Wearing my favourite pair of ankle boots while I sit down to have a catch up

I can’t believe we’re well into December and only a few weeks away from Christmas. I love this time of year, coming home on a dark evening and looking at all the pretty Christmas trees people have in their windows. I love getting home, closing the curtains, lighting the candles and switching on all the fairy lights we’ve got hung round the room, The first thing I do is change into my pyjamas, make a hot chocolate and get cosy under a blanket on the sofa for half an hour and enjoy the peace and quiet. 

Since the first of December I’ve been opening a mini stocking from my home made advent calendar that Adrian puts together for me. So far this year I’ve had some fantastic mini Decleor skincare products. I haven’t got round to taking any photos yet as I’m such a bad blogger.

In this month's catch up I'm toasting my husband's birthday with a glass of moet
In this month's catch up I show how we made a candle out of left over bits of wax using a candle making kit
In this month's catch up I show how we made a candle out of left over bits of wax using a candle making kit

On the 24th November we celebrated Adrian’s birthday with a glass of Moet that I was lucky enough to have been sent via the O2 Priority app. I wasn’t going to turn my nose up at a free bottle of drink. Adrian chose to stay at home on his birthday, order in a take away and watch a film. We are complete opposites when it comes to birthdays, I prefer to get dressed up and go out to celebrate. 

There’s so much waste left after a candle has finished burning. We’ve been saving up all the autumnal smelling bits of wax, then melted them down in a saucepan and made our own layered candle using a candle making kit we found on Amazon. Each layer smells absolutely delicious. 

having my hair cut and coloured in my monthly catch up post

I love that feeling when you’ve just had your hair cut at the salon. I’ve been going to Style Me Hairdressing for two years and my hair is in much better condition than it was back in 2016. The ends were dry and kept splitting, and my hair had absolutely no shape to it at all. I love how it looks now, especially when my hair stylist, Amy, puts a few waves in for me. I colour my hair at home using Clairol Nice and easy Permanent Dye in the shade SB1, it’s just been redone and will last me until the New Year.

in my monthly catch up I wanted to  talk about Blogosphire magazine where my photo had been featured
In this months catch up I'm featuring the candle and reed diffuser I won in a competition

There was one week where three fabulous things happened all close together. It started off on the Monday when I was extremely lucky and won a competition run by Alice and the prize was this amazing bundle from Heyland and Whittle gift company.  The room smells absolutely divine with this very festive Frankincense reed diffuser and Winter Spice candle, perfect for our cosy nights in, watching Christmas films and wrapped up under a fluffy blanket.

Next I got a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with the high street fashion brand Warehouse, featuring What To wear To An Office Party. I was so excited to put this post together and have chosen the trouser suit and pleated midi dress to wear to two parties I have coming up. 

Finally, I could not believe my eyes when I opened the latest edition of Blogosphere Magazine, which is run by bloggers for bloggers. On the page where they feature their favourite photos of the magazine was one of my photos. I quite literally cried with joy. 

in this months catch up post I'm wearing a cosy coat and bobble hat

At the end of November we went into town to see the Christmas lights being switched on. We had a fantastic evening watching the Christmas parade with Santa on his sleigh, drinking mulled wine and going round the stalls tasting all the yummy festive food. We enjoyed listening to a local school choir singing all the old Christmas carols and the DJ who kept us all entertained by playing our favourite Christmas number one songs and got us all excited ready for the countdown to the light switch on.  It was so busy, Adrian and I went back a few days later just so I could have my photo taken next to the tree. 

Adrian and I are just about ready for Christmas now. Our decorations went up the first week in December and I’ve finished all my Christmas shopping, apart from fresh items which I’ll get a few days before. I’ve wrapped all the gifts and written out cards ready to posts to friends and family far away. This year we’ve chosen to send personalised cards to close family and the photo we decided to have on the front was this one of a robin sitting in our garden. Adrian took it a few years ago and it’s one of my all time favourite winter themed photos. All that’s left is to make some mince pies, it’s amazing how many of my friends still think these actually have meat inside.

I also had a great time at a Christmas Victorian themed market where we bought little stocking fillers from small businesses. The atmosphere was buzzing and I wish I was able to get dressed up in one of the amazing costumes. 

I’ve been going through my wardrobe and recycling clothes that have been in there for ages. I’m much more mindful about the way I shop now, instead of buying loads of items I’ll never wear I add in a few new key pieces all built around my 10 Winter Wardrobe Staples. It’s been great to make up new outfits from clothes I already had just by wearing them with a different accessory, skirt or jumper. I did treat myself to a new pair of nude ankle boots from TK Maxx, they’re the ones in the main photo and worn with this dress from Zara. I can see myself wearing these all year round, how cute would these look with a floaty knee length dress on chillier summer days?

Well that’s all for now, I hope you’ve enjoyed this very festive catch up.  Are you ready for Christmas? Have you been to a Christmas light switch on or festive themed markets?

You may also enjoy last year’s festive catch up.

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DIY Christmas Beauty Advent Calendar

I don’t know how many times I seen a beautiful Christmas Beauty Advent Calendar, only to see how ridiculously expensive it is, especially when I probably only use half the contents? Every year I treat myself to a traditional chocolate advent calendar, it wouldn’t be Christmas without one. Three years ago I bought the Tanya Burr Beauty Advent Calendar. As pretty as the products inside were, I found that things like the glitter eyeliner pens were still sitting in my draw untouched and I ended up giving them away.

Last year, I began my search yet again for the perfect beauty advent calendar and read bloggers reviews but I still wasn’t 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.

DIY Christmas Beauty Advent Calendar

He searched on Etsy for a set of mini stockings which he could put mini gifts in ready for me to open in the lead up to Christmas. Eventually he found this set of 24 from a company called All Sewn Up By Sophia which comes complete with 24 mini gold pegs and a long piece of string to hand them on.. Luckily we have a chimney breast and the length of the DIY Christmas Beauty Advent Calendar hung perfectly along it.

Adrian then went to the Boots 3 for 2 gifts and choose a selection that were small enough to fit in each stocking. He knows me so well as he found a gorgeous Ted Baker rose gold makeup set containing 12 products and it was on a half price offer at the time. He definitely scored extra brownie points with that one.

I absolutely love my  Homemade Beauty Advent Calendar, not only was I able to use it last year but I’ll be able to recycle it for many years to come. I’m sure if I ever get bored of makeup it can be filled with my favourite chocolates or mini drink bottles.

Do you have an Advent Calendar each year? Is yours a beauty or chocolate one, or do you make up your own version  too?

DIY Christmas Beauty Advent Calendar

 

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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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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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