Sprinkle Happiness – Brought to you by Birchbox (Jan 17 edition)

img_1171Last week I got home to a lovely treat on my doorstep – my January Birchbox.It was a much needed surprise after such a manic day – or rather week – at work. In between the gym, making healthy lunches to take to work and back to back meetings all day, everyday last week, I was starting to go a little insane. So believe me when I say that I was delighted to receive this little gift “to me, from me”.

A little ray of sunshine on a rainy day.

This month’s box really is a like a little ray of sunshine on a rainy day. Just look at the design of this month’s box. That cute little yellow pattern and the “Sprinkle Happiness” quote on the front of the drawer is sure to brighten up anybody’s day, no matter how crap it’s been so far.

Enough of me ranting, let’s delve into the detail.

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This month, I received 2 full sized products! My first full sized product is the Lord & Berry Conceal-It Crayon in beige. This product is actually a Birchbox exclusive and retails for £12. It’s like Birchbox have read my mind as through my detox this month, I seem to be having horrendous breakouts so this will come in really useful I’m sure. This crayon has a lovely creamy texture and is so easy to apply as you are essentially just drawing over your problem areas and then using your fingertips to blend it in. Birchbox also suggest using it to highlight particular features like beneath your brow bone so I’ll give it a try – I much prefer to use a highlighter to do this usually for that added dewy look but this might be ideal for wearing to work as it’s a bit more subtle.

img_1176The second full sized product in this box is the Merci Handy hand cream in the Chérie Cherry fragrance. It’s quite a cheap product at only £4.50 and is the perfect size to pop in your handbag. I’ve taken it with me in my workbag since receiving it. I’m not overly keen on the scent that I have received as it’s a bit sickly sweet but it’s a nice, thick hand cream so is great for keeping your hands in good nick in this awful weather we are having at the moment. It also has tiny beads inside it which dissolve when you apply the cream to help keep them nourished, which is a nice touch.

img_1180The next product that I got was a mini Nails inc. nail polish in the shade Bourne Street. I’ve not had chance to use this just yet but the shade looks gorgeous and is perfect for a night out. I was a little bit disappointed by the size of this product as it’s so small and will probably only last for 1 or 2 manicures. The full sized product retails for £15 so I’ll give it a try and let you know whether it’s worth adding it to your nail polish collection. Nails inc. also have a nail polish in a spray can which is on my hit list of products to try out so keep a look out for this review.

img_1173I also got a Clarifying Shampoo by Kebelo – the full sized version retails for £13.95. The guide suggests that you should only use it once or twice a month as a detox for your hair to help get rid of product build-up. I actually used this product yesterday and I’m not sure whether I would recommend it as it left my hair feeling so dry that I had to apply a conditioning mask to combat the effect.

img_1174Lastly, I received the Shave Crave Shaving Cream by Whish in the Acai Grapefruit scent. This one retails for £14.80. First of all, this product smells absolutely gorgeous but I’m not sure that I’m a fan of the non-foaming formula. It’s good for getting a close shave but not so great for my sensitive skin. If you prefer a less foamy shaving cream then this is definitely for you as it smells gorgeous and contains shea butter and coconut oil in the formula to protect your skin and keep them super soft and smooth.

My overall thoughts:

I wasn’t overwhelmed by all of the products in this month’s box sadly, but absolutely loved the packaging – it’s very apt for the January blues and is great timing ahead of the dreaded Blue Monday today. Overall I’d give this month’s box a 7/10.

If you’re looking to subscribe then you can do so here and get £5 off your first box. Now’s the time to reward yourself for all the effort that goes into January and to make up for giving up alcohol, chocolate and your social life whilst you snuggle inside and avoid the wet, rainy days.

-Em

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Previous Birchbox reviews:

December 2016 – Merry and Bright

November 2016 – Shake your tail feather

 

 

2017 Bucket List – Things I want to see, do and accomplish before the year is out

What success looks like in 2017 for me.

So, as I said in my last blog, this year I’ve decided to make a bucket list of things I want to do this year aside from the usual “eat clean”, “quit caffeine”, “ditch alcohol”, “get fit” and “save money” resolutions that I seem to make year in and year out. Now, whilst I am going to try and still do the things listed above, these aren’t the things that I want to be reflecting on when it comes to 2018. When 2018 comes around I want to be reflecting on good memories.

With all of that in mind, here are my initial ideas for my 2017 Bucket List. This will inevitably grow throughout the year. These aren’t in any specific order of importance…

Activities

  • Go to an open air cinema in the summer – I want to feel like I’m in a real life movie…
  • Attend a pottery painting session – I love taking the opportunity to be a little bit creative and I saw an advertisement within a local ceramics store for an adult only pots and pinot session which runs once a month and I’d absolutely love to give it a try.
  • See a Cirque du Soleil show – my boyfriend always talks about how amazing these shows are and I feel like I’m missing out. 
  • Go to a festival or concert – obviously this is something that I’ve already done but I had such a great time at all of them that it’s of course on my list again for this year.
  • Create a scrapbook full of memories to reflect on at the end of the yearso I can relive the memories everyday.
  • Re-decorate the feature wall in my bedroom – It’s about time those Pinterest boards come to life
  • Try Bikram Yoga – I regularly go to Pilates as a way to build my core and to de-stress after a stressful week. I’ve heard a lot about Bikram Yoga and would love to give it a go. Whether I’m any good or not is a different question…
  • Have a Microdermabrasion- yes, I am still hung up that my appointment didn’t go as planned last year and the only way for me to get over it is to give it a try.
  • Go to Harry Potter studios in London – my whole family loves Harry Potter and it seems a shame that I haven’t been already given that I live so close to it.

Travel

  • Have a romantic weekend away in a cute lodge in the countryside with no phones or technologyjust us.
  • Visit a new country that I have never been to before – my initial thoughts are Croatia as it looks beautiful and I’ve seen it in many travel guides as the place to be but I usually book holidays last minute as 1. I’m quite impulsive 2. you can save almost half price by booking last minute trips so I’ll probably end up somewhere totally unplanned.
  • See the Eiffel tower – even though it’s literally a few hours away, I’ve never actually been to Paris and have only actually been to France once.
  • Have a croissant and coffee at a cute Parisian café – yes, I stole this idea from Me before You #sorrynotsorry.
  • Have a day trip in Brighton and go up the i360 – I missed out on going up the i360 for a work event so it’s definitely on my hit list this year.

Accomplishments/ Personal Growth

  • Participate in a writing challenge – I love writing and this is a perfect way to push myself and grow my skills.
  • Learn how to curl my hair properly – I got a new hair curler for Christmas so I really feel like I need to master the art of curling my hair to make the most of it.
  • Attend a cookery class – being a massive foodie, I’d love to learn how to make authentic food from a particular cuisine. Indian food or Spanish tapas would be top on my hit list!
  • Get 100+ followers on my blog before the year is up – having only started my blog a few months ago, I still have a lot to learn but I’d love to build up my following. If you have any top tips, please do let me know!

There you have it.

That’s my initial plan of what success looks like in 2017. I’d love to hear what your plans are for the year and whether or not you’ve already broken your new year’s resolutions or if you’ve been strong willed and stuck with it.

You’ll be pleased to know that my usual January commitments have gone well so far – I committed to saving money and eating healthy at work and have taken in a healthy lunch every day this week. I also haven’t had any coffee or alcohol since the new year which is pretty impressive for me and have been to the gym twice this week already out of my goal of three times a week.

Finally, thank you again for reading my blog and for your continued support. I’d love to know any ideas of what you would like to read about next.

-Em

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New year, same me. 

Happy new year all! I hope you celebrated with a bang last night and haven’t got too much of a sore head this morning. 

I saw the new year in at my sister’s boyfriend’s farm house where we made homemade pizzas, lit fireworks and drank probably a bit too much and avoided extortionate club fees and overcrowded bars. 


The beginning of a new year is usually a great time to turn over a fresh slate for most people and a time to set goals for how you are going to change and improve yourself. I am a strong believer in setting goals to help you strive towards something and to give yourself a sense of achievement but this shouldn’t just happen at the start of the year and then forgotten about until this time rolls around again. I find it easier to set smaller goals throughout the year as it makes it easier to stay on track and gives you a continuous sense of achievement. 

So this year I’m not making any New Year’s resolutions as such. Yes, like most of you, I aim to get fitter and in particular I want to make sure I drink more water throughout the day to stay hydrated but I don’t aim to change myself in the process. To often we don’t accept who we are or feel comfortable in our own skin, feeling the need to make changes. 

This year, instead of making resolutions, my plan is to make a bucket list for things I want to do and places I want to see before 2017 is up. Life is short to waste it sitting around watching Netflix all day everyday. At the end of 2017 I will be the same me with a strong sense of fulfilment. 

I’m going to be spending my day pulling together my 2017 bucket list and thinking  about where I really want to go and what I want to see this year. 

I will share my list in a few days once I’ve set aside some time to really think it through so keep a look out. 

What are your goals for 2017? Do you believe in New Year’s resolutions? 

-Em

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End of season sales haul

Today I finally ventured out and braced myself for the end of season sales to see if I could scout out any bargains. I tend to always avoid the boxing day sales in favour of curling up under a blanket with a hot chocolate and a festive movie rather than fighting with the huge crowds of people for the sake of a £5 jacket that I probably would not even look twice at on a normal day. There’s something about seeing a 50% off sign that makes people go nuts!

If you are one of those people that queue for the Next boxing day sale at 5am, then I commend you. You have far more motivation and patience than I do.

I’m currently staying with my parents for the Christmas break at their home in Wittering – a small town just outside of Peterborough. We took a lovely stroll around Stamford, a lovely historic town which has a few small shops, and a shopping centre called Serpentine Green which is where I found these few bargains after routing through the sales rails and shortly giving up for a spot of lunch and to rest my achy feet. When will I ever learn to wear flat, comfy shoes when shopping?!

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What did I get?

Jack Wills 

Drysdale Pom Pom Fairisle Knitted Hat.

I fell in love with this cute little grey bobble hat as soon as I saw it and instantly knew that I had to get it. This hat should have been £29.50 but I got it for an absolute steal at £16.95 – nearly 50% off. It’s lovely and soft and what I love about it is that it’s not a really long hat like some of the bobble hats out there so it fits quite nice and snug to your head to keep you warm.

This hat is still available online here so if you want this one then get in there quick.

New Look 

Shell Pink Ruched Side Top.

I loved the lounge style of this top and thought it looked super comfy and snug with the 3/4 length sleeves. I actually found this in-store for £7 which was an absolute bargain considering that this one should be £17.99. The lovely metallic sheen to this fabric does help to smarten it up and this top looks lovely with a longline silver necklace with it.

I can’t find the actual top online but if you are up for the challenge then take a look at the sale rails in your local New Look store.

Dark Grey Choker Neck  3/4 Sleeve Top.

This was another steal at only £5 reduced from £12.99. The fabric is lovely and soft whilst also being quite lightweight and stretchy – perfect for a casual day out. I’ve grown to love wearing chokers so this neckline is perfect and adds a bit of variation to your everyday wardrobe.

This one is also still available online here and comes in a variety of different colours. I chose the Dark Grey shade but you can also get Khaki, Burgundy, Shell Pink or Corn Yellow depending on your preferences.

Miss Selfridge

Alanis Velvet Sock Boots.

You can’t beat a fresh pair of black boots. They are so versatile and can be styled up or down making them a must have for your wardrobe. Sock boots have been on trend for some time since Kanye West’s latest fashion show where high street stores have been creating their own take on the trend. These are lovely and comfy and the stretchy sock fabric makes it super easy to get these on and even allows room for some fluffy socks underneath for those colder winter mornings.

Again, you can still get these online here although it’s worth noting that there are only a few sizes left.

Did you get anything nice in the sales? I’d love to see what bargains you managed to scout out!

Wishing you all a fabulous New Year’s eve tomorrow. Hope you all see the new year in with a bang.

-Em

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