Top 10 of 2014 - Books, TV & Films (Part 2)

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Finally I have part 2 up of my favourite Books, TV and Films of 2014... this took a lot longer than I expected! Below are more of my favourites that I highly recommend checking out in 2015. You can find Part 1 - here.

Top Films of 2014 
 
Dallas Buyers Club - This wasn't a typical watch for me but Matthew McConaughey's role in this blew me away. A gritty story set in mid-80's Texas of a man who learns he has Aids and refuses to give up. It's so much more than this but I don't want to give anything away! Watch on Now TV or buy for £5.00 - Amazon here

 About Time - This was a film I gave a go... I generally can't stand typically British films but with the addition of Rachel McAdams I thought I could over look this problem and Bill Nighy... and I 100% did! About Time is possibly the most endearing and heart warming film that I won't want to give too much away about. If you love films that give you a warm fuzzy feeling then give this a watch. Watch on Now TV or buy for £5.00 - Amazon here.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire - After enjoying Hunger Games Part 1 I actually put off watching Catching Fires as I'd convinced myself it couldn't be as good. But how wrong I was! I found it even more thrilling and with a strong plot. Now eager to watch The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1. Watch on Netflix or buy for £6.99 - Amazon here.   

The Way, Way Back - This coming-of-age comedy drama was a mid-week watch that I wasn't expecting much from but as it starred Steve Carell I went for it. Surprisingly Carell plays a not so nice character in it that you will inevitably hate but this just add to the story of 14-year-old Duncan who starts to find his place in the world when he makes friends with a manager of a water park who gives him a job. This is a comedy drama with ups and downs. Definitely worth a watch. Watch on Now TV or buy for £6.00 - Amazon here.

Arthur Christmas - Last but not least my most recent watch and one that is of course appropriate to mention right now. Arthur Christmas is a festive film for both children and adults. I haven't watched an animated film in the longest time but was amazed at how quickly Iforget that is it animated, also the humour and clever storyline had me thoroughly impressed. A must-watch this Christmas! Watch on Now TV or buy for £4.20 - Amazon here


Top Books of 2014

The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer - This was a summer read that I gobbled up in a matter of days. Telling the story of one man's decent into mental illness but with humour, compassion and a wonderful writing style. I can't remember all aspects of this books but I can remember not being able to put it down. I may have to go back to it in 2015. Buy for £3.85 - Amazon here.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green  - Possibly the book of 2013 which I finally got around to reading this year and oh, how it lived up to all I'd heard about it. A book focused around Cancer is never going to be a happy one, but if you're John Green then you will know how to put it in the best way possible and have the reader engaged and in love with all the characters. This will leave you sad but ultimately glad you've read it. Buy for £3.85 - Amazon here.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion - Another summer read that I enjoyed on holiday besides the pool. This quirky fiction had me smiling throughout and it just a wonderful story with great main characters. I won't give anything away but let you discover the both charming and amusing characters for yourself. Buy for £3.85 - Amazon here

Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes - I've mentioned this countless times on Makeup Savvy over the past few months and deservingly so as this is the best beauty book in the past 5, even 10 years! Sali Hughes knows her stuff when it comes to beauty, she cuts the usual crap and gets down to what we really need to know. Covering a whole matter of beauty topics and more this really is the new beauty bible that every makeup/beauty lover needs. I know I will be continuously dipping in and out of this book. Buy for £12.50 - Amazon here.

How To Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran - Part memoir, part feminist stand on a number of topics this a a book to read if you're... basically a woman! Before reading this I didn't have much of a clue who Caitlin Moran was but that didn't matter. This is an incredible honest and funny book that will have you thinking and laughing all the way through. If you haven't read this book then make sure it's one of your reads in 2015! Buy for £6.74 - Amazon here


Top TV Programmes of 2014

Karl Pilkington The Moaning of Life - Now you probably have to be a fan of Karl Pilkington to enjoy this series, but if you haven't watched anything from him before then seriously get on it! This series takes Karl on a journey to see how people deal with life's big events - marriage, death, birth and money. This is not only hilarious throughout but interesting as he visits India, South Africa and American to discover how different cultures manage different aspects of life. Very much worth getting if you love Karl but missed his latesst series on Sky. Buy DVD series for £5.40 - Amazon here.

Life and Death Row - This was a 3-part series focusing on three young men as their days are numbered on death row. I found this incredibly hard hitting and detailed; more so than any other prison documentary I've ever watched. Each three episodes were as good as each other and really gripping. Sadly this isn't available on BBC iPlayer anymore but  is worth looking for online.

 
Broad Church - A TV crime drama series here that focuses on the murder of a young boy in a small coastal town. I thought this was excellently done and very realistic. I also wasn't a fan of David Tennant but his performance in this really won me over. One to watch if you enjoy TV crimes series such as "Happy Valley" and "The Fall". Buy DVD series for £9.00 - Amazon here.
 
Louis Theroux LA Stories  - Another 3-part TV documentary series here and one by my favourite person on TV - Louis Theroux! The first episode is strangely on dogs and I'll be honest is worth giving a miss. But the 2nd and 3rd episodes look at terminally ill people in America's health facilities and also how California deals with sex offenders after they leave prison. Both episodes are cutting edge and amazing in their own right. If only Louis Theroux would come out with more documentaries! You can watch all three hour-long episodes on YouTube here for £1.89 each.
 
Game of Thrones - Game of Thrones was another favourite of mine in 2014. This definitely isn't my normal type of show I enjoy watching, far from it in fact, but somehow the characters and fast paced storyline just absorb and submerge you within the second episode. Amazing attention to detail, amazing characters and yes, basically amazing everything! I won't go into the storyline as I'm sure most people have a rough idea now but trust me, even if you don't think you will enjoy it it's worth giving a go! Buy Series 1 for £14.99 - Amazon here or watch the complete series on Netflix.

Hope this has given you a few things to enjoy in the new year! 

I'd love to know a few of your own favourites when it comes to books, films and TV of 2014 in the comments, below.

Fee xo.  
 

Christmas Gift Guide: £20 and Under

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Another day, another gift guide! This is the one with all of my favourite gift sets that would make amazing gifts, though I feel this may just enable some pre or post Christmas spending here! 

Under £20 is still on somewhat of a budget, however I've tried to opt for quality high-end brands that feel like a bit of luxury, plus a few other products that I couldn't resist sharing with you.

*As we are so near Christmas I sadly can't guarantee all products will be in stock at the time of posting this*

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Sanctuary Home Sweet Home Fragrance Gift Set 
£18.00 - Boots here or in-store 
First up a wonderful home fragrance set from Sanctuary. If you have ever smelt the luxury signature scent of Sanctuary products then you will know why I'm in love with all the products here. The clean and relaxing scent is carried through all the products and I literally can't get enough of it. Included in the set is a Room Mist 50ml, 2 Votive Candles and 2 Reed Diffusers 70ml. My favourite product from the set has to be the room spray as the scent is perfectly Sanctuary and smells so uplifting and fresh. Though I've also placed one of the reed diffusers in my living room and love how it gives a continuous light scent. I've yet to burn the candles but I'm sure I will be doing when I have a pamper evening. This really would make an ideal set for anyone that enjoys relaxing or home scents. Also how pretty is the packaging?!

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Clarins All About Lips Set 
£19.50 - John Lewis here
Now this may have been a treat to myself but passed off as "for a gift guide - sneaky. So as you can imagine I love this little gift set. Now it is small but perfectly formed and great if you're on a budget but want to gift someone something more high-end. Included in the set there is two mini Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in Rose Shimmer and Rosewood Shimmer, a mini Rouge Eclat Lipstick in Woodrose and a mini Gloss Prodige Lip Gloss in Candy, which is all presented in a lovely white Clarins makeup bag. This is all amazing value if you consider that the full sized versions of these products cost around £18 each. I also think smaller sized product can be great for in the handbag. If you know anyone that loves lip products or Clarins are a brand then this is such a lovely gift to give them.

Side note - I linked to John Lewis as it seems to be the only place that still has the set in stock online. But I do also love John Lewis as you can get items sent to store next day for free (saving on delivery costs) and also Waitrose stores - very handy! 

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Benefit Sweet Tintations Gift Set
£19.50 - Boots in-store 
*Swoons* Ahhhh Benefit, how you've got it so right this year. Other than the Benefit Cheeky Sweet Spot gift set (which is over this gift guides budget) this would be my gift set of choice from Benefit, I mean just look at that packaging! Not only is there a good selection of products in the set, both new and old, but you are certainly getting value for money here as just the Tint Balms together would cost £29.00! Included in the gift set is a full size Benebalm and Lollibalm plus deluxe samples of both the Benetint and Lollitint. This set really is all about the tint balms if I'm honest as they really are wonderful sheer balms that feel great on the lips. A gift set that would make an amazing present for a teen or someone in their 20's, because who doesn't love Benefit!

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Deborah Lippmann Limited Edition Glam Rock Set 
£17.00 - Selfridges/ Harvey Nichols in-store 
 Another bit of luxury from a high-end brand here. Deborah Lippmann is almost the creme  de la creme of nail polishes and with price tags to match, so this is quite a good value set. Included is two mini Deborah Lippmann nail polishes in 'Through The Fire' (red shimmer) and 'Ruby Red Slippers' (glitter) along with a very cute red glitter pouch to store them in. This is quite a small gift in size however the nail polish in both packaging and shade are divine and really do look like luxury items. A perfect gift for a high-end nail polish lover that know of the Deborah Lippmann brand. You can find the other variation - Dance Music set at Harvey Nichols here.
 
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Green & Spring Indulging Travel Candle Set 
£18.00 - Bath & Unwind here
 For me candle sets make really nice presents. They give that little bit more than giving just one large candle and always come well presented in a box. I decided to opt for the Green & Spring candle set at I especially loved the packaging and the fact that the candles are 100% natural wax made from vegan ingredients. In the flesh these are actually even nicer with solid glass candle holders that are of a decent size, beautiful packaging and a wonderful scent. The scent of these candles really make it for me, hard to explain but the scent is truly fresh and almost comforting in a way. Wrapped up beautifully this would make a truly lovely gift.

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REN Moroccan Rose Trio Set 
£19.00 - Look Fantastic here 
REN is another high end brand with products costing upwards of £17.00 so again this is a great value gift that feels more expensive than it is. The gift set includes three products from the Rose Otto range - a body wash 100ml, body lotion 100ml and a bath oil 10ml and comes in a nice box that shows this isn't a cheap set. Even though I'm not overly a fan of rose scents there is something incredibly moisturising about Rose Otto which makes it a product I use often. Infact after using the Rose Otto Body Wash I could actually feel a difference in the softness of my skin; something I don't get from any other body wash/shower gel. The product selection here is really nice and all products I feel most people would use, I especiallyy love the small glass bottle of bath oil, it adds that luxury touch to the set. All in all a lovely bodycare set that most would like. 

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Sali Hughes Pretty Honest Book
£12.50 - Amazon here 
Finally I had to include the beauty book of the year and one that I'm sure is on a lot of people's Christmas list. Wrote by the true beauty expert that is Sali Hughes this is a comprehensive guide to all things beauty and literally leaves no stone unturned.
Points are covered on anything you can imagine being associated with beauty -  how to manage makeup counters, salon etiquette and what to expect, hair problem solving, wearing red lipstick and even how to pay and receive compliments... something I think most of us are bad at! The book is also beautifully formed and quite weigh-y making it feel and look a sizable gift. If you know anyone with even a slight or large interest in beauty/makeup and loves reading then this is definitely worth buying them. You may even find yourself peeking through it! 

This is the last of my 'For Her' gift guides - I hope they're been helpful! You can find my Under £5 Gift Guide here, Under £10 Gift Guide here and Never Ending Gift Guide here.

 Fee xo.

Beauty Bloggers Unwrapped - Adrienne from The Sunday Girl

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I'm back again with another Blogger Unwrapped post! This time I ask Adrienne from The Sunday Girl a few festive questions. TSG is an amazing blog for beauty reviews that I'm a huge fan of... it has enabled many a purchase. I'm sure you will love it so please do check it out!
 
Hi Adrienne, tell me what puts you in a festive mood?
 As I am sure it is the case for most but dusting off the Christmas Tree once again and making the home generally "Christmas" ready, that or Home Alone does the trick!

What do you want for Christmas this year? 
Surprise gifts are the best, it adds to the excitement and general buzz of the big day.

What do you buy for a £5 secret santa?
 I always think a few Lush bath bombs go down well, everyone seems to enjoy a good soak in the tub.(Find Adrienne's Lush Christmas 2014 post here).

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How do you plan to spend Christmas day this year? 
The same as I do most years, in my Grandparents lounge playing board games, eating my body weight in good food while decked out in a super trashy Christmas themed sweater.

Who would be your ideal Christmas-lunch guests? 
As cheesy as it may sound it has to be my family. We are a tight knit bunch and I couldn't imagine it any other way nor would I want to.

What gift would steal your heart to open on Christmas day?
 A Mac Book Pro, a girl can only hope and dream!

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If you could take a pre or post Christmas holiday where would it be? 
Cuba, I have made it my goal to visit before 2016.

Christmas tree – real or fake? 
Fake, I adore the scent of a real Christmas tree but not the mess.

What do you love to blog about come December? 
My blogging schedule so to speak doesn't change all that much throughout December but I do enjoy composing and reading Christmas wish lists. It is always nice to see what others would love to receive, if only for inspiration.

Really hope you've enjoyed this post! Please check out all Adrienne's links below. 

The Sunday Girl - Blog|Twitter|Bloglovin' 

Fee xo. 

Christmas Gift Guide - £10 and Under

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Okay, so I may be on the last minute with the rest of my Christmas Gift Guides... however I've declared this week 'Guide Guide Week' on Makeup Savvy! So you can expect two more gift guides this week - Under £20 and quite a large 'For Him' gift guide that I surprisingly enjoy putting together! 

Hope you enjoy this Under £10 gift guide and it gives you a few gift ideas or last minute presents to ask for!

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Soap & Glory All The Right Smoothies Gift Set 
£8.00 - Boots here or in-store 
So S&G are pretty good for gift sets at Christmas! Their packaging is on point, as is their pricing and they fail to seem genetic unlike a lot of gift sets around the £10 mark. One of my favourite sets has to be the above trio as I love all Soap & Glory Body Butters. The trio includes The Righteous Butter, Butter Yourself and Sugar Crush all in a 50ml size making them perfect to try out. My absolute favourite scent from S&G has to be Sugar Crush (it smells of lime,almond and coconuts) so I'm very pleased to see this included in the set. A great quality gift set for all ages! 

Burt's Bees A Bit of Burt Set 
£5.99 - Burt's Bees here or Boots in-store 
Now this may seem like a small gift but it includes two of my favourite products from Burt's Bees so I had to include it. The set includes a full size Burt's Bees Pomegranate Lip Balm that offers a nice red/pink tint and a sample size Lemon Cuticle Butter (trust me this product lasts forever) which smells oh so amazing... think lemon bon-bons and keeps cuticles in perfect condition especially in Winter. Burt's Bees also have quite a few nice gift sets under £10 which can be found in the link above, though it's worth looking on Amazon as you can often find a bargain.

Yankee Candle Christmas Votive Set 
£7.99 - eBay here
A sneaky possible gift for yourself here or of course to give to a candle lover. This lovely set is pretty much sold out everywhere except on eBay where you can still find it for £7.99 with free delivery, which is a very good price I think. Included is 5 festive votive candles - Christmas Garland, Candy Cane Lane, Angel Wings, Icicles and Christmas Eve. This set really does smell incredible and includes a few new Christmas 2014 scents so it's even worth giving to someone that is Yankee Candle obsessed!

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New Look Interchangeable Charm Necklace
£5.99 - New Look here
As soon as I spotted this necklace on the ASOS website I knew I had to get it. This is such a clever idea as it's essentially five necklaces in one... in fact you could wear the necklace with a few charms on it. I actually love all the different charms but especially love the little wish bone as it can be worn either showing the little diamantes or turned over to show the plain gold finish. Also comes in 3 other styles! 

Glamour Magazine Subscription 
£8.00 for 6 months - iSubscribe here
I personally think magazine subscriptions make an amazing gift! I've both given and received many in the past few years and feel it's really a gift that keeps on giving as the recipient is receiving their magazine each month. Magazine subscriptions generally cost £15-30 however looking at 6-month options does make the gift much cheaper! Here I've gone for a 6 month Glamour subscription which is only £8. What I like about Glamour subsciptions is that recipient doesn't miss out on the free gifts unlike a lot of other magazines. 

Iconmesis Phone Cases 
Now the above case is over £10... it's £12.50 in fact (because it's for the iPhone 5). But Iconmesis currently have a huge 40% off at the moment making all their iPhone 4/4s only £6 here. This is pretty damn amazing as the quality of these phone cases are the best I've come across and with the loveliest designs. My favourite one has to be the Coffee Collection case here. If you know someone with an iPhone then one of these phone cases could make a great gift - trust me, they will be impressed! 

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China Glaze Tis' The Season Gift Set 
£8.95 - Nail Polish Direct here 
Ahhh, how I love China Glaze Holiday gift sets! Perfectly glittery and with festive names this set couldn't be more suited to Christmas. Shades include Define Good, De-light, Pine-ing for Glitter and Feeling Twinkly and though mini sized they're actually near to the full size polishes. What I also love about CG holiday sets is they are limited edition making them that bit more special. If you know a nail polish lover then this is certainly a gift worth buying them.

Essie Nail Polishes (make your own set) 
£2.50 each - Fragrance Direct here 
Another idea is to make your own nail polish gift set with discounted Essie nail polishes. Essie polishes are amongst some of my favourites and priced at only £2.50 from £8.00 they're a total bargain on Fragrance Direct. As above you could buy 4 Essie polishes for £10.00 and place them in a nice gift box. Unlike a gift set this means you can pick the exact shades you think the recipient would like the most. I'd love to receive something like this! 

Hope you've enjoyed this gift guide, you can find my Under £5 Gift Guide here and my Never Ending Gift Guide here

Fee xo.
 
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