Wednesday, 25 December 2019

BLOGMAS 25 || HAPPY CHRISTMAS



It's Christmassssssss!

The day we've been counting down too has finally arrived and I can't begin to tell you how excited I am. Today's blogpost is a short one as I want to make sure I'm spending as much time with my loved ones today, but didn't want to pass the opportunity to thank you for reading my Blogmas posts this year - who knew I would be able to do the whole 25 days without missing one! 

So until tomorrow, hope you have an incredible Christmas!

Love, 


Tuesday, 24 December 2019

BLOGMAS 24 || CHRISTMAS EVE TRADITIONS


It's finally Christmas Eve and this time tomorrow we will be stuck in with full festive cheer and no doubt already be on to the 5th Mince Pie of the day! As crazy as it sounds though, I enjoy Christmas Eve just as much, if not perhaps a little bit more, than the big day itself. I love spending time with my family doing all the small little traditions that have followed us through the ages without the huge pressure of trying to make the day 'special'. I found an old post of all my Christmas Eve traditions and it's funny how relevant the post still is! 

Christingle
Ever since I was little, my family and I would all go to the Christingle service at my local church on Christmas Eve. There was always something quite magical about walking there in the frost bundled up in coats watching the twinkling of the fairy lights. I’m sure when I was little, I was probably more excited at the fact I was allowed to be up late at night. The Christingle service itself is just so lovely with lots of families joining in with carols as a way of celebrating together. Growing up in a Christian family, Christmas always meant that little bit more to us, so it’s nice to take time out of our day to celebrate that on Christmas Eve. 

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Christmas PJ’s
This is a relatively new tradition for my mum and I. We both love to snuggle down in a pair of super cute Christmas jammies. The past couple of years I have bought us matching PJ set’s for us to wear to bed on Christmas Eve. To go with the PJ’s I also remake my bed so I have a fresh pair of linen for the night.

Christmas present wrapping
Since I can remember, my dad and I have always spent Christmas Eve wrapping up my mums and brothers presents. My dad works so hard during the week and never has a lot of time to wrap his presents, so we love to do it together. Plus, I have to make sure he takes the price off of everything! 

Christmas movies
Watching a good Christmas movie is a must on Christmas Eve. The Grinch is a particular favourite of mine as it just reminds me so much of my childhood. I wish I could get away with decorating my house as OTT as the who’s do! 

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Let me know if you have any Christmas Eve traditions! It’s nice to be able to look back on how different things get each year whilst doing the same thing. For us, we pretty much keep things the same, although instead of going home after the Christingle, we head down to the pub. 

I hope you have a very merry Christmas spent with everyone you care about the most!

Happy Christmas!
Francesca

Monday, 23 December 2019

BLOGMAS 23 || DEALING WITH HOLIDAY STRESS


Happy Monday! 
We're so close now to the big day, that I thought it was important to re-share one of my favourite Blogmas posts I had written a couple of years ago that is still very VERY relevant to this day. I hope you enjoy <3 

Baubles, tinsel and tree decorating aside, Christmas can be both one of the most exciting and stressful times of the year. Christmas to me is my favourite season to celebrate. I love the excitement of the countdown to December, and nothing beats driving at night down dark streets lit solely by fairy lights! I have always loved it and my love has grown as I have grown. If anything I have become a lot more obsessed, as I am now in a position that I can treat my family members with gifts that they will love. Although, gift giving isn’t always as simple as it seems. Quite often the idea of shopping at Christmas is easier said than done. I don’t know what it is about Christmas shopping that turns the average shopper into a stress mess, but people turn crazy in the run up to the big day. I know how stressed my mum always gets around this time of year as well trying to make sure that everything is perfect for the family. Which lets face it, it always is!
It is important though to make sure that throughout all of the excitement of work do’s, Christmas drinks, present buying, turkey eating and caroling your mental health isn’t affected. I for one love to end some of the busiest days with a warm bath and a cup of tea. Here are a few of the things I do to make sure I’m feeling stress free at Christmas.


1) Lists. Oh boy do I love a good old list! (Lets be honest, we all add things to the lists that we have done throughout the day JUST so we can tick them off.) But jokes aside having a list is a great way to clear your mind with all of the things you need to do, whilst allowing you to be proactive in the process. Gifts for people are usually one of the main things on my list, which also helps with my next tip!
2) Shopping online. I know that this almost seems a given now a days but it seriously makes everything so much easier. Christmas shopping is one of my favourite kinds of shopping to do but standing in long queues is certainly not the one. One of the things I have started to do is make a note of what I see in store so I know what to order online. This not only allows you to be in and out of shops quickly, but it also makes your life a whole lot easier as you can order in the comfort of your own home, feet up and Christmas movie on!


3) Take time for yourself. Like every other time of the year, taking time out for you is just as important during the festive period. Christmas is a time to spend with friends and family. Which is true, but amongst all of the partying and celebrating you need to remember to have some time to yourself to compile your thoughts! 
4) Live in the moment. I think one of the main causes of my stress and anxiety is the want of everything to be perfect, I think I take after my mama on this one! It’s hard not to want everything to be neat and tidy with a gorgeous Christmas theme, but let’s be honest what’s the fun in that! Last Christmas (I gave you my heart, jokes) my brother’s girlfriend Emma and I decorated the tree together for the first time. We started off with a colour scheme but like everything we had two different opinions of what would look good. Combined, the finish of our tree looked perfectly un-perfect and you know what, it was ok! If anything it made the house look more Christmassy!
I hope you can find some use with these tips. More importantly, try not to stress out if things don’t go right. I guess in the end, that’s what Christmas is about!
Love, 

Sunday, 22 December 2019

BLOGMAS 22 || A SPOT OF CHRISTMAS BAKING


It's become a little tradition of mine to bake on the last weekend before Christmas. For the last three years I've used the same Mary Berry recipe, but this time decided instead that I wanted to mix things up with a new one. I found this snowman cookie recipe and decided to recreate them! Well I tried to recreate them anyway, my designs weren't as good as their version but I think I got them pretty close. 

This recipe is super easy to make and the icing was fun to do too. I haven't used fondant icing before but will definitely be using it again. All of the ingredients were easy to buy from Tesco and didn't cost a fortune either. 









How do you think I got on? Will you try these out for yourself?

Until next time, 

Saturday, 21 December 2019

BLOGMAS 21 || GLOSSYBOX ADVENT CALENDAR 14-19


Happy Saturday and Happy 21st day of Blogmas! I'm so so shocked that I'm still on track with this, honestly. I say it every time but who would have thought it! Another thing I am still on track with is opening my advent calendars. This years Glossybox Advent Calendar has been so good I'm finding it harder and harder to wait each day. So what did I get in the last 6 days? 



Over the last 6 days I got some really good products including a gorgeous 3INA cream eyeshadow, Dr Paw Paw balm, Rituals body cream in the most delicious cherry blossom scent, Avant illuminating day cream, Nude by Nature highlighter and Candy Lover watermelon flavoured toothpaste. A great selection and a fantastic variety of products to try and test out. I mentioned in yesterday's post as well how Glossybox have done a good job in not including similar products in their December box which is nice too! 

My favourite from this box is probably the highlighter or Dr Paw Paw balm as that's an oldie but Goldie product for me! 


Until next time, 

Friday, 20 December 2019

BLOGMAS 20 || GLOSSYBOX DECEMBER 2019


It's that time of the month again where I share the contents of my favourite Glossybox, and this one is pretty special! December's box has, obviously, been designed with the festive feeling in mind and looks so pretty with a gold and deep red colour scheme. The classic pink tissue paper has been replaced with red and black bow with gold - it's just so pretty! Inside the months box are 5 full sized products that are all incredible and perfect for this season. If you've been reading my Blogmas posts you know that I was able to get my hands on the coveted Glossybox advent calendar, so I was a little worried that the products in this months box would be similar if not the same to what was inside. Luckily this wasn't the case and the products are very different! Now onto the box...






First up is the largest product in this months box, Original Source Rhubarb and Raspberry Shower Gel. I was so excited to see this one as it's something I already use and was running out of. It smells incredible and always leaves my skin soft and moisturised. Next is Lasplash Cosmetics Golden Gatsby 3D Faux Mink Lashes. I'm not really a lash kind of girl, but it's good to have an option for the occasion that might occur. Annoyingly because I'm not a lash gal I don't have any glue and these ones don't come with any - a little silly, but completely understandable. Then we have a Steve Laurant Loose Powder Pigment in a gorgeous rose gold/brown shade. This colour is so gorgeous and would like perfect to finish off any festive look this Christmas. Bella Pierre Liquid Shadow Eye Candy has also been included in a similar brown/gold shade and would work perfectly paired with the pigment or used on its own. This applies with a wand for easy application. Finally I received a L.O.V Cosmetics The Fateful Lipstain in a gorgeous deep red shade. I've never even heard of this brand before but love trying new lip products! I hope this stain lasts the test of time, I will let you know!


Overall this months box was pretty impressive. It's pretty much a one stop box for all of your festive party needs and I was happy with everything received. If only the lashes came with glue and it would be the best box ever! 

Until next time,

BLOGMAS 19 || MY TOP BOOKS OF 2019


For today's post I thought I would try writing about something a little different in an attempt to keep Blogmas feeling fresh, because trust me when I say my idea pot is running a little empty right now. 2019 has been a year of many things but more importantly the year I re-ignited my love for reading. I've read some crackers, but here's a small selection of the ones I thought were worthy of sharing! Perhaps they could make a great Christmas gift for someone! 

John Marrs - The Passengers
The passengers is one book of many that I love from the author John Marrs. His way of writing and storytelling is unlike any other and I am just so obsessed with the mystery behind the pages. This book in particular follows on from 'The One' and is set in the future where technology has taken over. "When someone hacks into the systems of eight self-drive cars, their passengers are set on a fatal collision course. The passengers are: a TV star, a pregnant young woman, a disabled war hero, an abused wife fleeing her husband, an illegal immigrant, a husband and wife - and parents of two - who are travelling in separate vehicles and a suicidal man. Now the public have to judge who should survive but are the passengers all that they first seem?". Honestly it's worth a read!

Heidi Perks - Now You See Her
If you're looking for a quick read then this one is the book for you. Perks tells the story of a little girl going missing and a mothers battle to find the truth. As soon as I started reading this book I couldn't put it down. "Charlotte is looking after her best friend’s daughter the day she disappears. She thought the little girl was playing with her own children. She swears she only took her eyes off them for a second. Now, Charlotte must do the unthinkable: tell her best friend Harriet that her only child is missing. The child she was meant to be watching. Devastated, Harriet can no longer bear to see Charlotte. No one could expect her to trust her friend again. Only now she needs to. Because two weeks later Harriet and Charlotte are both being questioned separately by the police. And secrets are about to surface. Someone is hiding the truth. So what really happened to Alice?".

John Marrs - When You Disappeared
This book is another great read from the author John Marrs. This story is all about a father who goes 'missing' one morning leaving behind his wife and children. It shows the man starting a life elsewhere before finally going back to his married home many years later. I really enjoyed reading this book and experiencing the jump from two different points of view - the wife and the husband. "When Catherine wakes up alone one morning, she thinks her husband has gone for a run before work. But Simon never makes it to the office. His running shoes are by the front door. Nothing is missing—except him. Catherine knows Simon must be in trouble. He wouldn’t just leave her. He wouldn’t leave the children. But Simon knows the truth—about why he left and what he’s done. He knows things about his marriage that it would kill Catherine to find out. The memories she holds onto are lies. While Catherine faces a dark new reality at home, Simon’s halfway around the world, alive and thriving. He’s doing whatever it takes to stay one step ahead of the truth. But he can’t hide forever, and when he reappears twenty-five years later, Catherine will finally learn who he is. And wish she’d stayed in the dark."

Rosie Walsh - The Man Who Didn't Call
So, this is my current read so I can't really go into too much depth as I don't want to ruin it for myself but here is the blurb... "Imagine you meet a man, spend seven glorious days together, and fall in love. And it’s mutual: you’ve never been so certain of anything. So when he leaves for a long-booked holiday and promises to call from the airport, you have no cause to doubt him.But he doesn’t call. Your friends tell you to forget him, but you know they're wrong: something must have happened; there must be a reason for his silence.What do you do when you finally discover you're right? That there is a reason – and that reason is the one thing you didn't share with each other?" 


So there we have it! Have you read any great books in 2019? Any to recommend? 

Until next time, x 




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