My Five Fave Christmas Gifts!

Happy New Year everyone!

I hope the first few weeks of 2018 have treated you well. So far, this year is shaping up to be a good one for me, despite being SO busy. I’ve been planning some new content for this year and I’m so excited to share it with you…. do stick around! But for today, I’m back and kicking it off with five of my favourite Christmas gifts. Personally, I have loved reading these, so I really wanted to write a post of my own. I think that recently there have been so many interesting things in the shops and I’m always intrigued to hear what others received during the festive season. And these are just a small selection of my favourites.

Makeup Revolution Soph X Eyeshadow palette

If you read my Christmas wishlist post last month, you may well know that I had my eye on this palette (Pun intended). Given that I am mentioning it again, it shouldn’t come as a shock that I was gifted it for Christmas. But I just couldn’t not include it as its honestly one of my favourite things I received this year. I used it for the first time on Christmas Day and I was completely taken aback. The shades in it are as gorgeous as I had hoped, and I’m having great fun trying them out. This year, I’m determined to become more experimental with my makeup, so I’ve been mixing a few of the shades together and found some to die for combinations.  I’m surprising myself by how much I am loving the matte shades too – usually I’m more of a glitter gal, so this is somewhat of a revelation! I’m often catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror when I’m wearing it and can’t quite believe it’s me, because I’m using shades 2017 me would not even consider. So far, I’ve been able to find a shade for every occasion. At the moment, I’m waiting for just the right time to try out the shade Mixed Berries…

I’m so excited to finally have this palette in my possession and there is no doubt in my mind that it will be used a lot. It’s just amazing! I’m planning to do a few more makeup looks on my blog this year, and I am dying to use this palette in it, so if there’s any particular look that you would love to see, please let me know in the comments or tweet me @ceelavieblog!

fullsizeoutput_340

Hat

Ok, so admittedly you have had a sneak peak of this next gift over on my Instagram. This hat is a part of Zoella’s latest Christmas range and I love it. I have struggled with hats in the past – both finding one that I like and one that actually suits me. But luckily, this one I was gifted at Christmas ticks both of those boxes. I hate the cold weather normally, but right now I am loving it, because its presenting countless chances to wear it. I’m not exaggerating when I say that since Christmas, I’ve worn it at pretty much every opportunity. For those of you that know me, this fact alone is enough to prove how much I like it. It’s a complete bonus that it works well with most of my wardrobe too. The colour combo is great and I have quickly become a fan of this green shade. The bobble is also a huge winner for me! Who knew I could love a hat so much?!

fullsizeoutput_332

Badge

As you all know, I love a good pun. Considering I use them in most of my blog posts (this one being no exception), probably too much. Combine this with cute animals and you’ve won me over. That’s exactly why this gift was one of my favourites. I mean, do I need to say much more?! It’s just adorable. And however silly the pun may be, I can’t help but have a little chuckle to myself whenever it catches my eye. I’m all about these things so it was the perfect gift for me. Even more aptly, my own dog is half Shih Tzu so every time I see it, I’m reminded of her – even more reason to love it.

fullsizeoutput_334

Phone case

Another animal themed gift – is it obvious that both of these were from my sister? This time, we have cats. And I’m pretty obsessed with them. So, the fact that this phone case has three on it pleases me a lot. They really resemble my own cat too, which is so lovely. It’s also been personalised with my name, which I love as it adds a special touch. Plus, I’m forever losing my phone, especially in my house. At least now, it will be easier to find – I hope!

fullsizeoutput_343

Dot Creates Stationary

Another thing I mentioned in my Christmas wishlist, surprise surprise. But its proving super handy. Last year, I didn’t have a blogging schedule. I just prepped the post from start to finish before publishing it. But, I actually want to have some form of schedule this year. Which is what makes the ‘post date’ section so useful! Seeing a date there will be a real incentive for me. Also, I have a classic blogger problem whereby I can’t write a post in daylight. But in the evening when I want to relax, or at 12am, when I want to sleep, I have a lightbulb moment. Honestly, that’s how I write most of my posts. And I’ve had many annoying moments where I’ve thought of something completely brilliant but by the time I actually come to write it down, the idea has slipped away. So far, for both of these instances, its worked a treat! The other great thing about it for me is that I can see exactly how much I am progressing with a post, and what I still need to do. It’s helping me stay super motivated in 2018 because I just love the satisfaction of ticking a box or tearing the page off when tasks are complete.  If that wasn’t enough, I adore the design, how flippin cute is it?

I also got some pencils with some adorable quotes on, because who doesn’t need those in their life? As a self-confessed stationary nerd, I know that these are going to be my best friend. So now there’s no excuse, with this I can really start getting up there in the blogging game.

fullsizeoutput_319

That’s just a snapshot of some of the lovely things I received at Christmas time. If you were gifted any of these, do let me know what you think. What did you love most in your stocking?

Advertisements

Blogmas Day 12: Festive Make Up Look!

Its just dawned on me that this is my final Blogmas post of this year. I can’t believe how fast it has gone! And for the grand finale I bring you a festive make up look! Generally, I like to do a simple makeup look around Christmas time. I feel like less is more, so for me some eyeshadow or a simple festive lip colour will be enough to make the whole thing pop. This is definitely the kind of look I would wear to a Christmas party or on a festive day out. But it could be for anything. Whatever the occasion, here’s how I created it.

fullsizeoutput_2d2

The first thing I did was moisturise my face using the Soap and Glory Speed Plump All Day Super Moisture Marvel. That’s a mouthful, isn’t it? But this stuff is brilliant and really helps my skin feel moisturised all the live long day.

I started this look by applying the Collection Illuminating Touch Foundation. It’s a pretty new addition to my makeup routine. You guys know how much I love Collection’s Lasting Perfection Concealer, so when I popped into Boots to replenish my stocks and came across this, I really wanted to give it a try. I had pretty high expectations, but I do really like it. I used the shade 1, Porcelain, which is the perfect match for my skin. It is a lighter coverage than I expected, but its really buildable. So, for this look, when I was really after a better coverage, two coats did the trick. It does give more of a matte finish too, so if you’re not a fan of a dewy look or you prefer a lighter coverage, then this may be worth a shot.

Given what I’ve just said, it won’t come as a surprise to you that I used my trusty Collection Lasting Perfection concealer in the shade number 1, Fair. The long and short of it is that its honestly a miracle worker because it gets rid of any spots and blemishes so easily. I also applied it under my eyes, because I really wanted a bit more of a dewy look and this really brightens up my skin.

I powdered my face using the Pressed Powder from (you guessed it) Collection. I was just so in love with the concealer that I just had to try this too. I use the shade 01 Candlelight and again, I love it. I feel like this powder isn’t as fine as a lot that I’ve used in the past, which helps in giving a better coverage. It also lasts really well, which is perfect for this look as it’s the kind that you would most likely be wearing for the duration of the day.

That’s my base make up done. Then I used the Rimmel Lasting Finish Mono Blush in the shade 050 Live Pink on my cheeks. I didn’t use too much as I wanted this look to focus on the eyes and the lips. But it just gives your face a really healthy glow. I filled in my eyebrows using the Rimmel Brow This Way eyebrow gel in the shade Dark Brown. Another product that I use again and again, but I just love how my brows look with this.

Now it’s time for the eyes! For this I used some shadows from Benefit. Now I’ve been a fan of Benefit products for a long time, and their shadows are just to die for! I really wanted a kind of smoky, sparkly eye so I took the shade Gilt-y Pleasure and applied this all over my lid before blending. Be warned this shade is super pigmented, so you don’t need a lot of it. Each time I use it I forget that, so I do have to blend it quite a bit to get it just right. Its lovely and glittery as well, which is perfect for a festive look like this one. To add a little bit extra I then took the shade Kiss me, I’m Tipsy (which I thought was quite ironic, anyone else chuckle at this name?) and just swept this lightly over the top. This created a really lovely gold sheen to the whole lid and I think these are a great combo.

Next, I curled my lashes. I have pretty curly lashes anyway but I do like to curl them a little as well. I just find it opens up my eyes a bit more and helps them to stand out. I finished my eyes using my Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara. This is one of the staple items in my makeup bag. It’s the best drugstore mascara I’ve come across and I love it.

And it wouldn’t be a festive look without a red lip. Normally I’m a gloss kinda girl, so I don’t own many lipsticks, but I really loved the look of this one. This is a Rimmel lipstick in the shade 107. It’s matte, but I think it’s a gorgeous colour. Its quite Christmassy and feel like it works really well to finish off this look.

fullsizeoutput_2da

And there we have it – my festive makeup look! I think its so pretty. Its also great for a Christmas party or for dolling yourself up on Christmas Day. You can of course adapt this to fit any other occasion too, because its quite versatile. But I love it and no doubt I will be sporting this look on Christmas Day. If you recreate this look be sure to let me know in the comments, I’d love to see how it turns out!

And with the ending of this post comes the end of my first attempt at Blogmas! This makes me a little sad, because I’ve so enjoyed it. But I’m super excited for Christmas too and I really cannot wait for it to be here. If you’ve been following my posts over the last 12 days, or even if you’ve just read one, thank you. I really hope you’ve enjoyed reading them. But I’ll be back and I’ve got some great content ideas for 2018 that I am so excited to share with you. Do make sure you’re following me over on Twitter and Instagram @ceelavieblog so you don’t miss a thing!

Oh and of course, Merry Christmas!

Blogmas Day 11: Christmas Jumper Picks!

One of the great things about Christmas is the jumpers. Most shops this time of year will have them, and I think there’s such a variety available for everyone. As the festive season draws closer I thought it would be fun to show you a selection of Christmas jumpers that I picked up from New Look. Again, I hear you ask?!  I promise I do actually buy clothes from other stores, but next day delivery is just too tempting you know? So if you’re yet to find the right Christmas jumper, then hopefully this will help to give you a little inspiration!

Reindeer Jumper – I’m starting with this one because out of my three jumper picks, this one is actually my favourite. I’m not exactly sure why, but it stood out to me from all the rest so I knew I just had to have it. This is from a brand called Mela London. I don’t usually go for cream jumpers (I’m more of a darker tones gal), so to start with, I was slightly worried about whether it would suit me. But I do really love it. I think the pattern is just adorable – it has two reindeer silhouettes on it, and I’m a big fan of reindeers at Christmas. I love the addition of the red zig zag pattern too, I think it adds a lovely pop of festive colour. Its super soft. One of the things I love about this one is actually the style of the sleeves. They’re ribbed and almost slightly cuffed. This is great for me because a lot of jumper sleeves can be too long, but these sit comfortably at the end of my arms without hanging over too much. I just love this a lot and as someone who prefers a more subtle Christmas jumper, this is perfect for me.

IMG_2102IMG_2111

Robin Jumper – When I saw this jumper I was drawn to it immediately and you may be able to see why. This is also from the brand Mela London. It’s a black jumper with a robin on it. I love robins all year round, but there was something about the little Santa hat that just made it extra special. Its also covered in a snowflake pattern, which is super cute. The style of this one is longline, so the sleeves on this one were slightly too long for me, but they really did come in handy when taking outfit photos because it was bloomin’ cold and my hands were pretty damn frozen! This jumper did keep me really warm though, as it’s a slightly chunkier knit! I would say that this one is a bit more festive, so if that’s is more your style, then its definitely one to consider. I love how quirky this one is and think it would be a great one to wear this festive season.

IMG_2145IMG_2156

Christmas Tree Jumper – Really ‘out there’ Christmas jumpers really aren’t my vibe. So when I saw this one I really liked it because it was exactly that. Another Mela London one (which was totally unintentional by the way). This one is a really festive red colour and it has a Christmas tree embellishment on the front. I loved it because although it didn’t scream Christmas, it had a little hint of it. But I have to say, having tried this jumper on, its not really my style. I tend to gravitate towards a knitted jumper, purely because I get cold really easily, so this didn’t work for me. And I just didn’t really feel it suited me. Despite that, I like the colour and the simplicity of the design. Its really cute and I think for someone else, it would be just right to add a little more sparkle to Christmas!

IMG_2214IMG_2207

And that’s all of my festive jumpers! I hope this has provided a little inspiration for you. I’ve provided links to the jumpers just in case you want to check them out on the New Look website. Let me know which jumper you love most in the comments below.  And I would love to hear about your favourite Christmas jumpers too!

 

Blogmas Day 10: Edible Tree Decorations!

Baking is one of my favourite things to do, especially at Christmas. My very first baking post on my blog was the Banoffee Pie recipe from ‘Tanya Bakes’. I actually received this book for Christmas last year, but I love it and since then I have used it SO much! Its full of so many new and exciting recipes. But I’m yet to try baking anything Christmassy from the ‘Special Occasions’ section. I stumbled across these edible Christmas tree decorations and just thought they were the cutest thing. I love gingerbread so these sounded dreamy to me. And as put up my Christmas tree only yesterday, I thought now was the perfect time to give them a go!

To make the Christmas Tree Decorations, I used:-

  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 150g dark muscovado sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3tbsp golden syrup
  • 400g plain flour (plus a little extra for dusting!)
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger

For the icing, I used:-

  • 200g icing sugar
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract

Method:-

  • Cream the butter and sugar together until its light and fluffy.  Then add the eggs and golden syrup. Combine these together well before mixing the flour, baking powder and spices with it. This should form a dough.
  • On a floured surface, roll out the dough so it is 3-4mm thick. Use Christmas cookie cutters to cut out your decorations. Continue to do this until you use up all of your dough.
  • Arrange your festive shapes onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Poke a hole into the top of each biscuit using a straw.
  • Bake in the oven at 180°C for 10-12 minutes until golden in colour. Some of the holes may have closed during baking, so whilst they are still hot, poke through each hole again. Transfer the decorations to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Now for the icing! Mix 1warm water into the icing sugar, 1tbsp at a time. Add vanilla extract and stir continually. Once you have thick, pipeable icing, transfer it to a piping bag. Decorate your cookies using your thinnest nozzle.
  • Once set, string a ribbon or string through each hole. Your decorations can now happily hang on your tree.


Tip: This recipe makes about 40 decorations, so if you don’t want as many as that, you can always half the amount of ingredients you use!


I think these are just adorable, don’t you? They are going to sit so proudly on my Christmas tree. I say that, I’m not sure how many will actually make it that far as we’ve already eaten a few…

They are absolutely delicious and such a lovely thing to share out with friends and family this time of year. If you happen to recreate these, I’d love to hear what you think of them in the comments below. What are your favourite Christmas recipes? Let me know, and hopefully I can try them out before the festive season ends!

Recipe from Tanya Bakes

Blogmas Day 9: Christmas Tree Reveal!

Its finally tree reveal day! I have been waiting to write this post for so long and you have no idea how thrilled I am that I can finally share this with you. Decorating the tree is easily one of my favourite things to do at Christmas. And every year, I’m pleased with the results, but this time, I’m especially excited and I think this is one of the best Christmas trees we’ve ever had.

That’s because we’ve done a few things differently this year. Usually we have an artificial tree, but this year we took the plunge and bought a real one. And I have to say, its really impressive. I love the shape, and it fits perfectly into the alcove of our living room, without taking over too much. Plus, it fills the room with the most amazing smell. You know that the smell of Christmas trees is my absolute fave, so its no surprise that this pleases me a lot.

In the past, we’ve sorta decorated the tree freestyle, but I really wanted to have a theme this time. So, we went for a silver and white theme. I think this gives it a really simple, yet sophisticated look. Our lights are just a plain white, which I love. And to top it all off we have the most gorgeous decorations.

Our main baubles are silver ones from John Lewis. These had two different designs – one set are covered in silver glitter, and the other have a mirrored effect to them. I thought they were really lovely. I just think glitter in general makes everything a bit more exciting, and they look super festive. The mirror ones are quite a contrast, but they work really well.

There are also a few tiny white and silver ones dotted around. Those are from Wilkos, and are super cute.

We also have some lovely white baubles also from John Lewis. What I love about these is their shape. Its a bit like a teardrop. I love them because they add something a little bit different to it and compliment the silver ones so well!

fullsizeoutput_2b9

And of course, a tree isn’t a tree without some personal baubles and those are dotted around too. Luckily, we had a lot of special ones that worked well with our theme. Some of my favourites are this silver snowflake from Marks and Spencer, which my sister purchased this year and our souvenir bauble from NY.

fullsizeoutput_2b8fullsizeoutput_2b7

Here it is in all its glory!  To me, I feel like the whole thing is quite a statement. But, nevertheless, I am in love with it. Gone are the days of free styling, for me a themed tree is definitely the way forward!

fullsizeoutput_2b5

Let me know what kind of tree floats your boat in the comments – do you prefer a theme or are you more of a mix and match kinda person? I’d also love to hear what your tree looks like this year.

Blogmas Day 8: Christmas Wishlist!

I can’t believe we’re already at Day 8 of Blogmas! Mad.

And on the eighth day of Blogmas I give to you… my Christmas Wishlist! I’ve seen these floating around for a while now and I absolutely love reading them. So I really wanted to give it a go myself. This is by no means an extensive wishlist, but I have found a few pieces that I would love to receive in my stocking this year and I really wanted to share them with you. So without further ado…

The first thing I would love to receive at Christmas is the Makeup Revolution Soph X Eyeshadow palette. I’ve mentioned before how much I love using eye shadows. I don’t necessarily wear it daily, but it definitely adds that extra glamour to my make up and makes me feel so much more confident.

I guess you could say I’m pretty boring, because despite the fact I’m gaining quite a collection of palettes, I do tend to stick to just one, and ironically, its one by Makeup Revolution. I absolutely swear by it. So when I heard that Soph Does Nails was collaborating with them to create a palette, it went straight onto my Christmas list. Soph is fabulous and I absolutely adore watching her videos. In particular, I love watching her makeup tutorials and I am forever in awe of how incredible she looks. Its got me thinking that actually, I don’t have to be completely loyal to the brands that I use, and I don’t have to use the same foundation or concealer until I run out. I can be more experimental next year. This palette has some really bold, gorgeous shades that I would love to try out. For me right now they are a little ‘out there’ but 2018 me is so excited for them. Plus, there are some beautiful shades in there that I would love to wear on an everyday basis too. It just looks the most amazing palette and I would love to get my hands on it this Christmas.

The next thing on my wishlist is some stationary from Dot Creates. I’m a stationary nerd at the best of times but oh my goodness, it is the cutest thing I ever did see. I’m in love with it all, but I think the thing that caught my eye most was the blog stationary. I’ve been so unorganised with my blog this year and as much as I love general stationary, its just not cutting it. Which is why I was super excited to find this! There are a few different types of planners but think the one I would personally love to receive the most  is the blog planner notepad. It just has the date, post title, and a place to take notes. Underneath, there are little boxes you can tick once you’ve taken photos, written and included any links in your post. Its super simple and the fact that you can tear each page off once you’re done is so appealing to me. I love the satisfaction of crossing things off my to-do lists, or getting rid of a note I’ve made because I’ve dealt with it. So yeah, I’m hoping that next year, with the help of this, I can become a much more organised blogger, as well as the proud owner of some bloomin’ adorable stationary.

The last thing I would love this Christmas is this anorak from New Look. Ok, I admit I own way too many clothes already from here but this has been on my wishlist for such a long time. I’ve never really had a proper raincoat, so I thought this would be a really practical gift for me. I adore the pale blue colour. I think it will work so well with a lot of things already in my wardrobe. It has huge pockets, which is a bonus. I especially love the stripe detailing on the cuffs. And I found it in petite too, which is great because it means that it wont be super long on me. Basically its just the prettiest thing and I would love nothing more than to wear this on a rainy day. Because if nothing else, at least I’ll look super cute.

So those are all the things that I would love for Christmas. What about you – whats on your list this year? I would love to hear about it in the comments below.

Blogmas Day 7: My Festive Film Favourites!

Is there anything better than snuggling up on the sofa under blankets and watching a festive film? I think not. Add in some snacks and chocolate and it makes for the perfect cosy day. Its definitely one of the highlights of the festive season. Today I’m sharing with you five of my favourite Christmas films ever.

Elf

I know this is on most people’s lists, and I’m not ashamed to say that I’m also jumping on
the bandwagon. This film is fab. Its so full of character and joy, so you just have to smile! I also think the storyline is great – there’s not many Christmas films like it. Another bonus for me is that its set in New York. One day I will go back at Christmas because it looks incredible.

Elf_movie

The Santa Clause

So maybe by that I mean the whole trilogy of Santa Clause films. That still counts, right? Saying that, the first film does have a very special place in my heart. Even at 20 years old, I’m still kinda convinced that there’s a hidden workshop in the North Pole, full of elves that make toys, and I still listen for tapping of hooves on the roof as I lay in bed on Christmas Eve. It’s just so magical and I love it. Plus, how cute is Charlie in the first film?

220px-The_Santa_Clause

Miracle on 34th Street (1994)

Another one set in NY…. But you guys know how much I love it there. This one gives me all the festive feels. I adore the storyline, although its a bit of a tear jerker at times. But there are some moments that really melt my heart and its those that make this film such a joy to watch. Cole’s is just my inner child’s dream toy store. Who wouldn’t love it?! Mara Wilson is adorable and I also adore Richard Attenborough – he will always be my favourite Santa Claus.

Fun fact for you: I’m such a fan of this film that when I came across 34th Street in New York, I was reminded of it and just had to document the moment with a photo. I took it so seriously….

220px-Miracle_on_34th_Street_poster

The Holiday

I’m not normally one for watching festive films all year around. But I have been known to watch this film before Christmas. In some ways I’m a sucker for a romantic film and this one is so cute. Every time I see it, I’m torn between wanting to buy a big house in LA or a just cute little cottage in the country. I love the storyline and I’m a big fan of the cast too. Jack Black and Kate Winslet are my faves. The story makes me laugh a lot and warms my heart completely. For me its one of those classics that I will watch over and over again!

220px-Theholidayposter

Love Actually

I watch this film pretty much every year, and each time I love it that little bit more. I love that it focuses on the lives of different characters, and I love how they all link together. Again, I think the cast is a winner. I love Alan Rickman and isn’t Thomas Sangster just the sweetest?! This is another film with some moments that really melt my heart. But, admittedly, I also chuckle to myself quite a bit . because Hugh Grant as Prime Minister is just brilliant. Its not everyone’s cup of tea, but for me Its such a feelgood film!

Love_Actually_movie

If you haven’t seen any of these, definitely give them a try! I’m going to binge watch all of these this Christmas and I can’t wait. What are your favourite Christmas films?