Beauty Advent Calendars 2017

Lets talk beauty. Lets talk Advent Calendars. Lets talk how I totally missed when this became a thing!..  I guess I missed when advent calendars stopped being filled with chocolate and you had to watch your sister every waking minute, so she didn't shake them all to the bottom and leave all the doors surprisingly EMPTY. (Yes Samantha.. here's looking at you!) I was thinking of doing this post as part of #Blogmas but it just felt too late so here it is.. in November. Nice and early!

There seems to be LOADS to choose from this year and I personally still haven't decided which one I want. I've also seen so many posts detailing how amazing some of them are and how difficult it is to make a decision thats going to last 24/25 days! I mean come on what if I get to door 12 and feel like I chose wrong? Can I take it back and swap for a different 12 days?

So instead of telling you about ALL the advent calendars out there, which im sure your all perfectly capable of looking for and already are, im going to list the top 8 im trying to decide between! To take a look yourself click through using the titles.

I've been a fan of the Look Fantastic website for quite some time, they have some amazing deals on the biggest brands and I have to be careful with my bank card! So when I saw this 'Beauty' come out, it was always going to be high on the list! Not only does it contain some great products the packaging is so god damn aesthetically pleasing! With 9 full sized products and 16 deluxe samples it’s worth the price tag at £79.00.

Who doesn't love S&G products, its pretty much a guaranteed thanks to the lovely Boots 342 deals that everyone ends up with something from S&G at Christmas. I've seen loads in Boots on the deal that I know I want, I do wonder if the pink packaging helps it sell so well! Priced at £40.00 and also part of the 3for2 Boots deal!

I came across the Bare Minerals brand at a Makeup Master class in Nottingham. I was wowed by the coverage and pleased with all the products that came in the start up package. Overtime I have drifted away from the brand but only because of wanting to try others. I still have many of their products in my stash and revert back often. With 24 days of their most used products it’s ideal for someone wanting to try out the brand although a little pricey at £75.00.

I've shortlisted this one mainly because I’m trying to work out my skincare regime. What better way to do that than to try out several products from the same brand. Clarins are a well known skincare brand and at £60.00 or 12 days it seems fairly priced for the contents.

I’m going to make a huge confession and say that i thought Jack Wills was a brand for men. Ooops! My bad! It wasn’t until I looked at the contents of this advent calendar and realised it contained Nail Polish. So I have added this one as a new brand to discover! Priced at £35 it seems reasonable and also part of Boots 3for2 deal.

This came up recently when I was looking through other posts about Advent Calendars so I checked it out on Amazon. Looking at the brands it contains it seems a good deal for the £50 price tag. Whilst I love branded cosmetics it’s always nice to be given the option to try several different products from different brands all in one go.

Sleek is a brand I already love, there highlighter palettes are to die for.  I’ve tried a few of their other products and the advent includes products from brushes to palettes so it seems like a good purchase. Priced at £35 and also part of Boots 3for2 deal. (Notice there are 3 advents in this post ALL on the Boots 3for2 deal, see where I’m going with this!)

This one made the list for the same reason as the Look Fantastic and Amazon calendars, because it contains many different brands. From NYX to Rimmel and Revlon I’ve heard of the majority of brands included and at £35.00 still affordable.  

So there are my 2017 choices, im not one for spending ridiculous amounts of money due to the fact that I never have ridiculous amounts of money! They are all reasonably priced for the contents and I think due to my wanting for Skin Care its probably going to be either the Clarins or one of the multi branded Calendars that I end up purchasing. 

Have any of you lucky devils already purchased yours? Did you open all the days in one go? Share your advice in the comments below and help a girl out! 

5 Things I've learnt owning a Bulldog

Its been six months since we brought home our gorgeous English Bulldog puppy - Frank. Hes still as gorgeous now as the first day we brought him home. I thought I would give you a quick update on how hes getting on and the top 5 things I have learnt about owning a Bulldog.

1| English Bulldogs are extremely loving, they do not like being alone if they know your around. Frank literally follows us around the house like a cat would. If we are sat in the kitchen he will sleep on the tiled floor rather than the carpeted floor in the living room, solely because your not in the living room! You also cant get anything important like writing this blog post done without a cute face appearing over the top of your laptop! Who can be mad at that face though!?

2| The best purchase we have made for Frank is his harness, it prevents pulling on his neck muscles when he tries to pull on his lead. Normal leads attach to a dogs collar, but this one attaches to the harness itself allowing the pull to be placed on the front of the harness rather than around his neck. In the six months with us he has had two of these, a small in blue and his new medium size in Green, there is plenty of growing room in each size its just Bulldogs put on weight, fast. They can be purchased here on Amazon and I would recommend them to anyone!

3| English Bulldogs grow FAST, when I say fast I mean fast. Frank is only 9 months old and already weighs three stone. He is capable of using his weight for many things including sitting on you when you least expect it. Hes heavy and still thinks he can fit in the same spaces as he did when he was a little puppy including between your legs when you sit on the floor. This is NOT the case!

4| You see this "I've done something" face, its a pre warning. When people think about buying an English Bulldog the first thing they learn from research is they snore and they fart. Both of which are more than true. Frank can clear a room in seconds and make you want to gag daily! He stinks! As for snoring, dont get comfy in front of a good film without holding on to the remote, you'll be turning up the volume several times once they drift off.

5| Obviously I am biased because hes my puppy but I wouldn't change him for the world, hes a lot more intellectual than he looks, he has picked up the majority of things super fast! However, my last big learning curve is that these breeds take A LOT of looking after. Everyone sees this cute bundle of fat that doesn't seem able to grow into his face rolls, however thats where he requires help. Frank has his face wiped daily with sensitive baby wipes so that his rolls dont get sore due to the tears from his eyes. They get very red and very sore and need to be kept dry, the lucky thing is that these dogs are so lazy they doesn't care about you doing it.

So thats Frank at nine months! He has an amazing character and makes me smile all the time, even when hes trying to hump my leg late at night! Oh yes, my boy has some definite bowchickawowow love making skills!

Shout up in the comments below with what pets you own and there most ridiculous traits! 

Buckingham Mews Tour London

Last Friday we made a quick dash weekend trip to Roydon, just outside of London. This was actually the third time I've been this year to Roydon Marina, its in a perfect location for getting into London for the day. The train station is literally just outside the marina and is about a 5 minute walk along the canal.

My niece decided she wanted to go and check out the Buckingham Mews tour, so we booked it online before we went. Shes already done the Buckingham Palace tour and absolutely loved it but this time she wanted to check out the horses. The Mews tour is quiet good in that you dont have to book a time slot you can just turn up at anytime of day with your ticket and go in. It is located at the side of Buckingham Palace on Palace road, (who wouldn't want to live on PALACE ROAD)!

Once inside you receive a helpful audio guide in the way of a little tablet and some headphones and as you walk round you click the relevant dialogue. Its actually really good and tells you a lot of things you probably didn't already know. My niece loved listening to it and looking at the horses, the queen names every single one of them herself.

After meeting Claudia, Storm and Firework, we walked outside into the courtyard to look at the carriages. The Queen has a different carriage for each state tour, including Ireland and Scotland.

The carriages are gorgeous and a marvel to engineering and architectural abilities. The attention to detail is amazing and the paintwork is incredible. I love our royals and everything that our country stands for. I found it interesting to know that Buckingham Palace has eight chauffeurs but only three drive the Royal herself. I did wonder who drives her to the shop late at night when she decides she has a craving for Hobnobs!.

The most dazzling coach on display at Buckingham Mews has to be the The Golden State Coach, it is used at coronations and such like.

"The gilded eight horse-drawn State Coach. Designed by William Chambers (1723-96) and made by the coachmaker Samuel Butler; featuring painted panels by Giovanni Cipriani (1727-85) and richly gilded carved sculpture by the carver Joseph Wilton (1722-1803), the gilder Henry Pujolas and the metal chaser George Coyte. Three cherubs on the roof (representing England, Ireland and Scotland) support the Imperial Crown and four tritons, one at each corner (representing Britain's imperial power). The body of the coach is slung by braces covered with Morocco leather with gilt buckles. The interior is lined and upholstered with velvet and satin."

The tour itself is good value for money and worth a wander around, you will probably only need around an hour to do it in full. Its easy to slip into a hectic day in London if you want to do a little bit of sightseeing too. We then headed off to Oxford Street for tea and cake at Cafe Concerto, (the staff in there could do with some manners if im being honest)! Then over to Harrods to linger over the chocolate counters and expensive clothing and for my niece to NOT decide which car in the kids collection she wanted! 

Have you visited anywhere worth seeing in London? Anything thats a little off the beaten tourist track? Im always looking for new and exciting places to visit in and outside of London or anywhere in the UK, so comment with your recommendations! 

Autumn Reading List

Its safe to say I am a massive reading fan, I can get into pretty much anything, but have a particular love for YA. I am one of those original book nerds though, Kindles or E readers just dont seem right. I understand the ease of use when travelling and storage but they just dont give the same feel as actually holding a book and smelling (yes I did say smelling, yano you all do it too) the new pages. I freak out if someone bends my books back to far, you better believe there is an etiquette to book handling! That being said I thought I would share with you my current To Be Read list. The pile keeps growing as I seem to have less and less time to actually read but more and more time to buy books.

#1 - So first up I decided to start reading this on Sunday night and could NOT put it down! I am already over half way through and glad that it gripped me back into reading again. Author M J Arlidge has brought together several books in the Helen Grace series and I actually have to admit that book 7 - Love Me Not is the only one I have seen. I have however already started looking into getting the others because of how hooked I am by this one. 

Love Me Not

A woman's body lies in the road. At first it looks like a tragic accident. But when Helen Grace arrives on the scene it's clear she's looking at a coldblooded killing. But why would anyone target a much-loved wife and mother?

She Loves Me Not

Across town, a shopkeeper is killed while his customers are left unharmed. But what lies behind the killer's choices?

She Loves Me

Who lives? Who dies? Who's next? The clock is ticking.

She Loves Me Not

If Helen can't solve this deadly puzzle then more blood will be shed. But any mistake and it might be her own ...

Helen Grace, now back at Southampton Central following her release from prison, is first on the scene.

#2 - Next on my TBR list is going to be The Break by Marian Keyes, I already own several books by this author and have favourited most of her work. Her style of writing and audience engagement is excellent and the books always have a story that touches the heart in one way or another.

The Break
Amy's husband Hugh has run away to 'find himself'. But will he ever come back?
'Myself and Hugh . . . We're taking a break.'
'A city-with-fancy-food sort of break?'
If only.
Amy's husband Hugh says he isn't leaving her.  He still loves her, he's just taking a break - from their marriage, their children and, most of all, from their life together. Six months to lose himself in South East Asia. And there is nothing Amy can say or do about it.
Yes, it's a mid-life crisis, but let's be clear: a break isn't a break up – yet…
However, for Amy it's enough to send her - along with her extended family of gossips, misfits and troublemakers - teetering over the edge. For a lot can happen in six-months. When Hugh returns, if he returns, will he be the same man she married? Will Amy be the same woman? Because if Hugh is on a break from their marriage, then so is she…
#3 - Another book I have purchased recently is also by Marian Keyes - The Mystery of Mercy Close. I am a stickler for Marian as I said before but reading the blurb (as you have to) really got me wanting this one.

The Mystery of Mercy Close
Helen Walsh doesn't believe in fear - it's just a thing invented by men to get all the money and good jobs - and yet she's sinking. Her work as a Private Investigator has dried up, her flat has been repossessed and now some old demons have resurfaced.
Not least in the form of her charming but dodgy ex-boyfriend Jay Parker, who shows up with a missing persons case. Money is tight and Jay is awash with cash, so Helen is forced to take on the task of finding Wayne Diffney, the 'Wacky One' from boyband Laddz.
Things ended messily with Jay. And she's never going back there. Besides she has a new boyfriend now, the very sexy detective Artie Devlin and it's all going well. But the reappearance of Jay is stirring up all kinds of stuff she thought she'd left behind.
Playing by her own rules, Helen is drawn into a dark and glamorous world, where her worst enemy is her own head and where increasingly the only person she feels connected to is Wayne, a man she's never even met.
#4 - I saw this book on a lot of other blogs so thought I would give it a try, it has some really good reviews and after all thats why we write about them, to tell you guys if its worth a read. I haven't read anything by author Sara Barnard before so shes going to be a completely new writer for me, but I like mixing it up. This book was also selected for Zoella's Book Club.

Beautiful Broken Things

Best friends Caddy and Rosie are inseparable. Their differences have brought them closer, but as she turns sixteen Caddy begins to wish she could be a bit more like Rosie - confident, funny and interesting. Then Suzanne comes into their lives: beautiful, damaged, exciting and mysterious, and things get a whole lot more complicated. As Suzanne's past is revealed and her present begins to unravel, Caddy begins to see how much fun a little trouble can be. But the course of both friendship and recovery is rougher than either girl realizes, and Caddy is about to learn that downward spirals have a momentum of their own.

#5 - Finally for my autumn reads is another new author to me, Helen Fitzgerald. I literally picked this up because of the words on the front cover. I was intrigued, after all in this day and age everything you do ends up somewhere on social media and the entire world knows about it, Good or Bad.

So far, twenty-three thousand and ninety-six people have seen me online.
Su has always been the successful sister. It's Leah who is wild and often angry. But when they go to Magaluf to celebrate their exam results, Su disappears.
Su is on the run, humiliated and afraid. There's an online video of her performing multiple sex acts in a nightclub. And everyone has seen it.
Their mother Ruth, a prominent court judge, is furious. Can she bring justice to the men who took advantage of her daughter, and what will it take to bring Su home?

Thats my Autumn reading list complete, I will be sure to review each one when I finally get round to finishing them. Feel free to share your autumn book reads in the comments below, im always up for trying something new by recommendation! 

Hello September

September is upon us already.. not to sound cliche but where the hell did the year go? I feel like only two minutes ago we were celebrating Christmas and now its nearly here again! Time really does seem to be moving so fast this year and I cant keep up with it. Im so excited that September is here though, it feels like ive been looking forward to it for such a long time! It brings holidays and parties, come on who doesn't love both.

This weekend I will be off down to a lovely place in Roydon called Roydon Marina Village, I have stayed numerous times now and I still absolutely love it. Its unusual for me to be okay with visiting the same place but ill make an exception here. We always stay in a Roydon VIP Lodge as they have there own private hot tubs. full lounge and dining area. The marina is lovely for a walk round but the best part about it is the close proximity to the train station (literally outside the gate). You can get to London on the train in around 30 minutes which is perfect for a London lover like me. The self catering lodges all come fully equipped with two bedrooms, one double and one twin, usually both on suite, full kitchen, dining and lounge area with TV. Its like a home away from home with the added bonus of a Hot Tub (unless your lucky enough to have one at home). Every time we go I always end up in the Hot Tub passing away the time with a glass of Rose and a good book. Its a lovely place to relax and let the world pass you by without a single care except for what to have for dinner. For more info see here, and a more in-depth post will go up once im back.

After a lovely relaxing week it will be straight back into it with a 10K race on Sunday 17th September in my local town of Mansfield. I love to run so im looking forward to this one as it will be the first local race ive taken part in. 

September also holds one of the most important dates of this year..... my best-friends Hen Party. The excitement for this is immense and im trying so hard to contain it. Everything's been planned to a T! I cant talk about it just yet but be sure with her consent the nights antics will appear on the blog at some point, maybe after we have all finished recovering! 

What do you all have planned for September? Share and let me know I love to read your comments!

Dovedale Summer Walk

Probably the best thing about living in England is the ability to drive out into the countryside, park your car and go walking. Within an hour from my house I can literally be in the heart of the Peak District.

With the lovely weather this Bank Holiday weekend we got our walking shoes on and went off out into the countryside. Dovedale is about a 45 minute drive from where we live and is such a beautiful place, there is a huge range of walks, and parking is only £3 all day. We decided to get there early because we thought with the weather it would get pretty busy and we were right. The walk from the car park down the side of the river brings you to the famous stepping stones.. no matter how many times I go, I always have ago, young at heart as always!

We followed the path up to a small bridge, crossed and decided to take the long route to Millsdale. Another beautiful little village with just a few houses, a local shop and the perfect place to grab a sandwich if you didn't pack a picnic (which I highly advise as there are so many beautiful places to sit). Be warned, here the ducks are not afraid to come and sit down next to you and steal whatever it is you happen to have!

The one thing I love most about getting out and about in the countryside is how friendly people are, everyone you pass says 'Morning' or 'Afternoon'. Its like there is a walkers code where you must speak and be polite and its great! The variety of people at Dovedale was great too, old and young, families and couples alike. People were just wandering and chatting along whilst enjoying the last bank holiday of the year and the brilliant weather we had.

There are lots of idyllic sights at Dovedale too and hidden troves for the children (and adults) to explore. Many of the fields contain animals who aren't afraid to watch you walk past, I had to keep reminding myself that they were probably more scared of me than I was them.. which proved a little difficult when the cow your stood next to is twice the size of you!

It was a lovely day for a circular walk in Dovedale, I would highly recommend it. The long route is around 7-8 miles but there are lots of shorter or longer ones depending on what you prefer or can manage.

What did you all get up to on your last Bank Holiday Monday? Do you enjoying walking? If so why not comment below and share your walks with me!

10 completely random things you don't know about me

First for Everything has been running properly for a few weeks now, for the first time I'm completely happy with it and have managed to find the time to keep it up to date and have loved doing so.

20 Unicorn Purchases to make now

For months now I've joined what seems like the rest of the world in a shared passion for everything Unicorn. I have loads of different accessories plastered with them, I think its a phase that requires no age limit and I personally love it!

Skydiving at Langar Airfield

Skydiving came about when as a normal person I said, "I'd love to go skydiving it looks amazing"... The emphasis here is SAID. People SAY crazy things like this all the time and assume that they will only end up as words.
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