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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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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what's on my christmas playlistWhether it’s for a full blown house party, a small get together or you just fancy playing a few festive songs while you get ready to go out in the morning, there are some tunes that make it back onto everyone’s Christmas playlist year after year. Even the adverts on the TV include some of our best loved Christmas songs.

Some are upbeat and you can have a dance to, some are catchy little numbers that make you want to sing along to, and then there are those that make you either reflect on what you’ve done during the past year or what’s happened in the world around you.

But one things for sure, you can’t beat a good old Christmas playlist, so in no particular order, here’s what made it on to mine for Christmas 2017!

  1. Merry Christmas Everyone – Shakin Stevens
  2. Merry Christmas Everybody – Slade
  3. I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day – Wizard
  4. All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey
  5. Last Christmas – Wham
  6. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town – Micheal Buble
  7. Stay Another Day – East 17
  8. Santa Baby – Kylie Minogue
  9. Do They Know It’s Christmas – Band Aid
  10. White Christmas – Bing Crosby
  11. Wonderful Christmastime – Paul McCartney
  12. Driving Home For Christmas – Chris Rea
  13. Holly Jolly Christmas – Micheal Buble
  14. It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas – Micheal Buble
  15. Mary’s Boy Child – Boney M
  16. Fairy Tale Of New York – The Pogues
  17. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! – Frank Sinatra
  18. Step Into Christmas – Elton John
  19. 8 Days of Christmas – Destiny’s Child
  20. I Believe In Father Christmas – Gregg Lake
  21. Winter Wonderland – Tony Bennett
  22. Rockin Around The Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee
  23. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Sam Smith
  24. Stop The Cavalry – Jona Lewis
  25. Rudolf The Red-Nose Reindeer – The Crystals
  26. Little Saint Nick – The Beach Boys
  27. Walking In The Air – Aled Jones
  28. One More Sleep – Leona lewis
  29. Jingle Bell Rock – Bobby Helms
  30. Frosty The Snowman  – Jackson 5

You can safely say that these songs will be blasted out some where in my house for the whole of December and most probably on my mobile through earphones if I’m travelling.

So what are you waiting for? Press play, turn the volume up and have a dance like it’s the best party you’ve ever been to!

What’s on your Christmas playlist this year?

 

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Christmas Traditions

I absolutely love Christmas but this year it’s going to be extra special, my half sister is flying all the way from Canada and staying with us for the holidays. It will be our first time celebrating Christmas together as we only met each other for the first time earlier this year. Everyone’s Christmas will be slightly different, even now I’m with Adrian things have changed compared to when I grew up. We’ve made new Christmas traditions together and carried on with some from our childhoods, which we still find every bit as magical and exciting today.

A New Christmas Bauble

My Nan started collecting baubles when I was very young and she would always let me hang a brand new one on the tree every year. Adrian and I have carried on with the same tradition every Christmas since we’ve been together. I still have some of those sentimental decorations I chose with my Nan hanging next to our new ones on the tree now.

Advent Calendar

I love the count down to Christmas As a child my Nan or Aunt would buy me the traditional Cadburys or Dairy Milk chocolate Advent calendar. This year Adrian put together my very own version of a beauty advent calendar using 24 material stockings he found on Etsy and filled them with gifts he knew I’d love from the Boots 3 for 2 offer.

Christmas Pyjamas and Bedding

Christmas Baking

My Nan and my Aunt were both amazing cooks and the house always smelt gorgeous for weeks before Christmas Day. My Nan would start by baking a huge Christmas pudding for the adults complete with a generous drop of Brandy and my Aunt would make the Christmas cake filled with fruit and nuts which tasted divine. The only bit I’ve never liked is the icing. Now Adrian and I invite friends round for a small party in the lead up to Christmas. We’ll make our own mince pies, cakes and biscuits in the morning and the house still smells amazing when our guests arrive!

Every year our family take it in turns as to who will host Christmas Day Dinner. When I was a child I used to love it when everyone piled into my Nan’s house as it was great to see my aunts, uncles and cousins all together. My cousins and I would go off to my room and play with any gifts we’d been given, my Uncle would desperately be trying to watch something on the TV while the rest of the adults were opening the next bottle of drink and having a good giggle and singing Christmas songs in the kitchen. During the evening my Aunt would prepare a huge “buffet” style tea and it was spread across the dinning room table. No one was hungry after eating such a huge feast at lunch time but we still piled our plates high with everything that was on offer.

Guess who’s having a house full this year? I’m sure Adrian and I will try to be the perfect hosts.

Surprise Box

As a child I didn’t have a stocking at Christmas, instead my Nan would put together a Surprise Box and I was allowed to open it on Christmas Eve. It was basically a cardboard box wrapped in Christmas paper filled with mini toys and games, I’d also find an orange at the bottom which is a tradition my Great Grandmother started for my Nan when she was a child. By the time I was a teenager my Aunt took over the task of putting together a Surprise box for me and the mini gifts included makeup or CDs. Now Adrian and I put together a small surprise box for each other and we still open them on Christmas Eve, just as I did with my Nan all those years ago.

Christmas Mugs

Every year while I was growing up I’d always find a novelty shaped mug filled with mini chocolates or sweets inside my Surprise box, then for weeks afterwards I would insist on only using that mug.

Adrian and I have bought a new Christmas mug each year and I use them for my  hot chocolates or morning cup of tea in the lead up to Christmas. I have a nice little collection now and I think it’s a great fun way to get in the Christmas spirit, who cares if I’m an adult.

Fun Christmas Clothing

My Nan always bought me a pair of Christmas pyjamas every year, I remember getting so excited when I opened the parcel and used to insist on wearing the pjs right that minute. As an adult I do exactly the same thing, along with a festive themed throw or duvet set, only Adrian and I pick ours up before November is even over.

In more recent years Adrian and I also buy a new brightly coloured Christmas jumper every year, along with a fun Santa hat or reindeer antlers. I usually pick mine up from New Look or ASOS so I’m not spending a fortune on something I’ll only be wearing for a few weeks. I’ve mainly gone for a green or red jumper but this year I’ve chosen pink and white. You can guarantee  I’ll be wearing it along with  my snowflake pjs on Christmas Day.

Christmas Lights

I remember the first time my Nan took me on the train to see the Christmas lights in London, I was so excited by the whole journey and it became a regular thing. We’d go up earlier in the day to do some Christmas shopping, then have something to eat before it got dark and this beautiful display of lights came on. If I was lucky she would also take me to see Santa in whichever department store we were in at the time. When my Nan became too poorly to make the trip, my Aunt started taking me instead, yet the whole experience was every bit as exciting. I’ll always miss my Nan and will be reminded of her every time I see those bright twinkling lights against the night sky.

More recently it’s been Adrian and I who have taken the train into London to see the lights each year, making our own Christmas memories. We still haven’t been this year as we’ve both been extremely busy, although we did go into town to watch the Christmas lights switch on and enjoy the evenings entertainment. The large glass of mulled wine and mince pie  may have helped keep us merry and bright on that cold winter’s night.

Do you have any favourite traditions that you’ve carried on doing from when you were a child or have you made new ones in more recent years.

 

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