New look courtesy of my Xmas Presents

I’ve already mentioned I love Christmas and this year I got some awesome presents.  One of the things I love about getting Christmas and birthday presents, is that to me they always symbolise a new beginning.  I tend to ask for things I’d never buy myself, and people buy me things they think I would like and it gives me a chance to try out new things.

This year, my BF bought me lots of false eyelashes.  I’d bought some blue feather ones for Halloween as part of my Halloween costume, and he really loved them.  I went for a bit of a goth look and did get lots of comments about the eyelashes!

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I am usually a red lip lover, and don’t do much with my eyes other than a bit of mascara and sort out my eyebrows.  I tend to focus on my lips, so a look all about the eyes was new to me.

But BF wanted me to try it more, so bought me some false lashes to experiment with.  The glue that came with them was pretty rubbish, and it firstly wouldn’t stick, and then wouldn’t come off, so a trip to boots was required to buy some ‘proper’ glue.  It was just a boots own glue, but it worked perfectly and stuck on first time!  I did cut the lashes so they were only about 2/3 the size of my eyelid as when I wore the full lash length before it dug in a bit, and that seemed to work better to.  I would still say I’m in the ‘training phase’ but they did go on a lot easier today (after watching a few youtube videos too).

I did a smokey eye look to go with them, and nude lips and cheek (eek)….I sort of don’t recognise myself when I look in the mirror, but I love it!  All make up is Boots No 7 (my favourite)

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Looking forward to an ocassion when I can do this for real now!

Gold Nails – Umberto Gianni does it make the cut?

I hate not having painted nails.  I feel weird if I look down and see my boring flesh coloured nails.  For work I tend to stick to various shades of red, but outside of work I love to try out loads of different colours.  I always try and save all my boots points so I could buy myself some treats in the sale, and this year I bought this really cute little nail varnish set by Umberto Gianni for the bargain price of £6.  I would have thought it was reasonable at full price, but £6 for six colours and a mini emery board was just crazy!  And by a known brand such as Umberto Gianni!

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The bottles are pretty decent sizes too – not sample size, but full size.  There were four gold type colours, two of which had a shimmer or sparkle.  A deep purple, and a black.

I chose the sparkliest gold colour to wear – called Oyster.  It is quite bright with a shimmer and looks very glitzy.

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It went on relatively well for a shimmer nail varnish.  I do prefer block colour for applying, and quite like the thicker varnishes.  This was quite thin, but it covered relatively well.  I just did two coats and it gave the shimmer effect I wanted.  It was quite patchy in a few places though, so I think when I do it again I’d probably do another coat, or use one of the block golds as a base and do this over the top to give a more solid coverage.  Overall though, I quite like the effect it’s given.  I’d used the Barry M gold in the past and that was too thick for a shimmer varnish that is just looked ‘gloopy’.  These are definitely much better and I’m very pleased with them.

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New Years Eve Makeup Ideas

It’s still Christmas right???

So, it’s sort of over.  Well the big day is over anyway.  I always feel an element of sadness in the days after Christmas.  I get so excited, spend increasing amounts of time from, let’s face it the start of September once my birthday is over planning, preparing and thinking about it.  This year,  I felt very Christmassy around mid-November, then it seemed to take ages for December, and then suddenly it was here!  All of that, for one day!  But what a day it was!!  We hosted Christmas for the first time this year, and by the evening there were ten of us in our living room around the tree, opening presents, playing games, drinking, eating and generally getting our Christmas on.

Apart from the good company and festivities there were three things that made this Christmas truly awesome…the food, the presents and having my niece here for her first Christmas.

Food

Usually at my parents, my mum doesn’t like us to snack before dinner.  I guess I can understand that.  You spend Christmas morning in the kitchen and so want everyone to be hungry for and enjoy the meal you serve.  I am the opposite, I want people to be so full they need to loosen their belts.  So in addition to the traditional turkey meal, we provided an array of goodies for people to munch on, a lot of which I spent Christmas eve making (before heading out for drinks).  For the evening, we boiled a ham, and served a selection of cheeses, pates, breads and bits….I do love cheese, and the ham was awesome.  I am still feeling the after effects of so much food!

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I would have taken photos of the evening buffet with cheeses etc… except by then the three bottles of fizz we’d got through was kicking in and my plans for taking everlasting memories by way of photos went out the window!

Speaking of tables, I was quite impressed with how our table looked after I’d set it.  I’d bought everyone a little present from my niece – a little plaque with a quote on – ‘Home is where your mum is’ or ‘Dad’s carry photos where their money used to be’ and ‘Grandads are just antique little boys’! I put them on everyone’s plate so they had them over dinner!

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My niece’s first Christmas!

Perhaps told best by photos – let’s just say by the end of the day, she was an expert in unwrapping and had been more spoiled than anyone!

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And finally…the presents!

What an incredibly good girl I must have been in 2013 to get the amazing gifts I got….some I don’t have photos of yet but will post when I’ve taken.  A Vivienne Westwood bass orb necklace, four pairs of shoes, a pair of boots, a superdry top, make up, loads of baking stuff, books, chocolates, including an awesome gingerbread house and mini chocolate basket made by my sis!

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It’s Christmas Eve Eve!!!

I can’t remember exactly why, but ever since we were kids my sister and I have called the day before Christmas Eve, Christmas Eve Eve!  Probably because we both love Christmas.  Only two days to go and I’m so excited I can barely sleep.  There are presents everywhere, I’ve done the pre-Christmas house clean food shop.  Today I need to iron (boo); a sad necessity if I want to wear something nice on the big day!  I also stupidly forgot to buy vanilla essence yesterday at Sainsburys, so, like the song says, it’s on with the boots back out in the snow (well rain)….BF keeps asking why don’t I drive….he’s clearly never been to the supermarket a few days before Christmas before!!!

But prior to that I wanted to post a quick picture of my breakfast.  It’s the first time in about 7 months I’ve made myself on of these; and I’d forgotten how good they were.  Egg toasties with oregano ketchup and a cup of Typhoo!!  Yum all the way!

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Christmas Fizz

Last night we hosted the first of our Christmas events; Christmas fizz.  Four of our friends came over and we all drank some of the finest drinks known to mankind (as Withnail would proclaim).  The dress code was come in an outfit that you feel reflects the inner you.  There was a range of outfits, all equally as glam; from bow-ties to LBDs.  I embraced my inner eccentricity and dressed as a 1920s flapper in a gorgeous sequin and fringe dress.

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As I’ve mentioned before, one rule I always live by is that no one should sit in my house feeling hungry or thirsty. So with a bottle of Etienne Dumont and a bottle of Piper Heidsieck in the fridge I set about making some snacks.  Some I did buy – some samosas and bhajis from the supermarket, but the rest I made.

Strawberries covered in melted dairy milk, puff pastry tart with caramelised onion chutney, pesto and tomato and oregano sauce:

buffet1 and home made mince pies – not sure if it worked that well as I’d not tried it before; and I personally don’t like mince pies so couldn’t taste; but I added a bit of Jack Daniels to the mincemeat.  I actually find mince pies had to make – they always seem to fall apart during the baking process.  However, icing sugar can hide a multitude of sins; and at Christmas, I just say the dusting of sugar is to create a snow effect….now that’s festive.buffet2 Finally, my favourite piece; these cute little strawberry snowmen.  Two of my favourite things, strawberries and icing….I used a cream cheese icing as it’s stiffer than butter icing, and added more vanilla essence than the recipe prescribed.  It tasted like ice cream!IMG_1022With Christmas day just two days away, I’ve got quite a bit of baking to do.  I’m not sure what I’ll be making – a chocolate torte is definitely on the list, and I definitely want to make some more santas.  I’m contemplating cup cakes too….

I may walk into the village tomorrow to pick up some ingredients.  It’s quite cold out, but that just means I get to wear my vintage fur hat! Yay for Christmas!

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Planning my Christmas table!

This year is the first year I’m the Christmas hostess.  Saturday night sees Christmas drinks with friends, and Christmas day sees my whole family coming over.  I’d never realised just how expensive Christmas food is before.  My mum usually hosts everyone and we pretty much just turn up, open presents and eat!  But this year, everyone is coming to ours; and one rule I live by is that no one should ever leave my house feeling hungry!

The drinks situation is pretty sorted as we usually have a selection of wines, beers and champagnes in the house anyway.  Just bought some port for my mum and some soft drinks for my sister.  Will probably get a few more spirits for drinks Saturday so we can make cocktails, but I feel pretty confident no one will be without a drink.

But the food is a different matter.  Some things I’ve been buying gradually each time I go shopping, like crisps, nibbles etc..  the Turkey crown is in the freezer (just need to remember to take it out a few days before), and veg we’re hoping will still be in stock on Sunday!  Everything else, I’ve decided to bake!  Mince pies – I’ve bought the pastry pre-rolled (it’s so much easier) and mincemeat premade but am thinking of adding some sort of spirit to the mincemeat – not sure what though.  Don’t want to buy brandy just for that, but would rum or whiskey work??

The other day I found an awesome recipe for a chocolate torte at allrecipes.com which I tried out last weekend.  Success – probably one of the most amazing desserts I’ve ever had.  I’ve already bought the ingredients to make that again – providing I can keep my boyfriend from eating the eggs and chocolate!  Just need to get some hot chocolate sauce and cream for it.

I’m also considering trying these strawberry Santas, but not sure what to use for the eyes!strawbery santa

But what else….. I made some home made pretzels the other day which worked out well, so am thinking of making some of those too, and probably some puff pastry tart things.  Maybe some home made mint matchmaker style chocolates.  I feel an afternoon of surfing recipe websites coming up!  

Some people love baking.  I love eating, and I tend to bake because I love to eat…is that wrong??

It’s Christmas…even my cat has gone glam!

It’s Christmas, and my house is filled with decorations, presents and everything looks glam and sparkly!  I’ve been bakings lots, practicing for Christmas day, for this year we are hosting everyone at ours.  I’ve perfected my pretzles and taught myself torte!  Pictures will post – sadly this time they got eaten before photos could be taken. In the meantime, I wanted to share some pictures of Christmas.  And yes….they are shoe decorations….like I said, glitz and glam!

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