Wednesday 31 December 2014

Best Bits of 2014

Happy New Year everyone :-)  I hope you all had a really lovely Christmas and if you don't celebrate Christmas, then I hope you've had a really great holiday week.

 Just a little heads up, I will be doing a 'what I got for Christmas' type post but as I have a couple of other little gifts on their way to me in the post from one of my friends, I wanted to wait for that to arrived before I did the post.

Ok on to today's post, I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect over the past year and the good things that have happened in my life during 2014.

 Link Park Concert:
Of course the main highlight for me this year, was going to see my favourite band in concert in November, it really was a truly amazing experience.  I've seen them twice before but not for years and since I've been a fan of theirs for over 13 years, it meant a lot to me to be able to go and see them perform.  I just can't wait for their next concert :-)  You can read all about my brilliant night out and my true love of music in my post When Words Fail Music Speaks.

Finding New Friends:
One of the nicest things for me this year, was finding a great new friend.  Because of my general health issues, I don't get out much and so meeting new people is near impossible half the time.  I only have a handful a people in my life that I can really call friends and some of them live a really long way from me, so I never get to see them and sometimes I just really miss meeting up and going shopping with friends.  So about 18 months ago I signed up to a website called Girlfriend Social, it's a site for girls who want to make new friends simple as that, it's free too (always a bonus)!  I never really interacted with anyone for a long time, then about half way through September I got a message from a girl called Helen (Helz for short) and basically we totally hit it off.  Luckily we don't live too far from each other and so we met up quite soon after that and we've been great friends ever since, we meet up most weekends and chat most days.  It still amazes me how much we have in common (she's even a Linkin Park fan) and she honestly is the nicest, sweetest person you could wish to meet, I'm just very grateful to have found her :-)

If you've been a reader of my blog for a good while, you'll remember my Break Ups post back in August, I had been dating a guy for over 4 months but it sadly came to an end.  However I'm still glad we dated and I'm grateful and appreciative of the things we did, the places we went to and for generally having an enjoyable 4 months.  At the time I was really happy and it was so nice.  I also found that the more activities we did, the better my health seemed to be and it gave me a new sense of hope on that front too.

Party Invites:
As you may already realise, I'm a huge fan of Halloween, it's my favourite time of the year and I just love everything about it.  Back in my college days, I used to go out dressed up every year but since then, I just haven't had the opportunity to do that hardly at all, so I was really excited to get invited to a proper fancy dress party and once again come up with a very cool costume.  I went with two of my best friends (including my new bff mentioned above) and it was great fun!  Oh and you can check out my post all about it, my costume and Halloween makeup
here :-)

Blogging Hard:
Another great achievement for me this year has been keeping up with my blog posts, I'm quite proud of myself that I pretty much always get my posts up in time and I'm really happy with each finished post because I always work really hard on them.  I spend quite a bit of time perfecting everything from the photos, to re-reading and re-reading the text to make sure I've got it sounding just how I want it and I don't click publish until I'm satisfied my posts are as good as they can be.  I am always SO grateful when you guys leave me comments/tweets too, letting me know if you've enjoyed certain posts because of course I want you to really enjoy them as much as I love writing them and it makes me really happy when I see that you have.

My First Blog Birthday:

I also had my very first blog birthday this year in November, it was quite exciting to reach a milestone like that, even my first one and I'm really looking forward to the next.  I also launched my very first giveaway to celebrate my blog's first birthday and it turned out to be a great success.  I sent off a little parcel of some of my favourite makeup items to the winner Mary Chaz and she seemed to be very happy with it :-)  I'm really looking forward to doing another giveaway soon too.

Blog Awards:
I've also been nominated for two blogger awards within the past couple of months, the Liebster Award and just last week, the Versatile Blogger Award (post coming soon), which I'm very happy and excited about!  I love doing these kinds of posts and I'm so grateful to the two lovely bloggers that nominated me to do them Jasmine from Color U Bold and Rebekah from The Rebekah Koontz Site!

New Followers:
I never really thought my blog would be that successful, not in the beginning but over this past year and especially this past 6 months, my blog has gone from strength to strength and that's all down to you, my readers.  It has made me SO happy every time I've had an email from Bloglovin or Twitter or Google+ telling me I have more new followers.  It was only back in June or July that I had just 14 followers on Twitter, I now have 68!  And on Bloglovin my blog now has 148 followers :-)  Ok so it may not be in the hundreds or thousands but that doesn't matter to me, I'm so grateful to have each and every single one of you and this time last year, most of you didn't even know my little blog existed! Just knowing that there are people out there who enjoy reading all the things I witter on about, feels SO amazing!!!  :-D  So a very HUGE thank you to all of you!

So what are you most grateful for this past year and what are your new years resolutions?  Let me know in the comments.  I wish all of you a VERY happy New Year and lots of happiness for 2015.  Until Next Year Stay Happy

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Friday 26 December 2014

Last Minute Christmas Shopping Day and Festive Greetings

HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE :-)  This post is going up a little late this week but it's Christmas and I wanted to spend my precious time with my loved ones instead of being on my pc for hours, but of course I know you would all understand!  So now, on to the post - last Saturday and Tuesday I spent time with some of my lovely friends and had a good last minute Christmas shop!  I also took my camera along with me and this is what happened :-)

First off, I was actually quite pleased with my attempt at a festive make up look on Saturday.  I used my Maybelline Tattoo eyeshadow in Eternal Gold as a base, then dabbed over the main lid with Half Baked, which is a beautiful golden shimmer and then added a little Smog on the outer corner.  I used a little black eyeshadow for my eyeliner and then just added my favourite Seventeen Doll'd Up mascara.  For my lips, I decided to have a change from my usual nude lip and used my Natural Collection lipstick in Cranberry, a lovely plum shade and I added Tanya Burr's Heart Skipped a Beat, a sheer shimmery red gloss, over the top.  What do you think?

Our little town was extremely busy with everyone having the same idea and all doing a crazy last minute shop!

I had quite a long list on my phone, which I gradually worked through, but didn't have chance to stop and take a great many photos, thankfully I pretty much managed to get most of the bits I was after and one of the first places I went to was Boots.  I'd decided to put together a little mini makeup kit for one of my friends and just needed to pick up a few essentials in here.  I even managed to resist temptation to buy anything for me!

Then I went off to Poundland and stocked up on a nice lot of nibbly bits to last me throughout the week, I do like a few nibbly bits over Christmas (as long as chocolate is involved) :-)

After that, I was well and truly ready for a rest and by 2.30 I went off to Costa to meet up with one of my best friends.

Their cake selection is way too tempting, just look at these!

My friend opted for a cute little muffin, I just love the adorable little gingerbread man on the top :-)

I spotted this tasty treat on one of the costa newsletters and was longing to try it out.  It's a white hot chocolate with cream and a cherry sauce!  Oh yes!! :-)

When I got home that evening I started to wrap up my first lot of Christmas gifts, ooh I love doing these.

On Tuesday, I went off in to town again with my besty, and we ended up having a really nice long day of window shopping and getting any very last minute bits we needed.  I mainly only spent my cash in Primarks and Tesco.  In Primarks I just picked up a spare hairbrush, a nice beaded belt and these cute little fairy lights to go up in my bedroom, they were only £1.50 too!

Then we went off to Tesco, we have a really nice large store in this area and it's full to the brim with everything you could possibly want or need for Xmas!  We had a good look around for quite a long while (at least 2 hours!)  And here's some of the things I saw. . .

Rows and rows of cards. . .

Lovely shiny tubes of wrapping paper. . .

Christmas crackers as far as the eye could see!

I also spotted these nice tins and boxes of biscuits and I picked this box for only £2.50 :-)

I just had to take a pic of this, so cute!  Although sorry to disappoint you but sadly they aren't solid chocolate, these giant sweets are full of little mini ones.

What a lovely huge tree :-)

On the way home it was lovely to see all the lights and decorations up in all the houses but some people take it a little too far!!  OTT me thinks!


I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, spent time with your families and friends and got everything you wished for :-)  Until Next Time Stay Happy

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Thursday 18 December 2014

Christmas Q & A

 Hi everyone, I've been constantly seeing lots of bloggers and YouTubers doing the 'Christmas Tag' over the past couple of weeks, and I wanted to have a go myself but I felt like there were a good few questions that I knew wouldn't apply to me or that I wouldn't really be able to answer.  As you may have notice from one of my old posts from last Christmas (if you've been a reader of CSD that long) called Bah Humbug, you'll know that I'm really not the most festive type of person.  However, thanks to watching many of the YouTubers get ready for their Christmases, you can't really help but get in the festive mood and the last couple of years, it's really helped to change my general feelings about celebrating Christmas.  But, as I've never really been a 'Christmasy sort of person' and felt I wasn't qualified enough to answer some of the questions in the tag, so I've picked out all the ones from the various different tags that I've found and have come up with my own Q & A.  I hope you enjoy it and please don't forget to leave your answers, comments or questions below :-)

 The Questions:
1. What's your favourite Christmas film?

For me it has to be Mary Poppins.  "What" you might think that's not a Christmas film lol, but when I was younger it would be shown on the TV every single year without fail and so it always reminds me of Christmas, they would always show Star Wars as well, every year but well you've gotta draw the line somewhere!
2. What are your favourite Christmas colours?

Red, gold and lots of sparkle!
3. Do you like to stay in your PJs or dress up for Christmas?
I like to wear something nice but something I feel comfortable and cosy in.

4. If you could only have one present this year what would it be?

Just to have a really nice, quiet, relaxing day with the ones I love, that's all I want this year.

5. Do you open your presents Christmas morning or later in the day?

Usually later in the day, I love seeing them under the tree, they always look so pretty in the various patterned papers and every time I look at them, I get a little thrill of excitement wondering what they all are, so I like to keep myself guessing for a good long while, unless I have something small in a stocking, that gets opened as soon as I wake up :-)

6. What is your favourite Christmas song?

I've always loved White Christmas even the old original Bing Crosby version it's really lovely but I just love the Michael BublĂ© version the most, he has a voice like melted chocolate, ooh just gorgeous :-)  I'm not really one for liking Christmas songs generally but I do also like these two Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas and Cliff Richard Mistletoe and Wine.  And I love hear old traditional Christmas carols, so much nicer.

7. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer (without Googling it)?

Hmmm, Rudolf (I guess that one's obvious), Prancer, Dasher (I think). . . Nope, I'm terrible, let's face it I don't even remember how many of them there are!

8. Do you have any Christmas traditions?  

The only one I can really think of is, every year while I decorate the tree and put all the other decorations up in the house, I always play my favourite music and have festive nibbles like mini chocolates or a tin of fancy biscuits, it's just my own little tradition I've been doing for many years.

9. Being honest what do you like best, giving or receiving presents?

Definitely giving presents, there's nothing more lovely and satisfying than seeing the look on the recipients face as they're opening your gift and knowing they're happy with it.

10. Favourite Christmas Treat? 

It has to be Christmas cake, yum!

11. Are you a pro-present wrapper or do you fail miserably?

I have to say I've always been pretty good when it comes to wrapping gifts, plus I absolutely love doing it too!

12. When did you realise the truth about Father Christmas?

What he's not real?!  :-) Only kidding!  I think it was when I was about 3 years old, my mum had taken me to my play group and my father was dressed up as Santa, I sat on his knee and he did the old 'Ho-ho-ho' but even with the big white beard on, I knew it was him straight away!  I don't know if I ever really believed it, I always guessed that the gifts came from my parents.

13. What tops your tree?

I love to have a large star, always have.

14. Do you make any New Years resolutions and do you stick to them?

Yes I always make them and no sadly I usually don't keep to them (feeling embarrassed)!  But I do try and I think it's more important to make ones that you know you are more likely to keep to or ones that are really important to you, that way you're more likely to stick to them!

15. What does Christmas mean to you?

Although I'm not a very religious person, I don't feel Christmas should be about the presents, or the decorations, or the anticipation of the January sales!  It should be about being with the ones you love and making the most of spending that time together, because in the end, that's what really matters :-)

Until Next Time Stay Happy
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Wednesday 10 December 2014

Dear Santa. . . Christmas Wish List 2014

Hi everyone, well it's December at last, finally time to get those old decorations back out and start planning your greeting card recipient lists.  It's also time to start thinking about what you're going to buy and who for and I've been thoroughly enjoying reading all the Christmas gift ideas lists and wish lists from so many various blogger, as it's given me tones of ideas.

But I wanted to do something a little different.  Since I am allergic to a lot of strong scents and smells, I've never been a fan of perfumes, body sprays or scented bath products and the like, which seem to be a popular gift option for Christmas!  So I have compiled a little list of items that I personally would love to receive this Christmas and if it inspires you to think of gifts for others or even ones that you would like to receive yourself, all the better :-)
So dear Santa, all I want for Christmas is . . .

1. The new limited edition Urban Decay Naked 'OnThe Run' palette, Urban Decay palettes are one of the best makeup items ever invented and this one is no exception!  It has everything you could possibly need apart from foundation and concealer and ooh I want it so much!

2. Tall brown boots, let's face it they look great with everything from jeans to leggings even skirts.  My old black leather biker boots have certainly seen better days, so I have my eye on a nice pair of these.

3. Tanya Burr's new limited edition 'Mistletoe Kisses' lipgloss, since first getting a few of her lip glosses in the summer, I've grown to love them and this would be a very nice edition to my collection.

4. The Vampire Diaries dvd box set, I love anything to do with vampires, Buffy, Twilight, Fright Night etc but I never got the chance to see any of this when it was on TV and I've heard so many people rave about it, so I would love to own the box set and finally get to see it for myself.

5. Girl Online book by Zoe Sugg, as you know I am a big Zoella fan (along with half the nation) and I was quite excited when she mentioned she was releasing her first novel.  It's currently in it's first week of release now and apparently it's sold even more copies so far than JK Rowling's Harry Potter!!  I can't wait to read it :-)
*amendment - Ok so it turns out Zoe didn't write this on her own, shocker!  Oh well, I would still like to read it.

6. Silver Diamante Koala Bear dust plug, so cute, so sparkly and I just love little things like this to personalize my phone.

7. MAC Viva Glam V lipstick, I have always wanted a mac lipstick, but I tend to begrudge spending a fiver on a drugstore lipstick so this is way more than I care to spend out, although to own one would be lovely and I just love this shade, it's so pretty!

8. Benefit's They're Real mascara, I'm well aware that everybody already has this and even though I would really love it, I just can't justify spending over £18 on a mascara when I'm used to spending about £7, nope just can't do it, so for a gift this would be ideal.

9. Linkin Park 2015 calendar, do I need to explain this one, really?! :-)

10. Chocolate money, you can't really go through Christmas without having a little festive chocolate and I've always ended up having some chocolate money ever since I was young, some traditions you just have to keep going!

11. Ooh and if you just so happened to find one of these available, please do feel free to pop him in my stocking ;-)

Until Next Time Stay Happy

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Thursday 4 December 2014

Autumn Favourites

Hi everyone, I was going to write up this post a couple of weeks ago but a few of days before I was due to upload, I was very kindly nominated for the Liebster Award by Jasmine from Color U Bold, which you can read about here.  So as it's only just crept into Winter, I thought it would still be ok to do this post!

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you'll know that I'm not one for doing monthly favourites posts, I just don't buy or try out enough items or products to warrant doing them, instead I like doing seasonal favourites.  So if you would like to read on further, I will show you a little selection of the things - beauty and non-beauty, that I've been loving over the last few months :-)

1. Autumn leaves, I just love watching leaves turn all the gorgeous red, orange and golden colours of the Autumn and walking through crisp freshly fallen leaves when it's starting to get a real chill in the air is just a little bit special!

2. Hot chocolate, I have a real love for this stuff, especially the ones from Costa, they honestly do the best hot chocolates I have ever had, gorgeous!

3. As you will all probably know by now, I LOVE Halloween and this year was no exception, I decorated my room, I managed to come up with some really fun ideas for future costumes and myself along with 2 of my best friends got invited to a fancy dress party for the first time in years, check out that post here.  So all in all, Halloween was a lot of fun this year and I can't wait for the next.

4. One of the new songs that I've been obsessed with lately is another one that I found on YouTube, it's be Lindsey Stirling and it's called Shatter Me.  It's not only an amazing piece of music (played by Lindsay), and a beautiful video, but the vocals sung by Lizzy Hale (of Halestorm), are really amazing, she has such a great voice.  Definitely one to (try to) sing along to!

5. Rimmel Brow This Way kit and setting gel.  Now I've never really been one for doing the brows, I never really saw the point and didn't feel like it made much of a difference. . . Until recently.  I started off just using a basic matte brown eyeshadow as the brown pencils always looked too dark and thick, but I still wasn't happy, so about 6 weeks ago, I picked up these two little treasures and what a huge difference they make!  I use these every time I do my makeup now and yes now I get it, the brows do make a difference, when they're done properly.

The little kit even comes with it's own spooly and angled brush to help perfect the look and the gel works brilliantly with the kit, to set everything in place, lovely!

6. Another beauty favourite this season, has been the Tanya Burr lipgloss in Aurora.  I originally bought 3 other shades from Tanya's collection back in the summer and although I wasn't initially impressed, I did persevered with them and now love having them in my makeup stash, click here to read my review.  But it wasn't until I bought this gorgeous shade that I really got excited about these glosses.  Aurora is the kind of shade you could wear for any occasion, with any outfit, any time of the year and it will still look beautiful!  To me, it's the perfect lip colour :-)

7. I just love re-watching old TV shows, Ally McBeal, Ghost Whisperer etc but Roswell was always one of my real favourites.  I've had the box set for absolutely ages maybe even a year but just never got round to watching it.  So I finally fished it out from the back of my cupboard a couple of months ago and been really enjoying watching them all over again.  It's such a great series, a great story, great characters and a cute love story too.

8. Another amazing song that I've been loving over the last few months, is from my favourite band, I think I've mentioned them a few times!!  (ok a lot!)  It's by Linkin Park and it's called A Line in the Sand, it's taken from the latest album The Hunting Party and Oh My Goodness, it's incredible!  If you like the kind of powerful music that makes you feel alive, full on rock vocals and some of the most astounding guitar riffs you'll ever hear, then you'll love this too :-)  Definitely worth a listen, trust me!

9. For the last of the beauty-related items, I recently picked up this hairbrush from Primarks, nothing too exciting, it's just a hairbrush!  I got it just to replace an older style one I originally got from Primarks last year that had started to wear out, they don't sell that one any more so I got this one instead and I have to say, it's really, really great.  The bristles don't snag at all and it always makes my hair feel silky smooth.  It doesn't work too well with damp hair but my Tangle Teeser sorts that out just fine and for only £1 you can't really complain.

10. This seasons bloggers:  This is just a little list of blogs that I've either found recently or been reading really regularly over the last few months, some new some old.  Either way, they're all well worth checking out.
My Crazy Beauty Journey
Media Marmalade
Autumn Leaves
Milk Bubble Tea
Porcelain Beautyx

What things have you been loving lately?  Let me know below.  And, if you would like to check out my last few seasonal favourites post, just click on the links below :-)
Until Next Time Stay Happy

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