2013 New Year's Resolutions

Tuesday, 31 December 2013
I wrote a blog post back on the 1st of January this year called 13 Things for 2013. It was all about new year's resolutions and I thought it would be nice to go back through them all and see what I completed and what I didn't!

1. Spank the ass off my highers. I don't think you can get more successful than straight As! I'm so, so proud of myself for the ammount of effort and time I put into my exams this year. Looking back I don't know how I actually managed to fit in 20 hours of revision a week whilst working 10 hours a week and running this blog, having a social life etc but I did it and it was totally worth it. 

2. Cut down on fizzy juice. I'm a little bit undecided whether I regard this one to be a success of not. On one hand I've stopped drinking things like Coke or Pepsi just because they're there because I've never been too keen on them. But I still drink Irn Bru about 2 or 3 times a week. Hmmmm.

3. Fill a jar with good memories. I did try to do this but by the end of January I'd given up. I meant to go out and buy a nice mason jar and decorate it. But you know how it is, you get busy and things get prioritised over others etc etc etc. So no this one was a failure. However, I did have about 4 entries and I thought this one was quite cute. 

4. Do more outfit posts. For this one I wanted to do at least one OOTD a month. I'm happy to say that I've done this and I now even do OOTDs several times a month, wooo!

5. Eat more vegetables. This kind of happened. I don't know, maybe?

6. Keep a diary for a year. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Why do I even think that I'm going to do this? I did it for about two weeks. Reading it back now is horrendously cringey!

7. Change my blog. I have tweaked my blog up quite a bit since the start of the year. I got my lovely illustration for my side bar image, added some new things to my sidebar, created a blog roll and added some social media buttons. I'm also getting a new header soon so expect that over the next couple of weeks too. Tick!

8. Go on a date with Stuart once a month. I didn't really keep track of this as tightly but we have gone out a lot more than we usually did so I guess you could say it was a success!

9. Carry on exercising. Oops.

10. Cook more meals from scratch. I've gotten quite creative with my meals this year but I would like to that little bit further and use my recipe books more often!

11. Hit 750 followers. Pretty happy to say that I've more than managed this one. I've got over 1000 on BlogLovin'!

12. Grow my hair. There have been times where I've wanted to cut all my hair off but I've managed to avoid the temptation! I wanted to grow my hair long for prom but now that I've started looking at dresses I think I want something with a detailed back so I think my hair will end up in an up do. Oh well!

13. Worry less. I'm happy to say that I've gotten a bit more relaxed this year. I've learnt that sometimes I need to put myself before others and adopt a 'fuck you' attitude because sometimes it just needs to be done!

I think it's kind off half and half but to be honest I'm really happy with how this year has gone. I'm a little bit apprehensive about 2014 because a lot of big things are going to happen, I'm sure it will be an awfully big adventure. I'm not going to do new year's resolutions this year because honestly I think I need to stop talking about doing things and actually get them done! I hope you have a great new year!

Twitter @honestlyrussell // Instagram  @honestlyrussell // Pinterest @honestlyrussell

A Festive FOTD

Sunday, 29 December 2013
Hello everyone. I thought I'd show you my face of the day from Boxing Day. You might have seen me tweeting that on Christmas day we actually had a Chinese takeaway for dinner. My gran usually comes to our house on Christmas but this year she went to my uncle's so we waited until Boxing Day to have our turkey so she could join us. My boyfriend also came over and it was a lot nicer than it would have been just the four of us on Christmas day, and I love me some crispy duck and pancakes!  I got some new make up bits for Christmas so wanted to have a proper wee play about with it all.

I started off by priming my eyes with Urban Decay Primer Potion and applying a mixture of Sin and Dark Horse all over my lid. Then I added Dark Horse to the crease and Virgin as an inner corner highlight. My eyebrows seem to always look funny in photos but they were filled in with Buck. All eyeshadows were from the Naked Palette. Then I did a classic little flick with my MUA Liquid Eyeliner. Terrible blogger over here but my mascara dried up a month ago and I haven't replaced it so there's no mascara here. I'm not a massive fan of mascara as I feel like it's not all that noticeable behind my glasses anyway!

I primed my face with some of Benefit's The Porefessional which is a little sample I got in a magazine a while ago. It helps reduce the appearance of pores and has a very nice velvety feeling. I then applied some 17 Miracle Matte Powder all over my face to stop my face from looking so shine. Mocha by Mac is my favourite blusher so I applied some to my cheeks and then contoured with the Bourjois Chocolate Bronzer. I got High Beam by Benefit as a Christmas present so I used it here to have a little play about. Along the tops of my cheeks, brow bone, along the front of my nose and my cupid's bow. Then a little slick of Mac Russian Red to add the festive red lip!

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Top 14 Blogs To Check Out In 2014

Saturday, 28 December 2013
I've kind of fallen off the blog reading band wagon over the past couple of the months. Academically, this year has been so tough! The maths that I'm doing at the moment is making me hate maths, which used to be one of my favourite things! But over the Christmas break I've been taking the time to read over a few favourites. I thought I'd share with you some of my favourite blogs and the ones that I'm looking forward to reading in 2014. This initially started as top 10 but then moved to 14 because I couldn't pick. If this still isn't enough for you then please check out my blog roll. There are many more amazing blogs in there. So now in no particular order(well alphabetically) are my top 14 blogs to read in 2014:

Becca's Fashion and Life
I absolutely love Becca's blog because it's so beautiful. Her design is so smooth and sleek and her photos are absolutely gorgeous. I really like reading her posts because they're unique and I like her writing style. She does a series called 'This Week I...' and I think it's nice and enjoy reading it.

Colours and Carousels
Oh Charlotte, where do I start with you? I met Charlotte in April when I went to my first blogging event with her. We instantly got on and there were no awkward conversational gaps. Her blog is just as lovely as she is. Even though we have the same camera, her photos are always 10x nicer than mine. She's a fashion student and her OOTDs are great, she comes up with such great outfits. Please check out Colours and Carousels, I'm expecting many amazing blog posts in 2014.

Delightfully Tacky

Delightfully Tacky is written by the lovely Elizabeth. I'm sure you've already heard of it though because it's one of the bigger American blogs. I'd be lying if I said that it wasn't one of my inspirations. If Water Painted Dreams ends up half as good as Delightfully Tacky then I'll be so happy. Elizabeth's OOTDs are just so unique and quirky. I love the places she takes them in as well, it takes a lot of balls to hit the streets with a tripod.

Ellie's Favourite Things

Ellie is such a sweet girl and I absolutely love her blog. She has the fashion sense that I wish I had and that ability to pull everything off. I also really like the little posts that she does about all the cool places she visits. They leave me bored with my hometown and make me want to catch a train to the closest city and explore.

Gingerly Pale
 Gingerly Pale is a blog that I discovered not too long ago, but fell completely in love with. Jess's posts are more on the lifestyle side of things and I absolutely love them. Her photos are so nice and you can tell from her writing style that she's such a lovely person.

I had the pleasure of meeting Kirsty at a blogging event in September and she's a great girl. She's very chatty, funny and confident: personality traits I know I really need to work on. I feel like Indigo Buttons really reflects her well, she really is what she puts out. I love her OOTDs and after hearing about the little blogging holiday her and a few other bloggers took recently I now really want to go on one! Me and Charlotte have looked at cottages and everything.

Jess Buckley

Ah Jess. You've probably heard me talk about Jess's blog a million times, she was one of the first friends I made blogging. If you didn't know, she's also the gal behind my blog design. I really like reading her blog because it gives me a nice little feel of the American college life. She also does the best gift guides so book mark for Christmas 2014 ;). Too soon?

Lisette Loves

Lisette's blog is just absolutely beautiful. You can tell how much effort she puts into it which is really nice to see. She also makes really great YouTube videos. Her posts are always very thoughtful and I particularily like the Thankful Thursdays series she writes. Such a beautiful and inspiring thing to see every week.

Make Up Etc

If you're looking into going cruelty free(which I'm going to try to do this year) then I'd really recommend checking out Louise's blog. She's got a whole load of info with regards to who does and doesn't test on animals etc. If you're making the change to go cruelty free then her blog will really help you. She emails companies directly so I trust what she's putting out.

When I first found Mo'Adore I read all the posts. Every single one. In one sitting. Now me and Morag are like real life friends. I have her phone number and everything. Funny how things work out sometimes huh? In all seriousness, Morag is a bad ass bitch with a bad ass blog and you seriously need to go check it out. Especially her Linkables series. It's actually the highlight of most of my Friday nights(seriously).

The Little Things

I absolutely love Louise's fashion sense so her OOTDs are a major inspiration to me! She's just so lovely and has a unique fashion sense that's not too out there. What I like the most about her outfits is that when I see then I can imaginge myself wearing them. She's also planning on moving to Edinburgh soon so maybe I can grasp her into my 'bloggers I know in real life' pile. Muhahaha.

We Were Raised By Wolves

We Were Raised By Wolves was one of the first blogs that I started reading and I won't stop reading unless Evelyn stops writing! I absolutely love her beauty reviews and she always seems to find great small brands with great ethics. 


Yet another great Scottish blog. Kayleigh's blog is a really nice one. She's really passionate about using natural products and ethical clothing which is really nice and refreshing, sometimes beauty and fashion blogging can get a little bit materialistic!

Zie Darling

I only discovered this blog at the start of December but I can already tell that it's going to be one of my favourites to read in 2014. Zie's design is absolutely gorgeous and I love her illustration. She's also extremely organised, from one list nut to another ;). I really like the post she done recently about her planner, I really need to get myself one of those!

What blogs do you recommend I check out in 2014?

Twitter @honestlyrussell // Instagram  @honestlyrussell // Pinterest @honestlyrussell

The Top 13 Books I Read in 2013

Friday, 27 December 2013
Oh wow. 2013 has been a great reading year for me. In 2012 as part of my GoodReads challenge I read 75 books. I set that as my goal for 2013 as I knew I'd be happy to match that again. I've already hit the 75 books and moved on to an 85 book goal. A few days left and only 1 book to go, definitely think I'll hit that. I can't believe it! So I thought I'd share with you my favourites from the year. They aren't in any particular order as I'm so bad at doing things like that. If you would like to add me as a friend on GoodReads(please do!) then you can do so here.

Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple This is an absolutely amazing novel. It's made up of emails and letters collected by Bernadette's daughter after she goes missing. It's got a very quirky writing style. If you liked The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared then you'll like this because they have similar styles. Bernadette was a character that I both loved and hated and I think that's a real writing skill.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer This is a retelling of the fairytale Cinderella set in Beijing(where the original fairytale is actually from). Probably the main twist is that Cinderella is a cyborg and a mechanic. Pretty interesting. The big hunk in the story, Prince Kai, meets Cinder when he asks her to fix one of his robots and from then on their always bumping into each other. There's a mysterious plague going around and it's killing Kai's father, Cinder is resistant. Can they help each other out? There's a second book to this series, Scarlett, and I can't wait for book three to be released in 2014.


Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden I have to admit that at the start I found Memoirs of a Geisha to be an extremely difficult book to read. But then everything clicked and I became addicted and I couldn't put it down. This is a fictional story about a Geisha, Sayuri, in one of the largest Geisha Districts during world war 2. I've never really read much about Geishas before so the little details that this book included really interested me! I'm not sure how accurate this book is as I've heard a few people criticise it in that way but if you're looking for a nice little read and you aren't a Japanese history buff then I'd recommend this. It would be a good book to take on holiday as it deserves a lot of attention.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell This was the first book I ever read by Rainbow Rowell, I've now read all of her books and she's one of my favourite authors. Eleanor & Park took the online book community by storm this summer and I can absolutely understand why! This story is set in the 80s and follows two teenagers. Park is one of the popular kids but being half Korean means he doesn't really feel he fits in with anyone in what is still a pretty racist society. Eleanor has a really difficult home life, her stepdad is absolutely horrible and abusive and all of her siblings sleep in the same room as her and share beds. They start to sit next to each other on the bus to school and bond over the comics Park reads. It's a very touching little story. The only thing I disliked about this was the ending. No spoilers, but it was sad!

Shades Of Grey by Jasper Fforde Not to be confused with 50 Shades of Grey, Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde is a dystopian novel where people are valued by their perception of colour. This was really interesting. It was so totally unbelievable in a sort of jokey and quirky way and to me, that was what made it so interesting. The two main characters were really funny and I quickly fell in love with them. It's like 1984 on crack, in a good way.

The Knife Of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness This is the first book in the Chaos Walking Trilogy that I absolutely fell in love with it. It's set in a future world where a virus has killed off all of the women and left the men able to hear one another's thoughts. One day the main character, Todd, finds a patch of silence which it totally unheard of(no pun intended) in their world. This leads to a series of events that make him question everything he's ever known. This series really explores the ideas of war and the effect that it has on those involved. I would really recommend reading this!

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson Ok so this book really isn't going to win any literature awards any time soon. It's a very typical summer romance book. Quite soppy and a little bit unbelievable. But despite all that I still loved it. Two teenagers take a road trip across the US and it's their little stories from all the places. What I liked most about this is that Morgan Matson actually took this road trip herself and has added things like photos, receipts etc into the book. It's those little touches that made me fall in love with it!


The Book Thief by Markus Zusak This book is set in Germany during world war 2 and is narrated by Death. Sound interesting right? A young girl Liesel is sent to live with a foster family because her father is a communist and her mother fears for her safety. Her new family are really great people, I fell in love with the father. Liesel is made fun of because she can't read and he starts to teach her how to by painting on the walls of their basement. It's a very touching story and I can't really say much without spoilers but at one point a jew turns up at their door asking for sanctuary and it changes their lives completely. If you're going to read any of these books, make it this one.

The Aquariums of Pyongyang by Kang Chol-Hwan Well this certainly was an eye opener! In this book the author recounts his experiences inside North Korea, including in one of their labour camps. It was absolutely harrowing at points and just made for a really interesting read. North Korea absolutely fascinates me so I loved this little insight to life there. I can't believe that things like that actually go on in our world today and I look forward to North Korea's inevitable collapse. I really liked this. If you would like to donate some money then I would really recommend donating to Liberty in North Korea. They help North Korean defectors escape China(China and North Korea have this deal that if they find any North Koreans in China they get shipped back) and is a really great cause. Or just go have a look at their website, it's very inspiring.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern This is one of the the most captivating and beautiful books that I've read, ever. You know when you read a Harry Potter book and the descriptions are so beautiful and you feel like you're really there? Same with this. It's about a mysterious black and white circus that travels around the world and is only open at night. You get to find out about the people in the circus and their backgrounds and the people who follow it. Two members of the circus are sealed together in a pact where they are each trained in magic for a duel. But neither of them know it's each other. How will this effect the circus?

Divergent by Veronica Roth I don't really want to go on and on about Divergent as I'm sure you've all heard about it. It's set in a dystopian world where everyone is split into five 'factions'. It's 2013's answer to The Hunger Games. Loads of people love it and it's easy to understand why!

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman The title of this book is a bit misleading but it's actually a really great book. It's written in the form of letters to the narrator's ex boyfriend. She's returning a box of all the things that remind her of him and each item has an illustration by Maira Kalman and a letter from Min explaining a little story behind it. To be honest they seem like a very mismatched couple and I think Min made some pretty crap decisions that didn't make sense to me but I still enjoyed reading this all the same!


Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell I read this book very recently on my kindle and, oh, my god. This book is so perfect. If you're looking for a 'feel good' book then this definitely is the one for you, it's adorable. The story follows a girl Cath as she settles in at college. Cath is a bit socially awkward and is really struggling without her twin sister. She also writes one of the most popular fan fiction series for this world's version of Harry Potter. It shows how she changes a little bit over the course of her first year at university and most importantly, how she starts to accept who she is. There's also a little bit of romance in there too. For the awwwww factor.

What books do you recommend I read in 2014?

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Recipe: Home Made Mince Pies

Tuesday, 24 December 2013
Happy Christmas Eve everyone! I hope unlike me you're having a nice relaxing day with your friends/family ie. not working. I did have a nice relaxing day yesterday and I made some delicious mince pies. It's a bit late but I thought I'd share the recipe anyway in case you were looking for something to bake! This recipe makes 12 mince pies.

Mince pies recipe Christmas

Oh and if you're not British then I should probably tell you that 'mince meat' isn't actually meat at all. It's lots of dried fruit, peels and sugar! Veggie friendly.

Mince pies recipe Christmas


400g of plain flour
200g of butter or margarine 
6 tablespoons of water
a pinch of salt
1 jar of mince meat
1 egg, whisked

Mince pies recipe Christmas


1. Start by rubbing in the butter and the flour. If you've never done this before it means that you pick up little bits of the two and rub them between your fingers letting the crumbs drop back into the bowl. It's hard to describe but it's very easy to to. 
2. Add a pinch of salt and mix through your crumbs.
3. Add the water bit by bit and knead to form a round ball of dough.
4. Leave the dough in the fridge for about 30 minutes to rest. Whilst the dough is resting heat your oven to gas mark 6.
5. On a floured surface roll out your dough until it is about 3-5mm thick. 
6. Cut out as many bases and lids as you can from the dough. Roll together the scraps and use them again to get as much out as you can.
7. Layer the bases into a greased backing tray.
8. Take your whisked egg and add a little bit to the inside of each pie, then add about a tablespoon of mince meat onto the top.
8. Add a little bit of the egg to both sides of the lid and place in on top. Pierce the tops with a fork or leave a little gap.
9. Bake for 20 minutes and leave to cool on a wire rack.
10. If you fancy, sprinkle some icing sugar on top. In my opinion they're best served warm with some cream!

I hope you all have a lovely Christmas!

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Currently I'm... #2

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Reading Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver which to be honest I'm not really enjoying. The characters are very 'typically teenage' which is funny because I know no one like that, at all. The book I read before that was Fan Girl by Rainbow Rowell which was absolutely AMAZING. I totally recommend reading it and it's really cheap on Kindle as well, woo!

Watching lots and lots of vlogmas videos. I feel like since the start of December I've not gotten my YouTube subscription feed empty. It seems like everyone and their mother is doing vlogmas. My favourites are essiebutton and zoella. Also lots of Project For Awesome videos, this one being my favourite.

Listening to Fairytale of New York. On repeat. All day, every day.

Drinking diet irn bru. I wish I could say that I'm drinking lots of hot chocolate but I ran out a few months ago and keep forgetting to get some more. I could buy one from Costa/Starbucks but a) I grudge paying that much and b) they make it with milk and I know I'll regret it.

Loving the little things. I got a Christmas card yesterday from someone that I don't really speak to often. I was quite surprised to see that they'd left me a message inside it. It said 'you're lovely, I think you'll go far in life'. I felt like crying. It was so sweet and it's really made my week.

Enjoying baking. The Christmas bake sale was this week and I made two batches of mars bar cake and one batch of brownies. The mars bar cake went down pretty well but the brownies hardly sold so me and Stuart had them as a dessert with ice cream. Yum.

Learning to do bad ass chemistry experiments. I started the work for my investigation this week and I have to wait until the new year to find out if it's worked because it takes so damn long. I got to wear a lab coat and found a phone number in the pocket. Also been doing a little bit of blog design DIY, do you like my social media buttons? I'm so proud of myself.

Wearing a christmas jumper from Primark. Cheesy but I love it. OOTD to follow soon I promise.

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Week In Photos #57

Sunday, 15 December 2013

New wellies / Stuart's watch / DIY Nails
Christmas wreath / Christmas platypus / Unconditional!
Cosy fire / #bbloggerssecretsanta / Shameless selfie

I've been up to so much since I last done a week in photos post, I've been so darn busy. Probably the most exciting thing is that I received an unconditonal offer from Heriot Watt! I put my UCAS applications in on Sunday morning and heard back from Heriot Watt on Tuesday night. Edinburgh will still be my first choice but as Heriot Watt was my second choice, I'm really happy! 

My #bbloggerssecretsanta came on Thursday so a big thank you to Tamsyn because my present was so lovely. I have a blog post scheduled for Tuesday with some more info about that. I'm also working on a new blog design with my home girl Jess. She's making me a new header and I'm working the rest of my design myself this time. I'm going for something a little bit more minimalistic and clean. You may have noticed my new social media buttons(but you probably didn't) which I done myself. The media buttons were from Pixel Frau and I used to tutorial from Sew Many Ways to install them. It was so easy. I'm hoping that by this time next week my whole design will have changed.

Oh! And I also bought my own domain so you're now on www.waterpainteddreams.com, how fancy?

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Susan McGill Phone Case & Designer Interview

Saturday, 14 December 2013
Hello everyone. You may have seen in my Country Living Christmas Fair Haul that I bought a new phone case from Susan McGill designs. I've decided that I'm going to do a while post about it because I love it so much. I bought my first iPhone case off ebay and whilst I loved it at first it broke pretty darn quickly and I wasn't very happy with it. I decided I'd invest in a really good quality phone case that would last me forever and ever(kind of).

When walking around the fair I hadn't really been intending to buy myself a new phone case there but as soon as I saw it I knew I had to buy it. It's no surprise that I love dogs so I was super happy when I saw this. Most phone cases with dogs on them are pugs. I hate to ruin the typical blogger picture but you honestly couldn't pay me enough to own a pug. I prefer bigger dogs so I was pretty happy to see this, I especially love the 'dug' name tage. That's the perfect finishing touch for me! Handing over £15 for a phone case was a big deal for me but now I'm really happy I made that decision. If you would like to buy one then you can do so here.

I got in contact with Susan via her Facebook page and asked if she'd answer some questions for me. Thankfully she was very happy to answer my questions and has given great responses!

Most of your designs contain some sort of Scottish poem or song. How important is it to you that you include your heritage in your designs?

My heritage is very important to me. I grew up with Scottish stories,songs and poetry around me and loved the romance and history attached to them. I like the idea of making a piece of work that can sit in a family home comfortably and functionally with part of a verse or saying incorporated in the pattern. When I have a show and people are singing lines from songs, laughing and sharing memories it’s a great feeling.

It says on your website that the design on my phone case is inspired my your dogs. What sort of dogs are they and what are they called(brownie points for any photos)?

I have got two Jack Russell terriers called Stig and Stella! Stig is 7 and he is Black, white and brown and Stella is 5 and she is all brown. I work from home so I only have them to talk to, and they are great company. They even have a really smelly, grotty bed in the pottery.

How much time would you say you spend on a design from start to finish?

It depends on the design really. A lot of the designs I have used on my printed pieces are designs that I have developed in my ceramic work. I studied ceramics at Duncan of Jordanstone Art College in Dundee and I have been working in clay since I graduated in 1991. So the ideas that have appeared on the phone covers, trays and tea towels in the last couple of years have usually been hanging about in a sketch book waiting for their moment of glory! The process usually goes - once I have played around with an idea in my sketch book I will produce a large finished drawing (usually A2). This could take anything from 12-48 hours to draw up. I keep the scale big so that when it is reduced for printing it looks really sharp. Then the drawing is scanned and cleaned up on the computer so that its ready to send off to a printer

What is your favourite design from your store?

My Favourite design at the moment is my Luckenbooth Brooch. It is a very traditional Scottish design taken from a 15th century silver brooch originally sold on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. The brooch was sold as a love token or to ward of the evil eye and was said to have been given by Mary Queen of Scots to Lord Darnley as a symbol of betrothal. I used the traditional engraving “Of Earthly Joys Thou Art My Choice” but had it cut in Fluoro Perspex. So we have it in Lava Orange or Acid Green!

What would your advice be for anyone that's wanting to get themselves out there as a graphic designer?

I am struggling a bit with this question as I couldn’t ever formally call myself a Graphic Designer. I think the important thing for a designer is to have a recognisable style so that people can look at a label or a logo or a bowl or a phone cover and know it’s you. It can take a long time to establish yourself so don’t give up at the first hurdle- “A Stoot Heart”

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Christmas Gift Idea #5 - Lush Shiny Happy People

Wednesday, 11 December 2013
Hello everyone. Today is the final instalment in my Christmas Gift Guide series. I hope you all enjoyed it. I'm going to be talking about the Shiny Happy People gift set from Lush which costs £12.50. A lot of people avoid Lush because they find the scents to be too overbearing. I think this would be great for someone with more refined, classic tastes. Everything in here either has  citrus or lavender scent so there's nothing too strong or sweet. Perfect for someone who's a bit older. Maybe your mum, an auntie or a granny? But what's in it?

Happy Hippy is a very refreshing shower gel. It's a very nice but not over powering citrusy scent. It's perfect to wake you up in the morning. This little 100g bottle is the perfect little tester and will last for about two weeks.

Bohemian Soap shares the same sort of refreshing scent as Happy Hippy. The piece is big enough that you could cut it in half and use half in your shower and half as hand soap. The possibilities are endless.

Buffy Body Conditioner is the highlight of this whole set for me. It's an in shower moisturiser with inbuilt exfoliating particles. To use wet your body in the shower and rub the bar all over then rinse off. It leaves your skin feeling so soft. Perfect if like me you hate moisturisng. It's got a lovely lavender scent and I will definitely be repurchasing.

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The Cat In The Hat

Tuesday, 10 December 2013
Hello everyone! Today I'm bring you a little something different. As a lot of you will know Innocent smoothies are currently in the middle of their 'big knit'. Every year they ask their customers to knit teeny tiny hats that will fit on their bottles. Then some money from every bottle with a hat purchased goes to helping the elderly stay warm this winter. It's a great charity and as I often buy these smoothies anyway, I'm a big supporter. But what to do with the hats? My dog Sam is way too hyper to be able to wear one of these hats for more than 3 seconds. I teamed up with my good pal Sarah(please check out her YouTube channel, she makes little sketchy videos and they're pretty darn funny) to provide you with this blog post featuring her cat Ollie.

In this photo Ollie is modelling a beautiful cream hat with a very unique and interesting pom pom from the mango and passion fruit line. The cool blues and purples of the hat really bring out his green eyes don't you think?

Next up with that cheeky little pose is a strawberry hat. One of the more unique pieces from the collection, as you can see it's really bringing out Ollie's sassy side.

Forget the little black dress, this year it's all about the little red hat.

At the end of the day Ollie loves nothing more than to snuggly up with Hello Kitty.

And to finish things off we have a lovely striped number. Ollie is channelling his inner French!

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*No cats were harmed in the making of this blog post. He may look unimpressed but he looks like that all the time. That's just his face.*


Christmas Gift Idea #4 - Crabtree & Evelyn 60 Second Fix

Monday, 9 December 2013
Hello everyone. I'm showcasing one of my favourite brands of all time today in my Christmas Gift Idea series. I started using Crabtree & Evelyn hand creams in August and haven't looked back. Trust me, they're amazing. This gift set is £8 and it contains a little hand cream and a hand scrub. It's the perfect gift set for anyone who you know loves hand creams or is a gardener etc.

You can read my full Hand Therapy Review and my full Hand Recovery Review if you want to. But long story short I absolutely love these and they're absolute life savers. I have really dry hands because I work with water and these are the only products that I feel really help my skin. This little kit contains a 25g tube of both. These are both £5 each and the set is £8 so you're saving yourself a bit of money and getting them in a nice little box. It's available in several scents but I got the Gardeners one for my granny. I love the citron, coriander and honey scent as well as the pomegranate, argan and grapeseed scent. 

I also would recommend getting one of these little devices. They're £2 and they help you squeeze every little bit out of your hand cream. I bought one for myself as well and I'm so impressed with it. It helps you save so much product.

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Christmas Gift Idea #3 ASDA Photo Pillow

Sunday, 8 December 2013
Hello everyone! Today's instalment in the gift guide series is something for those who prefer something a little bit more personal. It's actually from ASDA and you can order one of these in store or online. A customer came into work a few weeks ago with a photo printed phone case and my coworker Joe really wanted one of his dog. I looked about to try and find one that I could get him for Christmas but I couldn't find one that fit his phone. I decided to go one step further and get this photo pillow printed. It's only £15 and I'm really impressed with the final result.

The photo is made with a faux suede material so it's lovely and soft, the backing is plain beige suede. The image is a bit fuzzy on this one but the photo used was taken with the forward camera on my iPhone 4 so the photo wasn't exaclty great to begin with. I imagine any photos taken with a proper camera would come out a lot better. It feels really well made and I'm impressed with it seeing as it was only £15. I think these would make great presents. Even if you didn't want to get photos of people on it you could get something like a gardener's favourite flower printed on one or some baking photos for a foodie.

These take a week to make after you've ordered so get on it quick to get one in time for Christmas!

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Christmassy Snapshots

Friday, 6 December 2013
Recently I've been actively trying to take my camera more places with me, and actually get it out whilst I'm there and take lots of photos. Since getting my camera I'm a bit ashamed to say that the photos are mostly of my dog and ones for my blog and I want to change that. I thought I'd do a little post of some of the photos I've taken recently. Which I guess is a bit hypocritical as these 'not blog photos' are now blog photos but I do love a good photo heavy blog post every now and then.

I went to Edinburgh on Sunday night with some friends to check out Winter Wonderland. Their big wheel this year is so much fancier than last years. I didn't get the chance to go on it as it's way too expensive and we were a bit rushed for time but I'm sure I'll be back in soon.

Here's a nice wee photo of my friends. When I had my older camera I didn't really mind asking strangers to take photos of me and a group of friends as my camera was so old and crappy that I didn't really think anyone would actually want to steal it. I'm not so comfortable doing this with a dslr so this will have to do. I know you're all dreadfully heartbroken at not getting to see my face. Stay strong.

How gorgeous are these wind chimes? In fact how gorgeous is everything on that stall?

I actually took this photo of my mac n cheese to send to Charlotte as we had a Twitter conversation about it(ie me: I'm getting mac n cheese, Charlotte: now I want mac n cheese). I thought I'd take photos with my camera and not my phone just for that extra degree of in focus torture and I really liked the way this photo turned out. I actually forgot to eventually send it to her but I hope you're seeing this now ;)

My sister bought me a Clean Cotton Yankee Candle for Christmas last year and I've only just gotten round to burning it. It's absolutely gorgeous. It's not exactly an overwhelming scent but it just smells so fresh and lovely.

And what's Christmas without a tree?  I hope you have a lovely weekend.

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