2016 | Review

Saturday, 31 December 2016


Well what a year 2016 has been! I was reading through my Goals for 2016 Post and really poignantly I'd written 'I am so excited for 2016 and am feeling really positive for it'. I couldn't have been more wrong! Not only did 2016 bring us the deaths of many much loved celebrities and some very controversial political decisions across the world, it's also been a very difficult one for me personally and I for one, am more than happy to see the back of 2016. Despite it being a tough year, I'm really pleased that I actually managed to achieve most of the goals I set this year. 

1./Move out 
This is one that had been on my list for a couple of years and I finally managed to achieve it! In November, my boyfriend and I moved into a lovely little flat in South East London. Whilst it was a big adjustment moving out of my family home, it's been great being able to walk to work and to be so much more central which means easy access to the centre of London. 

2./Get promoted at work
Again, another one I managed to achieve. Whilst not a big promotion, I was promoted from a Graduate Research Executive to a Research Executive. It was such a good feeling to have my hard work recognised after only being in the company a few months - now onto the next promotion! 

3./Eat more healthily
This is a bit of an ambiguous one! I don't think I've massively changed what I eat, but moving out I've definitely tried to be more conscious of cooking healthy meals rather than going for the quick and easy, but less healthy options. 

4./Develop an exercise routine 
I probably worked hardest on this goal throughout the year. For the most part, I've been doing HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) 3 times a week and really noticed a difference in my health both, physically and mentally. However, since moving into the flat, I haven't been doing it as much because it's just so cold in the mornings to get up! I haven't been too disappointed by this though because I've been walking around 4 miles to and from work so that's definitely been keeping me fit! 

5./Read more 
I've also achieved this goal this year. I wanted to get back into reading and definitely have. I've read several books and really enjoyed it, so I'm definitely going to keep this up into the new year. 

So despite how challenging and difficult 2016 has been, I am pleased that I've achieved most of what I set out to achieve this year. I hope you all have a very happy and healthy new year and wish you all the best for 2017! 



The Body Shop Advent Calendar | 2016

Thursday, 29 December 2016



This is the third year that I've had The Body Shop Advent Calendar and originally I wasn't going to get another one this year, but at the last minute, I couldn't resist and went out and got one. As always, I'll be here forever if I give you a full run down of all the products included in the calendar, so instead I'll share my favourites with you. One thing I did notice this year about the advent calendar, is the variation in products to the previous two years. I thought the first two I had were pretty identical, hence why I was reluctant to get it again, however, they definitely mixed it up more this year and put in more tools e.g. pencil sharpener, cleansing sponge etc, as well as full sized products which I've not had before. 

Although I already have one, I don't have a sharpener with a lid so always need to be near a bin if I'm sharpening my eyeliners or lip liners, but now I no longer need to worry - it's super useful. 

I've always wanted to try some products from this range, but never got round to it, so I'm really excited to try this. It's a really handy travel sized eye make up remover so it's always useful to have! 

When I saw that The Body Shop had released this scent as part of their Christmas range I really wanted to try it as it sounded delicious, so I was really happy when I opened this and it didn't disappoint! It's such a lovely scent and you can always rely on The Body Shop body lotions to be very nourishing on the skin. 

This was the present that came on 25th December and it didn't disappoint, paired with an eye mask, this cream is just what you need before bed. The full sized version is a bit on the pricier side, so I'm really excited to try this mini before forking out for the full sized product. It's a really nourishing night cream that smells incredible. I think the night mask was a really lovely touch and always comes in handy!

Whilst strawberry isn't one of my favourite scents, this full sized body butter was a lovely surprise as none of the previous advent calendars have had a full sized body butter before. On their own, they retail at £14.00 so to be included in the advent calendar is really good value for money. It'll always come in handy and I look forward to using it in the summer months! 

Unfortunately, this lip definer doesn't have the shade on it and I can't find it on the website, but it's a pinky, brown colour (the technical term!) Ordinarily, I wouldn't have been that fussed receiving this colour lip liner as I didn't own any lipsticks this shade. However, for my birthday, I received the Velvet Teddy Lipstick from MAC and this is an exact match and is ideal for lining my lips before applying the lipstick - I've been loving it! 

So they're my top 6 products from The Body Shop advent calendar this year. What advent calendar did you have? I'd love to hear your favourites!  


A Trip to Winter Wonderland | 2016

Saturday, 24 December 2016







 




 



It's become a bit of a tradition for me and my boyfriend to visit Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park in the lead up to Christmas. I really like going as it helps get me into the Christmas spirit and there's so much to do there. For me, it has to be a visit in the evening as although this is probably when it's at its busiest, it's much more beautiful with all the lights. 

Emil and I went this week after work and wondered around all the lovely Christmas markets and took in all the stunning lights. There are loads of rides to enjoy if that takes your fancy, but I think it's far too overpriced and I'm not particularly a fan of queuing up in the cold. 

However, after admiring all the stalls, lights and ice rink, Emil and I were getting quite hungry so we decided to stop for a bite to eat. I love all the German food that's at Winter Wonderland, so we had a curry wurst which is sausage in a curry sauce (it tastes much better than it sounds!) in the Bavarian Village. This is one of my favourite parts of Winter Wonderland as the smell of food fills the air and there's always live music to keep you entertained. Emil and I finished off our evening with a Belgium waffle topped with Nutella before heading home. 

If you haven't been to Winter Wonderland, I can't recommend it enough. It's open until 2nd January, but if you can't make it this time round, it's definitely worth a visit next year. 

I just want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog and for all your continued support. 






Becca Champagne Pop | Review

Wednesday, 21 December 2016


I recently received the Becca Champagne Pop from my lovely friend Sarah for my birthday. I've seen so many amazing reviews of Becca products, but having never tried any from her collection I was super excited to try it.

I've tried a couple of highlighter products over the years, but never have I come across one as beautiful as this. The packaging is quite understated, but has a really useful mirror in the lid - which is always handy to have. However, I feel that the packaging doesn't need to be anything fancy because the product speaks for itself. It's the most beautiful champagne colour which is so incredibly pigmented that you really don't need much to create a glowing look. I've been using a fan brush to apply this the top of my cheeks and as I mentioned, you only need to apply a small amount of product. The powder itself is so soft it feels lovely to apply to the skin. Also, it stays in place all day, if I catch my reflection towards the end of the day, I still see it catch the light - it's beautiful.

Would I recommend this product? 100%! It's absolutely stunning, is easy to apply and stays in place all day - what's not to love?

Have you ever tried the Becca Champagne Pop before? Let me know your thoughts!


Making Christmas Warmer

Sunday, 18 December 2016


As much as I wish blogging was my full time job, it doesn't pay the bills, so alongside blogging I work full time. Although I will have a bit of time off between Christmas and New Year, I am working up until Christmas Eve. Whilst I don't mind working at this time of year, it can sometimes be a bit of a drag and I'd much rather be getting into the festive spirit!



Therefore, you can imagine how excited I was when the biggest hamper arrived at work for me from Cotton Traders as part of their 'Making Christmas Warmer' campaign (you can read all about it here). The campaign aims to spread festive cheer amongst those who have to work during this time of year and help to make them feel a little warmer. The hamper covered everything, from festive treats, to decorations and Christmas music:

-Now That's What I Call Christmas CD
-Whittard Hot Chocolate
-Whittard Marshmallows
-Fox's Biscuits
-Candy Canes
-Christmas Crackers
-Festive photo booth props
-Green & Blacks chocolates
-Monin coffee syrups 







There was so much excitement in the office when this arrived, with everyone delving into the hamper to see what treats were available. The edible treats didn't last too long, but we had a lot of fun with the photo booth props and crackers.


The hamper definitely helped spread the festive spirit in the office and showed that you can have fun in the office in the lead up to Christmas. I will definitely consider buying a similar hamper next year as everyone really loved it and it definitely created an air of excitement in the office.

A huge thank you to
How have you made the most of the season of good will?




The Christmas Tag

Wednesday, 14 December 2016


I was tagged by the lovely Vanessa to take part in this Christmas Tag and you know me, I can't resist a tag!

1./What's your favourite Christmas movie?
It has to be Love Actually. For me, it's not Christmas until I've seen this film.

2./What are your favourite Christmas colours?
Red and green, purely because those are the colours I always associate with Christmas. 

3./Do you like to stay in your PJ's or dress up for Christmas? 
Dress up for sure! When I was younger, my parents would always get me a Christmas Day outfit, but now I always like to get myself a new dress or wear one that I've bought relatively recently.

4./If you could only buy one person a Christmas present this year, who would it be?
Ooo I couldn't possibly answer this one!!

5./Do you open your present Christmas Eve or Christmas morning? 
I didn't even know people open their presents on Christmas Eve?! We always go downstairs as a family on Christmas morning and open our presents together.

6./Have you built a gingerbread house?
I've only ever built one and it was many years ago, so sadly I don't have any photos. I definitely need to make another one!

7./What do you like to do on your Christmas break?
Now that I work full time, I don't really get a break, but I have some days off after Christmas which I will spend eating, chilling and seeing family and friends. 

8./Any Christmas wishes?
Just that it's a happy one with no arguments!

9./Favourite Christmas smells? 
Christmas Tree, Mulled Wine and my mums Christmas Ham!

10./Favourite Christmas meal or treat?
It has to be the Christmas dinner and all the Christmas chocolates e.g. Quality Street, Roses, Celebrations etc.

I Tag:
Becky: Uptown Oracle
Maisie: Love Maisie
Shannon: Shannon-Marie
Megan: XMEGANLISA





Top Stores for Stocking Fillers

Sunday, 11 December 2016


As well as buying my family and friends main Christmas presents, I always like to throw in a few stocking fillers as a little something extra. Over the past few years, I've found a few shops that offer the perfect stocking fillers. 

This is probably my 'go to' stocking filler store. Hotel Chocolat sell such amazing chocolates and have such a wide variety of options. The slightly more premium feel of them, makes them that bit more special compared to other high street brands of chocolate. Also, they're reasonably well priced and often offer multi buy deals which makes them really good value for money. 

Lush offers great gifts. There's so much to choose from with a range of price points, meaning that they're ideal for stocking fillers for all ages.

The Body Shop is one of my favourites stores and always launch an amazing Christmas range. Similar to Lush, they have a huge selection of products with a range of price points, meaning there's always something for everyone there.

Boots is a great stop for Christmas presents as well as those smaller stocking fillers. Boots always have such amazing deals at Christmas and again cover a range of products for both males and females from a range of categories so it's not just beauty items you can stock up on there. I know some people manage to do all their Christmas shopping in Boots although I like to pick up a few stocking fillers from there, I definitely don't manage to get all my Christmas shopping done at Boots!

Similarly to Boots, Superdrug offer a wide range of gifts and at really good value too. They offer some great deals which means you can multi buy a variety of products on quite a small budget. Superdrug always have really good deals on tubes of chocolates so when I was a student I always used to stock up on those for friends.

What are your top stores for stocking fillers?



Christmas Jumper Picks

Wednesday, 7 December 2016


I'm a huge fan of Christmas jumpers and as they become more popular, my love for them grows too. Most retailers now offer some Christmas jumpers even if it's only a small selection. I had a look around a few retailer websites to find my top 5 picks this year. Normally, I think Primark offers the best selection of jumpers and at the best prices, but they definitely have strong competition. 


Next don't have the largest collection of Christmas jumpers, but the ones they do have are really cute like this Pug Christmas Pudding! Just how cute is it?? 
2./Primark - Novelty Christmas Reindeer Jumper, £7.00
I love this one from Primark, it's so cute with the reindeer, but at the same time it isn't tacky. Also, at £7 it's such good value for money!


3./Primark - Let It Snow Sequin Jumper, £12.00
Another one from Primark, but this time a sequin one. I'm not normally into sequins, but I like the idea of the reversible sequins on this jumper. It looks like you swipe one way to see 'Let it Snow' and then the other side is snowflakes. I'm all for novelty jumpers so maybe that's why I like this one so much.


4./New Look - Black Long Sleeve Knitted Christmas Jumper, £14.99
I love this one! It's more along the lines of a traditional Christmas jumper, but I still really like it. It's a little pricier compared to the ones from Primark, but at £14.99, I still think that's really good value for money for a jumper.


5./New Look - Mela Black Candy Print Christmas Jumper, £25
Another one from New Look and again a bit pricer. However, I really liked the Candy Canes on this one, it's a more subtle Christmas jumper, but would still be perfect for this time of year.

So they're the top 5 Christmas jumpers I saw when looking online. I'm hoping to buy a new one at the weekend to add to my collection and I'll probably go for one of the Primark ones as the patters are really cute and they're such good value for money.

November Favourites

Sunday, 4 December 2016



November is one of my favourite months. Not only does it mean Autumn is well and truly here, it's also my birthday at the end of the month. However, this month has been so busy that I haven't had much time to try out many new bits, so apologies, but this is a very random favourites! 
I mention this in most of my beauty posts and I featured it in last months favourites, but it's been such a life saver this month that I couldn't not include it. As the weather's getting colder, my lips tend to suffer the most so I've been reaching for this loads to keep them hydrated. I've been recommending it to everyone at work, I just can't get enough of it! 

Now that I've got my own flat, I've been burning candles most evenings and I'm absolutely loving the Christmas collection from Yankee candle at the moment, they're perfect for the upcoming festive period, they make the flat so cute as well as smelling divine. 

I did say this was a random favourites! I've been loving Onken yogurt this month. I first discovered it at uni, but haven't had it for a while until this month. Throughout the last few weeks, I've been getting through all the flavours and they're all incredible. Also, they're fat free, what's not to love! 

I have been absolutely loving this programme this month. Everyone was talking about it at work, so I had to see what all the fuss about and I'm so glad I did. It's incredible, some may think as it's a nature programme it's a bit boring, but it really isn't. The story lines are great and I actually find myself laughing out loud at it. It's on Sunday evenings at 8pm pn BBC1 - I can't recommend it enough! 

So that's this months favourites, what have you been loving this November?








Budapest | Hungary

Sunday, 27 November 2016


Budapest is a place I've wanted to visit for a little while now and so when one of my friends suggested we go for a long weekend, I jumped at the chance. Last weekend, three of us flew out to Budapest for two nights and having never visited Hungary before, I was excited to see what it had to offer.






Saturday
We had an early flight which meant we had the whole afternoon in Budapest. After settling into our beautiful Airbnb that my friend Emily booked, we set off to explore Budapest. We visited Heroes Square which is an iconic square commemorating Hungary's history and then went in search of some Christmas markets. Once we found some, we drank mulled wine, ate traditional Hungarian pastries and explored all the little stalls. We then walked down to the Chain Bridge to admire Buda and all the beautiful buildings on the other side of the river, lit up at night. After taking about 1,000,000 photos of the stunning view, we wandered back to our apartment, via St Stephen's Basilica, before going out for dinner and drinks.











Sunday
As we didn't have long in the city, we opted to do a walking tour to try and gain as much knowledge and see as much of Budapest as we possibly could. We had a very animated tour guide who gave us a great tour, visiting the iconic sights of Budapest which included St Stephen's Basilica, walking across the Chain Bridge over the Danube river, walking up to the top of Castle Hill on the Buda side and admiring the view of Pest from the top. From that view, you can see the Parliament building which I was really astounded by, it's absolutely stunning. The tour was completed at St Mathias Church which is such a beautiful church. After the tour, we walked back over to Pest, had some lunch and then walked down to get a closer look of  Parliament which involved taking many photos of the stunning building. Afterwards, we walked along the river and then went for a drink at the Szimpla bar which is a really cool bar in converted ruins and has loads of quirky rooms. We then walked back towards our apartment and went for dinner before getting an early night.




Monday
This was our last day in Budapest and we only had the morning before we had to fly home so we decided to visit the famous thermal baths. We went to the Sz├ęcheny baths which are one of the most famous in Budapest, it was quite an experience and after a bit of confusion over the entrance to the baths, we finally got in. We went outside first of all, which was very chilly in just a bikini! However, once in the bath, it was so lovely and relaxing. We tried a couple of the other outdoor baths before venturing inside to see what those baths had to offer. I must admit, I was really disappointed with the indoor baths, some didn't smell too good and others had soooo much dirt floating in them, that I couldn't bring myself to get in and soak in it! We decided to finish off our time at the baths in the outdoor ones as these were our favourite. Once we were fully relaxed, we returned to the apartment before packing to fly back home.

I had such a lovely time in Budapest, it's definitely one of my favourite cities, I wish we had longer there, but I would love to go back one day to explore other parts of the city. I really can't recommend it enough for a weekend break, it's so beautiful!

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