Friday, December 30, 2016

New year, new phone case | Caseapp*


Everyone likes to give themselves goals for the new year, whether that be food related, organisational related or money, we all have things we want to improve and get better at. One of my things I'd like to get better at is to be more of a positive person. In general I'm quite positive, however can have a negative streak, which I don't wish to continue with. Being someone who spends a lot of their spare time on their phone, I was over the moon when Caseapp wanted to work with me again as what better way to continuously inspire yourself, than through a positive phone case.

I was able to choose two designs (*which were gifted) for my iPhone 6 and went for a plan leaf design and also went for a standard marble with a quote that I found online (because everybody loves marble). 



'Positive Vibes' and 'Eat, sleep, blog, repeat' are both very fitting for me and what my new year goals were. I thought that actually a phone case is something you see over and over throughout the day so a great way to inspire yourself time after time. 


The quality of these cases are great and so sturdy and totally worth the money. The service you get from Caseapp I was actually really impressed with as they personally emailed me as my original quote on the marble was coming out blurred. This is something they didn't have to do, and instantly made me think highly of them because they went that extra mile. 


If your in the need of a new phone case then be sure to check out Caseapp as you can create your own complete customised case or use one they have already designed. They've kindly offered you guys a discount code ( THEHOLLYDAYS20 ) which if you use, I'd love for you to share what case you went for on social media, either on Twitter or Instagram.

Happy phone case shopping with Caseapp!

xoxo





Saturday, December 24, 2016

A relaxing Christmas Eve evening | #jaidemas


Tis the season to pamper ourselves. Well, I'm speaking for myself when I say this, but,  the festive season gives me some what of an excuse to lay in the bath for hours (yes hours) with a hot chocolate or tea, watching a Christmas films with a face mask on. I obviously pamper myself all through the year, but Christmas Eve night before the big guy arrives is the perfect reason for a chill. 

Here are my top five things I do to get the most out of a relaxing evening preparing for Christmas Day, which I'll be doing myself after an evening of games, drink, food and laughs.

1: Free time - Make sure everything is done and ready by a good time. Nothing you need or have to do, nothing you have to watch at a certain time and nowhere you have to be. Doing this helps me and my mind to relax completely as it's not just your body that needs to rest, your mind needs to too. I even put the evening in my ical or my diary to make it a sure thing. This tends to be quite late on Christmas Eve (around 9/10pm) but I know Father Christmas will understand and leave me till last.  

2: Run that bath ~ Yes, this is super obvious, but, it's so needed in order to let your body to completely relax. What would a relaxing bath be without a Lush bath bomb? I would have to say that my favourite Christmas Lush accompaniments for a festive bath are Ruby Red Slipper and Snow White. Great scents which I picked up from the Lush Event the other week (vlog here).

3: Hot drinks flowin - Whether your a tea gal or a hot chocolate, taking a warm drink in the bath can be great (Mines normally a hot chocolate). I find it just helps to add extra festive and winter feels to the evening. Even if you don't have it in the bath with you, getting into bed with a warm drink is just as relaxing and satisfying. 

4: Get the moisture in - Being a beauty obsessed individual, I'm an avid mask user, no matter what type of mask it is, my face appreciates a weekly mask. Not festive in the slightest, but, most definitely a relaxing step to do. My most used, go to mask is the Garnier moisture bomb at the moment because it just does such a fabulous job at sorting out dry, tired and dull skin. This mask is also great at making your skin the perfect canvas for makeup, so, Christmas Day you'll be Flawless! 

5: Last minute wrapping presents with a Christmas film - I'm generally wrapping presents all the way through December right up to the last minute. Home Alone will always be my favourite film to watch to get ready for the big day. You'd think I'd be bored of it by now considering I've watched it constantly throughout the month of December, and have done every year since I can remember. Christmas Eve is the best day to watch it on too. 

So those are my five steps to a festive evening that's relaxing, festive, and a chance to give yourself a little pamper before the big day. Hope you all have a fantastic day wherever you are in the world, and it's filled with food, fun, laughter and love.

xoxo

Friday, December 23, 2016

Freefrom Christmas cookies | #jaidemas


I always like a spot of baking on the run up to Christmas Day, and cookies are something that everyone loves and just an all round win. Perfect to just have in the house on the snack table (does anyone else do this for Christmas Day?) or just an evening snack after a day full of food. By the way, these are so delicious, and I'm not just saying this. Its an easy recipe thats quick to make and quick to eat. Enjoy!

Ingredients you need:
Gluten free self raising flour -300g
Caster sugar -300g
Dairy free marg - 200g
Dried cranberries - as many as you want
Freefrom chocolate - as many as you want
Xanthan gum - 1stp 
Eggs - 2 medium 


Step one: Requires you to engage your guns and cream the sugar and marg together. You need to keep going until its quite creamy with no lumps to be seen. 


Step two: Crack the two eggs in (making sure no parts of the shell has fallen in) Mix together until it's completely mixed up with the creamy sugar and marg. 


Step three: You want to pop in your flour and a tsp of Xanthan gum. The gum helps the mix to stay together and not crumble due to the flour being gluten free. Don't go mad with ya mixing as the flour could go everywhere! Be firm and careful and make sure it all mixes in nicely.  


Step four: Now it's time to pop in your extra ingredients. I went for chocolate buttons as I feel you get better amounts when biting into the cookies. As these are Christmas cookies I fancied including something a little different so I went for dried cranberries. I'm not sure why, but I associate these with Christmas time and thought they'd go nicely with the chocolate. Theres no real expert way of doing this step other than chucking them in, give it a stir and your good to go. 


Step five: Scoop the mixture out in small balls and pop on a baking tray. I tend to go for five per tray and go for a ping pong sized amount. They should go into a pre-heated oven at gas mark 6 (200 degrees c).



These are honestly delicious and all my friends and family enjoyed the first batch I made as a tester so I'll be making these today. 

Merry Christmas!

xoxo



How organisation helps keep a Christmas/New Year smile | #jaidemas




With so many loved ones to think of, jobs to carry on with and an increased social life, the Christmas holidays can be manic. I mean, don't get me wrong, I absolutely love this time of year, but how do you get yourself ready for it, because before you know it, boom! It's right in front of you.

I like to section myself into categories to help me stay focused in such a busy time and have designated times and days for things I just have to get done. If you can't already tell, I'm a bit of a organisational freak and seriously love to organise anything.

Christmas shopping:
I'm a 'slow and steady wins the race' type of gal in terms of Christmas shopping and like to get a few things whenever I can. I know of people who go out for an entire day and buy in  bulk but I'm just not one of them. This year I joined in with black Friday and Cyber Monday (even if its just for a few items) and managed to get a couple of people ticked off my list. I've only just completed my present shopping but already having the worrying feeling I haven't bought enough.... Last minute.com dash to town me thinks. 

Blogging:
We see and hear this from so many bloggers and vloggers, but, it's the best advice I could give for any time of year. Be organised and plan ahead is key to not feeling overwhelmed and fall behind. Because I'm starting to build up my social outings, blogging is being done mostly at weekends and every now and again when I have some free time. Photography is done in bulk and try to photograph an outfit at the weekend and stock up. I think I'm going to purchase a happiness planner for next year and get even more organised with life and blogging. I've got posts and a vlog to go up over the two weeks of Christmas/new year so I won't need to worry. I'm scheduling tweets right now too which helps to keep you relaxed, away from your phone and with loved ones. 

Friends and family:
Day trips, swing by visits and evenings out are where it's at this time of year, whether that's with friends or family. Because I like to make the most of being with my favourite people this time of year, I haven't had a free Friday for so long..... which I see as a good thing. I feel like the year flies by in terms of our jobs and other commitments that at Christmas it seems to pause slightly, and quality time with our loved ones happen more often. Actually can't wait for Christmas Eve as that's when hours of family fun starts. 

I'd love to know your opinions on how you juggle blogging, friends, family and present buying this time of year. There's always room for some extra organisation during the festive and New Year season. 

xoxo

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

My Christmas wrapping theme | #jaidemas

You hear a lot of chat about how important Instagram themes are to people. Well, having a wrapping theme at Christmas time is just as important to me which, as you can see is very traditional.

Brown paper has always been up there with what I feel is the nicest way to wrap presents. There's just something about it that looks good (and very Pinterest worthy). One year I actually bought parcel paper from Wilko and parcel tags and the overall look was nice, but felt there was something missing. Then I stumbled across these beauties in Asda and immediately knew that little red trees on my brown paper was what I was missing. It's just perfect and great quality paper too, actually can't stand thin wrapping paper that just feels cheap and just never looks nice. This holds shape well, looks festive and traditional with am up to date twist.

Even though I like the brown wrapping paper, a lot, I felt I needed something to break it up whilst remaining with the traditional theme I had going on. Knowing that either red or green would go well, I grabbed a few rolls of the HoHoHo wrapping paper which, correct me if you disagree, but it looks very traditional Coca Cola esk. I thought it really complimented the brown paper and helps the white ribbon to really stand out.


For those people I know I'll end up getting a nice tipple for, I tend to head straight to TKMaxx for gift bags. They always have a good selection of individual ones as I like everyone to have a different one. You've got to be careful when buying separate bags as it can creep up on you and be a little bit of a shock. 

Every year I find myself sticking to the brown paper thing, however, adding new elements to it every time the festive season is with us. 

I'd love to know if you have a wrapping theme and what your theme is this year.
xoxo

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Shaking up my neutral palettes | Beauty


Palettes are handy to have, as in general they cater for daytime and evening looks, so the perfect thing to take away with you on the go. As we're in the festive month of December I'm trying to add a little something to my go to neutral looks, and delving into the other end of the palettes for help. 

Heading more to the burnt copper and burgundy shades is my safe option when trying to use more of my palettes. Although I can pretty much buy any neutral palette and be happy with it, I'm really getting into these palettes you can arrange yourself because you can completely make them your perfect selection. Coppering and Cranberry  are my perfect 'That little extra' shades for me to liven up my neutral looks.



The MUA Heaven and Earth palette is a really affordable palette however, the consistency and payoff of the shadows really does allow you to build well and is like the quality of a much more expensive brand. By just including a darker brown in the crease ( Valley or Bedrock) it automatically takes your eye look to a more dramatic route. Sometimes I go that one step more and line the bottom lash line with the darker shadow which helps to achieve more of a smokey eye.


The last palette that's great for going from neutral day to evening smoke is the first Naked palette, a product that I'm sure you all have used or own. I'm very partial to using Smog and Hustle as my drama but, also have used them across the whole lid and just blended and blended out so the edges are soft and added a tiny dab of Sin in the inner to brighten up the eye. 

My love for neutral palettes is just too much. Why do we need single shadows when a palette can take you from day to night in one product. I've pictured the Maybelline colour tattoo because I find this to be a fab base for an intensive smokey eye as it really locks the shadows in. I'd love to know your fav palettes that you can shake up and start using the other end of the shadow line.

xoxo

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Dairy free winter drinks | #jaidemas


Not being much of a traditional tea drinker, and only a coffee girl at the weekends, I tend to live off herbal tea, green tea and hot chocolates during the week. I like starting my day with a fruity one that's quite light, and finishing off my day with a comforting, rich drink and thought I'd share as I understand the struggle of these colder days. 


Green tea ~ Tetley Beauty Tetley Immune Twinings Fudge Melts
These teas are one of my fav ways to enjoy a little warming beverage to kick start my day. The beauty tea is cucumber and apple and is so refreshing and really tasty. It contains B7 and is supposed to help maintain healthy hair and skin, which is always a bonus. I also really enjoy the immune tea, which is more fruity and tropical with pineapple and mango. This tea has added vitamin C and helps to support your immune system (and mine is shockingly bad so this is much needed). Both are lovely and easy to drink and a nice alternative to regular tea and coffee. 

The fudge melts don't state they have any promises to help with your beauty or immune, but they do taste a little indulgent. Some people just don't get the reason why I enjoy Green Tea and how I can even call it tasty or indulgent, but I just love the taste. 

Herbal tea ~ Pukka 
In general, I enjoy the majority of the Pukka tea flavours and tend to grab the variety box so I always have a good range to choose from depending on my mood. The night time and lemon, ginger and Manuka honey are my ultimate choices from the variety pack. Because they're wrapped singly I like chucking a couple in my work bag as ready to have whenever.

Hot Chocolate ~ Freddo Sweet Freedom Choc Shot
I follow the Accidentally Vegan instagram (which I'm so incredibly thankful for), and when they uploaded the picture of the Freddo Hot Chocolate as being unintentionally vegan, I virtually went straight to the supermarket to hunt it down. The ingredients on the back stating that 'It may contain milk' but isn't listed as an ingredient. I like to use rice milk or the foamable oat milk you can get as I find it makes the thickest and creamiest hot chocolates. Of course I top it off with some dairy free whipped and marshmallows. Evenings are when I like to treat myself to one of these naughty warming treats, however, I probably have a little too much per week. Whoops. 


Thanks for reading one of my #jaidemas posts! Now who's for a warm beverage? 

xoxo


Monday, December 5, 2016

Don't know what to get her? | #jaidemas


Recently I've started to panic as secret Santa is something I'm going to have to take part in soon, and also, will be off buying stocking fillers for my mums stocking as soon as my dad sends the text with the subject 'Help-mums stocking'. Your brain goes into overdrive and you start worrying about what items to buy and what they like and what if they don't like certain things. I'll always go straight to these types of items for 'her' no matter what age really as they are safe options. Never have I experienced a secret Santa/friend/female family member to be disappointed or not please with their present following these staple presents.

This Works - Deep Sleep Pillow Spray -  
Being a daily user of this and majorly addicted to it, I like to share the love of this product with everyone I know. Some people really don't believe that things like this work, but even if that's the case, it smells so nice and to receive a mini is a perfect trip away accompaniment. My grandparents are now into it along with my parents and they all love the scent so I'm pretty confident that anyone who loves sleep will love it.

The Body Shop - Almond hand cream-  
Hand cream is something I buy every year for so many different people and no matter what age, receiving it is always much appreciated. This hand cream is one of the best in my opinion as well as the Hemp one. Incredibly moisturising, softening and smells great. Depending on where you buy the hand cream from, you can get nice sets or, can get them singly and gift them to someone alongside another present.

Yankee Candle - Tea light variety pack -(similar)
If someone buys me a candle, I'm always so so so so happy! Candles are a fab way to gift people with something that will last and also be used, as who doesn't use candles ey? These little gift packs are such a good idea for people who aren't massive on candles and particular smells, but gives them the opportunity to try out a few different scents. Christmas cookie smells amazing! You must go smell it. 

So...? Fragrance set - 
I like having a nice variety of possible smells to reach for day to day and don't like to waste my expensive Tom Ford perfume on wearing it to work. So, for going to work I use body sprays from brands like Soap and Glory and So...? I have this set myself and think it's just a nice thing to receive. This scent in this box is quite a fresh and general smell so it's hard not to like it. Affordable, nice to have in a handbag just in case and just handy to have.

Flamingo candle -
I know I've already included a candle, but if you want to get someone a candle and want it to be a little bit more special than a variety gift set, then a Flamingo candle is where it's at. The packaging is so adorable and one that you see all over Instagram (so perfect for those posting a lot on social media). They have some great scents like mojito and Palm of Violets and so many more. I always feel more inclined to buy a candle that's in a nice jar as I think about what I can use the jar afterwards, as a cotton bud holder (love doing that).

All of these are items I feel are easy to buy if your in a rush or feel stuck on small presents to get people. They're all handy and nice gifts to give to someone even if you don't know them, I'm sure they'll all go down well. 

Have fun shopping!

xoxo

Friday, December 2, 2016

What I'm splapping on my face right now | #jaidemas


Last week I had a little switch around of a few items that I had just completely forgot about. You know what the deal is, when you have too much 'stuff' that you end up just picking the same thing every day. So, I selected a few products I'd not used in a while, or never used, and put them in a make up bag which I was determined to solely use for a certain period of time, until I had a good opinion on the newest items. I'm pretty proud that this exact line up has been on my face since I shared this snap on Instagram last week. I'm honestly love this gang and thought I'd let you know why they're spicing up my make up bag. 

It's all about the lashes for me right now and I'm ditching the liner as in all honestly, I just can't really be bothered right now. I'm in a liner rut and am kind of waiting for the greatest one to land right in front of me as I'm fed up searching for it. For now, it's my lashes that are dominating my eyes and I couldn't be happier I found the Nars Audacious Mascara in my local TKMaxx so much cheaper than it should be (#winning). The wand has lots of little bristles and really grabs onto your lashes from the lid and pulls them right up. The length and the curl holds for hours and have been receiving compliments since using it saying my eyes look like they are popping and really stand out.  

The Kat Von D 'Shade and Light' eyeshadow palette was bought for me back in March by my sister (she did good), and it was forgotten about over the last few months and in one of my boxes of newer items I must use more. I knew I was going to love using it properly but seriously, this palette is so useful and versatile. Some stunning shades, some I don't normally wear at all and some which are just so easy to slap on yet they look so lovely. Yes it's an eyeshadow palette but, I've been using a couple of shades for face contour (gotta love a multifunctional product) which gives a really nice natural effect to the face. Silky, pigmented and easy to blend = perfection. 

#browsonpoint hashtag is used all over the internet and social media and now I feel I can use that hashtag. Having recently attended the Makeup Revolution Halloween party and was kindly gifted a few different items including this dark eyebrow shadow from Freedom. The pigmentation is fantastic and actually have to have a bit of a light hand when using it as it's that opaque and just solid colour. I tend to just go in with the darker one of the two and just apply differently across the brows mixing a light hand and normal. The packaging is quite standard, but, being small and so compact and includes a mirror! This will not just have your brows on point, but serious handbag/purse goals with a dinky mirror on the go.
 

I'd love to know your opinion on any of the products shown in the picture above and whether you like them or think I should try a different one. 

Thanks for stopping by on #jaidemas day 2!

xoxo

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The first day of #jaidemas


Being a full time teacher limits me in terms of how much time I can spend filming, blogging and taking pictures, and over the past couple of months I'd really been thinking about going that extra mile this December. I'm so limited during this time of year as I leave when it's dark, and get home when it's dark, so thought, why not give both blogmas and vlogmas a go and alternate between the two and lets call it #jaidemas 

Over the years I've been a devoted blogmas and vlogmas supporter and have always fancied taking part myself. The reason behind #jaidemas was for me, to document my December and my life, but also, to share more of me with you lovely lot. I've come up with a little timetable which goes a little like this.

December 1st - 7th - Blogmas (8am upload)
December 8th - 14th - Vlogmas (6pm upload)
December 15th - 21st - Blogmas (8am upload)
December 22nd - 29th - Vlogmas (6pm upload)

This works well for me as I'll be vlogging the weeks when I have things going on, like events and social goings on, and blogging when my weeks will be a little quieter and very work focused. You can expect posts and videos that are Christmas focused, general beauty and skincare, fashion and also baking. I've got a few events and things so will be good fun!

Taking part in blogmas and vlogmas is something I think can really benefit someone who shares a lot of their life on social media. Your followers are able to see and hear more of you and become closer to you as a person and not just through Twitter chats. I hope you can follow me and support me on this journey and would love you us all to use the hashtag #jaidemas to chat together. It's going to be so tough, full time job, long days, limited daylight and a slow Macbook, and I'm predicting that coffee will be in high demand but bring it on! I'm ready!

xoxo