Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Twas the Night Before Christmas: Blogger Edition.



I'm sure none of you need reminding that it's Christmas Eve. I am like a child at Christmas and it genuinely is the most wonderful time of the year for me. It's glittery and cheesy, and just how I like it. This is the first year I have a proper job, and I'm working today. In fact, I will be rushing around the house getting ready right about now. I'm sure though I'm not the only one who's busy today and sometimes Christmas can get a bit full on. So, with all that being said, I thought I'd do a bit of a fun post for you today. I've taken the very well know poem by Clement Clarke Moore and put a bit of a Blogger spin on it. I've marked the words I've added in red. Merry Christmas everyone!

Twas the night before Christmas, when all though the house
Not a laptop was stirring, not even a (computer) mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The bloggers were nestled all snug in their bed.
While visions of nail varnish danced in their heads.
And mama in her rollers, and I in my cap,
had just settled out brains for a long winter's nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the day bed to see what was the matter,
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of instagram filters to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight pouting reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a tweet it must be St Nick.
More rapid than a snapchat his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

Now Kendall! now, Karlie! now, Cara and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the catwalk the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of make-up, and St Nicholas too.

And then, with some background music, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I dew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in Topman, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of make-up he had flung on his back.
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was lined like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a cig he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laugh, like a bowlful of shower jelly!

He was curvy and plump, a right sassy old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Son gave me to know that I had noting to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And holding his phone infront of his nose,
And taking a selfie, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his followers gave a whistle.
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard he uploaded later than planned,
"Happy Christmas to all and may your blogs all expand!"


xoxo
J
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Monday, 22 December 2014

Shrek: The Musical



On Saturday night I dragged myself away from the fire and went into town with the family to see Shrek: The Musical at the Palace Theatre in Manchester. As a massive fan of the films, when I heard the musical was coming to Manchester I knew I had to go and see it despite the extortionate ticket prices. It certainly didn't disappoint.

Both theare lovers and film fans alike with enjoy this family friendly musical. Sticking exceptionally close to the first Shrek film some of the most iconic lines are included in the script, but are accompanied by original songs to really bring the story to life. The humour is just perfect, with jokes that everyone will find amusing. I was completely impressed by how they have adapted the film to the stage and nothing has been lost, not even the rickety bridge to the castle! All the costumes were amazing and I can only imagine how long it took to be made up as Shrek, but the true star of the show for me was a little unexpected. Every time Lord Farquaad was on stage, the audience burst into laughter, myself included. The poor actor who plays him is on his knees for nearly the entire performance! There is one very small plot twist which isn't in the film which helps tie everything together but die hard fans wouldn't be upset. It fit's in perfectly, so much so it makes you wonder why it wasn't present in the actual film!

If you enjoyed the film and have the chance to go, I'd definitely recommend you grab a ticket.

Have you seen any shows lately?
xoxo
J
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Friday, 19 December 2014

The Greedy Book



Ever wanted to make a wedding list, but aren't having a wedding? Tired of faking happiness when being given yet another pair of socks? Did you find it hard to decide what to buy everyone for Christmas? Better go on over to The Greedy Book and create an account for free.


The Greedy Book is the creation of sisters Millie and Charlie who's sister-in-law kept a 'Greedy Book' to keep track of everyone's loves, dream gifts and favorite trends in an attempt to take the hassle out of buying presents. A bit like Pinterest, you simply add gifts you would love to receive to your own personal online 'Greedy Book', and then share your book with family and friends. No more having to strategically leave web pages up, or circle items in magazines, you can take the hassle out of shopping for your friends and family, whilst ensuring you get something that you really want.

The site itself is so easy to use and addictive. It's packed with loads of handy features including adding a button to your search bar so you can add things as you browse the web!  Never again struggle to buy for the person with everything, you can now get it right every time. Ideal for birthdays, weddings, Christmas and house warmings, the Greedy Book let's you be as greedy as you dare.

What would your dream gift be?
xoxo
J
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Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Black Friday Haul

Beats Studio Headphones

Sony Alpha 5100

GHD Air Hairdryer
Foreo Luna

Indeed Labs
Watching the evening news on Black Friday made me thankful I stayed at home. Over from America, Black Friday has recently drifted to the UK and people have gone a little bit crazy over it. Anyway, before I go into detail over my rather large haul, I just want to add a very quick disclaimer. I saved up for about 10 months to get bits I've wanted and needed. I work full-time and spend my wage how I want. This is by no means a "bragging" post as chances are I won't be buying much for the foreseeable future. Haul posts are always popular and this one was requested by quite a few people. If your not a fan, here's your warning to click off.

I have been looking at Beats by Dr Dre headphones since they first came out, but the price tag has always put me off. After umming and ahhing for the longest time I finally decided to buy a pair as I always have my headphones in. I got a pair of the noise-cancelling Beats Studio headphones and I have to say I absolutely adore them. I love that their foldable and come in a case too, great for travelling. 

Next up is my new toy, the Sony Alpha 510. If you follow me on twitter you'll know that I've been looking at new cameras for quite some time. After reading lots of reviews I had settled on the Sony Alpha 500. However, when I went onto Amazon on Black Friday they were offering 50% off the newer model making it the same price as the 500. The only reason I had ignored the 510 is because of it's price. It was clearly meant to be. To top it off, 32GB memory cards were reduced to £15. I snapped two up because I know I'm going to need that space once I set off on my travels next year.

I have a beauty blogger confession to make. The only hairdryer I've ever owned cost £10. It does the job, but only has one setting and leaves my hair less than perfect. I've wanted to upgrade for the longest time, and really should have done it sooner but never got round to it. The GHD Air is now my new baby and transforms my hair from drowned rat to big blow dry in under 10 minutes. You can't argue with that. 

The Foreo Luna also made it's way into my shopping bag, I'm not sure if it's normal to say this, but I really enjoy cleansing my skin. Up until now, I've never used a cleansing tool alongside a cleanser even though I've read plenty of rave reviews about Clarisonic and the like. Anyway my skin's really been playing up lately and that's pushed me into finally getting the Foreo Luna. It's supposed to be a lot more hygienic and less abrasive than a Clarisonic, plus you don't need to buy any extra heads! I'll report back about how I get on.

The last few bits were complete impulse buys and not planned at all. Boot's reduced Indded Lab's Hydraluron and Retinol Reface by 50%. I am very impressed that I have resisted trying Hydraluron for so long considering the hype around it, but I just had to cave when it was half price. Retional Reface sounds great for making your skin smoother so naturally it just so happened to fall into my basket. Oops. Boot's also threw in a sample of Liquid Gold!

I know a lot of people were pretty anti-Black Friday after the complete mayhem it caused but without it I would not have been able to afford everything I wanted. 

Did you manage to grab anything?
xoxo
J
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Monday, 15 December 2014

Origins Superstar Minis

Origins Samples
Origins Superstar Minis - £35


I'm rather proud in saying that all my Christmas shopping was done before December even rolled in. I'm usually that person running around a department shop on December 23rd, or even 24th, grabbing anything and everything for presents. Despite all our best intentions, sometimes you just don't get round to picking up someones present until the last minute. In times like this you can always rely on gift sets. 

Out of all the gift sets available, this one caught my eye. Containing some of Origins best-selling products, the set is perfect for skin care novices to brand enthusiasts alike. All products are free from parabens, synthetic fragrance and other nasties, and aren't tested on animals making it suitable for anyone.The set includes:
  • A lovely tote bag.
  • High-Potency Night-A-Mins Night Cream
  • GinZing Moisturiser
  • Checks and Balances Face Wash
  • GinZing Eye Cream
  • Modern Friction Scrub
  • Clear Improvements Face Mask
  • Make a Difference Hand Cream
I couldn't resist treating myself to a pre-Christmas present. Well, it is a time for giving ...

What's your favorite product from Origins?
xoxo
J
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Sunday, 14 December 2014

Ladbrokes Blogger Secret Santa




Last Tuesday I had the absolute pleasure of attending the Ladbrokes Blogger Secret Santa event in Manchester at Revolution Deansgate Locks. We were all informed two weeks before who we would be buying a present for. The aim was to choose something within the budget of £10 that would suit the person based their blog.

The night came and the wine flowed. Over platters of pizza and other delicious party food we all caught up with each other. After taking a couple of #SantaSelfies with seasonal props we placed our Christmas wishes on the Christmas tree. Of course mine was for anything Mulberry. A girl can wish after all.

Now on to the exciting part the presents. I wish I could reveal who I bought for because I'd love to find out if they liked their present. I definitely had my eye on it. I was treated to three amazing bubble bars from Lush by my Secret Santa; Snow Angel, Pop In The Bath and Holly Golightly. Whoever bought for me got me the perfect present and I would love to say a massive massive thank you to them, as well as to to Branded3 and Ladbrokes for inviting me to the event.

Have you tried these Lush products? What's the best present you've gotten in Secret Santa?
xoxo
J
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Wednesday, 10 December 2014

LUSH Snowman Shower Jelly

Lush Snowman Shower Jelly

 Lush Snowman Shower Jelly
Shower Jelly - £3.50




Want to know a fun fact? I hate the Snowman, the film. Please don't unsubscribe or stop reading this, I do have my reasons. I just find the music so sad and dramatic for something that is essentially a children's Christmas film. I also got a bit upset when the Snowman melted. Children's films should always have happy endings, especially at Christmas. I will redeem myself though and say I love anything with snowmen (or women, or dogs) one them, so when I saw this Limited Edition shower jelly in the Lush Christmas collection, I had to grab a pot to try.

When I first got the pot I was initially a little confused and thought I must have misread that the jelly was in the shape of a snowman, as it looked very flat in the tub. However, after you unfold the while amount of the jelly, just smaller than my hand, you can clearly see the snowman shape, complete with scarf, hat and nose. I think Lush get it right 99.9% of the time with fragrances, and this definitely falls into that majority. Sweetly smelling of blackcurrant, but not so strongly that it makes you crave Ribena, the fragrance puts a smile on your face even when your mood is less than festive. Despite all this, I was left feeling disappointed with this product. The product itself is hard to use. Unlike normal Shower Jelly (of which I am a fan), this was quite hard to rip a piece of, but the use the whole snowman was incredibly slippery and altogether frustrating. Eventually the poor snowman even split in half! Once I managed to keep the snowman firmly in my grasp, I noticed the lather just wasn't up to par and none of the glitter I was promised was visible. If this product was for scent alone, it would be a complete winner, but it definitely under-delivered on its promises. I think I'll be sticking to the Christmas Shower Gels from now on. Maybe I'm just destined not to like snowmen.

Have you tried this Lush product? What are your feelings towards Snowmen?
xoxo
J
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Monday, 8 December 2014

Manchester Christmas Market






I love Christmas, and nothing get's me more in the festive spirit than a Christmas market. Luckily I happen to live near Manchester which has a huge annual European market. Starting in 1999, I've literally grown up with the market, and it wouldn't feel Christmas without a walk round all the stalls.

Over 300 stills spread across nine sites, with traders from Transylvania to Spain, Lapland to UK are all housed in hand-crafted wooden chalets. Selling everything from sweets, beauty products, crafts, produce such as olives and food to go, it's the perfect day out. The 9 sites are close together but still scattered around the high street, helping to make Christmas shopping that little bit more special. The combination of the fairy lights, the Christmas music and of course the scents of the food and drink create this magical atmosphere which could never be re-created. It's like your in one of those Christmas villages in a snow globe. Oh, and the best bit? It's free.

If you're looking for the perfect festive day out or still need a few Christmas presents I can't recommend it enough. The Market is here until 21st December. The European Christmas Market in Albert Square is open 10 am to 9 pm daily whilst Market Street, Cathedral Gardens, Exchange Square, New Cathedral Street, King Street, St. Ann's Square and Brazennose Street are all open 10 am to 8 pm daily.

What's your favorite thing about Christmas markets?
xoxo
J
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Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Links of London Effervescence Bracelet



A couple of months ago I hit the jackpot and won a £400 gift card to spend at Links of London. I couldn't believe my luck, especially as at the time I was in a bit of a downer and need something to snap me out of it. Well I definitely perked up after that. I didn't want to just blow the money on something and regret it (unlikely) so I sat and pondered the Links website for absolutely ages to get an idea of what I wanted. Unfortunately I am incredible indecisive, especially when no choice is a bad one and the decision took me a while.

A few weeks ago I finally made my way down to the Manchester store to have a look at everything in person. I must have looked like a kid in a sweet shop as I bounced round from cabinet to cabinet, ooohh and ahhing as I went. As soon as I locked eyes on the Effervescence Collection I knew I'd get something from it, and when I saw this bracelet I knew it was the one. Pearls have always been my thing, and having it combined with the "bubbles", it was very me, and very perfect. 

Sadly I can't share the link for the bracelet from the Links website as it's currently not one it (sold out on Black Friday perhaps?). I also picked up some earrings for my mum's Christmas present and a free pendant which is currently being engraved as this goes live. Excitingly I still have some money left which I'm trying to save for January when I feel a little flat after the festive season has died down. I wonder how long it will take me to choose something this time? 

xoxo
J
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Monday, 1 December 2014

The Library of Fragrance: Marshmallow

The Library of Fragrance Marshmallow Perfume
Fragrance(*) - £15.99



When I heard about the Library of Fragrance I was instantly intrigued. Whilst there isn't a day that I don't wear perfume, I can't say I've ever come across a brand which includes scents such as Grass, Sunshine and Gin & Tonic in its collection. One of the latest imports from over the pond, The Library of Fragrance includes unisex scents inspired by everyday life which are both recognisable and wearable. By isolating individual scents such as that of a Thunderstorm or Baby Powder, each fragrance enables you to truly appreciate the scents that surround us. Each singluar scent can be worn alone as a familiar fragrance or layered with other scents from the Library to create a more complex, personalised fragrance. The options and combinations are completely personal, and can help you create a bespoke scent!

I was extremely fortunate to get to try marshmallow and I certainly wasn't disappointed. The bottle is simple and clean in design, letting the fragrance be the true attraction. For me, marshmallows remind of cosy autumn nights at home with a big mug of hot chocolate. It's a sweet and comforting scent which instantly makes me happy. Despite being a fan of sweet scents, I was a little nervous about trying Marshmallow out in case it was too sickly. I love marshmallows as much as the next person, but being surrounded by the scent all day may be a little too much. When I spritzed it though, I fell in love. The fragrance is exactly like Marshamllows, as sugary and light as if you had a jar of Fluff in front of you. Specific enough to make you smile, but subtle enough not to make you feel sickly sweet, it strikes the perfect balance. Constantly catching myself smelling my pulse points, it managed to lift my mood up even if it was pitch black and freezing outside. It's completely different to anything else on the high street at the moment and  I think may have just found something new to collect ...

The Library of Fragrance is currently included in a special offer at Boots where you can get 2 selected fragrances for £25!

If you could make any one scent into a fragrance, what would it be?
xoxo
J
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