Sunday, 31 December 2017

What I Got For Christmas This Year

Reading and watching 'What I Got For Christmas' content is my favourite way to spend that limbo week between Christmas and New Year. I asked on Instagram whether you would like to see me do the same and I was so happy to see that everyone said yes because truthfully, I was so happy with my gifts and I couldn't wait to share them. 

As I'm getting older, I'm starting to hint at more jewellery items for Christmas. This year, I was given a gorgeous 'H' pendant from Tiffany from my other half to go onto the necklace I was given a few years ago. She also managed to track down an ever so dainty 'Hollie' necklace for the days when I'm channeling my inner Carrie Bradshaw and also a Monica Vinader Siren ring that I've had my eye on for a while.

Since my other half has now caught on to the fact I have an unhealthy obsession with candles, she went ahead and ordered this set of 5 mini Diptyque candles since she couldn't decide which smelt the nicest in store. They each smell absolutely delightful and I can't wait to start burning them once our Baies candle has burnt down. 

I booked us a trip back to our favourite city next year as a surprise so going with the theme, she treated me to a Kate Spade luggage tag and also some black leather and rose gold Converse which I can't wait to wear!

My in-laws picked up this Guinness toucan decoration in Dublin earlier in the year and saved it as a Christmas eve gift to us which was so lovely of them - It's my favourite of all the old Guinness adverts. They also gifted me a stunning Anthropologie champagne flute and hilariously, an analogue tyre inflator since all of my tyres were flat when I asked if they could pump up just one not too long ago. They also gifted me my most used present so far - Prosecco Pong - which has come in so handy over the festive period. 

I was so grateful to receive a Bath and Body Works candle along with a NYX liquid lipstick collection and goodies from Lush from my GFs brother and girlfriend along with some delicious treats from Hotel Chocolat which I'm trying so hard not to rip open just yet.

Amongst all these amazing gifts, I was also lucky enough to receive some money towards our holiday from my parents and grandparents, endless supplies of chocolate and prosecco along with pajamas and slippers. 

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and of course, Christmas is about the time you spend with loved ones not just the gifts you give and receive. What was your favourite thing about this Christmas?

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Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Christmas Day Cocktails

Christmas Day Cocktails
I'm cooking Christmas dinner for the first time this year. I'm certain that it will be a stressful  day but I also want it to be a great day for my parents and grandparents who are coming over. In order to spice things up on an otherwise routine day - Bucks Fizz, presents, eat then sleep - I thought I'd throw some cocktails into the mix. 

I scowled Pinterest a few days ahead of our Christmas supermarket shop in search of the perfect alcoholic beverage. Nestled between recipes for a Snowball and a Gin Fizz  I found the perfect drink. Sangria.

The idea behind the sangria wasn't just that it was pretty much fool proof but because when I was younger, my family and I would take annual summer holidays to Portugal. I thought it would be nostalgic for them and also, just a nice thing to do considering it's our first Christmas all together for such a long time. I can't wait to make these on Christmas afternoon for everyone to enjoy. They're both very similar recipies but the main difference is one calls for prosecco and the other, rosé wine. The fact they seem so simple to make is a bonus!

Prosecco Sangria

Ingredients

100ml apricot brandy
30g caster cugar
handful of ice
80g pomegranate seeds
thinly sliced pear
100g seedless grapes
75cl bottle of prosecco

Method

Tip the apricot brandy and the caster sugar into a large glass jug. Mix well to dissolve the sugar. Add the ice and fruit then pour over the Prosecco. Stir with a spoon and pour into glasses to serve immediately.

Pomegranate Sangria

Ingredients

1 bottle of rosé  wine
2 cups pomegranate juice
1/2 cup of brandy
80g pomegranate seeds
thinly sliced pear
thinly sliced orange
club soda to taste

Method


In a small saucepan, combine the spiced simple syrup ingredients and bring to a low boil, stirring constantly until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and let steep for 5 minutes. Strain; set aside. In a large pitcher, combine rosé, pomegranate juice, brandy, pomegranate seeds, pear slices, and orange slices. Serve topped with club soda, to taste.

I'd love to know what your plans are for Christmas day and what you'll be cooking up, both food and drink wise. These recipies are from Tesco and Port and Fin.

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Wednesday, 13 December 2017

5 Things I'm Doing Over The Festive Period

5 Things I'm Doing Over The Festive Period
At the crack of dawn yesterday morning, I met an old friend for coffee. There was still some snow on the ground outside and as we sat drinking our mochas, watching the commuters drive by, we got to talking about how we would be spending our the precious time off over the holidays. We talked about how we planned to relax, sip endless glasses of prosecco and, like always, we vowed to spend more time together. 

We continued catching up, sharing a slice of lemon loaf and then as we walked back to our cars, we said goodbye. Before I closed my door I shouted 'Have a good Christmas' because, despite promising for approximately the last 7 years, I know that things get in the way and committing to spend more time together isn't something we're good at.  

This got me thinking about the many things I'd sworn to do each time the Christmas period comes along - Drink mulled wine, play board games and eat pub roasts to name a few. It made me think about how I'll actually be spending my time over the holidays and the things I plan to do instead of just relaxing and sipping endless glasses of prosecco.

Spending time with family | My family and I don't see each other very often because, quite frankly, we don't feel the need but, like most people, as Christmas draws near we start to make plans together. My parents and grandparents are spending Christmas Day at my house and this years Boxing Day festivities will take place at my aunties since it's the first year without my Granddad. My cousin is travelling down from Scotland for New Year and overall, I'm super excited to see everyone again.

Eating all the cheese | Despite being a huge cheese lover, we never buy a cheese board at Christmas. This year, as we're hosting Christmas dinner, the cheese board was the first item on my Christmas order. I absolutely cannot wait to sit at the table with a glass of prosecco, making my way through a tub of Jacobs crackers. Bring it on. 

Watching movies | Every year I say that I'm going to watch Christmas movies cuddled up on the sofa but I never do. In this years Christmas run-up I'm all about Elf, Home Alone, Deck The Halls and pretty much everything in the Sky Christmas category. 

Winter walks | I'm that girl that enjoys the cold weather but would rather observe it from indoors, wrapped in a blanket. It snowed last week and my partner and I went on a little winter walk around our estate and the surrounding countryside everyday. Even though it was super chilly (and incredibly slippery) it was nice to get out of the house, all layered up and enjoy chatting to all of our neighbours doing the same. 

Spend frosty mornings drinking coffee | Despite never keeping plans with one another, this year my friend and I are going to make more time for sipping coffee and catching up. 
I'm so excited to get cracking with these plans and I'm hopeful that for once, I'll actually see them through. It's easy to lie on the sofa all day just 'enjoying time off' but it's also nice to make the most of the days you have, especially with your loved ones. I'd love to know what you have planned for over the holidays! 

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Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Why This Is The Only Palette You'll Need This Christmas

Why This Is The Only Palette You'll Need This Christmas
Lets flash back to December 2016 when beauty lovers across the web were stunned by Morphe's then latest release - 35F Fall Into Frost. 

Like many others, I added this straight to my basket as soon as it was available and wore it almost every day during the festive season. I still go back to it from time to time but this year, there's a new palette in town. It's set to be a game changer - 35O2 Second Nature. 

Following the success of Morphe's 35O palette, two years on they've released the sequel. It's filled with gorgeous neutrals and firey reds. It's bang on trend and right up my street. 

I put off buying the Naked Heat palette with the hopes of this being launched in the UK before Christmas. After a nightmare with delivery (and my bestie giving me hers because it arrived first) I'm beyond happy to finally have it. 

There is a great variety of matte and shimmer shades and for me, this makes it immediately more wearable - Matte shades are my go to.  It has everything from champagnes to deep browns and bright reds to burnt oranges. 

Just as I thought, the shades blend like a dream and the combinations are endless. The pay off is AMAZING and my favourites to work with at the moment are Heat and Brave. When I used this for the first time on Saturday, I had a little trouble picking up Pure. It worked a little better after dampening my brush but worked best when I used my little finger. 

Overall, for me, this palette was a great purchase and I know I'm going to get so much wear out of it over the festive period. 
I'd love to know if you'll be purchasing the palette and what  your go to product for this season? 

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