Lifestyle | 2018, my year in review

This is my year in review, enjoy!

Two blogposts in two days?! someone's clearly got a bit of time on their hands! Can we believe that today is the final day of 2018? It seems like it was just yesterday that we were seeing out 2017, so the fact we're going to soon be welcoming in 2019 just sounds crazy. This last year has been a complete whirlwind. It's been full of so many ups, but equally many downs. So let's begin at the start... 

January was the month that saw me doing a lot, and I mean a lot of working. At the end of last year I reluctantly found myself working as a temp at Next during the Christmas period. It was one of the most trying jobs I have personally done and to be honest I managed to get myself into a place where I didn't think I would be able to get out of. You see, the one thing they don't tell you once you've graduated university is that although you've worked hard for 4 years, you're no more likely to find yourself a job. I pushed through though, and although January was a tough month for me mental health wise I came out on the other side.

February, aka my birthday month. I started off the month still working at Next as my contract was extended due to me being a 'good worker'. I knew that this wasn't the place where I would want to be forever, but for the time being I had accepted the fact it brought in a steady pay (as small as it may be) whilst I was looking. When looking back, February was a time where I began lots of small steps in the right direction although at the time it seemed like 5 steps forward and 4 steps back. My parents also went away on their first holiday since my brother and I on their own, and although I found it tough to be without them for a short period of time, I coped thanks to my lovely brother and his caring nature! On the 24th I turned 23 and celebrated with a trip to The Greatest Showman sing along, birthday breakfast at the Brentwood Kitchen and a indian takeaway with family - Perfect! 

In March things truly started to take a turn for me. After months of working at a place that was draining me of happiness, I interviewed and was hired to work as a 6 month intern at a busy press office for a high street fashion company that I know many people know and love (For personal reason's I'm not going to mention this brands name). March was also the month my little fur babies experienced snow for the first time - I was certainly a proud mamma when they stepped outside! At the end of the month I began my new job, and although I found it tricky I was pleased to finally be making a move into the right direction. 

April, a month of happiness, sadness and a little bit of everything in-between. Although I was trying to begin my new job with a happy mind, my anxiety and mental health really took a hit. Looking back I should have taken better care of myself, but the mixture of a fresh start and still wanting things to be the same caused me a lot of stress. At the start of April, my little Luna also fell ill and had an overnight rushed visit to intensive care following a seizure. I will never be able to thank the lovely veterinarian nurse enough for having the confidence that Luna was ok following on from a horrible visit to a local vet who dosed her up with higher amounts of medication than a cat her size could handle. But alas, she arrived home and fingers crossed has been alright since. The month ended on a positive though. Daniel, Emma (my brother's girlfriend and ultimate babe) and I booked a trip to Disneyland Paris! 

May 2018 can officially be known as the month everything seemed to happen. At the start of the month we celebrated my grandfathers 80th birthday with a cute little surprise garden party. I was able to add my little creative flair and handmade all of the invitations and it was a lovely summery evening. The following weekend my mum, dad and I made our way down to the Warner Brother's studio where we experienced the Harry Potter Studios tour! If you're a fan of Harry Potter like we are, then you really need to plan a visit. Then I was finally welcomed home with my first trip away without parents to Disneyland Paris. The trip to Disney was everything I could ever have imagined it to be and I enjoyed every single second. If there's one thing I am the most proud of this year, going away to Disneyland would be it. It may seem small to some, but to me it was everything. I loved spending the QT time with my Brother and Emma, and we made so many memories that I know will stick with me forever - now if only we could hurry up and book our 2019 trip! 

June seemed to fly by! I was in the midway point with my internship, and although I was enjoying it I still felt like an outcast. This feeling of being different is definitely something I am trying to work on in 2019! The main highlight this month was the March for Men at the Olympic Park. This is the second year that my family have taken part and it was certainly enjoyable. My grandfather was sadly diagnosed with prostate cancer 5 years ago, and although we're able to say that he responded successfully to the treatment and is much better, there's a lot of families who can't say the same. He has wanted to do the walk to pay his respects to those fighting for a cure, so we're proud as a family to support him. 

July marked the start of the summer season, and boy what a summer season it was! There was many a day that I moaned about the underground being too hot! Not much happened this month except from being given more opportunity and more projects at work. Oh and I grew a sunflower plant that was 3X my height! 

Nothing say's summer quite like a summer holiday, and August was the month that our adventure to Lake Como took place. We were staying in a town called Cadenabbia where we were able to make our way across to Bellagio and Como if we wanted. The weather was hot, the food was good and the lake was beautiful. We had such a lovely trip despite my anxiety deciding to crop up every now and again to remind me it's still there! I've got some beautiful images from this trip that I had planned to share, before life got busy and this blog took a back seat! The end of August life took a sudden turn for the worst. Over bank holiday weekend my gorgeous Luna went missing. She was away for 3 nights and honestly it was the worst time ever. There were many moments that I thought I would never see her again which was horrendous. Late Monday evening I heard a faint 'meow' downstairs and was so pleased to see her little face. Our only guess is that she must have got trapped over the bank holiday weekend and someone who went away arrived home to let her out. I will never forget it! 

September started more positively than August ended with a trip to Walton on Naze with the family. We had hired out the cutest little beach hut for the day with no expectations other than to sit, relax and eat fish and chips. The hut was perfect and we all had such an incredible time together. It was in September that my dad and I also took a trip to our local Everyman cinema where we experienced the wonder it was to watch a film with waiter service. I don't think I can visit a normal cinema again! Work wise things began to look up and instead of my contract ending, I was given a promotion to 1 year FTC at the same company with the title 'Womenswear Press Assistant'. I am so proud of everything I managed to achieve over the 6 months I had already worked so was pleased to have this recognised. 

October will now be known as the month I dressed Luna up as Bat Cat. Honestly, she's just too cute. (Side note: I did dress Alice up as a pumpkin, however she's much more nervous than Luna so didn't feel fair to keep it on her for a photo) October was also the month my family took a trip to Centre Parcs, a place that I haven't been too since I was little. We laughed, ate, swam and bowled to our hearts content. I really enjoyed riding a bike again, and can't wait to go back again in 2019 - hopefully?!

November seems to have been one of those months where life seemed to flash before my eyes. Not much happened of note except from the usual work, eat, sleep routine. My mum and I did visit Stylist live for the 3rd year running and had such a lovely day together! 

And here we are now, back at December  wondering where the year has gone. This month, like most December's, has been full of Christmas Shopping, my first work party and lots and lots of eating! I'm ending the year in a much better way to when I started but feel like I've got quite a way to go before I'm back to feeling like myself again. Let's hope I can turn things around by the time I am writing my next year in review post! 

Happy New Year! 

Until next time,

Beauty || Kylie Cosmetics Chill Baby Palette Review

I think the last time I sat down to write a blogpost was over two months ago! The phrase 'Life gets in the way' can certainly apply to my world recently. But here I am, feeling refreshed after Christmas with the 2019 goal to restart and keep up with my blog!

I've been really excited to share this blogpost, so it's honestly a wonder that I haven't set 'publish' on it sooner! Ever since Kylie Cosmetics announced the launch of eyeshadow palettes to her makeup line, I knew it was a product that I wanted to try for myself. Now that I'm in a better position financially, full time work has some advantages!, I thought it was a good time to try and get hold of a palette for myself. The 2018 holiday collection was full of various products ranging from eyeshadow, lipstick sets, highlighters and pressed powders all wrapped up in blue metallic snowflake packaging. I decided to go for the Chill Baby palette and eagerly awaited my parcel to arrive. After about a month, honestly I don't understand why it takes so long and so much extra money to get hold of, the palette arrived in my hands and my experimenting began!

First of all the palette itself, like most Kylie Cosmetic products, is SO pretty! I wouldn't say the layout/design is completely unique in that it looks very similar to ABH products I have seen online, but the colours certainly are. Chill Baby comes with 14 gorgeous shades that make up the perfect holiday/winter palette. There are 7 matte and 7 shimmers that all work together beautifully to create eye looks. Some of my favourite shades have to be 'Just Chill', 'Pray For Snow', 'Home Alone', 'Wrap It Up' and 'Plum Pudding'. The pigmentation of these shades are better than I had expected, although there is certainly some things that need improving if the palette is to become one of my ultimate favourites. The matte shades apply smoothly and when applied over a base are really long lasting, however it's the shimmer's where I have the most problems. They aren't terrible, but they're just not overwhelmingly great! I've found them to apply nicely with a finger, for them to then lose all of the shimmer once blended in with a brush. I don't mind this factor completely as I've been using the shimmer shades as a final touch, but if you're going for an all glitter eye then this could cause problems! 

Overall, I am really pleased with this palette and although I wouldn't necessary purchase this same one again I would certainly be interested in getting one of the classic all matte ones. If only they would sort out the darn customs charges added to every single order...

Thanks so much for reading, let me know if you've had similar problems with the palette! 
Until next time, 

Beauty || DIY Look Fantastic Beauty Box!

There's only one thing that's better than a beauty box, and that's a DIY beauty box!

I'm so excited to finally have the time to sit down and start writing for my blog again, I honestly can't remember the last time I posted which for something I love to do is awful! With the holiday season coming up, I couldn't think of a better time for me to start it up again so here we are! 

Last weekend my mum and I attended Stylist Live for the fourth time. We've always loved visiting these sorts of trade shows together and both felt this year was better than all the previous ones we've been to before. One of the brands who had a stand over the weekend was Look Fantastic, and I couldn't help but take them up on their DIY beauty box offer! The deal was you could choose your own design of box with 6 deluxe samples inside and a mini Elle magazine for £15. Other's all clearly felt the same as the stand was constantly packed throughout the day. The only negative of the stand was how small it was, so with the large queues, 6 small boxes where you picked out your products was at times a little tricky to manoeuvre! But I took my picks and am so happy with everything I got!

I decided to go with the blue, burgundy and gold designed box. I loved this design and thought it would be perfect to hold some of my makeup bits. So like I mentioned above, you got the opportunity to choose 6 products out of the boxes. Products varied from false eyelashes and nail varnishes to eye and face creams. When looking for my 6 I tried to choose products that I either really wanted to try or that I knew I would already love. 

First up was the Yes To Grapefruit bubbling mask. I love a face mask and am always looking for something new to try on a Sunday evening. Bubble masks are also really popular at the moment and I've always wanted to see how they work. The brand Yes To is one I have previously heard of so I knew this would be in my box. Next up is the Fake Bake 5 Minute Mousse. Over the last year I have really jumped onto the fake tan band wagon, never to late right? Previously I would get a tan done professionally at a salon, however after trying out a couple of self tanners at home I much prefer the results. This tan in particular is one I've heard so many people at work talk about, so I knew that I would want to give this a try. The tan claims to be streak free, but that's never usually the case for me when applying tan. To go with the tan I also added a cute leopard print tanning mitt from the brand Velvotan. I already own three of these mitts so know how much of a difference they make to a tan regime. In the past I would use a cheaper Primark alternative but was never fully happy with how smooth the tan was. I'm happy to say I only use this brand now for mitts! Next up is an EOS lip balm in Strawberry Sorbet. I can always remember when these lip balms were so trendy to own and that everyone seemed to be ordering them from the states! Personally, I never was a huge fan but I love the scent and flavouring of this balm so am glad I'm finally part of the club! Then I spotted the Burts Bees glossy lipstick in Peony Dew and knew it was something I wanted to have. I've only ever tried skincare products from Burts Bees, so am really excited to give this a try! The shade is a gorgeous rose colour and definitely something I know I would purchase myself. The final product, and probably the most exciting of all, is the Emma Hardy Cleansing Balm. I've heard so many exciting things about this balm so knew that I wanted to try it out for myself as soon as I set eyes on it. 

So that's my little DIY Look Fantastic beauty box. It's always so much fun when brands do things differently, and I loved that there was this option over the Stylist Live weekend. My only negative would be that there wasn't that many different products to choose from, but for me I am happy with what I've got. 

Are you subscribed to any beauty boxes at the moment? If so what one?

Until next time, 

Fashion | Femme Luxe Clothing Haul & Review!*

I love the summer, don't get me wrong, but nothing beats how great winter fashion is. Being able to wrap up in comfortable jumpers, jeans and coats makes me so happy. Winter is definitely one of my favourite times of the year so it's no wonder that I've already begun transitioning my wardrobe in preparation for the climate change! 

I was so excited to have received an email from the lovely team at Femme luxe to try out a few of their knitwear pieces. Over the last couple of weeks I've seen the brand float around the blogosphere so was really intrigued into trying out some of the clothes for myself.  I excitedly picked out three separate pieces and eagerly waited for them to turn up on my doorstep. 

The first thing I picked were the Carolina Beige Leopard Print High Waisted Skirt Shorts in 8/10. If you've seen my blogpost all about my obsession with leopard print recently, then this choice won't come as a big surprise at all! On the website these shorts are paired with a black cropped jumper and bare legs. I thought however that they would look nice styled with a pair of thick black tights, boots and a warm knit. I love how this looks when styled and know I'm going to get good use out of them. 

Next up was the Eden Cream Loose Fit Crop Knitted Jumper in Small. I had been looking for an oversized jumper for a while before I found this as  wanted one to wear with a pair of jeans for a casual daytime look. When I saw this online I knew it would be perfect! First thing to note about this jumper is how incredibly soft it is! I didn't have many expectations, but didn't expect the quality to be as good as this is. I have already worn this a couple of times now including with the leopard skort and my favourite white leopard skirt, can you spot a theme! The way the jumper has been designed makes for easy styling as it has cut out sides that make it hang nicely on the body. I am obsessed with this and think I am going to go back and reorder in the pink too! 

The final jumper I ordered was the Grey Cable Knit Jumper in Small. I wanted a cropped jumper to wear with a high waisted denim/leather skirt so thought this would be perfect. The quality of this jumper isn't as soft as the Cream, but it looks just as nice when being worn. Again, I know I am going to get a lot of use out of this in the weeks to come! 

Overall, my whole experience with ordering through the Femme Luxe website has been great. The website itself has lots of products on offer that are bang on trend with what you can get on the high street. I already have my eyes on a couple of other things I want to get next including the jumper in Pink and the cute two piece tracksuit sets! 

I would love to know what you think about Femme Luxe? Have you ordered anything on the website before?

Until next time! 
*All products in this post were sent to me to kindly review. I haven't been paid for this review and all opinions, photographs and wording are my own and are 100% honest. 

Beauty || New In: Pixi Skintreats Toners

If you've been a reader of my blog for the last couple of years then you will already know my love and affinity for the brand Pixi. For over a year now I have been a big fan of the classic Glow Tonic so was extremely excited to receive this little box of goodies introducing the new #PixiPerfect trio collection. 

Amongst the blogosphere, Pixi has become one of the most iconic brands in terms of skincare. In particular the Glow Tonic toner, which has gained a cult following for it's ability to tone and refresh your skin. Personally, this has been a favourite of mine as it has always left my face feeling clean and refreshed after each use. 

The new launch, the #PixiPerfect trio of tonics, has been put together to target a different skincare area of concern. The idea behind the trio is to use them together to help balance the skin and make for #multitoning perfection. As mentioned, the Glow Tonic is already  a firm favourite of mine and I have only actually recently purchased another full size replacement! The other two tonics however look equally as cute and I am so excited to give them a try! 

First Impressions

Retinol Tonic | 100ml | £10.
This tonic has been created with the idea of rejuvenating the skin for a natural glow. The antioxidants and botanicals within the solution replenish the skin leaving it feeling smooth and soft. This product also states that it's great for soothing sensitive skin. My first impressions are that this product genuinely works nicely to refresh the skin. Unlike the Glow Tonic, the smell isn't as strong and it definitely feels more refreshing after use. I am exciting to continue using this to see how I get on! 

Rose Tonic | 100ml | £10.
Now I will admit I fell in love with the whole appearance of this product. What's not to love about a cute little rose bottle?! This product claims to sooth, tone, balance PH, minimise redness and calm skin. A lot of claims, which I am hoping after time truly does work! I used this product after the Retinol one to help hydrate the skin a little. Together these products work really well to leave the skin feeling clean, so I think I will continue to use these together. 

Overall I am really excited with this new release from Pixi. As exciting as makeup releases can be, there's always something special about getting down to the basics of beauty which is always skincare! 

A big thank you to Pixi for sending me the new Toners to try for this blogpost! I am excited as always to try them out and always enjoy receiving #PIXIPOST! 

Until next time,

*Items in this post were kindly gifted to me, as always all opinions and photographs are my own