christmas gift guide for her

I absolutely love the festive season, I’ll be playing my Christmas playlist from the start of November and a few weeks later I’ll be putting my decorations up, most probably while tucking into a jumbo sized tub of chocolates. Every year I look forward to the family coming together and enjoying each other’s company over a mulled wine or two. It can often feel like one of the most stressful times of the year when the shops are extra busy and you have no idea what gifts to get your nearest and dearest.

With Christmas less than a month away I thought I’d share some of the amazing goodies I found on  TJ Hughes* gift section. Whether it’s something to make your mum or sister feel super special, or a fun gift to make your best friend smile, hopefully there’s something here for all those lovely ladies you know.

GUCCI Bamboo eau de parfum

Everyone loves receiving a fragrance for Christmas and will probably have a wish list as long as their arm.  I’ve completely fallen in love with GUCCI Bamboo*, it’s feminine and sensual both together and with hints of Bergamont, Orange Blossom, Ylang Ylang and Sandalwood it smells absolutely divine. It’s light enough to be worn during the day, yet strong enough to be worn on an evening out. It’s such a beautiful fragrance that it will suit almost any woman.

Cluse La Boheme Nude Watch

A beautiful watch makes a wonderful Christmas gift, it’s something to keep and every time you wear it you’ll be reminded of the person who gave it to you. I think this one by Cluse looks classic and feminine, plus the neutral colour means it’s the perfect accessory to wear with any outfit. This may just be going on my wishlist, so if any of my family happen to be reading this, hint, hint!

TRU Luxury Plush Dressing Gown

I love snuggling up in a warm, soft robe on a cold winter’s evening, I practically live in one throughout December whenever I’m at home. So it was no surprise that this gorgeous soft grey dressing robe caught my eye, it’s a super soft, plush honeycomb material with a fleece lined hood and collar. I know quite a few ladies who would love to open a present and find this inside, It would make the ideal Christmas gift either on it’s own or with a pair of pyjamas and some bath treats.

Tru Flannelette Pyjamas

Speaking of pyjamas I found this pretty pink butterfly set, which would go perfectly with the dressing robe. They have piped detailing around the edge, a button front top and elasticated waist bottoms, just what you need after yet another roast dinner. They’re made from brushed, cotton flannelette which will keep you all snug and warm on a chilly winters night. I fell in love with almost every design they have in stock, so there’s bound to be one to suit everyone’s style, and at only £10 a pair they make a fab gift on their own or as a stocking filler depending on your budget.

Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream Gift Set

Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream comes in a gorgeous gift set and includes 50ml Eau de Toilette, 75ml Body Lotion and a 75ml Shower Gel, by layering all three products it will help the scent last that bit longer. This is a light, fresh floral smell, with hints of Blackberry, Grapefruit, Jasmine and Blue Wisteria and is inspired by daisies and blue skies, even down to the packaging. If you know someone who loves a light, delicate fragrance then this is the perfect gift for them.

Baylis & Harding Almond Gift Set

If you know someone who deserves to be spoilt and is in need of some relaxation, then this beautiful Jojoba and Almond Oil gift set from Baylis & Harding is just the thing for them. It contains a body wash, shower cream, soap, hand and body lotion, bath milk and bath soak crystals, literally everything you need for an at home pamper session. It looks so luxurious and would make an ideal Christmas gift.

Hair Straightening Brush

This Bauer Heated Straightening Brush is perfect for a busy woman always in a hurry to get out the door in the mornings. Instead of having to use two products, this straightens and brushes your hair at the same time. What a brilliant idea? It’s also excellent for travelling as it will take up less room in your suitcase and you can still have beautifully styled hair.

Snowflake Pyjamas and Cosy Socks Gift Set

There’s just something about having a new pair of Christmas pyjamas every year, it’s almost a must in our house, and how adorable is this gift set which also includes a pair of cosy socks to keep your feet nice and toasty too.

Merry Christmas Cushion

This novelty cushion is perfect for any room in the house, adding some festive colour to your sofa or bed. It is embroidered with the words “Merry Christmas” and surrounded by an embroidered holly wreath. I absolutely love this and can imagine squishing up to this as I open my presents and drink my favourite hot chocolate.

Christmas Reindeer Throw

Imagine how delighted someone would be to have this lovely soft festive throw to snuggle underneath when they watch their favourite seasonal film after Christmas dinner or to add some fun to their bedroom over the holidays, it’s perfect for breakfast in bed on Boxing Day morning.

Hope this has given you a few ideas if you still haven’t done your Christmas shopping yet.

What’s the one thing you’d like for Christmas this year?

*This item was very kindly sent to me for the purpose of this post, the first two photos are my own, all the rest have been used from TJ Hughes Christmas Gift section.
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Wednesday Addams Fancy Dress

I am so pleased I made it to the Halloween Party, yay! This is the first real Halloween Party I’ve been to because I’ve had a real fear of masks for years, I’ve been working with a counsellor to get to the bottom of things and it has been extremely hard work. I’m not completely over it but when a group of my friends suggested we all got together for Halloween I thought it’d be a great idea, even if it was a real challenge. We’ve all had the same fear, so it was nothing too scary, just a load of fun, and I am so bloomin proud of myself for going.

I’m sure my outfit is not the best in the world but the fact that I even got out the door is a huge leap for me. I haven’t decided whether I look scary or simply hilarious, but either way, I thought I’d share a few pics with you.

Wednesday Addams Fancy Dress Costume

A few years ago I dressed up as Witch, my friend brought her two children round who were also dressed up as cute little witches. Does that count as a Halloween party? This year I chose to dress up as Wednesday Addams from the film The Addams Family. I’m not brave enough to dye my hair black so as you can tell I am wearing a wig which I picked up from Amazon, I also managed to pick up the dress and tights from there too and the whole outfit cost around £20.

Wednesday Addams Makeup Look

Wednesday Addams Makeup Look

The makeup up was done by Rhian who runs A Touch Of Pink Beauty, she is a mobile beautician with over 10 years experience and offers a range of different treatments from a facial or a massage to a manicure or pedicure. It’s much easier having someone come to the house as I can’t get into a lot of the beauty salons in my area, but I’m always a bit nervous before they arrive. Rhian put me at ease straight away with her calming personality, we also had a good laugh about life in general so that may have helped. We’d already discussed what look I was after so she’d time to prepare, I didn’t want to sneak a look until she had completely finished. Rhian used Front Cover powder and pen for the eyemakeup and Special FX for the face and lips. It was a total shock seeing myself wearing a black wig, looking deathly pale with black lipstick but I must say I think she has done an amazing job.

I ended up having a wonderful night out with my friends, enjoying their company, a few sweet treats and the Halloween CD playing in the background.

Are you doing anything for Halloween this year?

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autumn clothing haul

Hurray, we’re finally in Autumn, guess how excited that makes me! If you’ve read my Autumn post then you’ll know how much I love stocking up on clothes for the new season. Twice a year I have a wardrobe clear out to make way for any new purchases and store any clothes I won’t be wearing until the next season. I’ve been shopping in some of my favourite stores including H&M, New Look and Next, so I’ve saved up all the items to show you what I bought in my high street clothing haul.

It is hard to photograph fashion items for a clothing haul blog post, so I’ll style them up and post a few pictures on my Instagram.

autumn fashion haul

I had been wanting a dungaree dress for ages but none of the ones I tried on seemed to fit in the right places. While I was out doing my grocery shopping in Sainsburys I came across this dark blue, knee length denim dungaree dress and as soon as I tried it on it fitted perfectly. It has buttons all the way down the front, a tie waist belt and two deep pockets on the hip, I think it’ll look great styled with tights ankle boots and a roll neck jumper underneath. I also picked up this long sleeve stripped T-shirt, it’s one of those basic items I never seem to have enough of and it will look equally good worn underneath this dress.

autumn fashion haul

Admittedly it was YouTube that influenced me to buy this dress but I fell in love with it as soon as I saw someone wearing it in their vlog. Most of my dresses are either too thick or too summery to wear during the first few months of Autumn and Winter. This chiffon midi dress is from New Look and has the floral and dotty print, it has long sleeves with tie cuffs and a wrap over style neckline with lace up detail down to the waist. This will look amazing styled during the day with tights, boots, a black biker style jacket and my wide brimmed hat. I’m so excited to be able to start wearing this dress now.

New Look dress with bardot neck

Whilst shopping at New Look I also fell in love with this beautiful black floral print dress, OK, so technically it’s still a summery dress but it was in the sale and I thought it would look great with heels for an evening out or worn with boots during the day if we suddenly had a week of Autumn sunshine. As well as the floral print it has a silvery stripes going down the length of the dress, I think this makes it look even more pretty. It has a large frilly, Bardot collar which is not my normal style, you have to step out of your comfort zone once in a while! It fit’s like a dream and I am going to get so much wear out of this dress.

river island check shirt

Autumn and Winter maybe the time I love to get cosy but I don’t always want to wear a baggy T-shirt on days where I’m dressing a bit more casual. I found this red and navy check shirt from River Island and it was just what I was looking for. It’s made from the softest cotton material and it’s not too thick so I can layer it up on extra cold days. I love that it has poppers down the front of the shirt, making it easy to get on and off, this shirt will look great styled with jeans and boots or under the denim dungaree dress. I also like that it has a scooped hemline, rather than one going straight across, so it’s more flattering for my body shape.

H&M loose knit jumper

I’d popped into H&M to see what knitwear they had in store when  I came acrose this beautiful loose knit jumper in powder pink and I was at the checkout before anyone could grab it out of my hand! I wanted to replace a similar jumper I’ve got in grey from a few years back, this time with something a bit more colourful. I love the baggy style of this one, it’s the kind of jumper you can throw on with a pair of jeans, boots and a coat or a pair of leggings for a lazy day at home.

pink knitted walking socks

Every Autumn there are two things I always stock up on: socks and a new pair of slippers. I have extremely cold feet, even in a heatwave, and I’ve already got quite a lot of pairs of cute patterned pairs of socks, so this year I thought I’d go for plain pink. Both of these pairs of socks came from a company called Sock Snob, which I have only just discovered. They are actually walking socks but they are so thick and soft that they will keep my feet warm and toasty. Last year I picked up a cute pair of fluffy cat slippers, so I thought I’d invest in something a bit more grown up! These pink fluffy ones are from Sainsburys, they have a hard sole and the softest faux fur lining. I like that they completely surround my feet so they won’t slip off!

matalan autumn pyjamas, next long sleeve autumn pyjamas

I don’t think I’ve done a clothing haul where I haven’t featured at least one pair of pyjamas! I’m sure I didn’t need any, but a new pair of cosy pjs every autumn is the law, isn’t it? The darker woodland print pyjamas and the pink coffee print pyjamas are both from Matalan. Both pyjama sets have short sleeve tops and elasticated waist bottom with ribbed ankle cuffs, I got them in the next size up as I don’t like to feel too restricted in bed but these pyjamas are so comfortable. Then I treated myself to the most adorable pair that I’ve ever owned! The neutral woodland print pyjamas are from Next and they are made of the softest material that feels almost like a flannelette texture. The top has long sleeves and the bottoms have elasticated waist with the cutest little bow detail. I am going to be so warm and snug wrapped up in these on a cold night. Is it acceptable to wear pjs out during the day?

I hope you enjoyed my clothing haul? if you’d like to find out what makeup I’ll be wearing this Autumn then head over to my recent post. Have you bought any new items this season?

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For most of my life I’ve never been a morning person, I’ve always wanted to be the kind of person who jumped straight out of bed, full of the joys of Spring and could take on any challenges that came my way. However, I love my bed way too much and I’ve lost count how many times my alarm clock has almost gone flying across the room in temper! I’ve found I’m at my most productive once the clock strikes midnight, but there are just somethings you cannot do in the wee small hours. During the day I’d end up snapping at people for no other reason than I was just too flippin tired, so I only had myself to blame! Something had to change.

It didn’t happen over night and it took a lot of will power on my part, but eventually I got used to being an early riser, plus I felt a lot happier and healthier. Yes, there are still days when I fancy a lie in or a lazy morning with breakfast in bed, but it feels more of a treat because I’m not doing it all the time.

So if you’re like I was and are up at 3 AM writing your life story or watching just one more episode of your favourite TV show and want to change from a night owl to a morning person, carry on reading as I have a few tips that may help you.

Move The Alarm Clock

By forcing myself to actually get out of bed to turn off the alarm I was less likely to want to crawl back under the covers where it’s warm and cosy. I’m not suggesting putting your clock in another room, but as far away from the bed as possible. Once you’re awake don’t get back into bed, taking away the snooze option is the first step to becoming a morning person.

Hydrate

Going a whole night’s sleep without fluid can lead to fatigue. All those cute beakers that were gathering dust, well I put one to good use and have a drink of water as soon as I wake up. Water is great for making your skin look healthy and getting your metabolism going. If you really can’t face water then try a herbal tea instead of your usual 3 cups of coffee, don’t get me wrong, I’ll still have a mid morning coffee but I found by cutting down on the amount I had I felt a lot less sluggish and much more productive throughout the day.

Start The Night Before

Obviously you don’t need me to tell you to go to bed earlier, I knew it’s what I had to do but never listened to my own advice. I would be at the point of exhaustion where I’d almost fall apart at any stressful situation through the day. I had to be so tough on myself but it paid off in the end. I got myself into a proper bedtime routine with no social media (yes, that’s right, no last minute checking on who’s doing what!)

I now have a bath or shower, do my skincare and then read my book for a while before finally turning out the light. I made my bedroom into a relaxing environment and started using a sleep spray on my pillow which smells of lavender and camomile. All these changes made me want to get into bed, rather than feeling like I had to, because I enjoy my bedtime routine.

Plan Ahead

You know that feeling and you’ve woken up late, you’re in a rush and getting yourself all stressed out because you can’t find your keys or that black top you want to wear? Well I’ve been there too and it wasn’t a pretty sight! I started planning things the night before, what outfit I wanted to wear, preparing my breakfast and sorting out my handbag. I’ll sometimes write my To-Do list so I’m not going to bed worrying about tasks I need to get done the following day. Planning ahead gave me extra time in the morning to enjoy my breakfast, a refreshing shower and leave the house looking half way presentable. I have my most used makeup products organised on my dressing table, so they are easy to grab hold of in the morning, not having to hunt down my favourite mascara or lipstick saved me so much time and a lot less stress.

Don’t Give Up

It’s like any changes in life, becoming a morning person will be so hard for your body to adjust at first, but If it’s something you really want to do keep at it. Do whatever it takes to make you enjoy being up earlier in the day, open the curtains to let in natural day light or blast out your favourite tunes as you’re getting ready. You’ll be so pleased when you walk in work or Uni with a smile on your face instead of looking tired and giving everyone an evil stare until you’ve fuelled yourself with enough caffeine to get you past lunchtime!

Are you a night owl or a morning person? Do you have any tips on feeling your best first thing in the morning?

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We’re round to another monthly favourites post again and this month I have been trying a number of new products, luckily most of them I’ve really loved using. May was also a great month for me as I had my cousin come to stay for a long weekend, we had a fantastic time and generally enjoyed each other’s company. As much as I love her I almost feel the need to put my makeup and wardrobe under lock and key so she doesn’t help herself to my stuff without asking!

As we suddenly had a mini heatwave in the UK I wanted a body spray that would freshen me up during the day and still smell divine, not a heavy perfume. Superdrug have introduced their Layering Lab range with 6 options to choose from. You can spray two of the scents at once to create your own unique smell or just wear one on it’s own. After smelling all of them I decided to opt for Fresh which has a delicious fruity, citrus smell and it’s such a bargain at only £2.99 that I will probably purchase one of the other scents too. I’ve been wearing it almost every day and carrying in my bag for when I need to freshen up.

After being wrapped up in thick woollies for so many months, I wanted to give my body some pampering. I always suffer from dry skin on my elbows, knees and ankles but this Scrub Love Detoxifying Activated Charcoal Body Scrub from scrublove.com has really help sort those areas out.  It smells so different to what I’m used to with body scrubs, but it made my skin feel so soft and hydrated. I love that it’s 100% natural ingredients, this one contains Avocado and Aloe Vera, which are both great for dry, sensitive skin.

Who doesn’t love a good face mask as part of there weekly skincare routine. I’ve had a few break outs around my nose, chin and across my forehead, I put it down to getting hot and sweaty during the warmer weather. While I was on the Lush store stocking up on bath bombs I came across this Cupcake Mask, I think it was the name that caught my eye rather than the actual product at first because it’s actually meant for oily skin. However after trying it for a few times, I couldn’t help fall in love with it. I’ve only been applying it to areas on my skin that have had problems and it’s pretty much sorted them out. Plus it smells amazing, I had to try not to eat it!

If you’re like me and suffer from dry flaky lips occasionaly then you need to try Lush Bubblegum Lip Scrub. You simply apply with your finger and gently rub it in and it leaves your lips feeling wonderfully soft and it’s completely removed any dead skin, I then just apply my favourite lip balm. It smells incredible and leaves your lips with a gorgeous sweet taste afterwards. I’ve been wearing a lot of liquid lipsticks lately and some of them can really dry out my lips, but this gorgeous scrub has made my lips feel so smooth and ready to apply whatever lip colour I’ve chosen that day.

There were some days I’ve not wanted to wear much makeup but still wanted to have a natural, summer glow. I’ve loved using these No7 Perfectly Bronzed Bronzing Pearls to give my face a nice healthy, holiday look. I use a medium sized makeup brush, swirl it over the pearls and apply to areas of my face where I want it to look as though I’ve been out in the sun. It is highly pigmented so you only need to apply a small amount if you’re pale like me. I can see I’ll be using these a lot over the coming months.

There had to be a liquid lipstick in here somewhere, didn’t there? I’ve not used many GOSH products before but after discovering I had some points on my Superdrug card I thought I’d treat myself to these gorgeous items. The Liquid Matte Me Lips is a stunning pink in shade Berry Me (no 006) and feels so lovely to wear, it’s not drying and stays on pretty much all day, The eyeshadow  is beautiful, this one is in Back To Nature (001) which has four gorgeous earthy toned shadows and is perfect for an every day look, I absolutely loved wearing all four shades.

Honestly, I cannot resist Jemma’s shop on Etsy that I have so many of her prints all over my office wall. These two stunning  copper quotes help keep me motivated every time I’ve a day when I feel I can’t achieve what I’ve set out to do, I’ve had a lot of moments like that this past month, maybe it’s the change in the weather! Anyway, I would loved to have featured all of the things I’ve had from Jemma in this month’s favourite but we’d be here all day. I can’t recommend her enough for prints, notebooks, cute trinkets and stationery. You really should have a look for yourself.

Last, but not least, this has been my favourite outfit during May. This short sleeved, knee length floral dress from Dorothy Perkins has been perfect for the gorgeous weather. It’s fitted around the top half and flares out at the waist and made of soft jersey material. I’ve worn the dress with a pair of sandals and this wonderful pinky, nude and black tote bag I got on a recent trip to Primark. The bag has two grab handles with a longer strap and inside there is one larger compartment with two zipped sections. This bag goes with so many other outfits too. On chillier days I’ve loved wearing my faithful denim jacket from GAP. It’s last years but I still get a lot of wear out of it and it just looked lovely with this dress as well as so many other items in my wardrobe this season.

What things have you been loving this month?

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