22 December 2014

My 10 Christmas Pet Peeves

Top-10-Christmas-Pet-Peeves

Christmas is a time for joy and good will to all men... but lets face it's not all present un-wrapping and full bellies. It's about family dramas, being hit on the back of the heels with someones shopping trolley and presents not turning up on time, to name but a few things.

So today I thought I would express a few of my own pet peeves when it comes to the holiday period. 

The 'accidental' price tag keeper-onner 
Every family has one. The person that likes to show you how much they've spent on you by 'accidently' keeping on price tag/sticker, though of course making sure to peel off any reduced labels! They may even go "oh, I haven't left the price on have I? Oh dear, let me take it off" all after you've clearly seen it!

None festive 'Christmas' songs and films. 
Die Hard, James Bond and Brave Heart are NOT Christmas films. They are action films that are shown at Christmas time. Simple. It like calling Coke 'Christmas Coke' because people like to drink it more at Christmas. No, no, no. There's even a Facebook page entitled 'Die Hard is the best Christmas film EVER'. I despair. As for none Christmas-y Christmas songs, seriously what was "Mad World" about? It was actually a Christmas number 1 (you can listen to it here)?! Yes, it's a good/okay song but it's freaking depressing and not in the least bit Christmas-y. I just don't know.... 

Christmas haters
Okay, I get there are things to dislike about Christmas! People are annoying, Christmas music can get tedious etc etc. BUT there is the food, better TV, time off work, something to break up winter... plus of course presents, after Christmas sales and so much more. So I really can't stand when people say "I'll be happy when it's all over". Psh to them!  

Non Present Wrappers 
This is the person that thinks putting a stick-on bow on an unwrapped present is acceptable. Simply handing something over to someone as a gift seems very bizarre to me, but thankfully I don't have people like that in my life! I also dislike reading blog posts and watching videos that state because 'X' product comes in a pretty box it doesn't need to be wrapped. Just no! And don't even get me started on parents that don't wrap their children's Christmas presents?!

Blogs and magazines suggesting large or expensive products as Stocking Fillers 
If you Google search 'Christmas Stocking' you will see page upon page of standard stockings, I'm talking ones you hang by the fire that are no more that 40cms in size. So why year after year do we see stocking filler suggestions that are as big as a house and also costing the earth. The clue really is in the saying, filler presents in your stocking - cheap and small! 

Christmas StrobeLighting 
 I love me some outdoor Christmas lights, I can even tolerate tacky multi-coloured ones  But seizure inducing ones I cannot. Yes, lights comes with different settings but the flashing option shouldn't ever be used! It's annoying, in your face and just not needed! That's all I have to say about that one really.

Christmas Crackers 
How it is that crackers haven't evolved or got better over the years. Other than the plastic red bendy fish (which is still pretty rubbish) everything that comes in a cracker is pretty much guaranteed to be shit. It also the only thing that even if you pay more money for you are still get a load of old rubbish! You spend £10 more and oooo you get a metal nail file and a bottle opener. If a company came out with actual decent little gifts inside crackers and good festive jokes (such as - What do you call Miley Cyrus at Christmas? Twerky!)  I'm sure they would be a winner. 

Christmas shopping 
This is a pet peeve for many I'm sure. From the pushy shoppers that act like the end of the world is coming to the endless queues and incessant Christmas music; there's little joy to be had when Christmas shopping on the high street. Then of course it's ramped up a gear when it comes to supermarkets which are definitely a place to avoid in the days leading up to Christmas unless you have a death wish by trolley.

The Queen's Speech 
So this may be a tradition for many families but seriously how yawn-worthy is the Queen's speech? Also how un-christmas-y does the Queen actually seem! No paper cracker hat instead of her crown and always no smiles. I now skip the Queen's speech on Christmas Day and I'm all the better for it. Hopefully the Queen isn't reading this ;)

It goes too quickly 
Now this is seriously a first world problem but I was scraping the barrel for anymore pet peeves because I genuinely love Christmas and can't fault it too much. But yes, my final pet peeve is that I feel like December and Christmas comes and goes way too quickly! Each year I feel I should have got into the Christmas spirit in November because I blink and it's 5 days until Christmas! Also Christmas Day is much the same... we are leading up to that one day and *poof* the days been and gone! It really does happen all too fast for my liking.

Hope you enjoyed this humbug post! I'd love to hear your own pet peeves when it comes to Christmas! 

Fee xo.
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20 December 2014

Christmas Gift Guide - For Him

Christmas-gift-guide-for-him

Sooo I think I may be a little late with this gift guide! However as men are notoriously hard to buy for I'm hoping you've put off buying for the men in your life!

But as it is cracking on for Christmas itself I've made sure all products can be purchased through express delivery in time for Christmas, click & collect services or bought in-store. Hope you enjoy this gift guide... I actually had fun putting it together which surprised me! 

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Fragrance
First up, Fragrance! Whether you're buying for a man or woman fragrance can be tricky to get right. Going for something they have previously worn is always a safe bet. But if you want to get them something new a good little tip is to search for it on Fragrantica here (a huge fragrance database/review site) where there will be suggestions of similar scents. I personally think there are a few stand out fragrance lines for men that are quite safe. Calvin Klein or Paul Smith would be my first choices - both affordable and with non-typical masculine scents. My favourite from CK is the above fragrance CK One Shock (£18.00 for 100ml - Superdrug here), it's worth smelling, but I also like CK IN2U (£12.99 for 50ml - Fragrance Direct here) which is a lovely zingy citrus everyday kind of scent. 

For more special occasion scents or if you want to spend slightly more then my instant recommendation would be Raco Rabbanne 1 Million (£35.99 Gift Set - Fragrance Direct here), this is seriously dreamy, in fact I know woman that wear this because it smells so good! Just opening the aesthetically pleasing gift set above made me appreciate how much of an amazing scent it is. Very sexy and alluring... so one to gift your partner over your dad! As for fragrance for teens this can be slightly tricky, you don't want it to look cheap or go for the wrong brand that they will see as uncool. I personally think Ted Baker works well here and though it is aimed at men they have a few younger looking gift sets that are very affordable. The above Ted Baker M Gift Set cost me only £9.99 from The Perfume Shop here

*Fragrance Direct are currently offering free Express Delivery with order over £40*
*The Perfume Shop are currently offering Next Day Delivery for only 99p*

Skincare & Toiletries
Onto to skincare/toiletries now. This is a present you need to think about more than just opting for a boxed gift set because I think to most skincare for men is pretty boring. Above I went for 3 products from The Body Shop, a Hair & Body Wash (£6.00 - The Body shop here) because a lot of men use shampoo on their bodies?! So a 2-in-1 product is great, a Maca Root Shave Cream (£5.50 - The Body Shop here) and a Hemp Hand Cream and Nail File Duo (£6.00 - The Body Shop here). The little duo isn't specifically aimed at men but the Hemp scent is very unisex and most men do require a hand cream from time to time in winter and a nail file is always handy. For the man that is maybe into his skincare that slight bit more or would be interested in trying out different skincare then Lush is a great place to look and the black packaging is a plus. As for dads I'd look at brands such as Clinique, Origins or Clarins as they all offer nice skincare sets for him.

As for genetic skincare sets, such as the one above, I'd leave that for the person you don't often see/don't know too well! Also opting for a set that includes a body wash will ensure they will get some use out of it. The above Nivea Men set cost me around £5.00 from Boots.

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Clothing & Shoes
I was a bit unsure whether to include this category but clothing is a nice gift to give and as long as you know the persons size or include a gift receipt you will be fine! My first choice when it comes to gifting clothes would be a jumper, the above is a lovely chunky knit from Tesco that only cost £20 - opting for something without a pattern but with a good knit is probably your best bet! As for teens a good gift is a branded T-shirt - anything from Hype or Vans should be a winner!

As for shoes this can be tricky if you don't know the persons size! So a quick look or phone to someone will probably be needed. Above I've selected what I feel are quite a safe bet for Dad's, these are known as Driving Loafer (£12.00 - ASOS here) or basically 'Dad shoes' as I like to call them. These are an acceptable slipper that can be worn outside or of course driving in - my dad loves these! Also if you know a man that actually embraces Christmas with open arms then a novelty Christmas Jumper may be just the thing! Asda has been my favourite place for them this year, I especially love this fireplace jumper in which you actually place your phone in the centre so that it looks like a burning fire?!

Accessories 
Accessories come in the form of socks, wallets, pens etc etc. My favourite place for this is TK Maxx or Homesense - in fact the above Osprey Wallet was from TK Maxx and cost only £16.00. If you have to go down the socks route then a boxed trio of branded sock is nice or if you are willing to opt for express delivery with ASOS or have a very handy Premier account then their Waffles Socks (£8 for 3 pairs - ASOS here) are the best quality ever. Talking of ASOS the above Ted Baker Leather Brogue Pen which is very nice indeed, is now amazingly reduced to only £11.00 here!

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Books 
Books I feel are a very Christmas-y gift to give! If the person you are buying for is into cooking then a none typical cookbook could be the ideal gift to give. Above are two quirky but great cookbooks: The American Cookbook (£7.95 - Amazon here) is possibly the best cookbook I've looked through! It includes so so many recipes that I personally want to try out along with great photography, plus the recipes are in UK measurements opposed to U.S cups that need converting - very handy. As for The Burger Book (£9.99 - Amazon here) this is definitely suited to the man that is in charge of the BBQ in summer or always opts for a burger when eating out, again so many recipes that will have the person drooling! For more serious cooks I'd highly suggest anything by Ottolenghi.

As for other books, slightly geek-y science books are fun, above is a nice hardback book called What If: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions (£4.99 - Amazon here)... which I've actually been reading through even though I have zero interest in science! For a very laugh-out-loud read I'd suggest The Timewaster Letters by Robin Cooper (£5.24 - Amazon here) and anything by Terry Ravenscroft (Amazon here) which follow a very similar line of humour. As for motivational books if you know anyone that's a business owner or is a bit of an entrepreneur I highly recommend both books by Duncan Bannatyne here, such great inspiring reads.

DVD's 
DVD's are another typical gift to give and a great last minute present as Tesco and Asda have quite a large selection. My favourite gift would be to give a series on DVD, but only the first series or a box set of 1-3 maximum so you don't end up wasting your money if they good like it. Top DVD box sets would have to be Breaking Bad (£8.87 - Amazon here) or Game of Thrones (£16.00 - Amazon here). Nature or travel DVD's are also a good choice for many - you can't go wrong with anything narrated by David Attenborough when it comes to nature; from Frozen Planet and Human Planet to Natural Curiosities and David's latest series - Life Stories. As for Travel my favourites would be Stephen Fry in America (£6.99 - Amazon here), a really interesting watch and Billy Connolly's Route 66 (£4.70 - Amazon here). 

Another gift idea when it comes to DVD's is picking up a stack of retro classics that would be nostalgic for the recipient. Above I've included Gremlins but classics such as Ghostbusters, The Goonies and Short Circuit are all great for anyone born in the 80's. Amazon of course stock all of these but it's worth looking in charity shops for new dvds!

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Sweets
When it comes to Christmas chocolate I'm all about American Candy, it's just something different and a bit more fun than handing over a tub of chocolates. Above is a selection of American candy that I bought in Tesco, most stores now stock a good range but if you have a larger superstore near you with a World Food aisle then it's worth a visit! You can also find a few American products such as Nerds and Tootsie Rolls in Pound World stores! 

Another product I really like is the Monin Syrup sets that are the same syrups that are used in Starbucks and Costa Coffee drinks. You can buy both the Coffee Syrup set and Cocktail Syrup set for around £8-10.00 in Dunelm Mill stores or Lakeland.

Savoury Food 
For foodies, savoury is probably the better option. A Cheese Platter presented on a piece of slate with crackers makes a nice gift. For longevity and so you can buy in advance Cheese truckles are a good choice and look nice in their different coloured wax. Also Camembert in a ceramic Camembert Baker makes a nice gift, both Tesco and Waitrose offer these for around £8.00. Also an assortment of nuts such as pecans, cashews and peanut can make a nice gift.

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Miscellaneous 
These are just a few random extras I liked the look of that could possibly give a few more ideas. First up probably my favourite ever inexpensive gift that's ideal as an extra little present - a Head Massager. These literally cost a few pound and can be found all over the place. The sensation of these is very weird but strangely nice and something the recipient will be making everyone try out on Christmas Day! Next up something I was expecting to be a total gimmick but was pleasantly surprised. I'm talking about the Air Hover Hockey Set! This comes with everything you need to play Air Hockey on any flat surface, the puck cleverly hovers with the use of batteries and it's all together well made. I spotted a few of these sets online for £10+ but Home Bargains currently stock them for only £2.99! Another range of gifts that are on a similar line and are great to try out on Christmas day are Ridley's gifts, these come in retro look packaging and can be found in John Lewis and Debenhams. My favourites are the Balloon Modelling Set, Tablet Tennis Set and Pinball Game (you can see the selection at John Lewis here).

Lastly thinking towards the new year a planner or calendar can make a nice but practical gift. I personally like the look of the above Marvel Retro Classics Calendar (£6.29 - WH Smith here)... if you know a Marvel fan you also need to check of the amazing canvas' B&Q currently have in-store! Or a nice Moleskine 2015 Diary is a good safe option.

Hope this has been a helpful gift guide!

Fee xo.

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18 December 2014

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.  
 
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17 December 2014

Christmas Gift Guide: £20 and Under

Christmas_Gift-Guide_beauty_under_20

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*

Sanctuary-home-sweet-home-set

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?!

Clarins-all-about-lips-set

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! 

Benefit_sweet_tintations_set

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.

Ren-moroccan-rose-trio-asos

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. 

Sali-hughes-pretty-honest-book

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.

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16 December 2014

Beauty Bloggers Unwrapped - Adrienne from The Sunday Girl

The-Sunday-Girl_interview

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).

Lush-Christmas-2014

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!

brbgtr
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. 

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15 December 2014

Christmas Gift Guide - £10 and Under

Under-10-Beauty-gift-guide

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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13 December 2014

Ebay Bargains #11 - All That Glitters!

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Technic Glitter Nail Polishes (£2.99 here) - Perfect glitters for festive nails! Granted there are tons of glitter nail polishes on the high street but I actually feel there are a few unique ones in this listing that are oh so pretty. Especially 'Ice Cream Ella' (second from left in image above) for a festive pastel touch and 'Star Ship' (far right) which is basically tinsel strand in nail polish form!

Glitter Pumps (£9.99 here) - I already own a pair of gold glitter pumps which I love and I bring out each Christmas (they look equally good dress down with jeans or with a dress and black tights) so I thought I'd show you these... in fact these are nicer than my own pair - I really do love the shape of these! Also in black & silver glitter in the above listing.

L'Oreal Color Infailible Eye Shadow in Hourglass Beige (£2.15 here) - Glitter eyeshadows are my thing come the festive season... but I just can't be doing with loose pigments. However the L'oreal Infailable eyeshadows are almost a hybrid of a loose pigment and a pressed powder! These also really do have some pigmentation to them. Adore the above shade but also love 'Endless Chocolate' which you can also find in the listing.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eyeliners (£5.95 here) - When it comes to eyeliners that are super pigmented and stay put you really can't get better than the UD 24/7 Glide-on eyeliners. I have a few of these now and love them! The listing is for the more compact size but still very much worth it!

Sequin Clutch/Makeup Bag (£4.54 here) -Lastly a perfect little glitzy bag to take you through Christmas and into the New Year. Then it could be used as an extra makeup bag! These look lovely and come in 4 different shades.

What do you like the most here? Off to buy a few of the L'Oreal eyeshadows now! 

Fee xo.

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12 December 2014

Top 10 of 2014 - Books, TV & Films (Part 1)

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  As we are scarily coming to the end of the year already I thought now would be a good time to round-up my favourites. Over the course of the month I will be talking favourite bloggers, websites and of course beauty products! But today I thought I'd start off with books, TV and films. Hope this gives you a few new things to discover...  

*Just to point out the below are my favourites of 2014 and not necessarily released/new to this year*
 
My Top Films of 2014

Ruby Sparks - A wonderful and quirky romantic comedy drama! Ruby Sparks tells the story of a novelist with writers block who decides to write about the girl of this dreams... then she comes true! Yes, it sounds silly but trust me it's not, it's actually quite dark in places...though don't let that put you off either. I'm still totally in love with this film! Watch on Now TV or buy for £5.00 - Amazon here.

The Place Beyond The Pines - With a star studded cast (Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes and Ray Liotta) this is one hell of a film that I was more than impressed with. The film tells the story of a motorcycle stunt driver turned bank robber and is set over 15 years and told in 3 segments. This kept me hooked through-out and is one of the most detailed films I've watched in a long time. Will be making sure to watch this again as there was so much to take in. Watch on Netflix or buy for £4.50 - Amazon here.


Her - Another quirky film here about a lonely writer, played by Joaquin Phoenix, who forms a relationship with his computer's operating system (the voice of Scarlett Johansson). I wasn't sure what to expect from this film but it literally sweeps you up and just works. An amazing alternative romance film. Watch on Now TV or buy for £9.98 - Play here.


Gravity - Gravity is a Sci-Fi thriller and not something I would go for normally. But after seeing the amazing graphics of the trailer... and that both Sandra Bullock and George Clooney star as the lead and only character in the film I gave it a go. This has to be the most on the edge of my seat watch of 2014 for me with constant grasp moments as both characters find themselves alone in orbit. This totally deserved all the awards it won and more! Watch on Now TV or buy for £6.00 - Amazon here.

Saving Mr Banks - Another surprisingly detailed film here and one that blew me away. Saving Mr Banks tells the entwined story of P.L Travers' childhood (the author behind Mary Poppins) and of Walt Disney's struggle to convince the author to make a film of Mary Poppins. The casting of this with Tom Hanks as Walt Disney and Emma Thompson as P.L Travers couldn't be more perfect. A truly sentimental film that will have you both crying and laughing. Watch on Now TV and Netflix or buy for £6.30 - Amazon here


My Top Books of 2014

 Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell - Ahhh how I loved this book. Actually I'd say it was my favourite read of the year! Eleanor & Park on the outset is a quirky first love kind of story but trust me, this has more layers than an onion! From the unique setting of the 80's, to awkward teenage years and an unexpected twist of broken home lives. With strong believable characters this is such an enjoyable read that pulls you straight back to first relationships and how electric and awkward both physical and mental contact can be. One to read if you love emotional YA fiction or just want to fall in love with two characters. Buy for £5.59 - Amazon here.

The Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey - This was my first ever dystopian novel and one I was pleasantly surprised with. Telling the story of 10-year old Melanie who is treated like a dangerous animal as she's strapped to a chair each day with a gun pointed to her head, then taken to class along with others like her - you soon realise she's different. I won't give much away as neither does the cover or synopsis and it really is all about gradually understanding through surprises and revelations. If you are looking for a different kind of read then make it this one. Buy for £3.85 - Amazon here

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters - A book from my favourite author here. Paying Guests is a book about love, history and crime. Set in the 1920's the book tells the story of a once upper-class mother and daughter forced into taking in lodgers or 'paying guests' to keep their once filled and happy home afloat. But little is as it seems as the daughter life takes some thrilling twists and turns that even herself couldn't envisage! Expect to be submerged into 1920s London with this brilliant sapphic novel. Buy for £9.00 - Amazon here.


We Were Liars by E. Lockhart - This was a book that I read back in Summer that stayed with me for some time after finishing it. Without a doubt a summer read as most of the book is set on an island over the summer months of several years. A book that's centred around friendship, family and lies. A book I'd recommend to most people. Buy for £3.85 - Amazon here.


Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott - Lastly for my first 5 favourites an immensely tense and frankly grim book. I was unsure whether to include this book due to it's dark nature and my own debate with myself whether you can really call a book that makes you feel uncomfortable, a favourite. I'm still not sure! But I know it gripped me hard and it was like nothing else I'd read all year. The book is told through the eyes of "Alice" a now 15-year old girl that was kidnapped during a school trip when she was 10. As you can image life is bleak for "Alice" and this book certainly doesn't gloss over this fact, in fact it almost embraces it, making you feel her numbness, pain and hunger. This is certainly an intense read. Buy for £6.38 - Amazon here.


My Top TV Programmes of 2014

 Breaking Bad - I actually don't know where to start in explaining this series and just how good it is! Forget looking up the synopsis or trailer of the first series... just start it and get hooked! I'm tempted to start re-watching it in the new year, something I've never done with a series before, but it's seriously that good. Watch all season via Netflix or buy season 1-3 for £17.00 - Amazon here or complete series for £40.00 - Amazon here

Blackfish - A harrowing and enlightening documentary surrounding the killer whales of various sea parks. Centring mainly around, Tilikum, a killer whale that had taken the lives of several trainers yet continues to be used in shows and even for breeding purposed. This lifts the lid on cover-ups at Sea World through interviews with past trainers and actual footage that is pretty shocking. A real eye opening documentary that may actually leave you frustrated you can't do anything about the current situation of whales in captivity. Watch on Netflix or here for free.


Orange Is The New Black - This was a series I decided to give a go because I was looking for a new series to watch that wasn't political! I was more than sure I wouldn't get hooked on it as I'm not keen on dramas with a comedy aspect but I did, in fact I may have watched both series in under a week! As you will have probably seen from various Netflix trailers this is a series set in a U.S women's prison and centres around the not so typical inmate - Piper Chapman, along with the stories and lives of the other inmates. A surprisingly upbeat show that will soon have you hooked. Watch season 1 & 2 via Netflix or buy series 1 for ££21.99 - Amazon here.


 The Fall - On to a British crime drama now with The Fall and one I'm still actually watching (series 2 finale is next week!). Set in Northern Island this BBC 2 series tells the story of detective Stella Gibson as she hunts down a beyond disturbed but outwardly normal serial killer, Paul Spector (played by the swoon worthy Jamie Dornan). Seriously creepy and scary in parts yet very gripping through-out. A series worth watching if you love anything to do with crime. Buy series 1 for £9.00 - Amazon here and watch series 2 for free on BBC iPlayer here.

David Attenborough Life Story - I'm generally not one for nature programmes but as it was David Attenbourough I gave it a go and I'm so glad I did. This is truly an outstanding nature series that will have you amazed, shocked, amused and even with a lump in your throat at times. If you missed this when it was on TV and love nature/wildlife then seriously treat yourself... or ask for it this Christmas! Buy DVD series for £14.00 - Amazon here.


Hope this list gave you some recommendations to seek out! Part 2 will be up next week. 


Fee xo.

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