Monday, 29 December 2014

Taking a break

Long time, no blog.. It's certainly been a while. In fact, this is the longest I've gone without posting here in quite some time, given that I've posted anywhere from 4 - 8 times a week, every week since about March. I decided to take a little break so to speak, not that blogging is a chore or a job, it's just I really didn't have anything to write. Reviews were posted, gift guides were enjoyed and the schedule went out of the window. I think sometimes it's better to post nothing than a half-hearted post, especially when you're really just not feeling it. 

Christmas has been and gone, it was brilliant. It's my favourite time of the year and as usual, this year did not disappoint and the festive festivities were flowing. I've eaten far too much turkey and stuffing, have enough chocolate to sink a battle ship and I'm fully stocked up on a years worth of smellies from santa (the toiletry kind that is, in case you're wondering). After spending one-too-many evenings (and days) lounging around in my onsie I decided it was about time to show my face around here, well not quite my face but you know what I mean. 

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, who can believe that this year is almost over? 

Friday, 12 December 2014

Stocking fillers under £10

stocking fillers under £10 £5

Finding great stocking fillers can be hardwork, especially if you have lots of different ages and types of people to buy gifts for. Personally, I love finding cute or quirky and fun items to include in people's stockings and always find stockings the most fun thing to open on Christmas morning. 

You can find a bundle of fun and quirky stocking fillers online that you don't see in the shops, so having a browse on sites like Stocking-fillers is a must! This site allows you to categorise your stocking fillers according to price, and I like to stick to the £10 and under rule for stocking fillers - that way each person can have a few smaller gifts in their stocking each year! 

Above are some of my fave items from the site, including  a little something for everyone. For the guys you can't go wrong with a funny 'toilet-humour' book - this 'F in Exams' book is hilarious and full of some of the funniest exam answers. For the man who likes food related gifts or american goodies then marshmallow fluff is the way forward. Also, did you know that you can use a dollop of this in your hot chocolate? It's amazing! 

For the girls this retro My Little Pony mug is the perfect cute and quirky stocking filler, I mean who doesn't love cute mugs? Perfect for the tea/coffee addict in the family! Speaking of family, it's always nice to have some kind of fun game that everyone can join in with on christmas day - this cute tin has the '20 questions' game inside but with a festive twist. Notebooks are a good shout too - I love this passport note book, perfect for anyone any age! 

Kids are almost a bit trickier when it comes to stockings, you can't really do the whole bath and body items or food items (well, at least you can't with my little brother!). So, fun and retro toys like this wooden noughts and crosses game and the fun snaps (who remembers these?) make ideal little stocking fillers.

You can find the full range of stocking fillers on and they even have gifts from as low as £1! 

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

loreal Pure Colour dazzling colour refreshing mask

Dazzling colour refreshing mask from Loreal's 'Pure Colour' range

Hair masks are definitely something I love experimenting with, I rarely stick to the same one and I enjoy trying out new masks and deep conditioners. There's only so much a regular conditioner can do so once a week I like to use something a little bit extra to leave my hair feeling in much better condition and more nourished. 

The latest addition to the evergrowing hair mask pile has been this Dazzling colour refreshing mask from Loreal's 'Pure Colour' range, which retails for around the £7 mark. Whilst this is a lot cheaper than some of the more luxurious hair masks out there it's certainly a lot more than I would normally pay, though I did get this on a half price offer - so that was fine. It's a thick, lotion type texture that essentially feels like a very thick conditioner. I use this by applying to the length of my hair and working through with my fingers and leaving it on the hair for around 10 minutes. This mask leaves the hair feeling a lot smoother and less frazzled for want of a better word, and I did notice a little bit of difference in my colour - it looked a little less dull. Having said that, I don't think it did anything miraculous to my hair - so I'm not sure I would justify the £7 price tag. If I see it on offer again, I'd probably purchase it - as it did have a nice effect, but nothing I'd shout from the roof tops. 

Monday, 8 December 2014

ASOS Christmas gift guide for girls

Asos have definitely upped their game in the gift department this year, and if you're a fan of online shopping Asos is the perfect place to avoid the Christmas crowds and queues and get a lot of your shopping done without actually leaving the house. Hands up if you hate busy Christmas shops and mile long queues? 

With gifts ranging from big brand beauty gifts, quirky little home-ware items, on trend accessories and all things pretty, Asos is a great place to look for gifts for your friends, mums, sisters, aunties and all female relations this Christmas. Here are just a few of my favourite gifts from their current selection that I think would make perfect gifts for friends and family this Christmas: 

Sunday, 7 December 2014

INM Northern Lights OTD Gold & Silver Holographic Top Coats

 Northern lights holographic topcoats from INM

Okay, how amazing are these holographic top coats - they are just perfect for this time of year when everyone enjoys a bit of sparkle! Layered over a dark navy blue from Essie and a festive cranberry shade from Bourjois, these Northern lights holographic topcoats from INM are stunning. 

Weirdly enough, the topcoats appear to be a clear polish when they arrive but once given a good old shake, they turn into wonderful bottles of sparkle that make the perfect top coat. I think the silver is my favourite, especially paired over a dark navy blue or even a black - it look almost like a starry sky. As a top coat, these northern lights holographic glitters are fast drying and add tonnes of shine and shimmer to the nails making for a lovely finish. They are available to buy online at beauty stores such as Jica and are a fairly reasonable £9 each for a hefty 15ml bottle. 

Friday, 5 December 2014

TGI Friday's - St. David's Shopping Centre, Cardiff

st. david's centre cardiff review tgi fridays food
st. david's centre cardiff review tgi fridays food
Whenever I visit Cardiff city centre, I always pay a visit to my favourite place for a bite to eat - TGI Friday's. Situated on the 'east side' of the newest St. David's Centre in the heart of Cardiff, it's the perfect place to rest your feet and enjoy good, tasty food after a busy day of shopping. St. David's Centre has so many brilliant shops on offer with everything from Apple, Pandora, Hamley's, Disney, Paperchase, Hollister, John Lewis and Debenhams just to name a few! It's the perfect place for a girl's day out or even a spot of Christmas shopping. The East side contains tonnes of eateries to choose from, but my favourite by far is TGI Friday's. I can guarantee great food and great service! 

TGI Friday's is full of awesome American themed decor to match the red and white themed diner feel, including some famous faces and iconic images, not to mention the music. We decided to visit on a weekday and despite it being smack in the middle of lunchtime we didn't have to wait for a table - which is always nice! We were seated and greeted by one of the lovely staff and immediately served drinks. Despite the cocktail menu seriously tempting me, I resisted the urge for a midday martini - the bottomless coke is a great deal, completely unlimited and the staff are very hot on the refills - it's like they know when you want more. 

st. david's centre cardiff review tgi fridays food
After browsing the menu (and drooling over delicious sounding food), which included a new festive deal where you could have 2 courses for £15.99 we decided to indulge in some mouth-watering starters. I opted for the smokey cheese melts which was a huge portion of 5 individual mozzarella melts (yummy), whilst my sister and friend chose some tomato, garlic and mozzarella bruschetta and  sesame Jack Daniel's chicken strips. Considering the portion sizes, the starters are very reasonably priced and they were all bought out together and tasted delicious! 

st. david's centre cardiff review tgi fridays food

st. david's centre cardiff review tgi fridays food
For the mains, I decided to go for a portion of the sesame chicken strips along with a side of fries - which is always a good choice. The Jack Daniel's chicken strips are sweet, crispy, a little spicy and excellent with the crunchy salad. The seasoned fries were really tasty and came in a separate bowl. The others opted for a Jack Daniel's chicken breast with seasonal vegetables and cheesy mashed potato - awesome addition, as well as a 8oz sirloin steak with veg and seasoned fries. Having checked with my steak-eating friend, the steak was as she ordered and 'juicy'. 

st. david's centre cardiff review tgi fridays food

After consuming all of that delicious food, and a fair amount of bottomless cokes we decided not to opt for a dessert. However the pecan bourbon pudding is amazing, so I'd recommend that! As always, the service from the staff at TGI's in St. David's was awesome - they are a talented bunch who can multi-task, bring endless refills and really make you feel welcome. So if you're looking at things to do in Cardiff, I'd recommend paying a visit to the classic American themed TGI's resteraunt, where it's always Friday. You can also find some brilliant places to eat, drink and explore in Millenium Hotels guide to Cardiff.  Then it was off to continue with some Christmas shopping in the hustle and bustle of St. David's centre, beautifully decorated for Christmas and full of amazing stores and offers. 

*Vouchers provided towards the cost of the meal - but it truly is awesome. 

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Men's Budget Christmas gift guide - under £30

mens christmas gift guide budget under £30 2014

Please tell me I'm not the only one that finds buying christmas gifts for men more difficult than putting nail polish on my non-writing hand? It's always a toss up between practical yet boring gifts or fun/novelty gifts that never actually get used. 

After scouring the interwebs for some gift inspiration I thought I'd round up some of my favourite gifts for men that I found for under £30! There's a little something for everyone whether he's a traveller, a foodie, a coffee lover, a music man or an aftershave kinda guy. Each gift is linked to the actual item - have fun shopping! 

Monday, 1 December 2014

Serenata Christmas Hampers & Giveaway

 If you're struggling to think of the perfect Christmas gift for just about anyone, I think a hamper is a safe bet. Food and drink are always high scorers in the gift department, especially over the christmas period as we all enjoy drinking and eating more than we normally would - and why not?

Serenata Flowers offer a great selection of hampers to suit just about any occassion, but their Christmas hampers are some of my favourites. They have hampers of all different sizes, making them a great gift for an individual, a couple and even a family. This Gastronomic gift hamper includes a selections of savoury and sweet snacks as well as a bottle of wine to enjoy over the Christmas period, making it the perfect gift for someone who has just about everything. The hamper includes:

Cheese board chutney 
Godminster vintage organic cheddar cheese 
Godminster water biscuits with rosemary 
Handmade chocolate meringues 
Grangeneuve Bordeaux white wine 
Luxury chocolate coated peanuts and raisins 
Luxury japanese rice crackers 

Each of the items look luxurious and this gourmet hamper would make the perfect gift for any adults in your life this Christmas. This hamper will definitely be enjoyed by a foodie and has a wonderful selection of luxury food and drink to be enjoyed by all, plus there's some even better news - one of you lucky lot can win a Gastronomic Gift Hamper worth £50 by entering this giveaway hosted by the lovely people over at Serenata Flowers who want to spread the Christmas cheer!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

UK entrants only 
This giveaway ends on 14th Dec 2014 
Prize supplied by Serenata Flowers 
Winner will receive 1 x Gastronomic Gift Hamper 
Over 18 only due to alcohol included
Winner will be chosen at random & notified via email 
For additional entries completed, please ensure you leave the relevant information on the form

Christmas Gift Guide: The Stocking Fillers

stocking filler gift guide 2014
Burts Bees stocking fillers £5.99 each*; a range of sets available including some of their top selling lip balms and handcreams. Packaged in cute little boxes, these make a great addition to a beauty lovers stocking. Available from Burts Bees 

stocking filler gift guide 2014
Cameliha hair accessories £2; for something a little different but still practical and pretty these patterned hair ties are great for girls on the go! They don't leave kinks in the hair and can also double up as cute bracelets. Available from Cameliha 

stocking filler gift guide 2014
Handmade tree decorations £5; if you're looking for a traditional stocking stuffer that the receiver can keep for years to come then these cute little crocheted robin decorations are perfect for anyone, any age. Available from Cutesy Crochet. 

stocking filler gift guide 2014
Bomb Cosmetics Christmas bath bombs £2.24/£2.29*; these cute festive bath products make a perfect stocking filler for anyone who enjoys a pamper. The range includes bath melts and bath fizzers with a range of festive and seasonal scents. Available from Bomb Cosmetics. 
stocking filler gift guide 2014
Ted Baker Hanging gifts £6 individually/Set of four £22*; Ted Baker are definitely on point with their christmas range this year, with gorgeous pastel and gold packaging and brand new products. This set of four mini 5ml fragrances include 4 of their signature scents and you could easily split the set up and gift them to 4 people! Men's sets also available which feature mini 9ml fragrances. Available at Debenhams. 

stocking filler gift guide 2014
Nivea Luscious Lips tin £6; another great stocking filler for beauty lovers. This pretty heart shaped tin contains four full sized nivea lip products including two of their lip butters and two lip balms. Available from Asda. 

stocking filler gift guide 2014

Skin Therapy products £1/£2* ; the Skin Therapy from Wilkos includes both full size and travel size skincare items that make perfect little extras for a Christmas stocking. Their range includes skincare, bath and body and accessories. Available from Wilko 

These are just a few of my favourite stocking fillers from this years selection of christmas releases, stay tuned for more christmas gift guides. I hope you found this gift guide useful! What's your favourite stocking filler from this post? I think mine are the Ted Baker perfumes & the cute robins!