Monday, 30 November 2015

Two Days in London.

Last week myself and the hubby headed down to London for a couple of nights. My other half had to work on Friday so I headed around London Town exploring and being pretty touristy. I had made a little to-do list of things I wanted to do/see so I set out exploring a few things I've never done in the capital. 

First stop was the British Library for the Alice in Wonderland exhibition. Unfortunately no photos were allowed, but the exhibition was pretty cool with original diaries from Lewis Carroll and drawings and illustrations from a variety of illustrators. I then headed to Whole Foods on High Street Kensington. I adore this Whole Foods store, it's the ultimate free-from heaven and I always spend way, way too much money on things I don't need. 

I hopped on the tube to Sloane Square to visit the Saatchi Art Gallery. The gallery is set in the most beautiful grounds and felt so, so Christmassy. The exhibitions were great, I love photography and there were some amazing photos - this one of the tattooed men was easily my favourite. There is just something really lovely about galleries, it was just so chilled and peaceful compared to the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street. Wandering around, I actually forget I was in the city on Black Friday. Of course, I popped to Selfridges, Debenhams and Space NK to do a little bit of shopping. I managed to pick up some fab deals, but I'm saving them for another day. 

We finished the day off having food at a gorgeous Korean restaurant called Bibimbap on Charlotte Street. The food is served in hot stone bowls and actually cooks as you're eating - pretty cool. 

On Saturday we headed to Borough Market, which I've never actually been to before. I couldn't believe I'd never discovered this place before and just loved the atmosphere. I managed to pick up a vegan, gluten free treacle tart slice, which may have been my breakfast  but it was so worth it.

Finally before heading back to Euston we popped over to Camden Market and explored the quirky shops and stalls. On recommendation I headed to Cookies and Scream, which is a vegan and gluten free bakery. I had the my first doughnut is almost 6 years and it was amazing. Camden is crazy and we could have easily spent the rest of the evening there, if we didn't have to head home.

I'm feeling so much more Christmassy after our little trip and I've officially started my Christmas shopping. Next task, put up our tree..

Katie xx


Thursday, 26 November 2015

Celebrate Yankee Candle.

Last weekend I headed to Cheshire Oaks to attempt to start my Christmas shopping. In my defence, the good intentions were there, but I did end up buying myself gifts, rather than anyone else (oops!). One of my favourite stores are Cheshire Oaks is the Yankee Shop. I pop in every time we visit and always manage to pick up so bargains and this trip was no exception.

I actually did pick up some Christmas presents, which I haven't featured, but my best buy was easily this Celebrate Large Jar. The large jars are priced at £19.99 normally, but I picked this up for £13.99 - which is an absolute steal. I was completely drawn straight to the cake images as I love the sweet smelling Yankees. Bearing in mine Snowflake Cookie is my absolute favourite scent from Yankee, this smells really similar. It's a sweet cake-bater scent with a little added spice. 

There is something really nostalgic about this candle. It kind of reminds me of birthday parties as a child and everyone getting together to celebrate - which I guess is the idea. I will certainly be burning this in the run up to Christmas, to get me in the mood for family times on the 25th.

What's your favourite Yankee scent?

Katie xx

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Effortlessly Cool Riding Boots.

Footwear is my addiction. And this time of year, boots are my go-to item. I currently have picked up four pairs of boots for the coming Winter and I just need more and more. The latest addition to my collection are these gorgeous riding boots are from Adesso at Shoetique*.

These are seriously the world's comfiest boots. I wore them for the first time shopping and was a little worried about needing to pick up some plasters for potential blisters, however I certainly didn't need to worry. These are like wearing slipper boots out and about. The leather is so flexible, meaning these are so easy to wear without giving you that awful 'crunchy' feeling, every time you take a step. 

What drew me most to these boots, is how different they are. I've never seen riding boots with the blue detail on the elastic, making these a little more quirky than just plain black. I also adore the contrast between the sole and the main boot, I think it adds a little more uniqueness, to these gorgeous boots. 

And the best part? They go with everything. I've tried them with jeans and skirts/dresses and tights and they just look so effortlessly cool. They're so easy to dress up and down too, and can definitely take an outfit through from day to night. I know these will be glued to my feet over the next few months, and that's fine with me!

What's your favourite footwear for this time of year? 

Katie xx

Monday, 23 November 2015

Christmas Gift Guide: Under £30.

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As we are almost in December, I thought it was time I popped up a cheeky Christmas gift guide. I'm actually planning a couple of gift guides over the next few weeks, but I wanted to start with some stocking fillers, under £30 for the ladies in your life. 

I'm pretty obsessed with browsing Space NK and Cult Beauty for their Christmas gift sets at the moment. And there are so many great bargain buys around at the moment. My absolute favourite picks from Space NK are easily the Nars Lipstick set. These are five minis in gorgeous berry, nude and red shades and the perfect size to pop in your handbag. I have had my eyes on these for a few weeks and I'm planning on picking these up on payday, for £29 these are an absolute steal.

Diptyque are easily one of my favourite candle brands and the Christmas collection is on point again. The mini candles are priced under £30 and are easily the prettiest thing you could have on your fire place. The gold detailing on this one, is just so gorgeous and really festive for the holiday season.

Alongside this wishlist, I've actually picked up form Christmas gifts (for myself!) to share with you...

The Origins Gift Set, I picked up in Boots for a tiny £25. The set includes a full size GinZing Moisturiser and three 30ml products including GinZine Cleanser, Drink Up overnight mask and Modern Friction exfoliator. The 30ml products are bigger than a deluxe samples and have more than enough product to give them a good try out. The moisturiser is £24 on it's own, so this is a fab buy.

Next up I picked up two items from the Christmas gifts in Space NK. I went with the Caudalie Beauty Elixir, which came in cute Christmas packaging for £11.50. And finally the Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm 5ml for £10, which comes in an adorable bauble-type packaging, which would make the perfect addition to anyone's Christmas Tree.

Have you found any Christmas bargains?

Katie xx

Sunday, 22 November 2015

The Kitchen Game-Changer.

A bit of a random post from me today, but certainly one for you foodies/home owners out there...I'm a bit of a kitchen gadget hoarder. I love anything that makes cooking easier or faster and unfortunately for the hubby, that means pretty much any kitchen gadget advertised. Yes I have a juicer, blender, air fryer, slow cooker, but I didn't own any grill-type appliance, until now. 

The Tefal Optigrill* is easily one of my favourite cooking aids I've ever come across. It can cook pretty much anything to perfection, without you having to stand over and make sure it's not burning. I'm have a small phobia of under-cooking chicken, which means whenever I pop some in the oven, it always turns out over done and a little dry. However since having the Optigrill in my life, I've had perfect meat every time. 

So how does it work? It's really straight forward, even a kitchen novice, like me, can work it out. Yu switch it on, select your programme - either defrost, a meat of your choice from the pictures or manual for everything else. Press okay and the grill starts to heat up. Here's the best part, the button at the end changes colour to correspond with the writing so you know exactly what stage of cooking your food is up to, from preheat to well-done. It has pre-set cooking times for poultry which is always well-done, but for steak you can choose how you like it by removing your meat at the correct time. 

After each cooking stage, the Optigrill beeps to let you know it's moved onto the next stage and beeps again when cooking is completed. This means while it's doing it's thing you can be relaxing in the living room or preparing your side dishes, without worrying about your main. Plus the grill works so quickly, your food will be ready before you know it.

This is seriously a kitchen game changer and I would 100% recommend the grill to anyone that likes to be a little lazy from time to time. Plus it's just as healthy as grilling food, making it the perfect appliance for a family kitchen.

Katie xx

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Book Haulin'

Last Sunday night I was killing time and decided I definitely needed to buy some books. I set to Twitter and asked you guys for some recommendations and went ahead and made a pretty big order on Amazon. 

Is it just me or is there no better delivery than brand new books?! They just smell so good and look pretty and pristine. I went a few recommendations and the rest were choices on a whim and from reviews online. And I just can't wait to get stuck in. 

I'm starting out with Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell as I've been dying to read this after reading Fangirl. I popped Landline into my basket too, so I'm really looking forward to giving that a go too. 

Of course I will get up some reviews as I make my way through the this stash and please let me know some of your favourite book recommendations!

Katie xx

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Lazy Nights in with Debenhams.

One of my favourite things about winter is cosy nights in with the heating blasting and a good film on Netflix. So when Debenhams asked if I'd like some bits and bobs to help make my lazy nights in a little more cosy, of course I jumped at the chance. 

I'm forever cold and my dressing gown becomes a second skin, especially in the colder months. I'm all about keeping toastie and these PJs are just the ticket. I'm obsessed with the cute polar bear fleecey top and the bottoms are easily the softest things I own. I never been a huge fan of long sleeved PJ tops, but there is nothing more satisfying after finishing a night shift and heading off to bed in the warmest PJ set ever. 

Debenhams also kindly sent me a couple of treats to make my cosy nights in even more special. This throw is just gorgeous and the perfect addition to my living room. The hubby is super happy too, cos it means I don't have to have the heating on just as much! I know I will get a huge amount of use out of this over the next few months. 

I seriously can't thank Debenhams enough for helping me relax after a long day at work. Now I need to pop on my Christmas Eve Yankee Candle and get painting my nails...

Katie xx 


Monday, 16 November 2015

Markets Around Manchester.

This weekend saw the Christmas Markets return to Manchester. My hubby was way too excited about them arriving back that we headed into town on Sunday. I think the the weather had put people off, so the streets weren't too busy and we managed to have a good look around the markets. As I had my camera with me, I thought I'd take a few photos , ready for anyone planning a trip to the market this Christmas. 

The stalls are a mix of gifts, food, drinks and general knick-knacks. My favourite stalls are the food stalls (that give out taster, obviously), I could easily eat my way around the markets for the next few weeks. Oh, and the macaroon stall does not lie, these are THE BEST macaroons in the world. 

The second lot of photos is actually from Spinningfields market, which is in Manchester every Sunday. We stumbled upon this market a few months back and yesterday reminded me how great it is. It's pretty much packed full of delicious local food and handmade gifts. I love the idea of buying local as much as possible and we actually picked up a few yummy things. I'm seriously obsessed with the marshmallow stall and all of the gluten free goodness.

I'm actually heading to London at the end of this month and I'd love to explore the markets there. I love Portobello Road market and Spitalfields but I'd like to try some of the other, so if you have any recommendations, please let me know!

Katie xx

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Recent Primark Buys.

Primark is on point at the moment and I just can't seem to get enough of their A/W range. I've spent hours in Primark over the last few weeks obsessing over their winter ranges, so I thought I'd share a few bits and pieces I picked up recently.

Fist up, the prettiest shoes ever. Glitter, gold and bows, what is there not to love? These are just PERFECT for the party season coming up. There actually from the 'wide-fit' section and considering I have very slim feet, these aren't too wide. In fact they're much comfier than the regular fit dolly shoes I own from Primark. These little beauties are only £6 and if gold isn't for you, they come in black too.

Next up a gorgeous velvet make up bag. I absolutely did not need another make up bag, but I thought this looked so chic and sophisticated I needed it in my life. I am completely obsessed with this wine colour at the moment and this bag is just incredible. My only complaint is I didn't consider how much dust would get stuck to the material! But still for £3, you can't go wrong.

I picked up this snakeskin-esque purse a few weeks back as my only purse was on it's last legs. I love the fact it has enough room for my cards and a separate compartment for my money. The design reminded me of a purse I saw in River Island, but for a fraction of the the price. This little baby was £6 and certainly worth the money. 

I'd been eyeing up this back pack for a few weeks, but couldn't quite justify £12 on a bag I didn't need. So when I spotted it had been reduced to £5, it went straight in my basket. The design really reminds me of Ted Baker and the material is really sturdy, I know I will get a lot of use from this.

Finally the most exciting buy, a gorgeously thick and soft jacket. Again, it's this pretty mulberry wine colour that I can't get enough of. I've seen this over the past few months in a khaki and black colour, but when I spotted this one I ran to pop it in my basket. It's the perfect thickness for this time of year and I can't wait to pair it with leggings for the ultimate comfy outfit. These are priced at a tiny £15 and in my eye, worth every penny.

What have you picked up recently?

Katie xx

Friday, 13 November 2015

Switching Up My Specs.

I've been a glasses wearer for many years now and I tend to wear my specs daily as my eyes can't handle contacts very often. I love switching up my glasses as they can completely make or break an outfit I think. My everyday glasses are brown, tortoise shell-esque which are quite sensible and pretty great for work. However I've been on the look out for something a little more 'out there' and these glasses from Scout at Glasses Direct* are just perfect.

The frames are a gorgeous cranberry red colour and ombre down into a light pink. I love the actual shape of the frame too, they're just off round and really complement my face shape. As with all the glasses on Glasses Direct, these are really sturdy and well made, which means I can throw them in my bag, on days I have my contact lenses in ready for when my eyes get too dry. 

I can't wait to try these out with different make up looks. I know the colour really compliments my pale skin and I feel like playing around with different eye make up would be great with such bold frames. These have certainly become my 'fun' glasses, when I just want to be a little more creative with my look.

Katie xx


Wednesday, 11 November 2015

H&M Beauty.

I feel a little bit left behind in the whole H&M beauty range. So last week I took to browsing and swatching their make up products and ended up bringing home some gorgeous eye shadows. I must admit, it took me quite some time to pick out the colours I wanted and I could have easily spent way more money. 

I went with two of the High Impact Eye Colours in Molten Mauve and Bismarck Palm. Molten Mauve is a gorgeous deep plum colour with brown undertones. I'm obsessed with shades like this for the winter season. I've been wearing plum colours everywhere so I feel my eyes should be no exception. I think this is the perfect shade for a subtle smokey eye that is a little less intense than browns. I know I will get a huge amount of wear from this. 

Bismarck Palm is a beautiful olive-grey toned eye shadow. I fell in love with this colour as soon as I swatched it. If you know me, you'll know green is my favourite colour so this is right up my street. I've dabbled with a few green shadows in the past and really think they compliment my eye colour. I can't wait to experiment with this shade a little more and add a pretty wash of green to my lids. 

Both of the shadows I picked up are slightly metallic and have a 'glowy' finish. I did see a few matte shades in the mix too and some lovely browns that would make the perfect eyebrow shade. And for £4.99 a pop, I don't think you can go wrong. 

Have you tried anything from H&M beauty yet?

Katie xx

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