12/12/2014

Gift Guide | Gifts For Her - Under £20




Yes, it's that time of the year again! I know I'm a little late to the party but hopefully these will help some of you looking for last minute gift ideas. This is part one of three gift guides I'll be doing. This one is aimed more at stocking fillers for the special lady in your life. After selecting out these gifts I quickly realised that they were all dog or cat related, whoops! I do have some more non-pet presents down below though so don't worry if your lass isn't a fan of the fur. I'd also like to point out that I went down the route of what I'd love to receive for Christmas to make this gift guide a little different from the other more generic ones.

Dog Calendar £12 - Next Home - Perfect for office buddies, organisational freaks, dog lovers or house proud ladies.
Dog Slippers £3 - Primark (Available instore) - Who doesn't like slippers?!
Art File Frank Notebook £7 - John Lewis
Alice Tate Magnetic Notepad £6 - John Lewis
Chronicle Books Dog Memo Pad £6.99 - John Lewis - Stationery is honestly one of my favourite things to receive, especially when it's this cute. Perfect for Secret Santa, office workers or busy ladies.
Bulldog Trinket Holder £8 - Urban Outfitters - These are everywhere at the minute and UO have various different animals to choose from if you're more into unicorns than dogs. Ideal for jewellery lovers, teens or anyone that likes cute decor in their bedroom.
Dog and Cat Cushions £12 each - Next Home - I think these would be great to give as a pair but also look good alone. Again any animal lovers or proud home owners.
Crazy Cat Lady Mug £9 - Urban Outfitters  - For the crazy cat lady in our life, we all have one!
Pug Christmas Socks £1.50 - Primark (Available instore) - Perfect for kids, teens or any pug lovers. Primark have a huge selection of socks including Disney patterns so there's something for everyone.




Christmas Eve Medium Jar £16.99 - Yankee Candle
Black Plum Blossom Small Jar £7.99 - Yankee Candle - These candles are perfect for stocking fillers as you can choose which size you want according to price if you're trying to stick to a budget. The Christmas Eve scent is a classic whereas the other scent is a more subtle winter smell. These are perfect for teens or someone who's just getting into candles!
'Merry Pugmas' T Shirt - Primark - Okay, so I made this image so long ago I can't actually remember how much this was but I'm pretty certain it was from Primark... Bad blogger alert! Obviously this is slightly biased because I own a pug but kids and teens seem to love anything pug related at the minute so an ideal gift for little ones.
Custom Phone Case £20 - Oh Gosh, Cindy! - Personally, I can't think of anyone under 30 who wouldn't love to receive one of these. You can choose a case for pretty much any smart phone model and pick which print you want. She has dozens to choose from, including Mean Girls, Clueless and other film/TV favourites.
Cream Fluffy Throw £15 - Primark (Available instore) - Ideal for anyone who likes to curl up on the sofa and watch TV or students who are trying to save on heating!
Noel Room Spray £12 - Crabtree & Evelyn - This smell instantly reminds me of Christmas at my parents house. It's a beautiful scent and perfect for the older ladies in your life.
Subscription Box £15 - Lucky Dip Club - Again, I'm going to hold my hands up and admit to being a bad blogger as this is now sold out! However, rather than getting them a one off personalised box you could get them an IOU for January's box? These are the cutest boxes filled with knick knacks you didn't know you needed until now. Perfect for crafty women, lovers of cute and kitsch things and something a little bit different.

So there we have it, a very last minute gift guide! Look out over the next couple of days for parts two and three, Gifts for Men and Gifts for Beauty Lovers.

26/11/2014

Beauty | The Ultimate Lip Combination





As a lover of lipsticks, especially those with a matte finish, I find I can't wear them as often as I'd like because my lips aren't in a good enough condition. Realising that my Chapstick probably wasn't cutting it at keeping my lips hydrated, I set off on a mission to find a lip product that would.

The first product I picked up is well loved in the blogging community but as I rarely go into Lush (unpopular opinion, I know) I only recently purchased this. After hearing such rave reviews about the Lip Scrubs, I decided to brave the sickly sweet scents and get one anyway as I was getting rather desperate. As luck would have it, I actually came across the Mint Julips scent/flavour whilst I was browsing the store and this is much more up my street. It's a very fresh flavour with peppermint oil that leaves your lips tingling and there's also a subtle hint of vanilla in there too.
The actual product itself is amazing. You simply take a scoop on your finger and buff it into your lips to get rid of all the rough patches of dead skin. It leaves your lips smooth and ready for some lipstick wearing. The product has honestly been a life saver, especially when I was on holiday and wanted to wear a different lipstick every day.
I was pleasantly surprised with the price as it was only £5.50 and I can already tell this pot will last me ages. I'd definitely recommend picking this up as it's a must have for these cold winter months ahead.

As amazing as the lip scrub is, I feel like it leaves my lips a little bit tender after I've used it and that's why I purchased this next product. I actually got this on a bit of a whim which is rather crazy of me as I normally research products thoroughly before buying them. Such a rebel, I know. I had a gift card for The Body Shop though which I got in this month's Glamour magazine worth £3 so I was looking for something to buy when this Vitamin E Lip Care caught my eye. As I was on the hunt for a hydrating lip balm I thought I'd try this one out as it was only £1.50 with my gift card and I'm so glad I did. Sometimes, risking trying a completely unheard of product can pay off! It leaves my lips feeling supple and smooth and it's now part of my daily routine.

Together, these two products have brought my lips back to life and made it possible for me to wear lipstick every day. Yay for the small victories in life! These products are essential for my winter skincare routine and I'm so glad to finally have chapped lips be a thing of the past. Next problem to solve: stop my make up from looking cakey or maybe even world peace. Who knows?!

Do you guys have a holy grail lip product to rival these? Feel free to let me know!

11/11/2014

Collections | Phone Cases






Do you ever wonder how much is too much? Whilst looking round my room for blog inspiration, I realised I have an abundance of certain items, one of which being phone cases and I started to question why I have so many.
I'm pretty sure almost all of these were bought late at night when I was feeling a bit sorry for myself and needed a little pick me up. They're just such an easy impulse buy and considering the majority of these were bought on ebay for under £10, you never have to feel guilty the next morning for breaking the bank!
I like to use my phone case as an opportunity to express myself and as you can probably tell, I'm a massive Disney fan. I also have a couple of pug themed cases and an Audrey Hepburn one. Although some of these were bought over a year ago, I've linked below the ones that are still listed.

Beauty and the Beast - £5.99
Aztec Pug - £4.95 
'The Pug Life' - £4.95
Aladdin Scene - £5.99
Ariel - Clear Background £4.99
Pocahontas (SIMILAR) £5.99

As my current phone is on the verge of breaking, I'm banning myself from buying any more until I get a new phone but as soon as I do, I'll be using it as an excuse to buy some new phone cases. Old habits die hard! Do you guys have any unusual collections? Or are you obsessed with buying phone cases like me?

06/11/2014

Day Out | Sea Life Centre



This post has been a long time coming, it was about two months ago that I actually went to the Sea Life Centre in Manchester and for some reason the prospect of writing this post (and editing the 200 pictures) seemed rather daunting but alas, I have finally got round to posting it. *Pats self on back*

My flatmate, Kassi and I had been wanting to go to Sea Life Manchester for quite some time and having been to the London one last year (with free entry), I wasn't sure how it would compare but I was pleasantly surprised.
There were a range of creatures from Octopuses to Turtles and even Sharks as well as a vast variety of fish to view. We were spoilt for choice!






Something I didn't give a thought to before I went was how difficult it was going to be to photograph in the venue. Without the use of flash photography, factoring in the low lighting and the fact fish are constantly on the move, it wasn't exactly a recipe for success. With a bit of editing though, I managed to find a few blog worthy ones.
In the photo below, you can just about make out the octopus (next to the plant in the middle) and when I went to look at him he actually lifted up one of his tentacles as if to wave hello to me. I'm sure he does that with everyone but it sure made me feel special...






By far, my favourite sections were the jellyfish and the terrapins. The jellyfish were in a really cool tank which you could change the colour of to make them appear multi coloured . Although this is probably more aimed at kids, I went to town and switched it to every single colour possible. Sorry not sorry.
The terrapins were so cute and a lot easier to photograph thanks to their slow pace. They also had lots of interactive games, including a talking turtle and hatching your own turtle egg. It's definitely a great place to take kids but just as much fun for adults. There's also a lot of informative signs dotted around giving tips on how you can help the environment and how Sea Life help to breed endangered species. It's really nice to see the centre has an actual purpose as well as being amazing to look around.
















There was such a lovely atmosphere throughout and the staff were all really friendly. We took our time walking through as it felt so tranquil and not something to race around, I apologise for how picture heavy this post is but I just wanted to include a little of everything. It was a great day out and I'd definitely recommend taking a trip there yourself if you're nearby.
Have you guys been anywhere exciting recently? Or not so recently in my case? Let me know!
If you'd like to see this day out from a different perspective, head over to Kassi's blog post here. The photo below is actually one she took on the day out of yours truly, a little sneak peek for you guys.


03/11/2014

Harry Potter | The Tag + WB Tour Photos

Hey guys!
Long time, no post...
Sorry I've neglected my blog but life kind of got in the way these past few weeks so I hope you can forgive me. As it's been Halloween recently I thought a nice post to come back to would be the Harry Potter Tag with a few photos thrown in as well, so let's get started!




1. Which is your favourite book?
Without a shadow of a doubt, I would have to pick The Deathly Hallows. It was definitely the book I cried the most tears over and I just loved how everything tied together so perfectly. The Prince's Tale is probably my favourite chapter of the whole series and Dobby and Hedwig's deaths were both so beautifully written.

2. Which is your favourite film?
Like the majority of the book lovers out there, the films did not live up to my expectations but when do film adaptations ever do that?! My favourite film would have to be The Philosopher's Stone as I think it's the one that sticks to the original plot the most and let's face it, the acting in it is hilarious.



3. Which is your least favourite book?
Although I love all the books, if I had to pick a least favourite I'd have to go with The Goblet of Fire. As interesting as the Triwizard Tournament is, I prefer the other books as they have more relevance to the overall story line and Ron is even more annoying that usual.

4. Which parts of the books/movies made you cry ?
I cry at almost anything so basically all the deaths but in particular Dobby's death, The Prince's Tale and of course when Neville gets his house points in the first book. So emotional.

5. If you could hook up with any character, who would it be?
It'd be pretty cool to say I'd dated The Chosen One but I've always had a soft spot for Lee Jordan. I love a guy who can make me laugh.



6. Who is your favourite character?
I'm going to have to cheat on this one and give two answers. The first is Hermione Granger as she is perfect in my eyes. The fact she sacrifices ever seeing her family again for Harry really sums her up as a character. She's always there for Harry (unlike certain other people) and is so amazingly intelligent. The only thing that I dislike about her character is that she ends up with Ron instead of Krum.
My other favourite character is Severus Snape as he has such an interesting story arc and he kept me guessing all the way through. I also love his sarcastic humour, how sassy he is and what an exceptionally talented wizard he is.

7. What would your Patronus be?
Well the obvious answer for this would be a cat as it's my name but since having Percy in my life, I'd definitely have to say it's changed to a Pug.



8. If you could have the Resurrection Stone, Invisibility Cloak or the Elder Wand which one would you choose?
As I'm a muggle the Elder Wand would be of no use to me and I don't really see the appeal of the Resurrection Stone as I think once you're gone, you're gone. So by process of elimination, I'd have to go for the Invisibility Cloak. Guess it'd come in handy from time to time!

9. Which house would you be in?
Slytherin. All the best people are...



10. If you could meet any member of the cast who would it be?
I'd much rather meet JK than any of the cast members but Daniel Radcliffe seems like a cool guy to hang out with (have you seen the rap video?!) and it would be amazing to discuss all things fashion with Emma Watson.

11. Have you played any of the video games?
I don't think I ever played them myself but I spent many hours watching my sister play The Chamber of Secrets game. It was the coolest game ever.

12. If you were on the Quiddich team, which position would you play?
My lack of coordination means I'd probably never get on the team but if by some miracle I did, I'd have to be in goal I think seen as that's what I always played in Hockey. Although I think it would be slightly different!



13. Were you happy with the ending?
I thought the ending of the books was amazing, JK Rowling tied everything together perfectly and it was so well written. The actual epilogue however, I found a bit disappointing. It was so vague and left many unanswered questions.

14. How much does Harry Potter mean to you?
Considering I have a HP themed tattoo, I'd say it means a fair bit! The books were a form of escapism for me when I was younger and when everything got too much for me, I knew I could always rely on Harry and the world of Hogwarts to be there for me. JK Rowling is such an inspiration to me and I would love to one day meet her.

Thanks for reading guys! Hopefully I'll be back to regular posting now.


14/10/2014

Wish List | Birthday and Christmas Presents


As some of you might already know, my birthday is fast approaching and in a month's time I'll be turning 21! I'm usually not bothered by my birthday but this year I'm going to be on holiday for it so I'm actually really excited for a change. Although my sisters and boyfriend are all skint and any friends that would possibly buy me presents are all poor students, I still thought this would be fun to do. A girl can dream...
And you never know, if I don't get anything for my birthday maybe Santa will bring me a few bits for Christmas instead.


'Sorry Not Sorry' Hip Flask £6 - Urban Outfitters
Although I'm not a big drinker, I still thought this hip flask would be perfect for me as this is something I'm constantly saying. Also, drinks on nights out are so expensive that if I could sneak this in with me I'd definitely save some money!

iPhone 6 - Apple
As my contract is almost up on my trusty iPhone 5, I'm hoping I'll be able to get an upgrade to the newbie 6. Although I doubt anyone will buy me this, hopefully I'll be able to put some birthday money towards it so it won't be quite as much of a dent in my pocket.

'Sienna' Underwear Set £13 - ASOS
Due to my weight loss over the past year, I'm now part of the tiny tit club *sobs*. However, the upside to this is that I can now wear bras with no under wiring in them. Hallelujah! Perfect for those days when I'm just running errands or writing up blog posts and don't need full support. I can't believe how much of a bargain this set is and I could really do with some new underwear seen as my bras are all a tad roomy these days...

Authentic Black Mono Trainers £45 - Vans
Quite boring I know but my current pair have multiple holes in and as I wear them for work, a new pair is much needed. I'm hoping one of my sisters will buy me these as a joint Birthday and Christmas present.

Pug Print Cushion £10 -Next
I have been wanting this cushion for the longest time and I'm sure my flatmate is sick of me pointing it out every time we go into Next Home but I don't even care. Soz not soz (see the hip flask is perfect). I think you could get me anything pug related and I would absolutely love it. Another puppy would be even better. In fact, scrap the cushion. I just want a puppy.

'Carrie' Feather Strappy Heels £30 - Missguided
I doubt I would ever wear these as I find heels incredibly painful but just to have them in my collection would be wonderful. I love that the 90's is back in fashion as noughties fashion was so incredibly boring and these heels are so SATC. I am really tempted to just buy some cheap heels from Primark and add the fur trimming myself though! I prefer to think of it as creative rather than cheap...

Majorette Blush £23.50 - Benefit Cosmetics
If you didn't already know (where have you been?!), Benefit is my favourite make up brand by a mile and as I own all their blushes to date I feel like there is a Majorette shaped hole in my life. I'm honestly shocked that I haven't caved and bought this for myself yet but knowing that it costs more than I spend on food in a week has kept me at bay for a little while. Now that Christmas is approaching, I'm hoping that one of my kind sisters will get the hint and pick this up for me.

Rose Gold Luxury Brush Set £56 - Zoeva
I'm pretty sure this is on every beauty bloggers wish list at the moment so I'm being a sheep and asking for it as well. I've wanted this set for a good few months now and I'm just waiting for the day I need a pick me up and my finger slips on to the buy button. I have zero willpower.


'Naked Basics' and 'Naked Basics 2' Eye Shadow Palettes £22 each - Urban Decay Cosmetics
I would love to try out both these palettes as I'm obsessed with matte eye shadow currently (so Kylie Jenner) so either of these would be an amazing present to receive. I have all three of the Naked Palettes and think they are amazing quality and definitely worth the money so I'd love to expand my collection further.

Eyelash Curler £20 - Shu Uemura
This is a much raved about beauty tool but I can never quite justify spending £20 on an eyelash curler. I think this would be a great stocking filler for Christmas and would be something I'd get so much use out of as I curl my lashes before applying mascara every single time so I know it would be well loved.

Heart Storage Baskets and Two Drawer Storage Unit in White £8 each - Wilkos
I know this may seem a bit of a strange thing to request but I'm a sucker for cute storage and the plastic baskets I have in my bathroom currently just don't cut it. I also really want something cute to store my toilet roll in as I hate the ugly plastic packaging it comes in but again, this is something I don't need I just want so I've refrained from buying any myself so far.

Lipstick in 'Velvet Teddy' £15.50 and Lip Pencil in 'Whirl' £12.50 - MAC Cosmetics
I'm sure you all know why I want these but if you've been living under a rock recently, these as supposedly the tools Kylie Jenner uses to create those lips. Sadly, these have been out of stock EVERYWHERE so I haven't been able to pick them up myself but I'm hoping I might have more luck getting them in duty free or that some amazing person I know will somehow magically get me these for my birthday. If you produce these for me on my birthday, I will ask no questions.

Love Heart Cushion £16 - Next Home
Again this is another cushion I've whined about wanting to my flat mate for several months (sorry if you're reading this Kas!) but again, I can't justify spending 16 big ones on this. It's so pretty though and would go perfectly with the living room decor or on my bed!

Sugar Crush Body Scrub £8 - Soap and Glory
This is a product which is a little too pricey to buy on a regular basis but it's lovely to indulge in once in a while. It leaves my legs feeling silky smooth and I would love to get another tub of this as it's been so long since I last used it. I've almost forgotten what it feels like to have beautifully exfoliated legs so I definitely need this in my life again.

And that's the lot! I'm now going to go have cuddles with my beautiful Pug and enjoy my day off. Ciao for now, amigos.

09/10/2014

Beauty | Summer Favourites





Now Autumn is well and truly underway, I thought it was time for me to share my favourites from the past few months. I'm definitely more of an Autumn/Winter lover and much prefer being snuggled up inside rather than outside soaking up the sun so I'm overjoyed that it's starting to get colder and I can wear layers again. That being said, I did discover some wonderful products in Summer so it wasn't too bad after all. Silver lining, I suppose!


Micellar Cleansing Water £4.99 - Garnier
After using make up wipes for the past few years, I thought I'd give this cleansing water a go seen as every blogger under the sun seemed to be raving about it and I wasn't disappointed. It takes off my make up with such ease and my eyes have definitely been less irritated now I'm no longer scrubbing at them with a wipe for ten minutes. Having tried cleansers before from various other brands, I always found them to stings my eyes and leave my skin feeling greasy but this is completely the opposite. It's gentle on my skin and leaves it feeling hydrated afterwards with no trace of make up left in sight. It makes taking my make up off at the end of the day that little bit less of a chore and who doesn't want that!

Eye Shadow in 'Omega' £10 - MAC Cosmetics
Originally, I bought this shade to fill in my brows but I didn't feel like it defined them enough so I put it to one side and never really reached for it again. Then about a month ago, I was looking for that perfect subtle crease shade and realised I already had it in my make up stash. It's a beautiful matte eye shadow which gives a nice definition to the eye and is super easy to blend which is great when I'm in a rush for work.

Lip Cream in 'Double Take' £8 - Topshop (No longer available)
Having not worn lipgloss for a good seven or eight years, I would say I'm, without a doubt, a lipstick girl through and through. So, as you can imagine, I was a bit disappointed when I got this freebie from Topshop several months ago but after trying it out a few times it's become one of my go to lip products. It has great colour pay off, a lovely formula that isn't too sticky and lasts a decent amount of time before I have to touch up. I wouldn't say I'm a total convert and still wear lipstick 90% of the time but this little beauty has made me want to try some more lip creams/lip lacquers. The Rimmel Apocolips are calling out to me, has anyone tried them before?





Pigment in 'Vanilla' £10 - MAC Cosmetics
I actually got this for my birthday last November from my bff Alice and have no idea why it took me so long to actually start using this. I think pigments can be a bit scary at first, especially because they seem so messy but once you get the hang of opening them without the product flying everywhere (oops), you'll wonder how you ever lived without them. They are honestly soooo beautiful and in particular, the shade Vanilla, is perfect for highlighting my brow bone and brightening up the inner corner of my eyes. This is now a must have product for when I'm going out in the evening and need that extra oomph for my eyes.

High Beam Highlighter £19.50 - Benefit Cosmetics
As you'll know if you read my previous favourites post (see here), I had been loving the Topshop Glow Stick throughout Spring but Summer saw the return of an old favourite, Benefit's High Beam. In the past month or so, I have been trying out more of a dramatic highlight look than I would usually go for and this has been the perfect tool for it. It comes with an applicator brush similar to that of a nail polish which makes it so easy to apply and you can easily go for a subtle sheen or you can build up the product for a more intense glow. I usually put a few dots along the tops of my cheekbones, along my nose and on my cupids bow and then blend out with my fingertips. So simple but SO effective.

Cream Blush in 'Neon Rose' £7 - Topshop (No longer available, similar here)
This is the first cream blush I ever purchased so it will probably always hold a special place in my heart but for good reason. I know the shade looks ridiculously bright in the packaging, but a little goes a long way and this can be used for a subtle flush of the cheeks or a brighter look when you're feeling more confident. It's a dream to apply and blends in seamlessly with my skin using only my fingertips. It's perfect for on the go as you don't need a brush and it comes with a mirror, what more could you want!
Although this is technically no longer available, I suspect they just updated the packaging and changed the name to 'Flush' as it looks identical to this shade on the website but don't kill me if I'm wrong!

So those are the products I've been loving this summer. Are you guys sad to see the summer go or looking forward to cosy nights in? Other non beauty favourites are Downton Abbey (I'm on series three), The Office US (I'm on series five) and I've also been loving belting out the song Changing by Sigma and Paloma Faith. What TV/Music have you been enjoying?




28/09/2014

Fashion & Beauty | Autumn Haul ft. Primark and Topshop



Now that Summer is definitely behind us, I thought it was time to go shopping for some Autumn staples for my wardrobe. After a few separate shopping trips, I thought I'd show you everything collectively in one big haul!










Camel Crombie Coat £23 - Primark
Tartan/Houndstooth Reversible Scarf £6 - Primark
Pug Slippers £3 - Primark 
Aztec Print Umbrella £4 - Primark

After checking in Primark a fair few times, I finally hit jackpot and found the coat I'd been wanting in a size eight. I'd been searching for a new coat after deciding I wanted something more sophisticated than my khaki parka I've had for the past couple of years and this coat seemed perfect. It's amazing quality, especially for the price and the cut is super flattering. I'm so happy with it and I've barely taken it off since getting it.
Also in Primark, I picked up a couple of A/W essentials; Slippers and an Umbrella. As I have a pug I couldn't resist these fluffy slippers and the umbrella is definitely a must now I no longer have a hooded coat.
As the coat I got is a tad simple, I thought I'd get this fur collar to jazz it up and make it look a little more expensive. If you want to see what this looks like on, I did an OOTD post here wearing both the items. I also got this tartan scarf to wear with the coat when it gets a bit colder to give my outfit a pop of colour.
The last thing I got for clothing was a pair of jeans from Topshop. I'd been wanting some Joni jeans for a good few months but waited to make sure I could maintain my weight loss before I forked out the cash for them. I'm utterly in love with these jeans, they are super comfy and look so flattering as they're high waisted.
Whilst in Topshop, I also picked up some beauty items...






Nail Polish in 'Mini Marshmallows' and 'Little Duck' £5 - Tanya Burr

As there was a two for £12 offer on in Topshop, I took full advantage and bought three lipsticks and one lip bullet. I absolutely love the formula of the Topshop lipsticks and had been wanting to add to my collection for some time. 
On the topic of beauty, I also picked up another Pro Palette as my first one is now full. I've put in my Omega shadow although I have actually had this a while. It's the perfect shade for filling in my eyebrows and also to add a subtle definition to my crease. 
Finally, as there was an offer on Tanya Burr cosmetics, my sister kindly bought me these two nail polishes. Sadly, I'm yet to wear either of these as I haven't had the time to paint my nails so I don't know how good they are but the colours look lovely and I'm really excited to try these ASAP.

So that's everything I've picked up recently! I spent a fair bit of money but I know everything will last me all season so I'm pretty happy with it all. 
What do you think of my picks?
Are you all set for Autumn or do you need to go shopping too?