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Monday 31 December 2012

A nice shiny new year ...

I'm sure everyone is sick of resolution posts already, but this is my first new year blogging so decided it was ok.

I've mentioned a few times on the blog that my last two years haven't been great health wise which has meant that life hasn't really been going the way I planned and I'm not where I hoped I would be by now. I'm hoping 2013 is the year this all changes! After finally being diagnosed and treated a few weeks ago, getting myself an exciting (and relevant) job and moving in with my boyfriend this weekend things are falling into place.

I'm giving myself 2 important resolutions this year.

1. Keep going forward! - forward with my health; pestering the Drs to ensure my treatment is right (believe me it's necessary), forward in building myself up; I'm working on my fitness levels and getting over the post illness slump, forward in my career; the job as a teaching assistant is the perfect way to build up for my PGCE, I need to get my application sent off as soon as I can too.
Also forward in my relationship as poor old Phil has been brilliant through the bad days and I cannot thank him enough for his patience, understanding and the love and care he has shown me. It has meant our relationship hasn't been able to progress as our next step would have been moving in a few months ago so finally we can head forward with this and I can thank him for being so lovely by cooking him some nice food when he gets home from work!
Finally going forward with this little blog, I've had some brilliant opportunities and met some lovely people through blogging. It has really kept me sane over the year! I want to keep going forward with this and move back to the lifestyle blog this was meant to be, now that I have a bit more of a life to write about.

2. Stop being so hard on myself - as much as I have lovely ideas about what I'd like to achieve this year I have to remember that I'm still recovering from a pretty serious and rare (for my age) illness. So just getting back to normal would be good enough for the year. I won't be signing up to run a marathon and I won't be suzy homemaker straight away and that has to be good enough (plus there's always next year!) I've got to give myself plenty of breaks and push on past my set backs as I have beaten myself up far too much these last few years.

Have you set any resolutions? What do you think of mine, will you be following similar?

Cariad xxx

Sunday 30 December 2012

Money supermarket Secret Santa!

I tried to be a good girl and save my Money Supermarket Secret Santa (explained in - Secret Santa post) from Betsy Boat until Christmas Day but the parcel was just too intriguing! I finally caved a few days before hand and I'm so impressed with the effort put in to it by Nicolle!

Look its enormous! Plus the box will definitely have a home in my new flat as you can't have enough storage.

Everything was beautifully wrapped and the box was all stuffed with tissue to keep everything safe, there was even a load of Christmassy angel hair that ended up on my tree!

 All my goodies together. I'm so impressed at how much Nicolle managed to get for her money can you believe she got all this for only £25!


Non beauty items - card embellishments which have gone straight into my craft box and I can't wait to use them for upcoming birthdays. Vanilla candle smells lovely and is one of my favourite scents, luckily it's not too sickly or overpowering so ill be stocking up on these for the flat. Yum malteasers!
The huge china mug will be heading to school with me when I start my new job next week and the lid makes it perfect for carrying about all day. Sadly the ring is much to big for my teeny hands so has been gratefully received by my sister!

The lovely nail varnishes are perfect spring colours so I can't wait to get these out as soon as the weather brightens up. I love hair oils so this is a welcome addition to my little collection. The mud mask looks lovely so I will save this for a cosy pamper night when the stress of moving is over with. I love my MUA palette in undressed so as much as these aren't really my colours I'm sure the quality will be brilliant. Oh and this mascara is really cool because the brush can be adjusted for 2 different looks, although I can't find it any shops to do a proper post on it.

Overall I'm really pleased with the effort in my present and definitely want some thriftyness tips from Nicolle!

What do you think of my secret Santa gift?

Cariad xxx

Monday 24 December 2012

What I've been up to ...

I have lots to tell you guys! So I'm gonna get straight in with the photos!

| advent calendar | secret Santa! | cozy fireplace at my nans | stitching wreaths for my cards |
The Christmas period has really snook up on me this year! I bet everyone is saying that though, I felt really ahead getting my presents early so I got a bit complacent and managed to leave the cards and wrapping to the last minute! I do have a few good excuses though.

| Christmas lips for my interview | cookies | finished cards | Xmas is an exhausting time for Harry |
First off I had an interview! As a teaching assistant in a small school in reading (which is a lot nearer Phil) it went really well and they offered me the job starting in January! So then we had to find a flat together as soon as possible which was a huge stress as everything was winding down towards Xmas.

| train to reading | River and shopping | new house! | ikea tables |

Luckily we found the perfect one on our first day looking, it's in the perfect place for us both to travel to work, it was really nice and spacious inside and I managed to knock them down on the rent as well, So we are moving on the 5th of jan! Reading is lovely too it's a place I've traveled through a lot but never stepped out of the train station, so I was really pleased having a look around the town. I'm a bit worried about not knowing anyone except Phil but I'm sure ill meet people easily. Either way I'm very excited to have our own space as we have never lived together before.

The excitement of moving has sort of over shadowed Christmas this year but I am feeling quite Christmassy today after wrapping and cooking all day with mam and I'm definitely looking forward to the parents tomorrow. Ill pretend its the giving part but really I'm just excited to be spoilt!

Have a lovely Christmas guys! Can't wait to see what you all get up too, I bet instagram will be brimming with merriment!

Cariad xx

Thursday 20 December 2012

Topshop nail varnish gift in High Voltage, Lunar and solar

Topshop nails gift set £14*
Topshop don't seem to do Christmas like anyone else so while the rest are doing seasonal red, burgundy, green and glitters topshop bring out this exciting neon pink, irredecent gold and shimmery blue/silver set not a typical Christmas set but equally as festive and probably better suited to the party outfits we will be wearing anyway!

High Voltage is a little out of my comfort zone, a slightly more red version of Barbie pink and pretty much opaque in one coat. The formula is perfect and I was really happy with how easily it went on even though I'm a bit rubbish at painting my nails! It also lasted ages with my essie undercoat and seiche veite on top. I will be wearing this with a matching lipstick to brighten up a little black dress.

This is solar and its my favourite of the three. A little less opaque than the pink so took a few coats but again a really nice formula, weirdly I felt that as well as needing to dry the polish needed a little time to harden as well, it was like they were still smudgey even when they felt dry to the touch but this went away and again is was really impressed by how long they coped chip free. I love the colour of this and a few strangers comment on how lovely it looked (I was taking leaflets off them when they all noticed, made my day!)

In some lights the shimmer has a green fleck and in others a pinky purple tone so a lot more in this little bottle than you'd expect!

Finally lunar which I have to say is the perfect name for this polish, I'm not quite sure if its a blue or silver or grey really but it certainly reminds me of the moon and the sky at night. Again this needs a few coats and a little time to harden after drying but I imagine this would look great with black and silvery outfits or navy (I'm really into navy for this time of year).

These little sets are perfect for stockings and I've already asked for the gold and burgandy version from Santa too!

What do you think of unconventional Christmas colours? Would these polishes suit your Xmas party look?

Cariad xxx

Saturday 15 December 2012

Christmas Wish list!

I can't believe how quickly Christmas has come along this year! I'm nearly all sorted with presents for the ladies in my family but really struggling for the boys. Has anyone else got the same problem?

I'm the worst person ever to buy for, I'm so fussy and always like or dislike things for daft reasons that nobody could ever try and buy me surprises (sorry family & friends!) ideally I would just go out and buy all my own presents and hand them back out! This is what I'd buy myself.

Are you easy to buy for or fussy like me? What's on your Christmas list? 

Cariad xxx

Monday 10 December 2012

Jergens Oatmeal Body Butter

Jergens Oatmeal Body Butter £4.99*
I am so in love with this moisturiser! Usually I hate the packaging for body moisturisers, I find them all really cheap looking with garish colours or a bit medicinal but this is so plain and simple and it is exactly what I want it to look like.

It's most similar to a body shop body butter but I personally find them a bit overpowering in scent (I love the mango but it makes my perfume smell differently when I wear them both so it's usually an either/or kind of thing) and I also notice that they don't really sink in as quickly as I'd like, I hate the greasy feeling and hopping around in a towel not to get my clothes all yucky. This is where these differ slightly first the smell is amazing but much more subtle and second the packaging says its melts at a lower temperature to sink in quickly and I really notice this difference, I can dress straight away and still feel all soft and smooth so the body shop ones have been well and truly ditched.

My favourite thing is definitely the smell, it's a sweet oaty kind of smell that I find really comforting. It's a little like porridge or honey and I can definitely smell some vanilla in there too. I've been sitting on the sofa with a pot of this next to me and obsessively applying it to my hands just for the smell!

This feels like the moisturiser I've been waiting for, so cheesy but I'm really pleased I got an opportunity to try this as I'd never seen it before (I think they are an American company that are now launching in Britain, I'm told they have an almond and cherry lotion that smells just like cherry bakewells too so another one to look out for) I've already been into superdrug to buy a back up and my mum and sister are both getting these in their Christmas stockings while they are on 2 for £5.99!

Have you tried Jergens yet? What is your favourite comforting smell?

Cariad xxx

Wednesday 5 December 2012

Secret Santa!

Artistic representation of the present!
When money supermarket contacted me to take part in a Secret Santa I was over the moon. They gave us each £25 that we had to stick to and assigned us a fellow blogger to buy for, then we were free to spend on whatever we thought. I love surprises so I'm definitely looking forward to receiving my gift (I'm actually off to pick it up now from the post office, because I missed the delivery) and I've really enjoyed picking out a gift too.
I was partnered with Nicolle from Betsy Boat whose blog I wasn't familiar with so it was nice to find a new read! I've had a good look through her posts to try and suss out what I think she'd like and I'm so happy with what I bought (if Nicolle doesn't like it I'll happily have it back hehe).

I wanted to get the best value for my £25 so instead of lots of cheapy things I've gone for little luxuries and managed to get 2 sets of mini products from my own favourite brands but I won't tell you which as I don't want to spoil it!

I ordered online and it should be delivered any day now direct to Nicolle so I haven't had a chance to wrap it all nicely, which is a pity, but I wanted to make sure she got it on time and before she left her uni address for Christmas. Fingers crossed she likes it all as much as I do.

Can't wait to let you all know what I get!

Are you taking part in a Secret Santa? Do you go for lots of little things for your budget or 1 or 2 bigger things?

Cariad xxx


Saturday 1 December 2012

Rituals Sacred Fire Candle

My candle collection is rapidly growing now its getting dark in the evenings. There is nothing cosier in the winter than snuggling under a blanket and watching a film with a few flickering candles to warm you up!
This gorgeous candle is one of my favourites, it's absolutely perfect for Christmas with its warm spicy scent & the glass is beautiful too. Unlit and you can still smell it from across the room, but in a subtle way and lit it really does fill the room without giving me headaches or getting up my nose (my mother has a bluebell scented one that hits you in the face as you walk in, which I hate).

Rituals sacred fire £16.50*

My favourite thing about the candle is the gorgeous burgandy glass with a really heartwarming message etched on, I can't wait until I've burned it down enough to see how this glows.

I've been burning this most nights since I got it and there's barely any missing so I'm pretty sure this would last me until next Christmas!

Last thing to say is how perfect would this be as a Christmas gift for mums/grandmothers, I'm definitely buying one for my boyfriends mother I think she will love it.

What is your favourite Christmas candle? Have you sniffed any from Rituals?

Cariad xxx