Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Christmas in London | BLOGMAS DAY 20



On Saturday the 17th December, I spent the day in London with my boyfriend doing a lot of 'Christmassy' things. Our main purpose of travelling down to London was the see 'Les Miserables' - this is my favourite musical by far and was a gift for my 18th birthday back in September. I'd been looking forward to it so much and was super buzzing! Although the show was in the evening, we decided to make a day out of it and kill two birds with one stone. We'd never attended Winter Wonderland and thought, why not go and have a look around during the day before the show. 



As you can see, the morning air was very foggy and dark - apologies for the dimly lit photos. However, I love mornings like this...I think they are so atmospheric and are a true representation of Winter. I loved walking through Hyde Park, admiring the crisp leaves, twisted trees and the cute puppies running around. My favourite dogs are Pomeranians so seeing one hop down the path honestly made my morning - it looked so happy to be there! 

As the morning progressed, the light soon came out but the fog remained present. Winter Wonderland was our first stop after a bite to eat outside St Pancras. Winter Wonderland was honestly stunning - lights hanging from above, cute stalls lining the pathways, the smell of crepes, pretzels and sausages from every angle. This Christmas I've honestly learnt how much I love the German markets - I adore unique, handmade gifts and sniffing through the vast array of foods as I admire people's work. Fortunately, I managed to find an incredible stall that sold handcrafted leather books - I chose one as a Christmas present for myself from my Auntie and it had the beautiful 'Tree of Life' in the centre. I'm honestly a sucker for vintage, authentic gifts and was in awe at the incredible detail and work it must have took to create. You will be seeing that in my Christmas Haul over on my Youtube channel, for sure!









After a wonderful morning, I became very peckish and decided to treat myself to an overly priced pretzel. I looooove pretzels and savoured every bit of it (it was soooo expensive!) Unfortunately, we tried to book the ice skating rink in advance but because we attended on a Saturday, it was literally impossible to get a place. We are still planning to go ice skating at some point over the Christmas period because Aidan has never skated before (and I want to watch him fall over...) 



A lot of time was still to spare before the show, so our next pitstop was Covent Garden. I must say, this is probably one of my favourite places to visit in London. The decorations are always impeccable, the Christmas tree was gorgeous, the shops and stalls are always fun to walk around and I enjoy stopping to watch the street performers. We both spent a significant amount of time in Hotel Chocolat trying to find the last Christmas present for my mum, but were very unsuccessful. They've also opened up a Charlotte Tilbury shop which was incredible and I nabbed a sample of their miracle cream to try!



After dinner, we headed to China Town and stood outside the Queen's Theatre. I took many a photo of the Les Miserables bill board before entering the building, of course. Our seats were okay but some of our view was restriced so we will definitely be going a second time. I cannot wait to see it again because the music and voices were remarkable. Every single actor/actress played their roles to a phenomenal level and I couldn't be happier with the experience. I also can't get over how amazing the orchestra were, I couldn't stop applauding them at the end. 

Have you seen a musical in the West End before? Do you love London at Christmas as much as I do?

Lots of love

Monday, 19 December 2016

The Ultimate Christmas Hot Chocolate | BLOGMAS DAY 19


Let's be honest...who doesn't love hot chocolate? It is definitely one of my favourite hot drinks to indulge in, especially over the festive period. I think what I love just as equally as drinking the hot chocolate, is decorating and using fun toppings. As Christmas is quickly approaching, I thought I would pop together my idea of the 'Ultimate Christmas Hot Chocolate'. You can obviously adjust this to suit your own taste buds - i.e change the peppermint for gingerbread. This post is also in collaboration with one of my incredible blogger friends - Lily Rose. Over on her space she will be sharing with you her ultimate Christmas hot choccie so make sure to check her post out after you've read this! I will be leaving all of Lily's links below so make sure to head over to her social medias to see her lovely face!



Ingredients

Hot Chocolate Powder (Cadburys)
Squirty Cream
Milk 
Boiled Water
Christmas Decorations (hundreds and thousands, mini peppermint candy canes)




Making the Drink

Scoop three full teaspoons of hot chocolate powder in to your cup. This measurement may vary depending on the size of your mug. Boil water and fill the mug 3/4 of the way. Warm up a small cup of milk and pour into the mug to make the flavour creamy. Personally, I love milky hot chocolate but if you prefer to just use water, go for it! Stir, stir, stir until all of the powder is mixed in. A lot of mine got stuck in the bottom so I spent quite a long time doing this step. This is literally just a standard hot chocolate recipe but I love to have a mixture of milk and water.

Decorating

For toppings, I decided to make a huge swirl of squirty cream on the top. I got way too excited about decorating, hence why the photos below this are a complete flop! I put the cream on way too early, making it melt and sink into the liquid - poor from me...Anyway, I topped my cream with some cocoa powder, red and green sprinkles to follow the festive theme and finally, mini peppermint candy canes. All of these ingredients were super cheap - I bought the sprinkles and candy canes from Poundland - so you don't need to spend a lot to get your hot chocolate looking Pinterest-worthy! I love how these tasted and turned out; however, I would definitely force myself to wait to ensure the cream didn't make the chocolate froth and spill out of the mug!



Check out Lily's links below : 


What is your favourite hot drink? What are you favourite hot chocolate toppings?

Lots of love

Sunday, 18 December 2016

German Christmas Market in Birmingham | BLOGMAS DAY 17


Before we get into the post, I would like to formally apologise that this didn't go up yesterday evening. My SD card on my camera corrupted and was showing that all of my files were gone - I was almost crying because I've been vlogging all week for my second Vlogmas video too. Fortunately, I've been able to get back the files, hence where I've got all these lovely photos I managed to capture. I promise I won't miss another day!

A little travel diary for you today. On Thursday, my boyfriend and I attended the German Christmas Market in Birmingham. We wanted to get into the festive spirit and we both had a couple more presents to get so we thought why not? It's become a tradition every Winter to go to the Birmingham Bullring so we just naturally end up there every year; however, we've never walked along the Christmas market and had a proper look.The streets were lit up beautifully, with incredible decorations hanging from the stalls and buildings. I feel like this has 100% got me into the Christmas spirit and I cannot be happier. 




Our train journey went relatively quickly - I was so thankful because my legs were aching and there was barely any leg room on the train. On arrival, we took a naughty pit stop at Mcdonald's for breakfast as we hadn't eaten and made a little plan of what we wanted to do throughout the day. In the morning and early afternoon, we took a stroll along the Christmas market looking at all the fascinating handmade gifts and festive presents were for sale. I was hoping to find something for my mum or myself as memorabilia for the day but there was nothing suitable unfortunately. Nonetheless, the gifts were amazing and I would love to go again (if I had the money, haha!) 



The day seemed to go super quickly and in the late afternoon, Aidan and I went inside the Bullring to pick up a few things. I was still in need of another present for my mum and my family had given us both money to buy ourselves Christmas presents from them (does that make sense?). Aidan managed to buy this gorgeous Puma jumper from Urban Outfitters, and I bought an American football jumper from there too (it was £42 and was in the sale for £10!!) I also popped into one of my fave shops, Paperchase, and bought my mum this quirky weekly to-do list. I saw so many amazing things in the shops that I know I will be spending my Christmas money on.






For dinner, we decided to have a Nandos; we are both huge lovers of spicy chicken and got the 'No Bones Platter' to share. The food was delicious and seriously filled me up - I was also craving their Peri-salted chips so was very happy after the meal. After letting our stomachs breathe, we headed back to the market for an evening walk. The air was so fresh and I love the cool Winter breeze on my face! To finish our trip, we bought dessert at one of the cool chocolate stalls. Aidan has a white chocolate banana and I had a chocolate strawberry skewer! Chocolate strawberries are my favourite, for sure.

Have you ever been to a Christmas market? Have you been to one this year?

Lots of love

Friday, 16 December 2016

The LBD Edit | BLOGMAS DAY 16


The classic little black dress is always something people look for when it comes to Christmas. Whether you are attending a glamorous event, wanting to dress up for Christmas day or are looking for a New Year's outfit, the little black dress fits all occasions. Universal fashion items are my absolute favourite - that is why whenever I buy a new dress, it is usually black. Black helps to cover my imperfections and is one of my go-to colours on a night out. It is such a classic and can look so beautiful, not matter where you are planning to go. Over the course of the year, I have managed to find my ultimate LBD and have decided to share it with you all, informing you of the many reasons why I love it so much.



My black dress was fortunately found on Boohoo so only cost me up £12.99! Such a bargain I hasten to add. The style is a slim fit, bodycon dress, which usually does my figure justice - I'm quite curvy so tend to dress up with tighter attire. This may seem ironic as I'm bigger than a lot of people but if I wear something to try and cover my stomach and legs then it just makes me look 10 x larger than I actually am. Anyway, this dress works well at sucking in my self-conscious areas without hurting my body and being uncomfortable. The back of the dress is loose, giving the outfit shape and dimension. My favourite thing about the dress, obviously, has to be the sparkles. This beautiful black number is covered in small flecks of silver glitter and if I'm honest, was the reason I was drawn to it. You know me with glitter, I'm honestly a magpie! The silver glitter makes it so easy to accessorize and pull an outfit together - a dainty silver necklace, silver hooped earrings, glittery shoes or a silver clutch and you're good to go. Another thing I love about wearing black, is that you can accessorize with colours and create any makeup look you want. I always struggle when wearing coloured outfits as I want my makeup to look nice, but match what I'm wearing. For this look, I went for an evening/formal event and paired the dress with a dark lip, simple eyes and some sparkly shoes. Overall, I was super happy with how this look went together and I think it would look even better if I'd have curled my hair.


What are you wearing this Christmas? What is your favourite party dress?

Lots of love

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Secret Santa Beauty Gifts Under £20 | BLOGMAS DAY 15


Secret Santa is something that I always feel is difficult. It's always hard to find something that is relatively cheap, something you know the person will like and something that looks 'half-decent'. Being honest, you don't really want to spend a lot on someone, particularly if you've picked out a name of someone you barely know. This always makes things that little bit more tricky...Therefore, I've decided to pull together 3 brands, with the help of their teams, to share with you 3 amazing companies that will help solve your Secret Santa crisis for under £20. Just a warning, the items in this post are primarily female-based as they are beauty products so this may not help if you're trying to find something for men. I could potentially create a mini men's secret Santa gift guide if any of you are interested? 

Let's go...




The English Soap company have an amazing array of beauty and homeware products - from soaps to candles, they have everything for women of all ages. What makes them fab for this time of year is that they've brought out a Christmas collection, perfect for a secret Santa gift. Most of the products are under £10, so are super affordable but are still luxurious and a great present. Everyone uses soap (let's hope) so you know that it wouldn't go to waste and that it will be utilised. Also, the aesthetics of the brand are outstanding - I love how cutely the Christmas collection is wrapped! This also saves you so much time as you don't even need to wrap the gifts yourself. Alongside the soaps, the candles are another fab present to gift your secret Santa. This Vintage Toys Pure Soy Candle smells fresh, clean and would say is a universal scent that majority would love. Whenever I light this, it reminds me of freshly washed sheets, and if you know me, there is nothing I love more than sleeping and lounging about in my bed. Make sure to pop over to the English Soap Company to get a hold of their wonderful Christmas range before they sell out!




Something I always turn to if I'm buying for a women in my life and I'm unsure, is skincare. Everyone loves indulging in a good skincare product but may not necessarily want to buy it themselves because they either can't justify spending it or it's just a generally 'boring' product to buy. However, this works great for a secret Santa gift. If you are able to find out your victim's skin type or even just discover which skincare brands are their favourites, it is so easy to find a reasonably priced product. Personally, I've been loving the Paw Paw Moisturizing Balm from Papaya Gold. The formula is soothing, soft and revitalizes my skin. Not only has this helped to calm my dry skin, I've been using it as a primer because of the handy tacky finish it leaves on my complexion. As a primer, this evens out my skin and leaves my make up on all day long! A great 2 in 1 product for less than £10!




Another fun thing to get a female for a secret Santa idea is a lipstick. It is quite obvious to tell if someone likes lipstick and what shades they wear - you just look at them. This can be a lovely gesture as they will surely love the product and know you've put a lot of thought into it. If you want to spend a little more on someone, you can pick up one of these beautiful NEEK skin organics lipsticks. My NEEK lippie is in 'Friday On My Mind' - a deep rosy pink with a sheer tint. The colour isn't overly dramatic so can be worn on a daily basis - this means it can be worn regularly and you know that it will be used a lot. Additionally, the lipstick sits comfortably on the lips without the need of regular top-ups - BONUS! I also love that the brand is organically manufactured - the composition of the products contain no harmful chemicals and the lipstick packaging is held in a quirky wooden tube. I adore how this looks on my little shelf and would love to add more wooden tubes to create a collection.




What are you buying your secret santa this year?

Lots of love

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This post is in collaboration with the brands involved; however, all opinions are honest and my own.