Thursday 31 December 2015

What I Learned in 2015

The big 2016 is upon us, and tonight's celebration preparations are well under way - it's NYE, and what better way to celebrate than reminiscing over lessons learned in the past 12 months. It's been a crazy one, filled with heartbreak and happiness, and I can't believe how different I am to the girl that began 2015 naively. I did one of these posts last year if you want to check it out here.
1. Nothing calms the soul like a to-do list.
Literally if I'm having a crazy or stressful day, there is no better remedy than taking a few minutes, grabbing a hot chocolate and a notebook, and jotting down everything that needs to be done. The first time I did this I was super anxious about some exams and when I was going to fit time in to study everything, but I wrote it all down, sectioned it into times and days, and voila! A solution was born. Plus, is there a better feeling than looking at your list and being able to check off a few boxes? I don't think so.
2. You don't belong in just one box, and evolving is not a bit deal.
This one is slightly tricky to explain, but I'll attempt anyway. I think sometimes you reach a point where you feel a bit trapped; there's nowhere else to go in the current circle you're running in, and you have to make a change (however big or small) to find some peace of mind. It could be the colour of your hair, the sports you play, your friendships - I think I've learned that its completely fine to change things, as long as you take consideration when doing so. Once you've made the change, there's nothing to say that you can't go back either. We can dabble in so many different things without being restricted to just one or two. Expand your mind, and expand your horizons!
3. Nude lipsticks are
2015 has definitely been the year where I've moved on from dark lips (although I still love them, don't you worry), and onto the nudes. I adore them, and have spent a lot of $$$ this year picking them up wherever I go. My current favourites are the brown nudes from MAC and NYX, particularly 'Spirit' and 'Abu Dhabi'; I just find them perfect because there isn't as much fear of smudging, and they look downplayed and classy with a heavy eye makeup look.
4. Retainers come in a protective case for a reason.
I sat on mine. Explanation not needed. Big orthodontist bills to come.
5. Loving someone means nothing if they treat you badly.
I want to knock myself over the head with an umbrella when I think about some of the bad choices I've made this year. Just because someone says the three little words that every gal dreams of hearing, it doesn't automatically make you some kind of mindless robot that has to obey every wish that they command (you ain't no genie, you're a strong independent woman). Have you ever seen that quote that says "If he's making you cry all the time, you have to question whether you're dating a human or an onion"? If he's an onion - BOLT. If he says he loves you but constantly puts you down, or doesn't treat you the way you deserve to be treated, then it isn't the kind of love you need to be looking for. You deserve a partner that brings you toast when you're hung-over, who takes ridiculous selfies with you because he knows you secretly love it, and who shows you that they love you instead of just saying it like its a chore. Phewf - rant over.
6. Honey mustard dip is really something else.
Last year I harped on about BBQ sauce, now I've discovered honey mustard and my life has changed indefinitely. So nice, I can't even put it into words. Fave combos = honey mustard and pizza crusts, honey mustard and chicken strips, honey mustard and everything ever.
7. Sleep and water are hella important.
I've been taking care of myself so much better in the latter half of 2015; drinking about 2-2.5 litres of water per day has cleared up my skin, helped me to feel much more awake, and just in general resulted in me feeling better about myself. I've also been sleeping a lot more, which has lead to a definite increase in productivity and less-grumpy me (pretty sure all my family are thankful for this change as well.) It's almost time to board the train to adulthood, and since my parents no longer place drinks in front of me and give me a strict bedtime, I have to take control of the wheel and make sure my body is healthy and ready to take on 2016 (are you feeling motivated yet?)
8. Life in polaroids looks so much cuter.
One of my favourite things about my bedroom is the wall of polaroids I've taken this year with my instax mini. There's something so special about the little photos, and knowing that they're completely unique and not just a 100th copy from a digital camera. The apps that let you print polaroids from your phone are great as well - I'm honestly swimming in polaroid photos from the amount I've taken and printed off this year!
What lessons have you learned this year? Happy New Years Eve everyone!
Em xo


Wednesday 30 December 2015

My Most Popular posts of 2015

2015 is nearly over, and I thought it was fitting to look back through a year of posts and see which ones were a hit. It surprised me how few fashion posts were in the top viewed, and its clear that lifestyle is the overwhelming winner of the top ten overall! I'll start with the least popular (of the ten), and work my way down to the most popular, to build up the anticipation and all that jazz.

10. 22 Lessons I Learned Through Blogging
The title for this one is pretty self explanatory - I feel like I've grown, and learnt a heck of a lot since I started blogging, so I decided to list it all in a post, and it went down pretty well! I guess its something we can all relate to; whether its a beauty hack, a bargain online store, a way to alter the quality of our photos - we've all learnt new things, right?

9. My London #Vlogpost
I took a November trip to London with my gal pals to celebrate some 18ths, and it was the cutest/most festive weekend I've ever embarked on. Ice skating, pizza and shopping always equate to a fab time, me thinks.

8. 13 Reasons to Be Excited About Autumn
For the seasonal enthusiasts among us, I grouped together the best parts of 'Fall'. Definitely the best season, and coincidentally, also one of my most popular posts (I think this is actually my post with the highest number of comments!)

7. NWMeet Goodies
In September I went to my first ever blogger event, and brought back a ton of generously given goodies. This post was basically a haul from that event, featuring lots of well known brands and some amazing treats *heart eyes*, including a light up letter 'E', a tarte mascara, and some Smith's Cult nail polishes.

6. NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams 
These babies have fast become my go-to lip product, I absolutely love them and in this post I wrote about first impressions and the three that I purchased. My collection has since grown and I reach for these everyday - if you're thinking about biting the bullet and picking out a few, this post is the one for you.

5. DIY Drinks
Oh my gosh did I enjoy writing and making the drinks for this post. I love experimenting with different flavours within drinks, and in this post I made a Cinnamon Roll White Hot Chocolate and a Caramel Apple Cider Float. These honestly taste out of this world (in particular the hot chocolate) - and revisiting this post has reminded me that I need to make these again!

4. NWMeet Experience
Another event post was popular, this time a general one about the experience as a whole, which was a overwhelmingly positive one. I'm a bit of a scaredy-cat when it comes to meeting new people and going to events without anyone familiar by my side, but I had the best time and made friends with the loveliest people. I'm glad I built up the nerve to go to NWMeet as it has majorly shaped my outlook as a blogger - thanks to Katy and Sam for organising!

3. VS Perfume Crayons Review
This is SUCH a random post to come in third - basically a review of some Victoria's Secret perfume sticks that I bought in Duty Free this Summer and absolutely loved. Despite the expensive prices for VS fragrance (although the crayons were quite cheap), I do genuinely think that they're worth it, since they smell so good.

2. Badlands by Halsey
I'm relieved that my first music review went down well! I was nervous to publish this one, but luckily feedback was great, and I feel encouraged that if I ever find an album that I fall in love with as much as this one, I can take to the interwebs to gush over it again.

1. Blogs to Watch Out For 
Who doesn't love a little bit of blog lovin' (pardon the accidental bloglovin' pun)? I wasn't surprised to see that this was my most popular post, since this is one of my favourite types to read - I love to see bloggers bringing each other up and spreading the compliments all over the show! I'm thinking about doing another one of these soon, and featuring five more blogs that I've been reading a lot.

Such a mixed bag of posts - do you ever look at your most popular posts, and if so, do they shock you?
Cheers to another year of blogging, and may it forever continue!

Em xo

Tuesday 29 December 2015

What I Got For Christmas

I'm finally getting my 'What I Got For Christmas' post up! I was so lucky this year to be given such wonderful gifts, but honestly although I appreciate everything I was gifted, the best part of Christmas this year was being surrounded by my favourite people and feeling genuinely happy. Obviously (sorry to add in the cliché comment) I'm not bragging in the slightest, I just wanted to post it since I've enjoyed reading everyone else's, and also to take the opportunity to use my marble background for the first time.
My main gift from my parents was the outfit which I posted about here, consisting of a pair of black thigh high suede boots, a burgundy corduroy button-up skirt, and a velvet top. I went shopping with my Mum in early December to pick out the outfit, and I'm so excited to wear it again - I love it!

One gift I was so happy to receive from Santa was the 'Boudoir Eyes' eye shadow palette from TooFaced, which has been on my wishlist for a looong time. The shades are lovely, but I'm sure I'll do a post on it in the future once I've got to grips with how to utilise the colour combinations. My sister got me this 'Sugar Cookie' Baby Lips which she had heard me talk about obsessively once I knew that it existed, and in my stocking I got a set of Little Miss Princess magnetic bookmarks.

Harry got me this cute raspberry Frappuccino Starbucks phone case - I put it on my phone straight away! I got a couple of bottles of 'Whipped Clean' by Soap and Glory; my favourite shower cream EVER. I always stock up at Christmas because it's the luxury item I would never buy myself, but appreciate millions when other people buy it for me. Chocolate and sweets are overflowing in my house at the moment following the festive season, but by far the most interesting packet I found in my stocking was this little bag of Skittles - Dessert flavoured! I've never tasted these before, but I'm super excited to try them. 

Coincidentally, I saw these Christmas Popbands in Hallmark a while back and loved them, and without mentioning it to anyone these appeared in my stocking on Christmas day (Santa really must be magic!) They're so cute and I've already worn the red one, but to be honest I enjoy wearing them on my wrist as a bracelet just as much as I enjoy using them as a hair tie. As a surprise gift I received Benetint, a product I've been coveting for a good couple of years now. I didn't know what to expect when I first used it, but its even better than I expected. I was gifted two different Pandora charms for my bracelet; a little Rudolph from my Dad, and a beautiful purple sparkly charm from Harry, which is just the most pretty charm I've ever seen! 

The last of my gifts I wanted to show you are some of my favourites. This black and gold starry notebook is super cute (gotta love a good notebook am I right or am I right), and goes so well in this photo with this Xmas themed body mist from Victoria's Secret Pink. It's a very sweet smell, but I love it and have worn it every day since I got it. Lastly, I got this instax mini frame from Urban Outfitters, another stocking filler that appeared, despite me not mentioning it to anyone but secretly wanting! It fits a polaroid photo inside, and when you shake the frame silver glitter falls over the photo. LOVE.
I'm so grateful for all of these things, which were so well thought about and suit me to a tee.
What did you get for Christmas this year?
Em xo


Sunday 27 December 2015

Boxing Day OOTD

Hi guys!
Every year on boxing day we have a 'second Christmas' with the other side of my family, and I always get an outfit from Santa to wear. I thought I'd do an OOTD, since I've fallen completely in love with this pair of thigh-high black suede boots from Dorothy Perkins.
I remember searching everywhere during the black Friday sales to find a pair for my main Christmas present, but literally every single shop I usually go in was sold out of size 5. Good 'Ol Dottie Ps saved the day.
My Velvet stripe top is from Urban Outfitters (because what is a celebration without a little bit of UO to spice it all up) and my burgundy corduroy button-up skirt is from Forever 21. There was an almost identical one in UO and in Brandy Melville, but this one was a fraction of the price and still looks and feels just as lovely.

I know I'll get a lot of wear out of each of these gifts - thank you 'Santa'! This is a little sneak peek of my What I Got For Christmas Haul, which I'm planning to post tomorrow but it could be the 29th instead if the lighting is too crappy to take good photos tomorrow. I hope you are all still enjoying time with your family!

Em xo

Friday 25 December 2015

A Very Merry Christmas (Vlogpost #3)

MERRY CHRISTMAS! I hope you've had a wonderfully sparkly day, that all your festive wishes came true, and that you've spent a heck of a lot of time in great company with your nearest and dearest. I've had such a lovely day, possibly one of the nicest Christmases I've had in years - I'm so thankful for all the effort my Mum puts in to the festive season, it's only this year that I've even slightly been able to appreciate the amount of work that goes into it.
I spent the morning dining on tree-shaped marmite crumpets and testing out new makeup, followed by dinner with my closest family and a winter walk which was only made more hilarious by the ridiculous weather and the amount of times my umbrella bent out of shape. I got so many goodies, so I think I'll do a 'what I got for Christmas' post in a few days time, after my 'second' Christmas with other family on the 27th (I don't need to put the cliché bragging disclaimer in do I? You know I wouldn't do that lads.)
I apologise for some of the horrific lighting, but one doesn't like to spend too much time getting good lighting on the best day of the year. I was planning on getting this post up tomorrow, but since I'm sat here anyway scoffing a turkey and stuffing sandwich and listening to Chatty Man, I might as well just do it now. What did you spend the festive day doing?


You guys are so kind, and so I hope you've been treated as well as you deserve this season - let the Christmas festivities continue all week long (even though I'm in work tomorrow, snore!)
Em xo

Wednesday 23 December 2015

Christmas Traditions

Hi Guys! Ever since I first thought about incorporating Christmas into my December blogging, I knew I wanted to do a post on traditions. It provides endless fascination for me to listen to tales of everyone else's 'typical' Christmas day, and I treasure my own little routine so close to my heart. I'm truly a festive person in the most over the top sense of the word, in some ways I feel as if I spend all year counting down until this special season, my most favourite of them all. I have vivid year 7 memories of pestering my best friends to recount their traditions to me on the way to school in the middle of July - I'm that girl.

For me, Christmas is getting up at 3am and creeping into my sisters bedroom, stocking in hand. With sleepy smiles and excitement we sort through the little collection of hair ties and chocolate, comparing with each other and sometimes having a little snooze before I sneak back into my own room, set the stocking exactly where it was and fall asleep until morning (when we would tactfully pretend we hadn't seen the same hair ties and chocolate just five hours before in the middle of the night.) It's about waiting for Dad to make the mugs of tea before we can enter the living room and see what 'Santa' left us, and then having a competition to see who can drag their present-opening out the longest. The afternoon food-snooze following the Christmas dinner, giggling at the sounds of our grandparents snoring, and watching How to Train Your Dragon and The Polar Express before making a quick turkey sandwich and then getting back to board games and general festive entertainment.

It's odd for me to think that next year I won't have the exact same traditions - a lot of them will be the same, but the majority of advent will be spent somewhere entirely new, with people I haven't even met yet. I know that I'll still be able to bake gingerbread and make Christmas cocktails, but it will be within a totally new crowd - which both scares and excites me a lot. It's even scarier to think that years into the future I'll most likely be hosting a Christmas event of my own (*prays that my husband can cook because I can't even boil an egg*).

I'm not even entirely sure what the point of this post was, but I guess what I want to know is; what are your Christmas traditions? The whacky and the wonderful - I'd truly love to know! Also, how do you feel about evolving traditions? For me, I've always been an apprehensive person about any kind of change; in my mind Christmas exists in this magical, untouchable bubble. When I look back at this post this time next year, what will have changed, and how will I be different (shall we play a game of spot the potential Philosophy student?) It's all scary and its all exciting, but it's still always comforting to know that wherever you end up, and whoever you are or are not with at the time, you can come home at Christmas and be secure in the knowledge that the things about Christmas that really matter will always be there.


Em xo


Sunday 20 December 2015

Make a Statement This Christmas!

*Bursts with excitement* GUYS. It's only FIVE sleeps until Christmas hits! I'm so excited and I'm actually prepared for once; cookies have been baked, presents are wrapped and underneath the tree, and Xmas jumpers have been worn. This last few nights are the best of the year, so full of anticipation and festivity - I decided to show you my favourite ways and products that I use to make a statement in the run up to the big day and right up to New Years. Every year since I turned 13 it has been about the red lip, partly because of my Taylor Swift obsession, but mostly because nothing says it's Christmas (and "look how bright my teeth are?!") like a lovely red lipstick.

2015 has also been the year where I've come into my own jewellery-wise. I've experimented with so much dazzle and shine and have finally cut down my collection to the prettiest pieces that sparkle up an outfit and make your confidence last all night (why have I turned into a advertising voice all of a sudden?)

The Red Lip:
Although my all time favourite lipsticks come in the form of nudes, I do have a soft spot for the reds and I've spent a lot of $$$ over the years trying to find my favourites. I'm not really a fan of orangey reds since they make my teeth look a little yellow, so I'm all about the blue and purple tones.
  • Dragon Girl by Nars. This is my go-to red lip and I am completely in love with it. The crayon shape of the product makes it so easy to apply without looking like MirandaSings, and the blue tone to it makes my teeth look so white, which is always a bonus. It's the priciest out of the 5 though, so beware!
  • Wine by Jack Wills. Oh gosh I must have talked about this on the blog a zillion times. I picked this up during the craze of having the trendiest bags (did your school ever have this? You'd literally go into a 'posh' shop like Jack Wills and buy the cheapest thing possible just to have the bag - fanciest PE kit ever all I'm sayin.) for literally £2 and it is here to stay. It's more of a berry red, the exact colour of a deep red wine, and it is the most moisturising lipstick I've ever come across.
  • 107 by Kate Moss, the cliché blogger lipstick. Ever since it became a Zoella staple the sales of this lipstick have skyrocketed, and I totally understand the craze! Its pretty much your standard dark red, but the staying power is incredible and for £5.49 its definitely worth a cheeky purchase.
  • Hot Passion by Covergirl. I purchased this when I went to LA, and it is AMAZING! It's the only fiery red in my collection, and despite the fact that it isn't a beloved blue tone, it still has a firm place in my make-up drawer. It isn't drying at all and lasts throughout the night - win win!
  • Alarm by Rimmel - this is admittedly my least favourite of the five, but that isn't to say that I'm not a fan. It's a dark red, my favourite kind, and is very moisturising, but it does transfer easily to glasses (and to lips if you happen to find yourself under the mistletoe!) and smudges a bit.

Ah, the statement necklaces in all their glory. I know what you're thinking if you've been a reader for a while... this is where she waffles on and on about CloCloLondon. You know what? You hit that prediction spot on! My favourite statement pieces from their collection is the violet-blue beauty in the top right corner, perfect with a LBD. I'm also a huge fan of the black and gold chunky necklace that featured in my favourites a few weeks ago. The other pieces I always go back to is this simple gold necklace from Primark that honestly, I would say I've worn 100+ times (it goes with everything, literally every outfit), and this delicate silver beaded piece from Accessorise, which is so beautiful and one that I always return to, to spice up a cami or dress.
What is your favourite way to make a statement? 
Stay beautiful!
Em xo

Wednesday 16 December 2015

Cosy Winter Lookbook

The fashion aspect of my blog is kicking back into action with my cosy winter lookbook. Lately, I've been wearing a lot of clothing items that feel, well - kind of like I've got a blanket on me (I know I know, goals. Who doesn't want to feel like they're wearing a blanket?!) I chose three of my favourite comfy outfits to show you, one for every sort of festive occasion!
The Cosy Festive Lunch Date Outfit
Bit of a mouthful really, the name might need some tweaking. I've worn this outfit a few times to sixth form or out to lunch with my friends; by far my favourite thing about it is the caramel coloured blanket cardigan from Forever 21, which was a bargain at £9 and keeps me toasty all day long. My Black layered cami is from New Look, the black pants are from Peacocks, and my gorgeous brown boots are from last years Next boxing day sale. To accessorize I picked a gold, chunky statement necklace from Primark, and Revlon's lipstick in 'Black Cherry'.



The Cosy Christmas Day Outfit
I don't know what your personal Christmas day traditions are, but for me the big day is such a comfortable one, and the fancy outfits come on Boxing Day, when I have my second Christmas with another part of the family. I like to stay simple on Christmas, because when you're lounging around eating chocolate and playing board games with your family, you don't need stilettos or diamond earrings. My sweatshirt is from InTheStyle, and I absolutely love it. It's by far my favourite outfit of the three, since the sweatshirt keeps me super warm, and always gets a few giggles of acknowledgement. You could wear this with anything; jeans, leggings, pants, it doesn't matter (as the jumper is the main feature.) My lipstick in this OOTD is 'Dragon Girl' from Nars - which also happens to be one of Taylor Swift's favourite red lipsticks! 
To finish off the look I went for my Candy Cane lime green hair bow from Silly Old Sea Dog, a purchase from the Clothes Show. Catch the rest of my haul from the show here. It really ties the outfit together, and makes it perfect for a festive day with family. 
Winter Walk Outfit
Ah, we've reached the final outfit it seems. I love the simplicity of this one, and especially the black scarf from Forever 21, which is hella soft and snuggly. I'm also wearing some lilac diamanté flower earrings from Forever 21, a simple heather grey Zara T-Shirt jumper, my black velvet damask pants (again from Forever 21), and my black booties from Peacocks, which have a slight heel to give my short legs some boost. It's a comfy and warm outfit, ideal for a winter walk when paired with a thick coat. This is such an effortless and chic combination, and it's one of those that you find yourself repeating over and over again, just so you can burrow your face in the scarf. 

Which was your favourite cosy winter outfit? Mine is probably No.2, but I've been wearing them all non-stop throughout Winter. How do you keep your outfits warm and comfortable?
Stay beautiful!
Em xoxo


Sunday 13 December 2015

Clothes Show Haul and New Make Up Bits

Hi guys! I promised to show you my Clothes Show haul, but it was kind of small, so I've combined it with some other items I've picked up in the last week or so. I've been so MIA in the bloggersphere this week - apologies! I finish school on the 18th, and then I'll have SO much more time to spend blogging.
The first thing I bought from the show was this adorable little (I say little, its actually pretty huge) hair bow from 'Silly Old Sea Dog', which is a pastel lime green with cute peppermint swirls and candy canes on; the festiveness drew me in and I could not resist. This looks so nice worn with a ponytail, and it'll feature in my cosy winter lookbook whenever I finally find time to get myself together and put effort into an outfit post.

I also picked up a goody bag from the Barry M stand, which cost £10 and contains £60 worth of goodies! It's mainly full of nail products, with a few eyeshadows and lip products thrown in, and since my little sister runs a small-scale nail business I thought I'd gift this to her as part of her Christmas present. *Prays that she doesn't start reading my blog before Christmas otherwise the cats out of the bag*

I knew that NYX would be there even before I turned in my ticket, so I had a list of a couple of things I wanted to find. The queue was SO LONG, but once we finally made it I bought two more of the Soft Matte Lip Creams (view my review here), in the shades 'Stockholm', a pinky nude, and 'Abu Dhabi', a darker brown nude than London, which was already in my collection. As a bit of an impulse buy I also tried one of their Chunky Dunk hydrating lip crayons in the colour 'Caramel Martini', a dark brown shade. I absolutely adore this product, the formula reminds me of the Clinique Chubby Stick that I cherished for so long and then couldn't afford to repurchase.
As part of my secret Santa present from a friend, I got a No7 eyeshadow single in a metallic light brown colour, which is so so pretty on its own, or as a base. I wore this last night mixed with shadows from the Naked palette, and it didn't let me down.
For so long I've been a diehard fan of the Maybelline Master Precise eyeliner, but lately I've come to the conclusion that it just dries out way too quickly - I don't wear eyeliner all the time, but I've still gone through four in the last six months! This time I picked up the 'Liner Feutre' from Bourjois, and it is incredible. It's a soft felt tip liner that just glides on your eyelid and stays put all night - and for £6.99 I was honestly so impressed. I have this thing with eyeliners where I either love them or hate them (a bit of a marmite situation), and this one sits firmly on the side of love.
On the opposite side to love is this pair of Luscious Lashes by Collection. Back when I first started experimenting with make up I loved Collection concealers, so when I made a dash to the local pharmacy to see what Falsies were on offer and these were the only pair, I decided to give them a go. Literally rubbish. I'm sorry for the harsh-ness, but I couldn't wear these! They would not bend to my eyelid, and looked cheap and plastic-y. Eeek.
Well it kind of feels like I ended that one on a negative note, quickly fill your minds with Christmas spirit! I hope you're having a great week, and are enjoying the festive season as much as I am.
What have you picked up recently, or are you on a buying ban until you know what gifts you've received?
Em xo


Wednesday 9 December 2015

The Clothes Show

Hi guys!
This weekend I travelled down to Birmingham for The Clothes Show, and I really didn't know what to expect! I'm hugely passionate about fashion, but you know what? I did not expect to love the fashion show as much as I did. The bulk of the show consisted of costumes and dance integrated into 6 themes; Dark, Underwater, Earth, Red, Future and Techno (not sure of the last one, it was definitely something like that though.) 

My personal favourite was Underwater (do you ever watch people dance and wish that you're parents had stuck you in dance lessons from the earliest age possible?), but all of the outfits were so beautiful and creative. The whole production of the show was huge, and I found myself blinking back into reality at the end and wondering where the time had gone. It's super difficult to get good photos considering I was so far back, but I think you'll get the general gist from these four! I was going to do a Vlogpost centred around the whole adventure, but instead I thought I'd talk about the actual main event in this post, and then do a haul for my next post with everything that I picked up.


Honestly, the day was one of the best I've had in a while (despite our train being delayed and then missing our connecting train, ew ew ew). Thankyou so much to GoodResultsPR for inviting me and my friend Hannah to the event, we had a blast and spent a ton of $$$ at the beauty and fashion stands. We also had access to the Blogger's Bar, which was filled with lovely people and the cutest snacks and drinks; the 'beauty juice' oh my goodness yes yes yes. It's kind of crazy to me that I would get invited anywhere because of my blog, but I'm so happy that I did!
Also - thanks to anyone that entered my Christmas giveaway - it ended on Sunday and I've emailed the winner and wrapped the gifts ready to send off. Congrats to Kayleigh for winning :)
Keep checking back for my haul in the next few days (it will most likely go up on Sunday) - did any of you go to the Clothes Show? Or have you been in previous years?
I hope you're having a great week and are feeling generally positive, I'm working hard for my end of term assessments and spent this whole afternoon studying Chemistry whilst listening to Smooth Xmas radio station, which has become my very best friend these last few days.
Em xoxo

Sunday 6 December 2015

Chocolate Lace Sandwich Cookies

19 sleeps until the big day (is my overly-festive-ness annoying you yet?) For me, one of the parts of Christmas that I most look forward to is the food, the delicious roasts and all their accompaniments, and the sweet treats and cakes. Often when I go to a winter party all of the desserts are cinnamon-y and filled with marzipan and dried fruit - which personally I adore, but you know what? Some people don't! If you're looking for a treat to serve up at your party (or all year round) fit for your friends who like to stick to what they know, without all the spices, then you're going to love my Chocolate Lace Sandwich Cookies.

Ingredients (to make 9 cookie sandwiches):
  • 75g spreadable butter
  • 75g porridge oats
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • Chocolate of some kind (I chose chocolate chunks to begin with, proceeded to burn it all to a crisp, and then resorted to the classic Dairy Milk)
  • 1/2 tablespoon of syrup - completely optional
1. Weigh out all the ingredients and keep them in separate bowls. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius on a fan oven setting - not sure what this equates to on any other settings, but I'm sure trusty Google could lend us a hand there.
2. Line four trays with baking parchment; if you only have two trays its fine, you'll just have to put them on rotation as you're baking (only two will fit into the oven at once anyway.)
3. Melt the butter on a low heat, and stir in the oats. Once the oats have been added, pop in the sugar and stir. Leave for three minutes to make sure that the butter has all been soaked up by the dry ingredients. Whilst you're waiting for that, crack the egg into a bowl and beat with a fork until the white and the yolk are completely mixed.
4. Add in the egg and the other dry ingredients (except the chocolate) and stir until all of them are combined in the mixture. At this point, you can put in the syrup if you want the biscuits to be extra sweet - I would if I were you!
5. You can make four biscuits to a tray, so place a heaped teaspoon on the parchment four times to create four blobs. Bake in the oven for 9 minutes, but keep an eye on them in case the last minute tips them over the edge into burnt town.
6. When the timer goes off place the parchment on a cooling rack, and leave for at least five minutes before you try to peel the biscuits off. Warning, if you peel them straight away it'll lead to disaster, the biscuits are incredibly thin to create the 'lace' effect.
7. Once they're cooled, melt the chocolate and create a sandwich with two of the biscuits, using the chocolate as the glue to stick them together. Drizzle some extra over the top to make them extra indulgent.
Voila - Serve up and enjoy. I've eaten about five already and they've passed the Grandparents test as well!

What's your favourite sweet treat?
Em xo

Wednesday 2 December 2015

How to Be More Productive

It's no secret to my friends and family that my last school year was a bit of a flop. I wasn't as productive as I normally am, I got distracted by this little thing called boys (you may know of them), and for a collection of reasons when I opened my envelope on results day I wasn't a happy bunny. Luckily it hasn't prevented me getting the Uni offers that I wished for, and I get a chance at A2 level to bring up my final grades and turn it all around. I don't want to be all cringey and "new year new me", but this school year I feel like I've made a much more promising start and I've finally found the balance between schoolwork, blogging, a relationship, and a social life. I thought I'd share some of my trusty tips to help you, if like me, you easily get distracted from working!

  • At the start of the day, or the night before, make a to do list - I literally live by these things. SO HANDY. I usually use a special notebook or my whiteboard to make a checklist of everything I need to do the next day; I even include the tiny things like 'put clothes away', since putting a nice little tick on my list puts me in a positive and more productive frame of mind.

  • Drink lots of water - this is just a health thing to be honest, but you never know, being more hydrated could possibly improve productivity. I've been drinking about 2 litres of water a day and not only is my skin better, but I feel more awake and ready to tackle a stack of Chemistry equations (kidding, I'm never ready to take on those monstrosities - if you are then you win at life.)

  • Set a goal - if you are still in education like me, set a realistic goal for the end of the academic year. For me, this is to get the grades I need to pass the entry requirements for my top choice university, but it could be anything! Having a light at the end of the tunnel has motivated me endless amounts, and I couldn't recommend it enough.

  • Have early nights - I'm not kidding you, last year my usual bedtime was 2-3am, and I have no idea how I kept it up without transforming into a zombie. Trust me, the Youtube videos aren't going anywhere and the only way to feel good in the morning, is to switch off the light and get some Zs.

  • Section off time for fun - You have to start separating work time from fun time - mixing them is a recipe for disaster! Personally, I keep one weeknight, Friday night, and Saturday night free from school work and blogging. That gives me two nights to see Harry, one night to see my friends, and if I'm up to date (which thankfully this year I usually am) a good proportion of Sunday afternoon to chill. It's taken me a long flipping time to find a balance that is effective for me, but now that I've found it I'm so much happier. And remember the golden rule: Don't Skype your boyfriend/best friend whilst you're working.

  • Find a work space that you love - Sitting on my bed with a textbook propped up on my legs not only turns my handwriting into a lopsided scrawl, but it makes me feel lethargic and generally a little bit crapola. Moving away from the comfort and finding an ideal workspace is so simple, but a million times more effective than working in your usual leisure space (or worst of all, where you sleep. No one wants to take work to bed with them!) When we got our kitchen fitted I realised that the breakfast bar with the bright lighting was the exact workspace I had in mind, and that's where I've stayed ever since.
I think that's pretty much it for advice on the work front, but honestly at the end of the day no matter how many blog posts you read/ignore, its down to you to stay positive and productive. It's worth it in the long run - or so I'm hoping!

Do you agree with any of these tips, or have any extras of your own? If so please share, we're all still learning how to stay away from the Youtube spiral and pick up a pen.

Stay beautiful!
Em xo

Sunday 29 November 2015

The 25 Best Things About the Festive Season

By the time this goes up it'll be the 29th - which means December is nearly upon us! I'm particularly infatuated by list posts at the moment, so I thought I'd try another one and bring you the 25 best things about the festive season. We all (well, a good proportion of us) love it, so why not let the excitement build by listing all of the reasons to dance around the living room in your jammies - because whether we like it or not, Christmas is well and truly on its way!

  1. The chocolate aisle at Tesco. The tubes of Rolos, Smarties and Haribo created to fill stockings with (or lets face it, buy in bulk and eat before, after, and during the big day.)
  2. Christmas jumper day. I'm pretty sure its the 17th this year, but whatever day it is, I'm ready for it. Ready to be decked out in my gingerbread man jumper, with some Christmas tree earrings to spice it up.
  3. Micheal Buble; Nuff said.
  4. Tis the season to be sparkly. Sparkles are my favourite thing, whether its a gold eyeshadow, some tinsel from the tree, or edible glitter from some festive cupcakes.
  5. The 'Elf Yourself' app. Oh my days it is hilarious - and its free!
  6. New pyjamas on Christmas Eve, the fleecier and more ridiculous the better. Nothing feels nicer than snuggling on the sofa in your brand new pjs, waiting until a sensible hour to go to bed and let Santa come.
  7. Crisp winter mornings, and wrapping up tight in a cosy snood to brace the chilly weather.
  8. Peppermint in everything, am I right or am I right? Peppermint mochas, hot chocolates, candles - the possibilities are endless.
  9. Sneaking my kitty cat a slice of turkey underneath the table at dinner time. And hearing his happy little mew when I do.
  10. Advent calendars! This year I've got Mars and Benefit. I know the jury is out on beauty advent calendars and whether they're worth the cash, but I honestly think it's so exciting to get a new beauty treat every morning.
  11. All of the family coming together from wherever they happen to be, and just enjoying each others company. Nothing brings everyone together like the festive season, and as a family gal, it makes me feel all fuzzy to see all my favourite people in the same place at once.
  12. Mashed potatoes, gravy and stuffing.
  13. Secret Santa - but does it really ever stay secret?
  14. My Mum's contribution to this list: bowls of chocolates and nuts on the living room table. I have to admit, when the dish of quality streets gets introduced, my heart does a happy flutter.
  15. Getting slightly tipsy from too many Snowball cocktails (advocaat and lemonade). They're so good. I'm literally getting excited about these cocktails whilst writing this, they're that good.
  16. Driving past the homes of the over-achievers, who've gone the whole hog and covered every spare inch of space with fairy lights and inflatable Santas, just so we'll go past and be all "Ooooo" "aaaaaah".
  17. Being single and laughing at everyone else stressing over price limits and what shade of blue a mens T-shirt looks better in. Is Brian a Hollister kind of guy? Is Steve an Xbox or Ps4 dude? Who the heck knows.
  18. Alternatively, being in a relationship and knowing exactly who you'll pick to share a Starbucks 2for1 deal with.
  19. Christmas cards with punny greetings, because they'll never ever get old.
  20. Waking up at 7am and finding a stocking filled with goodies next to your door (this is interchangeable with whatever your traditions are). We can pretend we're selfless and don't care about the gifts, but we all know that a new eye palette or lipstick under the tree gets us giddy!
  21. Getting old home movies out and watching the tales of Christmas past. I do this every year with my sister, and laugh at our haircuts and how times have changed.
  22. The after-dinner lull in energy, when everybody is too full to do anything but slob out on the couch, recovering from a food coma and falling asleep to the sounds of a Disney film.
  23. Mugs and mugs of hot chocolate bliss. Life hack: dip a candy cane into your hot drink and let it melt *heart emoji*
  24. Reading all the festive blog posts and sharing excitement with bloggers on Twitter during chats. Exchanging wishlists, going to events - all of the general blogger buzz!
  25. Feeling thankful for every smidge of festive (and non festive) happiness.
What's your favourite thing about the festive period? Make sure to enter my Christmas giveaway here!
Emily xoxo

Wednesday 25 November 2015

November Favourites

I've been trying to think of a sassy way to start this post, but is there actually a sassy way to introduce a favourites? Probably not. Honestly, I just centred this whole post around the fact that I have a new MAC lipstick - because we all know that's one of the best things to take place in a beauty bloggers everyday life. I've also trialled a couple of other new-ish products in the last month, and most of them (aside from a few absolute failures) turned out great, so I thought you'd like to hear about them!

Picture this. It's so cold outside that your breath turns to clouds of ice - but inside the house you're all snugged up under a fluffy blanket, in your penguin onesie with the biggest mug of hot chocolate/gingerbread green tea (depending on how luxurious the occasion is), and a festive movie. Isn't that just the idyllic winter situation? Forget meditations about secluded beaches on tropic islands - whack on a Christmas film and you're automatically taken to a happy place. I come from a long line of festive family members, so it's in my blood to have been watching these since October 1st, but this month has been even better because everyone else has been watching them too! My favourites are Love Actually, Nativity, and Home Alone, but I'm always on the lookout for more, so be sure to comment any suggestions. 

Now we get to the lipstick of my dreams - Whirl by MAC. This has been sold out online for a seriously long while, so when I spotted in it the MAC store in Carnaby I knew I had to get it! I write so many blog posts about nude lip colours and my everlasting love for them, and this one is no exception. The formula isn't drying at all, and its this beautiful terracotta nude (it's a close second to Spirit, but I don't think any colour could beat that so its all forgiven). I also picked up a Stila eyeshadow in the shade 'Blue Sapphire', a pretty sparkly blue that's perfect for winter, especially with a silvery lipgloss. Although I've only worn it twice, I know I'll get a heck of a lot of use out of it in December. 

For many years I've been a firm fan of Taylor Swift fragrances, but in the last few months I've started to branch out and try some other brands. Victoria's Secret 'Victoria' is literally the only floral perfume I've ever come across that I've loved, with notes of red berries, crème brulee and rose - its a shame I could only afford the smallest bottle! I've put this on my 18th wishlist for next year, so hopefully this will become my signature scent. I've been using this Skin Purifying Masque from ARK which I got from #NWMeet, and so far its doing the trick because my mega (and I'm talking seriously mega) breakout of late has cleared up! Definitely recommend, since the only thing changed about my skin routine is this mask, and I've seen major positive changes in my skin.
The last thing I wanted to mention is this black and gold statement necklace from CloClo London (I know I know, I need to shut up about this brand). I placed a huge order back in October with about 8 pieces of jewellery, for various gifts and some treats for myself. The jewellery from this brand is so lovely, and such good quality, and this piece is so versatile that I've been able to pair it with about five different outfits so far - and its only been a month!
I hope you've been having a great week, have you entered my giveaway yet? If you haven't seen it, click here to see the post and find out how to win gifts from the like of Stila, Lush and NYX.
What have you been loving recently?
Em xo


Sunday 22 November 2015

Christmas Goodies Giveaway

*Micheal Buble Christmas music plays*
Hi guys,
I hope everyone is enjoying their day, wherever you are and whatever you're doing!
I'm so excited to show you my Christmas giveaway, to say Thank you for all the support I've had with my blog lately, and spread a little bit of festive joy. This time of year is my absolute favourite, and giving and choosing gifts is definitely up there with my favourite Christmas accompaniments.
I know that most people couldn't enter my ClothesShow giveaway since it was quite specific (Congrats Sarah for winning!), but this one is open to anyone in the UK! I've had to put up this post early so that the giveaway will be over in time for me to send out the gift.
The prize includes:
  • Two Maybelline Color Tattoos (Metallic Pomegranate and Eternal Gold)
  • NYX Butter Gloss in 'Tiramisu'
  • Nip and Fab Exfoliating Facial Pads
  • Lush Snow Fairy (100g)
  • Stila Magnificent Metals Lipgloss in 'Moonstone'
  • Statement Necklace from Clo Clo London

I wanted there to be something for everyone, so I tried my best to in cooperate fashion, beauty and skincare. I'm honestly never going to stop raving about CloClo jewellery, so I'm glad I got to include one of my favourite pieces from their collection. Maybelline Color Tattoos have always been a staple for me, so I bought two festive colours to spice up eye makeup during this time of year, and the Stila lipgloss is literally SO pretty (I ended up getting one for me and one for my sister as well). 

If you want to enter this giveaway, then these are the terms and conditions:
  • You have to follow the instructions on my Rafflecopter, and tweet the link once you've entered. (Following my twitter entitles you to an extra entry, but it isn't mandatory since you might not want my constant ramblings about cats and make up on your feeds.)
  • You have to be following my Bloglovin (Link at the top of my blog)!
  • I'm going to make sure everything is packaged safely, but I won't be able to cover the cost or replace any damaged items, since nothing from this giveaway is sponsored.
  • The giveaway runs from 22nd of November to 6th of December. When the giveaway is over I'll check the winner has followed the terms and then give them 48 hours to respond to a message. (If you don't respond I'll have to choose again, since I want the Christmas gift to be received, obviously, by Christmas.)
  • I'll send out the prize within a week of receiving the address.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck with the giveaway!
Emily xo

Wednesday 18 November 2015

London Trip (Vlogpost #2)

Hey guys! I thought I'd share some of the photos from my recent trip to London with some of my closest friends to celebrate some 18ths. We travelled on the Saturday and spent the day shopping and ice skating - if you're near London and haven't been to the Swarovski skating rink outside the Natural History Museum then please consider going, its beautiful and so festive. I've got to be honest and say that I mostly clung to the sides of the rink, but it was a lovely winter evening and soaking up the atmosphere made the experience well worth the expense.


On Sunday we went to Camden and ate in an American diner for breakfast (red velvet pancakes with frosting and syrup anyone?) I've never visited Camden before but I LOVED it - so much creativity and character in one place, its mind boggling! I didn't take too many photos because I was just enjoying the weekend; its crazy to me that all my friends are turning 18 one by one. I'm sure it was just yesterday we started high school together! 

How was your weekend?
Emily xo
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