UK Lifestyle Blog

27 December 2016

What I Got For Christmas 2016

These posts can be controversial I know, but I personally love reading them! I think it's because I'm just nosey, and like to see what people have received as their gifts. I also love to look back at these posts each year as a reminder. I am extremely grateful for everything I have been given.

So here goes nothing, these are a few of the lovely gifts I've received this year!

Lounge wear

Cosy Socks
Pink Love Pj's
Brown & Taupe Check Pj's
Unicorn Slippers


Lace Bell Sleeve Top
Grey Stripe Culotte Jumpsuit
Black Sandals
Kurt Geiger Purse

Elizabeth Arden Bold Kisses Collection
Ted Baker Mini Perfumes
Next White Amber Perfume
Ted Baker Box Gift Set
Sleek Make-Up Gift Set

Two Night Get Away for Two
Marble & Gold Travel Set

Pandora Earrings & Ring

Daily Journal
Ted Baker Notebook
Camera Lens Mug
Novelty Mug
I hope that you've enjoyed having a nosey at the gifts I've received this year, please leave links to your own 'what I got for Christmas' posts as I love a good nosey at them!

23 December 2016

Tips For Hosting a Dinner Party & Our Christmas Decor | AD

[AD] It's almost Christmas day, you've got your food shop done, the turkey is ready to be prepped, now it's time to get your house in order. Throwing a dinner party can be stressful at any time of the year, but none more so than at Christmas! Friends and family come round in their droves, all with hungry bellies, and a thirst for some fulfilling festive grub.

This is our first Christmas in our own home, and the first Christmas Day Dinner I've ever hosted. As a couple, we cook for two of us, Christmas day, I'll be cooking for SEVEN. Daunting indeed. I thought I would put together a dual post, with tips for helping you host your own festive dinner party and also a sneaky peek at what our house looks like this Christmas.

1. My first, absolute number 1 tip would be make a list. Check it twice. Couldn't help myself.
    I'm known to have a million lists on the go, but to make it easier for you split them into categories
    such as; Food to buy, Home (extra chairs needed? spare bowls?) and other. Then you can clearly
    see what is left to do and what you've already tackled.

2. Set a Budget.
    Hosting a dinner party can be an expensive affair, especially if you're having a lot of guests 
    attending. Set yourself a budget and try not to go over board. Perhaps even ask guests to bring
    a bottle of alcohol with them, as this will save you a lot of money, and on the whole guests are
    usually quite happy to do this. Your focus then can solely be on the food.

3. Give yourself plenty of time.
    I can often be a huge culprit of 'last minute mayhem' and often do leave things very late in terms of
    organisation. However this time round, I was prepared. As you can see even my table is set ready,
    which is because I'm working up until Christmas Eve. I really didn't want to be setting the table,
    and trying to keep an eye on the Christmas Dinner all in the morning. Make sure you give yourself
    plenty of time to get everything done, that way you'll feel much more relaxed when the party gets 
    into motion.

4. Create a time line.
    One tip that I often use at work, is to create a Timed To Do list. This is where you break down
    your day into hours. Say you're up at 9am and you dinner party starts at 7:30. Break down the
    middle into sections such as 9-10am pick up fresh produce, 10-11 prep starter and all vegetables.
    This way you can clearly see all of your tasks in an hour by hour format and know what you need
    to be doing and when.

5. It's all in the detail.
    What makes parties and dinners memorable to me is the attention to detail. You don't have to
    spend a lot of money, you can even D.I.Y your own table decorations. I have bought most of my
    table décor from Ikea, B&M and Home Bargains. It didn't cost much at all, but looks great when
    it's all put together.


6. Create the right ambiance.
    Another key preparation for a party is creating the right ambiance, is the house warm enough, is it
    too warm from the kitchen heat? You don't want your guests sat in their coats, but nor do you want
    them sweltering either!
    Another key element is scent. I like to make my home smell nice before we have any one round. I 
    was contacted by Amara, which is a luxury homeware company to take their Home Fragrance Quiz
    and pick out a candle based on my result. My perfect Home Scent came out as Sweet. Which is no 
    surprise to me! You can take the quiz here to help find a scent that will be perfect for your home. I was sent a gorgeous cream and gold
    candle called Air de Provence by D.L.&Co* which smells sensational. It has hints of jasmine,
    musk and citrus. Perfect to keep my home smelling great this party season. Whether it's a candle,
    room spray, or air freshener it's easy to make your home smell delicious in time for your guests

7. Have Fun.
    Grab a glass of wine, pop on the festive tunes and have some fun. Try not to stress too much, and
    take it all in. Sometimes being a host can distract you from actually enjoying your own party!
    Ensure you pry yourself away from the kitchen and have a good time with your guests.

Hosting a dinner party

I hope that this post has helped you prepare for your next dinner party, and I hope you have an amazing time during this festive season!

Are you hosting a dinner party this Christmas?

*Items in this post were gifted to me, all opinions are my own

20 December 2016

The Maxi Coat

I won't lie, I debated writing this post as I'm not 100% happy with how the photo's have turned out. However, I am happy with the outfit, hence the internal debate. I toyed with the idea of re-shooting it, but probably wouldn't have time until the new year, and I wanted you to have some chance of snapping up this absolute bargain of a coat. So throwing caution to the wind, we're rolling with it. Bad lighting and all.

I've been after a maxi coat for sometime, one that didn't drown me, or make me look shorter. With Christmas around the corner, I didn't have oodles to spend on myself, but when I came across this khaki, boyfriend style, maxi coat, sat in all it's glory in the aisles of..wait for it..Primark! I knew it belonged in my wardrobe.  Even better, it was on the sale rail, for a mere £10.00. Yup, you heard me right £10.00!

The khaki colour of the coat is the perfect alternative to your classic black jacket. It adds a subtle pop of colour, while still maintaining a very autumnal/winter vibe. The length is perfect, finishing mid calf, it doesn't swamp me, and I find the cut and fit of the coat very flattering.

With the coat being the star of the show, I decided to pair it with a somewhat understated base layer. A classic, grey, roll neck jumper, which you all know are staples in my winter wardrobe! A pair of plain black, high waist, skinny jeans, and black boots. A neutral, classic, base layer, made up of some great winter wardrobe staples.

I also think this coat could work perfectly with a classic little black dress, and some heeled boots. Perfect for those Christmas Parties, and for keeping warm!

In terms of accessories, I decided to keep these pretty understated as well. I opted for this stunning snowflake necklace from Jewellery Box, which I received from the lovely Sherry Scribbles. It's the perfect way to make any outfit festive, without being too in your face!

To complete the look I chose a very slouchy tote bag, also from Primark. This bag is amazing as it fits my camera, make-up, hairbrush, water bottle, purse and phone in easily, with plenty of room to spare. For a woman who likes to carry the kitchen sink around with her, a big bag is essential!

How would you style a Maxi Coat?

9 December 2016

Getting Festive With Intu Victoria Centre, Nottingham | AD

 [AD] Monday night I was invited to the Intu Victoria Centre for their Festive Blogger Event. I was so excited when I spied their invite in my email box, as I've been to a fair few of their events in the past and let me tell you, they don't do things by halves! Everything was set up beautifully.

As we entered the VIP area, there was a roaring fire flickering away on the wide screen, the ultimate festive backdrop for the evenings events. Brown and tweed furniture took centre stage, with silver and wood accents also featured in the décor. I adored these cushions, and they are high on my wish list. The fluffy one is the softest thing I've ever felt! Everything was from House of Fraser, and looks very country cottage, which if you know me is exactly the look I been trying to create in my own home! I will definitely be coaxing Stephen into there for a bit of festive home décor shopping.

The next stand out feature in the blogger box, was the stunning white Christmas tree, featuring Intu orange baubles! Underneath the tree were some very generous goody bags that each of us got to take home, full of treats from brands such as; Charlotte Tilbury, Clinique, Aveda and more! As well as some yummy chocolate coins, which are an essential at Christmas!

I made my way inside, along with some of my favourite blogger friends, and snapped up one of these mouth-watering Thaikhun Cocktails. They were perfectly presented in this take away style cup.

We spent some time catching up, meeting some new faces and discussing all things blogging and Christmas. Then it was time to pull out my jumper and get creative.

I headed on over to the Christmas Jumper station, which had been put together by Super+Super , who if you have seen my previous Intu Event post, also helped us make some stunning autumnal floral headbands. I knew it was going to be good!

I picked up a very soft, grey, roll neck jumper from Primark, for the bargainous price of £6.00! It was the perfect base to get my glue on!

After eyeing the array of felt, sparkles and embellishments, I decided I wanted to do a simple, chic Christmas jumper design, that still looked festive. I opted for a glamorous reindeer, complete with silver sparkly felt, and oodles of gems. I was very pleased with my completed jumper and can't wait to wear it over the festive season!

All that crafting worked up an appetite, and we were treated to a truly scrumptious frozen yogurt from Sloane Brothers. These were the most decadent froyo's I have ever laid my eyes on. They came topped with luxurious treats such as; candy canes, ginger bread men, popcorn, raspberries and mini chocolate biscuits! They tasted just as amazing as they looked too. If Christmas was a dessert it would be this one!

The Intu Victoria Centre event was the perfect way to start off what has already been an amazing December.

I left feeling very festive and lucky! I had such a lovely evening catching up with other local bloggers and doing what we do what we do best! I am extremely grateful to Intu Victoria Centre and Cartwright Communications for inviting me to their incredible events. Each one that I've attended has been so well put together, you can really see the hard work that has gone into creating them.

What have you been up to so far this December?
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