Tuesday, 31 December 2013

As 2013 ends...

As it happens I'm not one for NY resolutions, I don't tend to dwell on the past year etc. but I do like the idea of just glancing back and I Definitely like the idea of looking forward! 

Weirdly, though, it's one of the only NY resolutions that I ever made that's led me here today - And that's the decision, last year, to stop stressing myself out over trying to start a blog - Time and time again I had set up blogs, done a few posts, not gone any further etc. Towards the end of 2012 I did a few posts and, so, in the lead up to 2013 I told myself that my 'unofficial NY resolution' was to just blog if I felt like it and not put myself under pressure to do it and, if anything Not blog because it was stressing me out. Of course, self imposed, reverse psychology and here I am today! 

2013 was amazing because it's the year that Azii moved in - But it was also tough in a Lot of ways. Like I said, I'm not going to dwell, but I would definitely not mind if 2014 turned out to be a better year. 

I did read 70 books in 2013, though, which isn't bad considering having had many 1+ months of not reading at all in amongst the times that I did read. It's not a resolution, but I have decided to read all 38 of the Terry Pratchett books that I have, I've read about half of them before but not in order - So that's what I'm starting to do next time I sit down to read... that's the closest you'll get me to making a resolution and it's not so much a resolution as a decision... haha. 

Blurry but happy photo of Ethan and I - Quite typical of an ever moving pre-schooler

In 2014 we're getting married, I quite hope that'll help improve the year. 
Ethan's also starting school in 2014... this makes me cry. 
Skye (Azii's daughter) is having open heart surgery which is scary, very scary for her whole family - But Azii and I always try to talk about the long-term, positive impact it'll have on her in order to keep that in sight. 

With these two (and Skye of course) in my life then how could 2014 not be good?

I'm not one for thinking that a new year will suddenly make everything change - But I do hope the the overriding feeling of this coming year is a much more pleasant one than much of last year (and that's for many other people as well as myself)

I can't believe my blog is a little over a year old, now, and I have so many of you who've joined me along the way - Thanks for your follows, readership, comments, support and so much more from some of you. Hope you all have a good 2014 too. 

Other than the things mentioned above, one thing I can be sure of is that this blog is going to be a big part of 2014 - Whatever happens with finances, jobs, moving etc - I want to carry on putting a big part of my time and effort in to writing here, I've loved the sense of purpose I've gained and I've enjoyed having something so productive to put my time in to, not to mention having been able to get talking to some wonderful people. All in all, 2014 is definitely going to be a good blog year!

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Some Qwertee tee's that we couldn't pass up! The 10th and 11th Doctors!

We're Doctor Who fans - We're Massive Doctor Who fans... absolutely in love with the series and, so, when Doctor Who tees come up on Qwertee we're often a bit in love with them (I actually got a gorgeous one of the tardis a few weeks ago that I'm yet to share!) 

So... when Qwertee posted that they had Two tees for sale that say (normally only one a day) and they were these two tributes to the 10th and 11th Doctor's we just Knew we had to order them - I really enjoy this style of tee with funky quotes etc. you may remember my Sheldon one that's the same format. 

His and Hers tees - The 10th Doctor. 

His and hers tees - The 11th Doctor.

I was really sad when the 10th Doctor left and I know I'm going to have been gutted to say goodbye to Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor when he left on Christmas day (Can you tell I'm writing this post in advance?!)

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Rose gold glamour - NOTD - Nail of the day with Essie and Barry M

I don't know why I haven't tried these together before but I just love these two polishes together! 

The metallic rose gold of Essie's 'Penny Talks'  is fantastic for a polished, sleek look but add in an accent nail of Barry M's 'Dutchess' from their Royal Glitter collection and you've got a sudden addition of sparkle, glitz and texture - I really like the way these work together - It's not in your face but also not totally subtle either, it's in between - Either way it's stunning and would be great for a multitude of occasions! 

Friday, 27 December 2013

My thoughts on my Boots Beauty advent calendar and Blog swap advent calendar with Fiona!

First things first, I absolutely loved both of my advent calendars - I've had chocolate ones, along with Ethan, for the past few years and they're good but it was nice to have something so relevant to what I write about, think about, obsess over, a lot of the time! The excitement was pretty massive (even if I did have some spoilers because of magazines posting pics of the Boots advent Open on their fb page)

If you want to see the individual posts for any of the parts then you can see them here: 

The Boots advent was £30 and promised to have items worth over £60 inside (I think!) - It looked like this: Days 1-6 , days 7-12 , days 13-18 and days 19-24

Annnnnd even more importantly, make sure you check out the gorgeous Fiona's blog HERE.

And, here's what I got inside! 

There's a mini Nails inc polish in 'Porchester Square' missing and also a sample tube of Rimmel's stay matte foundation - I somehow left out the Nails inc and the Rimmel foundation is something I sent on to Fiona as I remembered it was on one of her wishlists.

That aside, as you can see, there was some really nice things in there! Nail products galore (and from some fab brands too), skin care, body care, hair care and some make-up. All in all I think it was, definitely worth the money and I'll definitely think about doing it again next year - I love the idea of an advent filled with high street items, plus a few higher end; all things from Boots.

And, it goes without saying, Fiona went a bit loopy!

Just look at that! You can see the individual posts, above, if you want more details about anything.

So, the premise of our blog swap advent was that we used samples from our collection to make up as much of the 24 places as we could and then we used our budget of £25 to fill up the gaps! The problem with this is that Fiona didn't have many samples, so she put in miniatures, and things from her own collection which she didn't think she'd use - Hence a full sized flipping OPI polish!

If you do this with someone who doesn't have many samples, and you do, you may end up feeling like the other person has done too much! Now, that's not to say I don't think I sent Fiona good things, I am really pleased with what I sent her, I picked things that I knew she'd love and, thankfully she has!

To clarify, she has absolutely no problem with what we've swapped - She feels that she didn't send too much and that what I've sent her is good. So it's only me feeling a bit off because I worry I didn't send as much. I know we both used our budgets amazingly well (thank you super drug for 3 for 2s!) but when she sent me full sized products and miniatures and I sent her samples (good samples, but samples none the less) - You see where I'm coming from.

But, by the by, We're both very happy with what we've got and I feel incredibly lucky to have been sent the Amazing things that Fiona has sent me, I can't say thank you enough for sending me such a fantastic bundle of things! She's just such a lovely lady, she's been so thoughtful and wonderful with everything she's sent, as she was with our last swap - She's also sent a little gift for Ethan but I can't tell you what's in it because I'm writing this on Christmas eve.

Would I recommend other people do this sort of swap? Yes, yes, yes! Just make sure you are both on the same page, or if one ends up sending more that it's the sort of amazingly generous person that Fiona is! I always think it's a good idea to do swaps with people that you've spent some time getting to know and it turns out doing a second swap with someone is even better as you've had even more of a chance to learn about them!

Thursday, 26 December 2013

My Very lucky Christmas 2013 - What I got for Christmas - Part 2: clothing, food, books etc.

The second part of my 'What I got for Christmas' post - This is clothing, food, books plus one more. 
As well as all of this I got money from a variety of parts of my family who are, all, very very generous - I think this is, easily, the most spoiled I've ever been at Christmas, so, incredibly lucky.

I chose this from Primark and my mum bought it for me for Christmas - It's so beautiful and I wore it on the day - What you can't see in the photo is that it has a really nice low back, too.

I was rather pleased to find these in my stocking - Now that I wear dresses so much more I need more tights and things, and I don't have as many in purple as I'd like. My mum got me three different types but they all feel lovely - I'm extra excited about the 'ultra cosy' ones as I always wished that Primark did these in purple but they never did. 

One of my best friends, Vicky, gave me these adorable Miffy slippers - I'm wearing them as I type, so warm and comfy! 

What would Christmas be without some pjs?! My mum got me these two sets, the purple tartan are lovely but the fleece Xmas print are my favourites - I'm wearing those now, too. I think these were all from Tesco's F&F like the tights above. 

Again, can't have a stocking without furry socks! These are the F&F offerings, i love the muted purple tones.

Lastly for the fashion related things, my nan bought me some earrings... unfortunately I don't have my ears pierced (which I'm surprised she forgot) so she's returning those and I am going to try and look for something pretty in exchange.

Knowing how much I was obsessed with the 'Great British Bake Off' My mum bought me these two books - Can't wait to delve in and see what sort of recipes these contain.

These were the present from Azii that I already knew I was getting (though didn't know what type) because he knew I'd been thinking of getting some new headphones so he wanted to make sure I didn't get any before Christmas. I'm a Big fan of Sony products and these look So nice and so sleek and posh, can't wait to find out what these are like.

As well as the cute letters for Ethan, Bigjigs very kindly sent me a big box of Heroes! So so nice of them.

My very close friends Ruth and James got some wonderful presents for Ethan and Skye but they also got us a very nice selection of biscuits - We'll enjoy dipping in to these.

And, as if biscuits and a big box of chocolates, my mum went loopy when it came to our stockings this year - This is the crazy selection of goodies I found in mine! Though at least mine wasn't as bad as Azii's! 

Utterly, utterly crazy (plus he had one of the massive boxes of nerds and a bag of chocolate money in his stocking from me)

My, Very lucky Christmas 2013 - What I got for Christmas - Part 1: The Beauty bits

It was a bit too many photos when I did a pot of all of the things I got at once so I've split in to two, this is still quite photo heavy but not so bad - This is the beauty edition which includes Estee Lauder, Mac, Benefit, Barry M and Soap & Glory

My first post for Christmas was to show how Ethan enjoyed his day, click for 'Ethan's Day' and my 'Clothes, books, food and more' post

My fiance is mental and has taken me from having No MAC to having a special edition brush set, an eye shadow set, eye liner, mascara And lip liner all at once!! 

This is the 'Stroke of Midnight' brush set - Five brushes and a Stunning bag... love? Yes... true love. 

This is the shadow set he got me - It's a Veluxe Pearlfushion shadows in 'Pinkluxe'

I've missed using big, bristled brush mascaras so this was Nice to see! 

The Soap & Glory  manicure set was from my mum, I already knew I was getting it but I can't wait to try out the newer items from it.

This is the Benefit set that Azii got me 'Whole Lotta Lovin''

The contents

My mum bought me some Benefit, too, but unfortunately the sales girl pushed her towards getting me some pretty obvious bits which I didn't want/already have so I've now got money to spend at Benefit when I go back to return them! (My Mum was quite expecting it to happen this way so I don't feel too bad) 

My Mum put four Barry M polishes in my stocking, two of them I had but I was amazed that she managed to get two that I don't have And one is a limited edition I almost bought and the other is one I really wanted!

The one above is the pink silver which was exclusive to Superdrug.

This is 'Crush'  from the matte range, been wanting this a while. 

On the topic of nail polishes, This is what Azii got me from Ethan and Skye... mhmm Estee Lauder!

Skye chose them as she wanted to get me red and purple nail polishes so they got me the Estee Lauder 'Delectable' Nail Coffret  

Stunning stunning stunning!

L-R we have 'Black Plum', 'Smashed', 'Fallen Angel' and 'So Vain'

As well as the Barry M polishes my Mum got me two of their shadow palettes and I didn't have either of them!  

Lovely range of shades in the 'Smokin palette' and I love that coral blush.

A really interesting, and lovely, selection of colours in the 'Glamour Puss' palette. 

My Grandparents and Uncle arrived later in the day and my Nan and Grandpops kindly gave me some lovely Estee Lauder products - An eye make-up remover, the nail polish in 'Le Smoking'  and the lip gloss in 'Praline Paradise'

And that's my beauty stuff! I'll do a second post, shortly, to show the clothing, food, books etc that I got, too.

*This post contains an affiliate link - See more details about affiliate links here*

Christmas 2013 - Ethan's day

I am going to do the obvious post detailing all of the lovely things I was given but I want to share some pictures with you, first, of Ethan and some of his moments throughout the day. I've not photographed much of what he's got, yet, as he was busy playing with it, but definitely going to have some toy reviews coming up this year as he's had some fabulous things.

For my posts showing what I got, here's my 'Beauty post' and my 'Clothes, books, food and more' post

Very excited, emptying his stocking.

His face when he realised his stocking wasn't It and there was a huuuge pile of presents from loads and loads of people down stairs!

I love how excited he got about everything.

Being drowned by a massive present.

'Helping' Grandma put his bin lorry back together.

Previously grumpy whilst I tried to take photos of him in his Xmas pjs; Daddy Azii managed to distract him and get this cheeky grin.

Any chocolate he got he thought he could eat instantly, after the second instance of this we made sure it didn't happen again. It was ok really, it was Xmas! Thankfully he didn't, totally, over indulge.

His Very cute set of letters spelling his name from BigJigs.

Ethan and Daddy Azii playing with the new toys.

Almost the end of the day, finally able to start unloading the tonnes of pieces of track and roadway that Nanny, Tops and Uncle Warren got for him.

All in all he had a great Christmas - He still had one breakdown which was based upon a power play so it took us a while to sort that but, over all, he was a really good boy and he Really enjoyed himself.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Well it's Christmas Day - I'm not going to do much of a post, just a few photographs to show you our gorgeous tree and my gorgeous boy and his reactions to the tree! 

We're off opening gifts, eating good food and playing - I hope you're all having a wonderful Christmas!

The year is coming to an end - It was a whole year since I started blogging, yesterday, and I'm so grateful for everyone who reads the things I write, or maybe ramble.

Anyway, on to our tree, and some of our decorations plus the excited face of my beautiful boy when he saw the tree on the first morning it was put up.

This is my Mum's traditional style tree - It's been polluted with disney and various other things so it's not quite as it used to be - Still it's a gorgeous tree. 

This was a gift from some of my very best friends, to Ethan, he loves to read it and say 'Merry Christmas Ethan'...'Thank you!'

I got this for his first Christmas - I love it.

I put the lights on, even though it was morning, so that it would be even more exciting for Ethan.

His happy face.

This is the first year he's fully been able to appreciate it - Last year he was obsessed with the tree but he didn't really understand it.

Merry Christmas, lovely readers.