The 99p moisture restoring facial 

Okay, so last week I took the Friday off work to have a pamper day to myself. I struggle to find time just for myself – I’m either working, visiting family and friends or my boyfriend is with me, so it’s rare that I actually get some me time. 

I’d taken the day off and scheduled in a microdermabrasion facial and a back, neck and shoulder massage and couldn’t wait to get some chill time. Now imagine my disappointment when the salon had messed up my appointment – not only the date but also the time. Oh and they didn’t note my phone number down correctly either so couldn’t contact me to confirm the timings like they said they would do a few days before. 

As angry as I was, I really didn’t want to waste my day off. I’d purposely booked the appointments for 1pm so I could have a nice lay in – a luxury that I rarely get – so there wasn’t much time to find a substitute. 

After calling around I managed to find a salon that could squeeze me in for a back,neck and shoulder massage luckily but unfortunately they couldn’t fit me in for a facial too. 

I ended up taking a little trip around the shopping centre and looking at the offers that Boots had on at the moment which is when I stumbled upon this 99p mousturing mask by Garnier. 

Now, I’m fully aware that this doesn’t come anywhere close to having a facial which is tailored to your skin type but I was curious as to how good this could be for such a small price. 

So I got home, put on some relaxing acoustic music to take me back to the chilled vibe in Ibiza earlier this year and blocked out the suggested 15 minutes to let this mask do it’s magic. 

What’s the verdict? 

Upon first try, this mask definitely delivered. It’s a very thin mask made of tissue so can be hard to apply but once it’s on it’s great. 

It smells absolutely amazing and is soaked in moisturing lotion with pomegranate extract so it sinks straight into your skin. Garnier recommend using this mask once a week for maximum results and it’s definitely something that I’ll now be bringing into my skincare regime going forward. 

Give it a try and let me know what you think. 

-Em

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Thank god it’s Friday!

This week has been a particularly busy one for me, having spent so many extra hours at my desk and not being home before 19:30. I feel like I’ve literally been sat at my desk all week and, with it being dark when I leave for work and dark when I come home, it’s been a little depressing.

But today I’ve wrapped up my to-do list for the week and it’s finally Friday which means just one thing…

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HAPPY FRIYAY!

-Em

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Day 2 – Christmas Gift Guide Countdown

Good afternoon all.

It’s the 2nd of December and do you know what that means? It’s time for my second Christmas gift inspiration.

Day 2’s Christmas Gift Inspiration:

For the work Secret Santa

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Average budget: £10 – £15

I bought this present for my work Secret Santa. We had a £10 – £15 budget and I wanted to get something that was indulgent and a bit different to the usual 3 for 2 offers that you get from Boots or similar stores. Inspired by my Pinterest search, I ended up going out and searching for a boozy hot chocolate gift and this is the end result.

Hamper breakdown:
  • Happy Holidays mug – H&M. I found this lovely mug in H&M’s home section which opened recently in Reading. You can purchase it online here. This mug usually retails at £6.99 but as I bought it on Black Friday weekend I saved 20% on this so it was virtually a steal. Plus, it is so cute I was tempted to steal this one for myself…

 

  • Mini Baileys – Morrisons. Is it even Christmas without Baileys?! Surprisingly, it’s not the easiest task to find these mini Baileys bottles – or at least it wasn’t in the stores near me. If I’d have been better prepared then I could have probably ordered these online but in the end I purchased a Baileys gift set for £5 from Morrisons and kept the glass for myself – #bonus! The Lindor chocolates were included so this was another steal.

 

  • Hot Chocolate Spoon – Whittard of Chelsea. What I love about this is that the mini marshmallows are included so I didn’t need to purchase these separately and it’s a bit different to making a normal hot chocolate. Having the chocolate on the spoon makes it feel a bit different and more luxurious. This was another Black Friday steal for me – usually £3.00 I managed to get this for £2. You can order it online here.

 

  • Salted Caramel Chocolate Nano Slab – Hotel Chocolat. This brings a final bit of luxury to the present and, having bought one for myself, this tastes delicious. Again, it doesn’t look like you can purchase this online but I picked it up at the till for £2 or less.

So, that’s day 2’s Christmas gift inspiration.

See you tomorrow for another boozy surprise!

-Em

x

May the Christmas countdown begin…

Pinch punch, first of the month.

The 1st December is here and that means only one thing – the countdown to Christmas is on. There’s no better way to start each day than with a piece of chocolate for breakfast and, with it being December, it is now a perfectly normal thing to do! *fist bump*

So, with such a short time left until the big day, there’s no time to be putting off buying Christmas gifts anymore. Now is not the time for denial…

To help those of you who are perhaps less organised, restricted on time or simply have no ideas on what to buy for your family and friends, I thought I’d share some present ideas that I have stumbled across in my searches on Pinterest and some of the presents that I have pulled together for my family and friends this year, over the next few days to help you with your Christmas shopping.

Get your notebooks and pens at the ready and start writing your shopping list.

I love pulling together little hampers for gifts. They are a great way to be a bit more personalised and what’s better than having multiple gifts to open instead of just one. Over the next few days, I will be sharing some of the mini-hampers I’ve pulled together this year to give you a bit of inspiration.

Here is day 1’s Christmas gift inspiration:

For the film buffs

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Average budget: £35

This present is ideal for a couple as a date night gift – I purchased this with my cousin and his girlfriend in mind but it’s also a great idea for anybody who might be a bit of a movie buff.

Hamper breakdown:
  • Butterkist popcorn x 2 different flavours. You can buy these from any supermarket. I purchased these from Tesco at £1.49 each. If you want to give more of a luxury version of this present with a higher budget then you could always switch these out for some more fancy looking versions like these from Joe and Seph’s which average out a £4.00 for a 80g bag but come in a variety of quirky flavours like Marmite, Gingerbread or Peanut Butter… they will either love it or hate it.

 

  • Celebrations. These are a Christmas classic. Who doesn’t love a box of Celebrations?! I love the packaging of these ones as opposed to the usual shape of these boxes as it makes it look more like a snack box and, as an added bonus, this will be much easier to wrap up. I know, priorities… These were also only £3 from Tesco. Of course, if you are buying this gift for a weird friend who doesn’t like Celebrations then you can switch these out for any choccies that you fancy. Again, for a more gourmet, luxury gift then Hotel Chocolat is a good go-to shop. I highly recommend their Chocolate Dipping Adventure box for a good night in. *drools*

 

  • Cinnamon Popcorn Gift box. Okay, so this was more for the decoration side of things to bring the whole gift package together and again I purchased this from Tesco. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be on the online store and it’s something that I stumbled upon whilst doing a standard food shop. You can, however, get a couple of cheap popcorn boxes from The Range for less than £1 (which unfortunately I didn’t know about until after I bought this). Or you can order them on Amazon.

 

  • Cinema Voucher. The main part of this present is the Cinema voucher which my cousin and his girlfriend can use for a nice date night. If you have a lower budget, why not switch it out for a lower valued voucher or a new movie or maybe one of their all-time favourite movies for a personal touch. The opportunities are endless for this part. Remember that if you are getting a gift voucher, make sure you research the cinema’s that are close to them – you don’t want to give them an Odeon gift card if the nearest cinema is a Cineworld.

That marks the end of day 1’s Christmas Gift Guide Countdown.

Stay tuned for more and do share any of your Christmas ideas – sharing is caring after all!

-Em

x

 

 

The most wonderful (& expensive) time of the year.

Christmas is almost upon us and I have to say that it’s come around fast. It feels like only yesterday that my family and I were all sat around the table eating, drinking and laughing at the cheesy Christmas cracker jokes.

For me, Christmas is all about taking some time out to spend with my family. My family live quite a distance from me and, with such a busy schedule at work, I don’t always get the time to pop them a visit. Christmas gives us the opportunity to all come together – whether that be voluntarily or not – and it’s one of my favourite times of the year.

You’ll probably have noticed the queues startchristmas-storeing to form at the shopping centres as December draws closer. Luckily I’ve managed to get ahead of the game a little bit and I have mostly finished Christmas shopping apart from a few extra bits like secret santa gifts for friends and colleagues. However, whilst trying to pull all of the presents together – and getting marginally stressed in the process – I can’t help but think how unnecessarily commercialised it has all become and whether it’s taken away from the core of Christmas.

Last year my family and I decided to opt to do Secret Santa instead of getting gifts for the whole family. The pressure is on at this time of year to get presents for all those that you care about as shops have taught us that this is how we show our love and gratitude throughout the festive season. But as the years go on and as more 3 for 2 offers launch in stores like Boots, gifts are becoming less thoughtful and more impersonal.

I challenge you to count on one hand how many body washes and body lotion gifts you obtained last year. Now count how many are still in your drawers…

Now whilst I must admit that I do love getting smellies and having a nice pamper session, it seems unnecessary that those close to me are stressing as they feel the need to purchase a present of some sort for me. Not to sound ungrateful but half of the gifts remain in the boxes until the next year as I have nowhere to store them and, let’s be honest, there’s only so much body lotion you can get through in the year.

I think about all those families that struggle financially and yet they still have hundreds of presents wrapped up under the tree for their little ones and I think it’s sad that Christmas seems to be so focussed around gifts that families are willing to put themselves under incredible financial pressure and probably won’t pay off the debt until the next year.

Give it a go.

Try Secret Santa with your family and friends – you’ll find that you are giving an receiving much more personal gifts too as they are under less stress to purchase gifts for everybody. For us, Christmas has gone back to what it is supposed to be – a chance to reconnect with loved ones.

We set a budget of £50 and pull names out of a hat. We include our main family excluding my brother who is 13 and would be a bit mythed if we were to take away all of his presents. Since we all save quite a bit of money doing Secret Santa instead, we all purchase 3 x gifts worth £5 each and use them as prizes for family games like bingo. It’s a great way to take the stress away from Christmas, a chance to be thoughtful about the gifts that you give and frees up the budget to incorporate some fun activities for the occasion.

So give it a try and let me know how you get on. I’d love to hear your thoughts on Christmas and how you celebrate the festive season with your family and friends.

Happy Christmas shopping all!

-Em

x

 

My first Birchbox – Shake your tail feather, November box

Having spent the last week a bit down in the dumps, tucked up in bed with the flu, I decided that now was a good time to finally order the Birchbox subscription that I’ve been thinking about for a while. I was a bit dubious at first, having heard a few people who weren’t fussed by it and ended up cancelling their subscription but I thought I may as well give it a go and rule it out instead of sitting there thinking about it.

I, personally, have a bit of an obsession with buying beauty products and trying out new brands, shades and trends – you only have to look at my giant makeup bag that it bursting at the seams, much to my partner’s dismay, to see that. The Birchbox is a great way of trying those new products that you wouldn’t necessarily think to try if you were to purchase the products yourself.

Now, for the unboxing.

I have to say that the delivery was very prompt. I ordered it on the Sunday night and expected not to receive it until the following Monday but sure enough, it arrived that Friday afternoon and brightened up my pretty dull day cooped up in bed.

The packaging is absolutely stunning and they do a different theme each month when they partner up with various brands. This month’s box was a partnership with Tatler and featured a gorgeous peacock designed box – to say I LOVE it is an understatement.

Cut to the chase – What were the products?!

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This month’s box included 6 products – one of which was a bbrowbar mascara as a free gift for subscribing.

  • Black mascara by the bbrowbar free gift for subscribing
  • Lip tar/ primer by Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics
  • Golden Glow Illuminator BB cream by Marcelle
  • Anti-fatigue moisturing cream by NUXE Paris
  • Protect and detangle spray by Beauty Protector
  • Midi brush by the Wet Brush Pro

So… what was the verdict?

I absolutely love the Birchbox and will definitely be keeping my subscription – for now at least. It’s a lovely idea and a great way to reward yourself for all the hard work you do throughout the week.

I haven’t yet managed to try out all the products just yet, I just got so excited that this arrived that I wanted to share it with you all. Look out for my reviews on each of these products as I give them and keep your eyes peeled for a December box opening.

If, like I was, you are toying with the idea of getting a subscription, just go for it. Use this code to get 50% off your first box and do share which products you get in yours and what you think of them.

Anyway – here’s to a good weekend and wishing I was back in Ibiza sipping this gorgeous cocktail!

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-Em

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