Thursday, 19 December 2013

Christmas Chocolate - Prestat Truffles!

Prestat Truffles - £11

One of my favourite things about Christmas is guilt-free binging on tasty treats. I am usually fairly restrained throughout the rest of the year so I look upon Christmas as a time to let my hair down and indulge in some of those special treats I would normally steer well clear of. 

This year, thanks to Twitter, I have discovered Prestat Truffles. My usual choice would be Thornton's but there's always some left in the box that nobody really likes. This year it seemed like a much better idea to chose a box of my favourite truffles instead thus eliminating any waste! I love anything banana flavoured, although strangely enough not bananas themselves, so the Banoffee Truffles were an instant hit. At £11 for 175g they really aren't anymore expensive than Thornton's or a comparable chocolate. They consist of white chocolate truffles, soft banana caramel and a slight hint of coffee infused dark chocolate, whats not to like!!!

If, like me, you love Pink Champagne, why not combine both chocolate and champagne to create the perfect truffle, Prestat Pink Marc de Champagne Chocolate Truffles. These will not be lasting too long, especially if Lisa (my lovely daughter) gets her hands on them too. Its unlikely we will share these with the boys, pink is for girls after all!!!

Finally, for the ultimate after dinner mint, why not try Prestat's Mint Box. Here you get a collection of double mint, coffee mint and strawberry mint, again all for £11. These definitely make a change from the usual After Eight Mints. I can not give you a view on how yummy these are as I personally don't like the flavour of mint and chocolate together, however, I will try them out on my father-in-law who loves minty chocs and is somewhat of an expert an all things chocolaty!

These truffles are easily available from larger department stores, Prestat themselves or, believe it or not, Amazon which is where I acquired my supply from. It's also worth checking out Prestat's hot chocolate selection too. 

What are your'e favourite Christmassy treats? Whatever your'e choice, remember one important thing, ENJOY!!!!

Wishing you all a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS
Lots of festive love

Friday, 13 December 2013

Christmas post - Infuse your'e home with the scent of Christmas!

A selection of Christmas candle scents and accessories!

One of my favourite things about Christmas is the lovely array of festive scents that are sure to evoke some  wonderful Christmas memories. From the warm spices of cinnamon and ginger, reminding me of cookies and puddings, to the fresh scent of pine, reminiscent of Christmas trees, holly and mistletoe. As I'm sure you have already guessed, I am a big fan, verging on addiction, of scented candles and pretty accessories in which to display them. In the winter I love warm spicy aromas, whereas in Spring and Summer I love the smell of fresh cut flowers and fruits. Whatever you're personal preference there is always a candle to suit.

I thought as it is so close to Christmas day that I would share some of my favourites with you and if you have any other suggestions I would be very keen to hear about them. As I've already reviewed in a previous post, Yankee Candles are one of my 'go-to' candles of choice. I particularly love their Sparkling Cinnamon, it's so warm and spicy. They come in a variety of forms from waxes to jars, prices ranging from £1.25 to £15.99 for a medium size jar. There are also a vast array of lovely accessories in which to display them. I have invested in a couple of new ones this year which you can see displayed above. These accessories are sure to become a Christmas tradition, coming out every year.

Other Yankee Candle scents I have discovered this year, thanks to my advent calender, are Balsam and Cedar, Snow in Love and Merry Marshmallow. I really love the freshness of the Balsam and Cedar and will definitely be investing in this one next year.

Lastly, I was really lucky to receive as a birthday gift, this Hot Toddy candle by Flame Homeware. My friends know me sooo well! I haven't previously used these products but this one smells divine, a real winter warmer!

Whatever festive scents you chose to infuse you're home with, they are sure to add a warmth to you're Christmassy celebrations embracing the feel of the Yule Tide season.

Let me know what festive scents are you're favourites!


Sunday, 8 December 2013

Christmas Present Ideas - Funkydory Scarves, yes please!!!

 Funkydory heart & star scarves, £8.50!

In an effort to increase my blog audience I recently signed up to Twitter, in doing so I've discovered so many lovely small businesses making some wonderful products at very reasonable prices. I have always been a fan of encouraging this type of business, it's so easy to pick up something a little different, with a designer feel, a change from the usual 'highstreet' stores, not that I have any problems spending money there too!!!

I am a particular fan of accessories and love to source new designers, so when I discovered Funkydory on Twitter I just couldn't resist a visit to their website. I have to admit that a shopping frenzy then ensued, the scarves were just too beautiful AND reasonably priced to resist. My favourite is the lovely pink star scarf (seen above) and the navy hearts, both very useful additions to my wardrobe. 

However, the main reason for my visit was to do a little Christmas shopping. These scarves make great gift ideas for mums, sisters, friends and at £8.50 a really good price that would suit most budgets. With free post & packaging included I got several presents in one shop, result!

Unfortunately, I can not show you the rest of my haul as they are gifts for some special girls who regularly read my posts, I don't want to spoil their surprise but, take it from me they were equally as lovely as mine.
My only regret is that I didn't add this festive scarf to my shopping basket, it is definately going on my Christmas wishlist, PLEASE!!!!

Festive scarf, £8.50

Do you know of any other little treasures I could investigate for Christmas pressie ideas?


Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Estee Lauder Metallics - Embrace you're inner Snow Queen!!!

Estee Lauder Pure Color Eyeshadow - Artic Zinc, £27
Estee Lauder Pure Color Nail Lacquer - Chaos, £14.50
Estee Lauder Pure Color Nail Lacquer - Chrome Violet, £14.50

When you think of Christmas sparkle it's usually golds, reds and greens that spring to mind evoking all the richness warmth and decadence that Christmas inspires. I, however, also love silvers, blues and mauves, instead creating a shimmering frosty wintery feel. Luckily for me Estee Lauder have also been inspired by icy shades and have come up with these lovely rich glittery metallics that I can fully embrace and indulge myself in.

Firstly, the gorgeous eye trio, Artic Zinc, part of this seasons Estee Lauder Metallics Collection. The pallet comprises of three beautiful sparkly shades that can be worn separately of blended to create a smokey eye. The handy protector even gives you a guide in where to apply the different colours to achieve this effect. It was really easy to apply and, as usual with Estee Lauder products, lasted throughout the day with little need to reapply or touch up. I would most lightly wear this in the evening with blacks, navys and greys, a welcome change from my usual warm browns.

With a frosty silvery eye it's only natural to use the same shades on the nails. Again Estee Lauder have come up trumps. One of my favourite varnishes from last year is Chaos. Its silvery glittery tones, with a slight hint of lilac go perfectly with the eyeshadow. You need a good couple of coats to achieve an even application but it's well worth the effort as it last for ages and looks amazing. This varnish is still available this season so hurry up and check it out!

Secondly is Estee Lauder's Chrome Violet, again part of this seasons Metallics Collection. This has more of a satin effect, less sparkly than Chaos but still a beautiful shade. Two coats are needed for an even coverage and it lasts pretty well, very minimal chipping!

These shades provide a welcome change from the usual golds of the festive season, I will definately be going for the silvery glittery option with my LBD, the perfect accessory to enhance you're festive look!

Are you a glorious gold or an shimmering silver?


Sunday, 1 December 2013

Christmas giveaway - and the winner is.....!

 These are a selection of the entries in my Nails Inc Snowflake giveaway, thanks guys, you came up with some stunning ideas!!!
 From bottom to top entries by Rhea, Paige Joanna and Hannah
 From left to right entries from Courtney, Lisa and Katie

As promised, I have tried to recreate some of you're brilliant ideas, but please remember my A-level in Art and Design does not qualify me as a nail technician!!!

Firstly Lisa, who unfortunately doesn't qualify as she's my lovely daughter, suggested a festive red base covered with the Snowflake effect. I used Chanel's Rouge Rubis, part of this years Christmas collection to create her entry.

Next Hannah suggested a gorgeous cobalt blue, very much in style ATM. For this I used Chanel's Bel Argus. This reminds me of a dusky winter evening, very effective.

Coutney came of with the idea of using a darker shade to create a snowy night, for this I used  Chanel's Noir Ceramic, bring on the Christmas carols!

I loved Paige's idea of using a icy mint green as the base gives the impression of a frozen snowy landscape. For this I used Barry M's Mint Green, a must for anyone's nail collection. Check out Paige's comment as she also has an outfit suggestion to match her nails.

Katie's gold glittery nails looked really festive. Here I've used Chanel's Golf Fingers, a personal favourite, it embraces all the richness of Christmas.

Finally, Rhea came up with my favourite, and therefore my winning suggestion. This festive red french manicure effect looks brilliant. I used Chanel's Holiday with white tips which I loaded with Snowflake to achieve this festive effect, it looks like the snow is gathering on the tips of the nail. I loved this idea as it was not only effective but also a little different from the other entries, which again were all great!!!

And the winner is Rhea Hooper, CONGRATULATIONS!!!

THANK YOU again to everyone who entered and for you're follows, it is very much appreciated!!!

As its the 1st December I can now officially wish you all A VERY VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!


Saturday, 30 November 2013

Yankee Candles Christmas Advent - I can not wait till 1st December!!!

Yankee Candle Advent Calender, £21.99
 A festive tealight behind each door!
 I can not wait to see what the surprise is behind door number 24!
 A pretty festive tealight holder from Perfect Scents

I don't usually have my own advent calender any more, prefering instead to leave that to the kids. However, all that changed when I spotted this amazing calender from Yankee Candles. I am a very big fan of their products anyway and this calender seemed to embrace all my Christmas scent requirements in one exciting product, what more could I wish for!!!

Although, at £21.99, it may appear a little expensive for some budgets, I think that it's really good value. You get one of six different festive tealights behind each day with a special surprise behind door number 24. The scents include Snow in Love, Balsam & Cedar, Merry Mashmallow, Red Apple Wreath, Snowflake Cookie and Sparkling Cinnamon (one of my favourites, yum!) There seems to be a fragrance to suit just about everybody's personal tastes.

I can not wait to find out what the surprise is behind door 24, will let you know on Christmas Eve. In the meantime I have a charming festive tealight holder ready to burn each days treat. This pretty one came from my local Yankee Candle suppliers, a wonderful shop full of incredible treasures called Perfect Scents, very aptly named!

With this advent my house is bound to have a continual warming, welcoming seasonal aroma this year, December just can not come quick enough!

What festive candles will be warming you're mantle piece this year?


Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Christmas Wish List - I've been a very good girl!!!

Lulu Guinness Leopard Izzy Satchel from the Wild Cat Collection
Most definitely top of my Christmas wish list is this lovely little treasure from the Lulu Guinness Wild Cat Collection. I have several bigger tote style bags that are useful for everyday but sometimes you need something a little more 'subtle' when going out in the evening.
Two of my favourite evening clutches are both Lulu Guinness, including a classic Lips Clutch, however, they are only capable of holding a phone and a lipstick at most. I know, what else does a girl need when being treated to an evening out with her man? My problem is that I invariably also need my glasses these days, particularly when trying to read a menu. It's a little embarrassing when I have to get someone to read it for me, don't laugh, it will happen to you too one day!
Pandora silver present charm
Next on my list would be a lovely Pandora charm. My kids and their partners all clubbed together and bought me a lovely Pandora leather bracelet and first charm for my 50th last year and in doing so created an avid collector! There are so many pretty charms to chose from and one to suit just about any occasion, even Christmas!
Christmas reindeer socks from Accessorize
Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a pair of festive socks, as always Accessorize have come up trumps with this cute pair. There are several different designs to chose from and at 3 pairs for £8 you could get a pair for yourself too. Accessorize is always a good place to go for a Christmas gift, there is so much to chose from suiting all sorts of budgets.
Although I love girly gifts I would also love a couple of 3DS games for my console. This year I have my eyes firmly set on Zelda, A Link Between Worlds and Lego Marvel Super Hero's, sometimes it's good to be a kid again.
Thornton's Chocolate Reindeer
My Christmas list wouldn't be complete without my favourite Christmas chocolate. These reindeer's from Thornton's are great value at the moment at 3 for 2, handy if, like me, you have three kids to buy for!
Presents aside, the best gift I could receive this Christmas is to have all my family at home for dinner. They are all grown up now, some living away from home with partners so it becomes increasingly difficult to all get together and celebrate.
 I look forward to a warm Christmas evening, fire and Christmas candles lit, Christmas music playing (not sure everyone enjoys that as much as me!) and the silly family games out, the perfect end to a perfect day!
How will you be celebrating this year?

Monday, 25 November 2013

Chanel Rouge Allure Radieuse, a rose by any other name!

 Chanel Rouge Allure 217 Radieuse, £25
A beautiful shimmery pink!
When I first saw this new lipstick from Chanel's Collection Nuit Infinie de Chanel, Christmas 2013, I knew it had to be part of my make up collection!!!
I am a big fan of Chanel's Rouge Allure lipsticks as they always last so long and don't dry out you're lips. The colours always retain a good level of intensity too. Although quite expensive at £25, I think it's sometimes false economy to use a cheaper brand.
This pink is a change from my usual colour choice of a pinky red matte but sometimes, particularly when wearing a darker shade on the eyes, you need to go for a lighter lip colour. It didn't last quite as well as Chanel's more matte lipsticks, a common problem, I've found, with a shimmery satin shade. I thought it was a little reminiscent of the 60's, a touch of Mary Quant even, a good excuse to get out that bold black liquid eyeliner! 

A pretty, easy to wear pink!
Have you found any 60's inspired pink lipsticks this season?

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Clarins Limited Edition Essential Eye Palette - a must have!

Clarins Limited Edition Essential Eye Palette, £35 
Beautifully packaged!
Handy size for travel.

One of my favourite buys this autumn is this lovely eye shadow palette by Clarins. It has covered just about every shade of autumnal brown possible and therefore, as the name suggests, it has quickly become an essential part of my make up collection.

It is very easy to blend the colours to achieve the effect you are after, the double ended brush is both soft and easy to use. I like to apply a lighter base colour then use the thinner end of the brush to added a darker shade just above the eye line before applying my eyeliner. This gives a soft effect that can be made to look more dramatic for an evening out using the darker shades.

I would definitely take this item away with me rather than several different eye shadows as it would just about cover any look I wanted to achieve.

I found that the shadow stayed in place for the best part of the day needing just a little touch up in the evening if going out. It also didn't crease, a real bonus! I didn't think the price was too high either considering the amount of different shades you get, it should last for quite some time.

If you want to get hold of one of these little beauties then I would hurry as they are selling out quickly. I know both Boots and Debenhams stock them, but not for much longer I fear!

Lighter shades.
Darker shades, all incorporating both matte
and shimmery tones.

Even has a handy guide for blending.

This has quickly become a make up essential in my kit, what make up essential could you not survive without?


Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Nails Inc Snowflake 'giveaway' - You can have a White Christmas!

#ALERT!!! Christmas Giveaway#
Nails Inc Limited Edition nail varnish, £12
Applied over (from left to right) Chanel Graphite, Chanel Attraction, Estee Lauder Oyster Cult and Nails Inc Covent Garden Ballet 
 Chanel Le Vernis in Graphite & Attraction, Estee Lauder Oyster Cult and
Nails Inc Covent Garden Ballet
From left to right Chanel Le Vernis Graphite & Attraction, Estee Lauder Oyster Cult
and Nails Inc Covent Garden Ballet
I thought it was time to have a little 'giveaway' competition and what better than one of these limited edition Nails Inc Snowflake nail varnishes, just in time for the festive season.
I tried it applied over four different silvery varnishes to test the effect of the product. I think you will agree that it definitely added a touch of snow to the nail making it look very Christmassy!
I achieved these results using two coats, building up flakes until I had the look I wanted, I think they really do have a snowflake effect. My favourite was the Snowflake varnish over Chanel's Attraction, it creates a lovely snowy scene.
Snowflake and Attraction
This is where the competition comes in.
 I have been quite safe in my experimentation and am sure you guys can come up with some far more interesting and wacky ideas as to how you would use the Snowflake varnish if you won it.
All you have to do is follow me on 'Bloglovin' or Twitter and leave a comment describing how you would create a Christmassy effect using this product, all before the 30th November. I will have a go at some of you're suggestions and let you know which one I think is the best, the more imaginative the better!
Unfortunately I can only accept entries in the UK as you'd be unlikely to receive the prize before Christmas if elsewhere, so sorry!
I will announce the winner on Twitter and my Blog on 1st December so get those creative juices flowing, I can not wait to hear all you're ideas!!!!
How would you wear Nails Inc's Snowflake varnish?



Saturday, 16 November 2013

Lola Rose 'Kiki' necklace - Birthday surprise and accessory essential!

Lola Rose Kiki necklace in Blossom quartzite/New Zebra Jasper

Firstly, sorry its been a while since my last post, I've been poorly but hopeful normal service is now resumed! 
This year, for my birthday, I was lucky enough to receive a lovely Lola Rose Kiki necklace. I already have a couple of these necklaces from last year in Montana/Black agate and Blue Sandstone/Lime Green quartzite and they have become an essential item when reaching for an accessory.
My new necklace is in Blossom Quartzite/New Zebra Jasper, a mixture of soft warm pinks, striking jasper and a hint of Heather quartzite, its gorgeous!!!
This colour combination is ideal for the winter, it can be worn with warm creams, damsons and taupe, a very versatile piece.

Doubled up, worn with Topshop fluffy angora jumper.
One of my favourite things about the Kiki is its length. Personally, I prefer a longer necklace and at 144cm this one is the perfect. It can be doubled up and worn long or tripled to create a statement shorter necklace, can it be any more gorgeous!

A triple statement!
The Kiki is currently available in six beautiful shades including Peach Calcite/Smokey Obsidian and Black Cherry quartzite/Grape quartzite, again both very useful colour ways. At £59 it would make an ideal Christmas gift for someone special, ME PLEASE!!!!!

Peach Calcite/Smokey Obsidian, picture from Lola Rose website.
If you don't already own a piece of Lola Rose this necklace would be a perfect start to your collection, be warned though, it could also be the start of an obsession, take it from someone who knows!

What will be on you're Christmas wishlist this year?