CHRISTMAS 2017

CHRISTMAS 2017

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No doubt by the time you get around to reading this Christmas will seem like a distant memory, but I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays nonetheless!?

Christmas was a bit different for me this year, I woke up in my own house! Not to do things by halves, we moved into our new house on 18th December so to try and get settled in before Christmas whilst working full time jobs was… fun! But worth it.

I usually spend Christmas at home so not to do the usual family traditions on Christmas morning was a bit of a change but I’m all for making new traditions and hopefully next year everything won’t be so rushed. We woke up really early on Christmas morning admitting defeat around 6.30 and finally getting out of bed. As usual I received some amazing gifts, I’m definitely feeling pretty lucky right now to have such a good group of people around me.

So what did I get? first up I got some Hunter wellies. I’ve been saying I wanted to get a pair for some time now – I ruin so many shoes walking the dogs, so these are going to come in handy! To go with the wellies I received matching Hunter socks and a The North Face puffer jacket to keep me extra toasty when its cold! Speaking of the dogs, they received the Aesop Animal Body Wash, perfect for after a muddy walk – It smells so good and I’m sure they will love it too.

Next up was a bunch of Nespresso goodies – a Citiz + Milk machine, a 200 capsule box set and a pair of cappuccino cups. I don’t know how I survived without a Nespresso machine before, I’m even more addicted to coffee now, there’s so many options to choose from! I’m looking forward to making a drink and getting stuck into Decembers box from The Chocolate Society. I’d never heard of the brand before but the chocolates look so good.

Staying on the coffee theme, I received some Lush products from my Secret Santa at work – I love the coffee mask, you can read about it here! I wonder how they knew?!

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Other grooming products came in the form of the GlamGlow Power Rangers Rita Repulsa Mask and some sleep sprays from This Works. I haven’t slept well lately so these couldn’t come at a better time and they work like a dream!

Other items included tickets to Fall Out Boy, a new Diptyque candle, Ciroc Vodka and the latest Cereal City Guide for Los Angeles to complete my collection.

I also treated myself to a pair of crisp black and white Nike Air Force 1s in the sales, I’ve never had a pair of them before and i’m not 100% convinced I can pull them off but i’m going to try!

After exchanging gifts we went to my parents for lunch and had a pretty chilled afternoon and evening as we were both working boxing day.  Overall it was a great first Christmas, hopefully next year we will be a lot more settled and able to host ourselves –  I’d love to cook the Christmas dinner for my parents one year so they don’t have too!

Working in the hospitality industry means Christmas is usually short and sweet but its what you make of it. I hope you all had a great festive period?

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Oh I also forgot to mention, a fifth member of the family was added on Christmas day. Everyone meet Luna – she’s settled in so well and definitely rules the house already!

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ADDING TO MY SUMMER WARDROBE

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With the summer sales already in full swing, now is the perfect time to pick up some new pieces to add to your summer wardrobe.

With a holiday booked  for the end of September, I have been on the look out for some items to take with me which will not only look good whilst I’m away, but will also stand the test of time.

This year I have tried to focus more on what I have been buying. Rather then spend money on seasonal clothes and styles, the goal is to have a wardrobe of staple pieces that can be mixed and matched to create a variety of looks; whether for day or night. So, instead of trying to keep up with current trends, I have been looking at more timeless pieces that never go out of style. I don’t think I have done too bad so far – you’ll have to let me know what you think about my most recent purchases in the comments!

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Valentino Camo Slide.  I had been wanting these for a while so when I saw a 25% off code at END, I finally bought them. I know you might be thinking even when discounted, they are still quite an extravagant purchase, however I know I will get loads of wear out of them and can see myself loving these well after the ‘sliders’ trend is over. I went for the black and grey camouflage printed pair as they will go with almost anything – I love how subtle the camo print is!

All Saints Half Sleeve Shirt. I would describe my style as casual at the best of times. I feel much more comfortable in a pair of jean and a t-shirt over a shirt and trousers any  day! Truth be told I don’t actually own that many shirts, especially ‘summer’ ones so when I saw this half-sleeve shirt in the All Saints sale I knew it would be the perfect addition to my wardrobe. It’s perfect for those summer evenings where you still want to make a bit of effort, but keep cool at the same time. I really like the ecru, neutral colour which I think will look good with a pair of black cropped chinos or smart shorts.

ASOS Cropped Smart Trousers. I decided to buy a new pair of cropped trousers as mine are looking a bit old (and tight!) now. I don’t know what it is about ASOS sizing but I constantly have to order two sizes of everything to make sure they fit. I kept the size bigger than I would usually go for, so would definitely take it into consideration if you’re thinking about buying a pair. As for the fit, they’re skinny but feel quite relaxed. They also show just the right amount of ankle and will sit nicely above my footwear of choice. I’m thinking about pairing these with a crisp white shirt and my Common Projects for a simple smart casual look.

Converse x Comme des Garçons Play All Star High. Like the Valentino slides I have had my eyes on these for sometime but they were always out of stock! Luckily, I had signed up for restock alerts on Dover Street Market months ago so when I got an email notification about them being back in stock I immediately bought both the high and low pairs –  undecided about which one I would keep. Turns out I liked both pairs, so I have ended up keeping them both – one to wear and one to keep for best. I haven’t worn the high tops yet so I’m going to save these to take away with me.

It’s still a while before I go away and I have my eyes on a few other tings, but for the time being I’m happy with my purchases and can’t wait to start putting them together. What do you think about my latest pick ups? What’s your go to outfit this summer?

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Summer Skincare Saviors

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As the weather gets warmer it’s time to start introducing some SPF into your grooming routine. The suns rays can not only cause short term damage to our skin, but prolonged exposure to the sun can cause lasting damage too.

Whether you are heading to the pool or to town, applying sunscreen to your body and face when heading out to the sun is a must. Recent innovations in sun protection has meant that sunscreen is not what it used to be. There are so many lightweight, non-greasy formulas on the market these days, you won’t even feel like you are wearing it.

For me, the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer SPF30 is my go to. The Ultra Facial Moisturizer SPF has all the benefits of the original Ultra Facial Moisturizer but with added sun protection. The similar formula allows you to make the transition between the two without worrying about upsetting your skins balance too much – I’ve found in the past that certain sunscreens cause my skin to break out.

After being in the sun, your skin can feel super dehydrated. For an instant boost of moisture the Cactus Flower & “Tibetan Ginseng” Hydrating Mist, also from Kiehl’s instantly breaths new life into your skin, providing essential moisture with every spray. I recently took this away with me to Barcelona and found myself reaching for it whenever my skin started to feel dry or tight. The blend of lavender, geranium and rosemary helps to soothe the skin whilst protecting it from environmental conditions.

I also took the Aesop Protective Body Lotion SPF50 and Aesop Petitgrain Reviving Body Gel with me on my most recent trip. I wasn’t expecting it to be quite so sunny, so I’m glad I had the reviving gel with me after the first day left me slightly red. Needless to say the factor 50 came in handy the rest of the trip. If you want to know anymore about these Aesop products I reviewed them separately here last summer.

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Finally, If being out in the sun isn’t for you, you could opt for the Tom Ford For Men Bronzing Gel to give you that sun kissed look. I usually apply a small amount to my daily moisturiser if I’m going out for that healthy glow. The good news is, it washes off so you can experiment with how much or how little you want to use.

What are your summer essentials?

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Hand Heroes

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The constant change in temperature can play havoc with our skin. If you are anything like me and suffer with dry skin, one thing that always feels dry first are our hands. As I spend a lot of my day exposed to the elements, the cold weather and wind and rain can leave my skin and in particular, my hands feeling dry and rough. In fact, if I don’t look after my hands, they get so dry to the point that my skin cracks and bleeds, which is not fun. Luckily, over the years I’ve come to learn which products work best for me.

When it comes to hand creams I look for three things; It has to do the job, be super hydrating and absorb quickly – I really don’t like any type of skincare product that just sits there or feels greasy or tacky.

I always make sure I have the Vanilla & Orange Peel Hand Cream from Grown Alchemist on hand during the colder days. Not only does it do everything I need it too, it also smells amazing. I’m currently working my way through a 300ml bottle which I keep on my desk,  but it’s also available in the Amenity Kit which I featured many moons ago here, if you do fancy giving some of the other Grown Alchemist products a try.

Next up is the Aesop Resurrection Aromitique Hand Balm which I have just repurchased. Much like the one from Grown Alchemist, the formula is nice and thick and absorbs fast into the skin leaving your hands smooth and hydrated. The handy tube means that its something you can keep on your office drawer or in the car for when you need it.

The Resurrection hand care range from Aesop also features a Hand Wash and a sanitising Rinse-Free Hand Wash which is great for on the go in the classic Mediterranean scent. I honestly don’t think there is a Aesop product that I don’t like.

So there you have it. What are your favourite products for looking after your hands?

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Hand Luggage Only

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When going away on a city break, travelling with just hand luggage can save time and money. Not only does having no hold luggage help keep your costs to a minimum, there’s no need to check in baggage or wait for it on the other side either, taking out some of the stress which is associated with travelling.

I’m heading to Paris this week for a couple of days and have hand luggage only so thought I would share with you the essentials that are coming along for the ride.

With carry on luggage its important to be organised. Before you start to pack you should know your restrictions, have a list of what you will need during your stay and be prepared to be ruthless. As I’m only there for a couple of days Im planning on taking the minimum.

When it comes to clothes it’s hard to decide what to take and what to leave behind. With the risk of over packing I’m going to try and pack a capsule wardrobe – things that can be co-ordinated to produce numerous outfits. I’ve being waiting for the right time to break out both my new A.P.C ‘Oh L’amour’ shirt and Common Projects so Paris seems like the perfect opportunity to wear them. The Common Projects are great for that smart-casual look. With the heavier items such as coats and jackets, I will be travelling in them to save space. The pockets can also be used to store items such as your documents and devices in so that they are on hand and don’t take up any extra space or weight in your case either.

With toiletries it’s important to stick to the 100ml rule whilst travelling or risk these being disposed of at security. All toilettires should fit in one plastic pouch so its important to take only what you need. There a number of good quality travel kits out there, the ones from Aēsop are always my go to’s, but you can also pick a few bits up in the airport should you not want to pack anything.

Other things I don’t travel without are my Mulberry passport holder wallet. This has multiple pockets and a zipped back to keep all my documents and tickets safe and finally a good guide book.  Flying can provide a good time to plan your trip and what you want to get out of it and these Cereal Guides are a great source of inspiration.

I don’t have massive plans for my short trip yet but I’m quite excited to just take to as it comes.

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Do you have any recommendations for Paris?

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