calendar. I really don’t care what is inside it but HOW BEAUTIFUL is that vanity case?!?! Without even seeing the theme of the calendar, straight away I knew it was Alice In Wonderland. It is a beautiful calendar, with some pretty good products inside, by the sounds of it. There are 24 products, some full size, some deluxe size, but most importantly, once you have opened everything, you get a vanity case out of it! I think the price is quite expensive, at £80 but it seems this is the price to pay these days!
Rituals

I LOVE Rituals, ever since I discovered them in one of my Birch Box boxes. I think I received one of the foaming shower gels and literally loved the product since. I think I then received a different scent of foaming shower gel in a Glossy Box but I think its an amazing brand. They had 2 different calendars out this year. A deluxe version and the Exclusive version, both with 24 doors. I don’t know why I didn’t purchase one of these in the end! The price was quite hefty, at £60 for one and £80 for the other.

Clinique 24 Days of Clinique

I think Clinique is quite an expensive brand, but so many people rave about their products. This is the perfect month to try it as you get mini and full size versions of their products. I was SO close to purchasing one. As close as literally adding it to my basket and getting to the payment page online. I only stopped because I couldn’t find my card and then I stopped to think whether it would be a good idea to pay £80 on an advent calendar…..

Peppa Pig Advent Calendar

Every year I hate myself for finding a perfect calendar and not buying it before it sells out. This year, it happened to me with the Peppa Pig calendar! E absolutely loves Peppa and I found this calendar for £25 at Asda. There is one toy behind every door and surprisingly there are 24 doors! I think that is such good value for money, especially for those parents who would spend £10 on a pack of 3 Peppa figures! I am GUTTED that I missed out and next year I will make sure that I purchase one as soon as they come out!

Essie Advent Calendar

I love wearing Nail Polish so how can you go wrong with an Essie calendar! There are 24 nail polishes in total, which I think is brilliant. It is priced at £80, which is a little expensive, but a single bottle costs from £5 to £7, so I think that is actually quite a good bargain! Plus it looks pretty!

What calendars did you purchase this year or are there any that you wished you had?