Christmas Chat and Fun Things From This MonthI love writing down what I’ve been up to during the month, usually I keep a note in my diary and photos in a scrapbook but every so often I’ll type a blog post to let you see a few snippets of my life. So grab a cup of tea, sit back and enjoy today’s Christmas chat.

Christmas hasn’t always been the most wonderful time of the year for me. As a very young child I would be alone in my bedroom, scared and sobbing my heart out. I thank my lucky stars for the kind, caring people who took me out of that awful situation and gave me a better life. I grew up and everything looked great, only to end up being shit on by an ex who left me for another woman and cleared out everything in my flat just before Christmas day. Other years in the months leading up to Christmas I’ve had a miscarriage and lost close members of my family. In 2005 I spent two weeks of the Christmas holidays on the neurology ward of The Royal Free Hospital, not knowing how bad my illness was going to get.

Why am I telling you all this? Because even though it didn’t seem like it then, I got through those dark times. I met and married Adrian, I appreciate every single moment with him and feel so happy with even the simplest of things over the festive season.

Christmas Chat and Fun Things From This Month

Onto the good stuff. We kicked things off by celebrating Adrian’s birthday on the 24th November. Usually we go out for a meal but this year he didn’t want a big fuss. Instead we spent a cosy evening in ordering a takeaway, enjoying a few drinks and watching a film of his choice.

Christmas Chat

Christmas Chats

Adrian and I went into town to watch the Christmas light switch on. It was freezing cold so I wrapped up in my thick Parka jacket and a woolly bobble hat, I wanted to have fun, not be shivering all night, It was already packed with people by the time we arrived but there were plenty of stalls and entertainers to keep us all amused.  First, I went into Costa and treated myself to a festive hot chocolate, I wanted to feel all cosy. The count down began and everyone was in good spirits. A local band played Christmas songs and everyone was having a little dance and sing along, even if they were slightly merry and out of tune. While everyone was admiring the pretty lights, I was getting over excited about Unicorns balloons.

Christmas Chats

Every Christmas we choose a new bauble for the tree in our living room. This year’s addition was to celebrate 10 years of mariage, so we chose one that represented us and I think this bauble is perfect. Adrian spent a number of years as a postman and we both love taking photos out in the snow, especially the robins that come down to our garden waiting for food every year.

Christmas Chat and Fun Things From This Month

Christmas Chat and Fun Things From This Month

Christmas Chat and Fun Things From This Month

Who’d have thought I could have so much fun at a garden centre? Any other time of the year you’d have heard me moaning, but there’s something magical about going to a garden centre at Christmas. It’s almost like stepping into a mini enchanted forest. The displays were so beautiful, trust me to want to shake hands with the most expensive decoration in there! We did pick up a new holly wreath to go on our front door. Also I couldn’t come home without going into the cafe and having a huge slice of carrot cake with a large cappuccino.

Christmas Chat and Fun Things From This Month

While we were in the garden centre I headed over to their gift section and was quite surprised to find some amazing little stocking fillers. I’d actually started my Christmas shopping back in September, nothing like planning ahead. I still had a few little gifts to buy and couldn’t resist this adorable trinket dish, soap in a tin and unicorn hand warmer. I’m sure the people who they’re for will absolutely love them. On  our way out I came across another beautiful bauble which will be perfect for my pink and white themed tree in the bedroom. Honestly, I don’t need any more decorations.

Christmas Chat and Fun Things From This Month

Christmas Chat and Fun Things From This Month

For weeks I was going on about beauty advent calendars and not being able to find one that I really loved and thought was worth the money. Adrian quite possible needed ear plugs by that point because he decided to put together one for me. He found these mini stockings on Etsy from All Sewn Up By Sophia and filled them with mini gifts from the Boots 3 for 2 section. I absolutely love my  Homemade Beauty Advent Calendar, Adrian’s definitely scored some extra brownie points.

Christmas Chat and Fun Things From This Month

Christmas Chat and Fun Things From This Month

Most of our friends spend the Christmas period with their families, so we usually have a little party at our house and this year was no exception. I wore a knee length black velvet dress and a diamante necklace, along with some of my favourite party makeup. Adrian made a couple of batches of mince pies homemade (fruit) mince pies, they were honestly so delicious that I’m not even bothered that I haven’t presented them perfectly just for a photo. We had an amazing evening with our friends, exchanging gifts, eating and drinking too much and catching up on each other’s news.

Christmas Chat and Fun Things From This Month

One certain lady was beyond excited when she woke up the following morning to find it had snowed. I can’t believe I got ready in record time, not even bothering to put on any makeup. Adrian pushed me to the end of the road where there is a small park, the wheelchair kept getting stuck and he was sliding about on the ice. He was determined to get me there, just so I could take some photos and put my feet down in the snow. It was great fun and we had a good laugh.

Christmas Chat and Fun Things From This Month

Finally I’ve been wearing my Christmas jumper and Santa hat as much as I can. Choosing pink and white made a nice change to the traditional red and green I’d normally buy. Sadly the print doesn’t show up very well in this rubbish phone selfie (sorry, the photographer was busy baking….again!) It says “I’m on Santa’s Naughty list” and was bought from Amazon.

Let me know something that’s made you happy this month, even if it’s not Christmas related.

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The Christmas TagIt definitely feels like Christmas now I have satsumas and a TV magazine, I just have to buy those two things every year before I can truly feel all festive. I can’t believe it’s only a week away and I’ll have ripped the paper off my presents in record time and be settling down to enjoy the day with Adrian and my family. What happened to 2017? Did I fall asleep and miss it? Just for a bit of fun, I thought it’d be quite nice to do “The Christmas Tag” for a quick post today.

What would be your dream place to visit over the holidays?

New York, it looks an amazing place to visit

Which Home Alone Film is the best?

The first one, but that’s probably because I’ve seen it the most out of all them!

Do you like mince pies?

Yes, they are deliciously sweet and full of fruit

Do you like Christmas pudding?

Absolutely! Especially covered in custard, but I’m not a fan of Christmas puddings that are soaked in alcohol.

What is your all time favourite Christmas food?

Brussel spouts, preferably all mashed up with gravy and potatoes

Favourite Christmas song?

Merry Christmas Everyone by Shakin Stevens, it just makes me want to dance to sing along every time.

What were you in the Nativity play at school?

I always got picked to play an angel, it must have been the blonde hair and blue eyes, not because I acted like an angel!

Best present you’ve received?

The first year Adrian and I were together he bought me a charm bracelet and he’s bought me a charm to go on it for every birthday, Christmas or anniversary ever since, it’s very sentimental.

Best present you’ve given?

Oh that’s so difficult to answer, I’d like to think that anyone I’ve bought a present for has been genuinely pleased with it.

One big present, or lots of little ones?

I’m grateful for any of the presents I’m given, it really doesn’t matter but I do like the excitement of unwrapping a few smaller ones.

Do you make New Years Resolutions?

No, I never stick to them, I used to make resolutions every January, now I just write a list of more realistic goals each month.

Favourite Festive Chocolates?

I love all chocolate, well except anything with an orange flavoured centre!

Christmas twice a year, or every 2 years?

I’d quite happily do Christmas twice a year, not for the presents but for all the fun and sparkle. I’d love to spend more time with friends and family who I don’t normally get to see other times during the year.

Favourite tradition?

we have quite a few family traditions but my favourite has to be buying a new bauble for the tree every year, each one comes with it’s own set of special memories.

Do you stay comfy in your PJs, or get glammed up for Christmas Day?

Both, I spend most of the morning in my PJs, I want to be comfortable while opening my presents, then I’ve usually get glammed up for when family arrive later for Christmas dinner

 

Leave me your answer to one of these questions in the comments section below, I’d love to read your replies.

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Fruiteatox Detox Tea

It’s no secret that I love downing a large cappuccino and that chocolate is another of my weaknesses. Every so often I’ll cut back on the caffeine by drinking a selection of fruit teas and feel a whole lot better for it. I’ve become obsessed with green tea at the minute and gradually working my way through every flavour out there.

When I start to see the pounds creeping on I do everything I can to bring my healthy eating habits back on track. A problem area for me is that my stomach can get really bloated and over the years I’ve made a note of which foods can make it worse, mainly carbs.

I’ve always been wary of any detox programs that claim to reduce bloating, simply because they can include harsh chemicals and don’t show any signs of working. I was happy to try Fruiteatox 14 Day Teatox Tea* as they are gluten free and made with 100% natural ingredients. There are two different types of tea, Daytox Lemon Tea and Sleeptox Orange Tea, both are designed to work together for a healthier lifestyle. They are packaged in resealable padded envelopes, rather than cardboard boxes. Each Pack costs £10.99 or £19.99 when you buy the double pack of Day and Night Tea.

Fruiteatox 14 Day Detox Tea Review

Fruiteatox Daytox Tea comes in a pack of 14 pyramid shaped tea bags and is taken every morning. This had a real zingy lemon flavour, which I actually quite liked and made me wish I could drink more than one cup throughout the day.

Fruiteatox 14 Day Detox Tea Review

The Fruiteatox Sleeptox Tea also comes in a pack of 14 pyramid shaped tea bags and should be taken every other night before bed, which is made quite clear on the packet as the ingredients include Senna, a mild laxative to help cleanse out your system. It had a pleasant, mild orange flavour, definitely not as strong as the Daytox tea. The Sleeptox tea is also designed to relax you before bedtime and help give you a better nights sleep.

The aim of Fruiteaox Teatox Tea is to help get rid of bloating, promote healthy radiant skin, supports and maintains weight-loss and increase metabolism alongside regular exercise. They are also gluten free and suitable for vegans.

Fruiteatox 14 Day Detox Tea Review

I personally didn’t notice any side effects from taking the Fruiteatox tea, but sadly I didn’t see any benefits from taking the tea either. My weight and bloated stomach stayed exactly the same and I wasn’t sent off into a relaxing sleep at night either. The mild laxative didn’t have me rushing off to the loo every five minutes, apart from the very first day but that may have been a coincidence from having a large plate of vegetable casserole the night before.

I really like the taste of the Lemon tea and it would make a nice alternative drink to my usually caffeine loaded coffee. However, at £10.99 per pack I don’t think I’ll be rushing out to buy more as I think it’s a little over priced for what I found to be basically a fruit flavoured tea. Unfortunately this tea didn’t work for me but it may work fine for someone else who is looking to shift a few pounds and also suffers from occasional bloating.

Have you tried a detox tea before? How diid you get on?

*This post contains PR samples

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Kathleen SkincareLooking after sensitive skin can be a real pain, especially over the winter months when mine can seem extra dry and look incredibly dull. I tend to use a serum and moisturiser, they’re both an extremely important part of my daily skincare routine and work in different ways. Facial serums work deep underneath the skin, while a moisturiser hydrates and softens the surface. For the past couple of weeks I’ve been using the Amazing White Illuminating Serum* from UK skincare brand Kathleen.

Kathleen Skincare

Kathleen’s skincare is cruelty free and made with 100% organic ingredients. There are no hidden nasties, such as Parabens or Sulphates, so I know exactly what I’m putting onto my face. Kathleen have put a lot of research into their skincare and now have six wonderful products which are suitable for all skin types. The Amazing White Illuminating Serum contains over 12 natural ingredients that aim to illuminate and brighten your complexion, providing intense hydration. They include liquorice for it’s anti-inflammatory properties, papaya to even out skin tone and cranberry for it’s antioxidants to help promote your skin’s youthful radiance. It has to be one of the most amazing skincare discoveries I’ve made.

Firstly the packaging looks incredibly luxurious and should definitely be out on display on a bathroom shelf. Secondly, it smells absolutely gorgeous, I just want to breath in the scent every time I use it (quite possibly being taken off to some imaginary spa somewhere).

This serum is a very thick, creamy white consistency and has the feel of a moisturiser. I wasn’t sure how much to use at first and probably went a bit over board. Believe me when I say you only need one pump to cover your whole face. My skin felt soft and smooth on the first occasion I used the serum and I instantly fell in love with it. I thought it would take ages to dry, but it glides effortlessly over my skin and absorbs in quickly. It makes an excellent base for applying my makeup and after nights where I hadn’t slept so well it made my complexion look as though I’d had a full eight hours.

After using the serum for two weeks my skin looks brighter and fresher, it feels much softer and smoother, and it looks and feels firmer. My complexion is more radiant and glowing than ever, the serum has even helped reduce dark circles and puffiness under my eyes.

Kathleen Skincare

Overall, I’ve absolutely loved using the Amazing White Illuminating Serum from Kathleen. It costs £62.40, so it’s on the pricier side, but I only had to apply this instead of using a separate serum, primer and a well known flash balm. I was so impressed with the results I shall be saving up to get my next bottle, but considering you only use the tiniest amount I believe this one will last me quite a while yet. I think it would also make a wonderful gift to recieve or to give a beauty lover for their Birthday or at Christmas too.

Have you tried anything from Kathleen? What did you think to their products? If not, what’s the one beauty item you couldn’t live without?

*This item was kindly sent to me by Kathleen UK, all opinions and photos are my own.

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Makeup I'll Be Using For The Festive Season

All the sparkly things come out for Christmas, I hang baubles on the tree, drape tinsel everywhere and even have sequins on my Santa jumper. My Festive makeup routine is no different. As soon as my diary starts to fill up with festive get togethers, Christmas shopping dates and parties then it’s all about the glitter and glow. I love to wear products I know well and won’t bring me out in a reaction as well as adding in a touch of glamour to my Christmas makeup bag. I want to know the products will be reliable and won’t have me reaching for them every five minutes to reapply.

This will be my makeup routine and the products I’ll be using throughout the festive period. Any excuse to reach for the glitter!

what's in my festive makeup bag

I’ve been using Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Liquid Makeup and this is perfect for a flawless glowing base over the festive season. For those dark circles under my eyes and to cover up any blemishes, I’ve been applying the Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Concealer, it has the most amazing coverage in a smooth matte finish. To keep it all in place I’ll apply Too Faced Primed and Poreless Powder, which feels incredibility smooth and doesn’t clump up on any dry patches.

What's In My Makeup Bag For Christmas

I’ve totally fallen in love with Too Faced Sweet Peach Glow Palette. For a maximum festive glow I apply the bronzer in the hollows of my cheeks and along my forehead to contour my face, dusting whatever is left on the brush all over my face just to give my face a little warmth. I’ll add a small amount of blusher over the apple of my cheeks and using a fan brush I’ll sweep the highlighter shade over my cheek bones, which gives me just the right amount of shimmer when the light catches it. The powders are incredibly soft, blend in wonderfully and the shades are super pigmented. It’s such a pretty cheek palette that I can see why so many people have it in their makeup collection..

The final step to my base is a light dusting of Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder, for an extra touch of shimmer.

What's In My Makeup Bag This Christmas

For my everyday look I usually go for a matte brown eye look using a selection of shades from the Tarte Tartelette In Bloom palate. It is one of the most beautiful eyeshadow palattes I’ve ever used, with 12 soft creamy powders in a mix of matte and shimmer shades. They blend in beautifully without any fall out. The darker shades are perfect to add a smokey eye to any evening makeup look.

What's In My Makeup Bag This Christmas

I apply Tanya Burr’s Selfie Flick Eyeliner to line my upper lash line, it’s absolutely incredible for creating the perfect winged eyeliner. It’s super pigmented in bold black and has excellent staying power. I then coat my lashes with a couple of coats of Tanya Burr Selfie Lash Mascara, the medium fibre brush helps to lengthen and define each lash, yet adding loads of volume. It doesn’t clump up or go all flakey and doesn’t smudge so I know I won’t have streaks running down my cheek half way through the evening. it’s the perfect mascara for thicker, fuller lashes on any occasion.

Occasionally I’ll use Maybelline Color Tattoo cream eyeshadow in the shade Pink Gold. I’ll dab it over any areas of my eyelid I want to highlight using my finger tips.

What's In My Makeup Bag For Christmas

No party look would be complete without the glitter. I invested in the much talked about Stila Written In The Stars Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow Set and oh boy, they are pure glitter heaven in gold and pink tones. The shades are absolutely stunning, Kitten Karma (champagne with copper glitter), Diamond Dust (silver with multi coloured glitter) and Smokey Storm (Pewter with silver glitter). They are extremely versatile and easy to use, perfect for all over your eye lid for a full on glitter look. Alternatively you could dab a small amount in the centre of your lid or inner corner to add a little highlight.

 

What's In My Makeup Bag For Christmas

I have a selection a day time lipsticks including Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in the shade Monogamous, which is a gorgeous browny nude and is a creamy moisturising formula. However my  Festive makeup routine wouldn’t be complete without a statement red lip. My three Favourites are Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution in the shade Bond Girl, Too Faced Melted Matte Liquified Lipstick in the shade Lady Balls and Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in the shade Temper.

What's In My Makeup Bag This Christmas

For my my nails I’m obsessed with this set of two polishes from Leighton Denny*, it contains two smaller versions of the shades Passion, a classic red, and Supermodel, a beautiful mink colour, both perfect for the party season. They are good quality nail polish, glides on beautifully and last pretty well before chipping. I think this would also make a wonderful stocking filler at only £10, considering a single full size bottle costs £12 each.

I can’t let the festive season go by without wearing a bit of sparkle on my nails too, so I’ve been wearing Barry M Molten Metal Nail Paint in the shade Pink Ice.

A makeup look full of glitter and shimmer is always a favourite of mine at this time of year. What are your favourite products for the festive season?

*This post contains PR samples that have kindly been sent to me.

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