Saturday, 24 December 2016

The Best Christmas Traditions

The Best Christmas Traditions
I can't believe it's Christmas Eve! I still don't feel particularly Christmassy so to get me more into the spirit, I thought I'd share with you three of my favourite Christmas traditions mostly from my Childhood.

Christmas Eve Parties When I was younger and way before then, my great grandparents would throw a huge Christmas Eve party. All of my aunties, uncles and cousins would pack into their house to eat, drink and be merry. We'd sing Christmas carols at the top of our lungs in the front garden waiting for Santa - usually an older uncle - to appear in the living room come grotto and give us one present. It was magical.

Christmas Stocking Up until I moved out of my parents house, my mum would still sneak into my room in the middle of the night and put a stocking on the end of my bed. It contained one or two small presents, a tube of sweets, an apple, orange and some £1 coins. When I'd wake up on Christmas morning, I'd move my feet under the duvet to feel for the stocking to know if he had been. This worked right up until I was about 17. My parents had been out on Christmas eve and forgot to put the presents under the tree never mind my stocking.

Boxing Day Without a doubt Boxing Day is my favourite - I actually like it more than Christmas day. Since my Dad was younger, his family gathered at my Grandma and Grandads for Boxing Day. It became more and more of an occasion as my dad and his siblings grew up and had children of their own so much so that it was like a second Christmas when I was younger. My grandparents would put on a huge spread and we would all spend the day playing games and catching up as we don't see each other all year.

Do you have any Christmas traditions with your family or ones you like to do with your children? I'd love to hear them. Have a wonderful Christmas! X

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Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Favourites Playlist - December

How on actual earth is it almost Christmas? I cannot believe it. This year has gone so quick and since the big 2 0 1 7 is right around the corner, I thought i'd reflect on some of the live music I've enjoyed this year.

I went to Park Life and saw the likes of Bastille, Chemical Brothers, Sigma and Ice Cube. Then there was Slam Dunk where I couldn't help but dance to Panic At The Disco, Yellow Card and Mayday Parade. Last but not least there was Leeds Festival where amazingly I saw the likes of Two Door Cinema Club, Imagine Dragons and Red Hot Chili Peppers. I also managed to catch Mayday Parade, Mallory Knox, Enter Shikari and RHCP at solo gigs across the North West and enjoyed every second.

It's been a great year for live music and me and I can't wait to kick of 2017 with Deaf Havana in February.

This post will be my final favourites of 2016 but I can't wait to see what comes out next year!

TRACKS

It's All Coming Back To Me Now - Marion Raven and Meat Loaf
Lucky Me - Mallory Knox
St Pauls - Deaf Havana
Right On Time - Red Hot Chili Peppers
By Your Side - Jonas Blue Ft. Raye
The Mack - Nevada Ft. Mark Morrison and Fetty Wap
No Sleep - Twin Atlantic

This list is probably the shortest one yet! What songs are you listening to at the moment? Let me know in the comments.

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Sunday, 11 December 2016

Christmas Make Up Must Haves

Christmas make up must haves
I know what you're thinking, did I really need to write another beauty post? Well with party season well under way, I wanted to talk to you today about some great products you can stash in your make up bag to ensure your make up is in tip top shape all Christmas. I for one in the past have struggled firstly with make up that stays on for long periods of time and secondly, make up that actually looks good. This is where these products come in.


In terms of longevity, first up is the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer. This is the first primer I found that doesn't exaggerate my dry skin which is amazing. Depending what you're used to, it can be seen as pricey but I think for the dry skin reason alone, it's an excellent purchase. With this primer I also find my make up glides on smoothly making it easy to achieve a flawless base. It also makes my make up last considerably longer than when I don't wear it. To add just one more bonus, it also comes in travel size. Thumbs up.


Next in line is a love or hate product. When it first came out I absolutely raved about the Benefit They're Real mascara. For me, this mascara nails two of my biggest mascara must haves. It's waterproof and it's lengthening. Also, it doesn't clump or transfer. No matter how many different mascaras I try, I always end up coming back to this one. Definitely a staple for me.


If versatility is what you're looking for, then the Fall Into Frost pallet from Morphe ticks all of the boxes. There are seven nude shades which accompany the most pigmented shimmer shades I think I've ever seen. There are so many different looks you could create with this pallet making it such a good buy for yourself or a loved one this Christmas. It's a game changer.


Last but definitely not least, a berry lipstick. My personal favourite is 03 from the Rimmel Lasting Finish range. I reach for these lipsticks over any other and have them in so many different shades. This berry shade can be worn all through the holidays and is the perfect compliment to any look you create from the Fall Into Frost pallet. Believe me, I've tried.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my make up must haves this Christmas, I'd love you know what your make up essentials are!


christmas make up essentials
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Wednesday, 7 December 2016

5 Beauty Products Worth Purchasing

beauty products worth purchasing
As Christmas is closing in, I thought I'd talk about some beauty products I will definitely be reaching for over the holidays. Now, I don't want to talk about the cult classics because they're classics for a reason, I want to mention some products that you may be wanting to try and are not sure if they work or ones you've never really thought of at all. These products are absolute go to's for me so keep reading to find a few products worth buying. 

1. Elizabeth Arden Skin Balancing Cleanser

I first bought this as an emergency when I realised I'd forgotten my skincare en route to Las Vegas - well done Hollie. My silly mistake aside, I have grown to love this face wash so much. It does an absolutely perfect job at balancing the oils and dryness on my face and helps my make up apply like a dream. Also, because it's only a light exfoliant there's minimal redness after use.

2. Lush Floating Islands 

I always thought these were a bit of a princess product and that something that small could never make a difference. Boy was I wrong. Besides the Butterball bath bomb, I've never had such soft skin after using bath products than when I use this. It's a dream.

3. Fleur De Force Lashes

We all know there have been many a blogger/youtuber bringing out products over the past few years. Truthfully I wouldn't even give some of them the time of day but when Fleur brought out her range with Eylure I had to try them. I can 100% say that I absolutely love not just these but the whole range. They're just so well made and the styles are noticeable while remaining comfortable and natural. 

4. Mary Lou-Manizer

For me, this changed the highlighting game. I'd tried pretty much ever drugstore highlighter out there but didn't feel quite ready to put Champagne Pop in my basket. I discovered this and quickly fell in love, the slightest brush gives you the most amazing glow. 

5. Urban Decay De-Slick

After reading that you may be thinking two things, firstly that All Nighter is 100% the only setting spray in the world that works or two, that setting sprays are a fad. Wrong and Wrong. This setting spray holds my make up in place so much better than any other and doesn't leave my make up feeling heavy or cakey. It also seems to be less sticky as a base, easy to work with on a sponge and THE BEST at foiling eyeshadows. As for the second point, they're not a fad. Take my word for it.

I'd love to know if there are any non-cult products that you swear by, let me know below!



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Tuesday, 8 November 2016

5 Tips For Moving House

Some of you may know that around this time last year I was moving house. It was without a doubt the most stressful thing my partner and I have ever done but we got there, eventually.

Prior to this, the only time I'd moved house properly was with my parents going on 15 years ago. I didn't have a lot to do with it and mostly just sat back and watched, much to my parents dismay.

As we were moving to a bigger house, we thought the process would be simple. What we didn't consider was the fact we were buying bit by bit before the move which meant we were accumulating a hell of a lot of stuff and also that we would have to buy new furniture and, the worst part, put it together. 

The whole moving process was such a learning curve for me that I felt I could share some handy hints and tips for when you or anyone you know moves.

1. If you can, do it gradually.

We were lucky enough (due to strategic planning and saving) to get the keys two months before the tenancy on our apartment ended. This meant that, as much as we were excited, we could move a little bit every day. We also put up a few pieces of furniture each evening so that when the first night in our new home rolled around, we pretty much had everything there. 

2. Label boxes with the rooms they're going into. 

This is so helpful, especially if you have people helping you move. It saves the time and energy of moving all of the boxes in and moving them again at a later time. This means you can unpack a room at a time having everything in there. This tip also goes for drawers and cupboards too - plan where everything is going before hand and unpack straight into them. 

3. Buy extra tools so friends can help you

This one is pretty self explanatory. You can pick tools up for super cheap at places like B&Q and Wilkos. Invite your friends and family round and rope them into putting something together, even if it's just a shelving unit. It will help in the long run and once you've cracked open a bottle of wine, it wont even feel like work. Fun fact - we put everything in our house together with packs of £4 screwdrivers, they really don't have to be expensive. 

4. Remember the three T's - tea, towels and toilet roll

These are 100% the fundamentals for a first night in a new home if you've moved all in one day. Tea for you and your helpers, towels for dirty hands or when you're showering the IKEA regret off and toilet roll for.. well you know. 

5. Don't make a shit drawer

Don't even do it. It's a new home, everything should have a place. Don't be tempted. 


There you have it. I hope you find these tips useful and be sure to leave your suggestions down below!



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Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Favourites Playlist - October

We've done it, we've made it through October. The mixed 'I don't know' weather is over and we can officially wear jackets to gigs. I'm excited.

When I wrote my August Playlist I was very much listening to all things festival - think Gorgon City and Sigma. This month, I've been taking more comfort in bands. Real hearty music that gets me ready for the day.

I've discovered bands this month such as Billy Talent that I've never listened to before and rekindled old loves like Twin Atlantic.  One of my favourite bands Deaf Havana also released a new track this month and naturally, I love it. 

TRACKS

Trigger - Deaf Havana
Afraid of Heights - Billy Talent
Undefeated (Viva Hysteria) - Def Leppard
The Chaser - Twin Atlantic 
Worthless - Bullet For My Valentine 
Closer - The Chainsmokers
1979 - The Smashing Pumpkins
In Vein - Alkaline Trio


What songs are you listening to at the moment? Let me know in the comments. 

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Thursday, 20 October 2016

5 Bands To See Live

5 Bands To See Live
I don't know about you but I absolutely love live music. Whether it's a band I've listened to over and over or an artist I've not listened to before, I can't get enough. Fortunately, I've been able to see a few bands in my short years (that is nor a height nor age pun) so it's a pleasure for me to share these with you today.

These bands made this list not just for their music but for their performance, for doing something more than selling a ticket. Here are 5 bands I loved and I would 100% recommend seeing live.

Mallory Knox I've managed to catch these guys on their album tours for Signals and Asymmetry and they were incredible. I've never seen five men so passionate about what they do. They have so much enthusiasm and always connect with the crowd in a way you don't see much anymore. Whether you're a die hard fan or if you've never listened before, it's a great show. If you ever get chance, see them at Manchester Ritz and stand on the balcony. You'll thank me afterwards.

Pendulum I know their shows few and far between these days but I genuinely think that seeing Pendulum was one of the best gigs I've ever been to. There was such a buzz about the crowd and seeing them in Manchester Central made all of the difference. I was only sixteen and I'd never been to a venue like it. It suited the music and their fans so well. Perfect.

Meat Loaf If you know me, you'll know how much of a Meat Loaf fan I am - you can laugh, everyone else does ha. I used to listen to Meat Loaf on car journeys with my family when I was younger and I never thought I'd get the chance to see him in concert. He toured when I was eighteen, he was sixty six. It didn't matter, he sung his heart out and I joined in. Note: This is not a crush.

Sigma The energy in Sigma's sets doesn't even compare. The first time I saw them, I was in complete awe and didn't want it to end. I can't imagine what they would be like at a smaller venue but having seen them at two festivals, they're on my watch list for next year. Even if you think you don't like their music, you won't be able to resist.

Def Leppard This is cheating a little bit because I've never actually seen Def Leppard live. I have however watched and listened to Viva Hysteria and wow, I would have given anything to have been there. They're one of my favourite bands and I wouldn't hesitate to see them if they toured again - especially if it was in Vegas.


I'd love to hear the bands you've seen or want to see live, let me know!


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Thursday, 6 October 2016

10 Things To Do This Autumn

Autumn leaves
How is it October? More to the point, how are we a week into October? I genuinely feel like this year is flying by faster than any before and I can't believe I caught myself looking at Christmas baubles earlier. This year, I thought I'd make the most of the autumn/fall season so I've compiled a list of 10 things I want to do.

1. Carve Pumpkins - I've only started doing this in recent years but I absolutely love it. Sure, it's a tonne of work, incredibly messy and emotionally draining (Am I selling this yet?) but the end result is brilliant.

2. Buy Bath Goodies - Can we all take a moment to appreciate Lush's new collection? I love that it's Halloween themed and I'm happy that the Christmas goodies have started coming out. Queue bath season.

3. Burn Candles - Need I say more? I'm all about the tobacco candles for this season, I love their rich smell and can't get enough of them on these colder nights.

4. Wear Cosy Jumpers - Naturally none of the jumpers from last year fit me now so I've placed a tiny order with Very. I'm feeling mustard yellow and green.

5. Go to a good pub - Cosy by the fire style after a delicious Sunday roast. Are you feeling me yet?

6. Plan your social calendar - Halloween parties, sleepovers, bonfires, you name it get them all pencilled in with your best pals.

7. Go For Walks - We all know how beautiful the sunshine and leaves are in Autumn. Let's get out and see them instead of liking them on Instagram.

8. Cook Hearty Meals - Sunday roasts, juicy steaks, bowls of chilli and most definitely a good stew. I love eating meals like this in the colder months.

9. Read a book - Sometimes I actually forget about reading. With all of the content available on the internet these days, picking up a book is not something I think of doing - but I want to. I'm determined to read a couple of books over this season. Let me know what you recommend!

10. Blog More - For me, sometimes the cold weather can be unbearable so what better excuse to blog more. Think of all of those autumnal themed posts. I can almost see it now.

There you have it, a list of 10 things I want to do this autumn - I'll let you know how many I tick off.

What’s on your list? Let me know!

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Thursday, 29 September 2016

Kos Photo Diary

Kos Travel Diary
I've been back from Kos a grand total of five days now and I'm already feeling blue. I'm missing the sunshine and that special Greek charm but I'm excited to show you a few snippets from one of my favourite holidays. To give you some background if you haven't read my summer holiday post, we booked the holiday through Thomson and stayed in the beautiful Sensimar Oceanis Beach in Psalidi. It's a short ride away from Kos Town and it was the perfect location for a romantic getaway.
Kos Travel Diary

Kos Travel Diary

Kos Travel Diary

Kos Travel Diary

Kos Travel Diary

Kos Travel Diary

Kos Travel Diary

Kos Travel Diary

Kos Travel Diary

Kos Travel Diary

Kos Travel Diary

Kos Travel Diary

Kos Travel Diary

Kos Travel Diary

Kos Travel Diary

Kos Travel Diary

Kos Travel Diary

Kos Travel Diary

Kos Travel Diary

Kos Travel Diary

Kos Travel Diary

Kos Travel Diary

Kos Travel Diary

Kos Travel Diary

Kos Travel Diary

Kos Travel Diary

Kos Travel Diary

Kos Travel Diary

Taverna Romeo Kos Psalidi

Kos Travel Diary
I had the most amazing time in Kos and I can't wait to visit more of the Greek islands. I could have included so much more info but you really need to see it for yourself.

Have you visited any of the Greek islands or are they on your wishlist?

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Thursday, 25 August 2016

Who To Watch at Reading and Leeds 2016



As most of you may know, I'm headed to Leeds festival this Sunday - yes just for the day but don't get me started. So I thought, after reading Joe from Northern Blood's post, that I'd give you my round up of who to look out for at the festival this year.

Red Hot Chili Peppers

I mean, can we all just take a moment. It's Red Hot Chili Peppers, do you really need a reason to not miss out on what I can only imagine will be an AMAZING set. Since their album dropped in June I have been bursting with excitement, it's going to be a great day.

Deaf Havana

I have such an unbelievable love for these boys. They (sadly) haven't released an album since 2013 but I gave their new song, Sing, a listen last night and was blown away. They put on such a great show and James, well, his voice is something else. 

Good Charlotte

Now, I'm not actually the biggest fan of their new material in it's entirety but I can bet these guys are going to being in some classics and get the crowd pumped. My friends an I had such a love for GC when we were younger that I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't want to see them.

Sigma

Not necessarily a group you would head to Reading and Leeds to see but I saw them a few months ago at Parklife and they were so good! Pair that with a crowd loving every second and you've got a really good performance. I literally can't wait to get stuck in. 

Biffy Clyro

Last but definitely not least, Biffy Clyro. I've never seem them live before but damn I bet they put on a good show. They're so full of energy and what they produce is just amazing! I expect the set to be absolutely massive full of their best work - absolute love.


Are you heading to one of the festivals? Who are you most excited to see?
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Wednesday, 17 August 2016

5 Tips for Saving Money


Money. That dreaded word. Working so hard, paying your bills and having what feels like a tiny amount left to spend for the month and still have some to save for the rainy day.

I myself definitely have a love hate relationship with spending and saving - I’m great at the saving part but also great at the spending part and sometimes it’s hard to know when to keep my wallet closed.


Like everybody, I want nice things but I’m always very aware of how much money is in both my bank and my savings account. I constantly hear things like ‘When are you going to spend it?’ or 'You can’t take it with you when you’re gone’ - how touching. But whether I want to save it for a holiday, a bag or adult things like a new dishwasher, I just like having it there.

So, today I’m going to share with you my top saving tips that will help with your money habits and give you a little insight into what I like to do to help manage my money.

1. Know Your Budget

At the beginning of each month, I fill out a budget spreadsheet kindly created by my dear friend Bethan. I add in all of my outgoings for that month and it deducts them from my salary - clever little spreadsheet. That way then as the month goes on, I can see where I need to cut back and then by the time payday hits, I know exactly how much money I have left over to spend.

2. Live Within Your Means

Following on from the first point, it's so important to live within the budget you have. By this I mean don't plan a major shopping spree when you know you have £100 to last you for two weeks. Side note - If you have a credit card PLEASE don't use it like a debit card (I have been so guilty of this in the past!). In the end, you have a huge balance - probably with added interest - that you'll then have to factor into your budget for the next months. Vicious cycle, spend wisely.

3. Save Your Change

When I was younger I never really cared about change and just put it aside. Now, I put all of my change into one of those money pots that counts it as you go and by the time I next go on holiday, I have enough to pay for the taxi to the airport. This is definitely something I would recommend doing.

4. Set Up A Savings Account

This may sound like common sense but so many of my friends don't have savings accounts. ISAs are a great option if you have a long term goal. You can choose to not access it for a length of time and set up a direct debit - Think of the money you'd have after a year. Adulting like a pro! Alternatively, I choose to work out how much I can afford to save after my major outgoings and transfer it each month. I also make a note of my 'Days Since Withdrawal' because I know how difficult it is to not withdraw.

5. Set Goals

Following on from the above, it's so motivating to set goals. Whether it's a new bag or a deposit on an apartment it's so much easier to save when you have something to work towards. Before my trip to Las Vegas I worked so hard to save my money and it really paid off when I knew I could go on the trip money-worry free.

So there you have it. I hope you enjoyed this post and together we can conquer this whole adulting thing. If you have any savings tips, I'd love to hear them!

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