Tagged: christmas

Xmas Gift Guide: £10 and under

Xmas 10

Considering it is now December, it’s time to get buying presents for your loved ones if you haven’t already…

However, with grans, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, mums, dads and friends and colleagues to buy for, it can get rather expensive! This is why I’ve created this gift guide for 10 items at £10 or under to mean you can get more pressies for your money!

It’s also the perfect solution for all those secret santas you end up getting roped into!

Happy shopping and I hope you find something you like!

Sam x

1. ‘Dream Big’ neon notebook, Topshop, £3.50

2. Jack Wills mug, £9.50

3. Photomug, Mustard, £10 

4. Hot Cookie mug warmer, Mustard, £10

5. Snap fish eye lens, Topshop, £5

6. Korres Wild Rose Mini Brightening Kit, Debenhams, £8.50

7. 12 Portly Penguins, Hotel Chocolat, £7 

8. Cubic Zirconia Triangle Necklace, Miss Selfridge, £10 

9. Alphabet scented candle, NotOnTheHighstree.Com, £6.99

10 Pug Mug, IWWOT, £7.99

Product love of the week: Black acrylic cat earrings

cat earringsSo most of the time my shopping posts are a collage of items. However, sometimes a product is just so special that it needs its own post!

This is exactly how I felt when I stumbled upon these earrings on Truffle Shuffle.

I’m not even a cat person and I find them adorable!

I just think they would be so fun to wear and would make an outfit. If I was to style them then I would team them just with a black top and skirt so they stood out. Plus, when you have quirky accessories, it’s better to keep the rest of your outfit simple, otherwise you sometimes end up looking a little too kitschy.

Anyways, they are a rather reasonable price of £11.99 if you want to purchase them. As I said, they are great for yourself, however, if one of your friends and family love cats, they it may be the perfect Christmas present too!

Have fun shopping!

Sam x

Ciate has unveiled its festive Candy Cane House!

candy cane houseGood news nail fans, those lovely peeps over at Ciate have only gone and released a new candy cane selection of its lush polishes.

Yep, if you love your polishes and are a fan of the festive season too, then you definitely need to get your mitts on the Candy Cane House.

Just revealed, the collection contains four fragranced glitter polishes. Yep that’s right, as well as making your nails all sparkly, they actually make them smell like Christmas too – with scents including gingerbread, candy cane, fresh cotton and Christmas trees.

Also included in the set is four mini pots in colours labelled ‘Ginger Snaps’, ‘Tangled Tinsel’, ‘Snow Fall’ and ‘Candy Cane’.

How great does that sound?

The ‘house’ is priced at £25, which I think is quite a bargain considering it’s lush packaging, high quality and because of the fact it will literally make your fingernails smell like a yummy gingerbread man.

You can but the set from many outlets, such as Selfridges and John Lewis, however if you are like me and collect your Boots points, it may be worthwhile ordering it there!

Happy shopping!

Sam x

Coast to Coast Christmas menu preview event

c2c7I know it’s only October and you’re all still thinking about what to wear to Halloween, however Christmas isn’t as far away as you think so you need to get prepared!

Christmas is a time when you meet up with friends and loved ones who you don’t get to see as often as you like the rest of the year, so it is important that you do this somewhere special. With literally every restaurant around offering a Christmas menu, it’s hard to know which one to pick!

That’s why Coast to Coast have been previewing their festive menu to show what they have to offer this year and I was one of the lucky few who got invited down to test it out!

I went down to the restaurant’s Portsmouth branch to do this on Tuesday of this week (Oct 7). I was greeted at the door by the lovely staff and offered a cocktail of my choice straight away. I went for the Russian Spring Punch which was recommended to me by the restaurant’s top bar tender Joyce Brabban, which was really really good!

c2c11I didn’t really need a drink off the menu though, as straight away Joyce got to work making us all the yummy cocktails from the Christmas menu. Amongst these were the Chocolate and Orange Martini, which tastes just as good as it sounds by the way and a warm cider that will warm you up a treat on those winter nights. Next up came eggnog. Now, I know what you’re thinking, eww egnog, but seriously don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. It was actually probably my favourite – creamy, smooth and perfectly festive – I will definitely be drinking that again! There was also a bucks fizz-style drink, which is a perfect lighter alternative if you don’t want to be too indulgent.

Next up came the starters. Executive chef Andy Hamilton, who is one of the stars behind the Christmas menu, brought us out a plate of Goats Cheese Bruschetta Bites – which were ciabatta topped with the goats cheese, pesto and the restaurant’s special bruschetta mix. Not being a fan of goats cheese or pesto, I skipped these, but they did look amazing and everyone else at the event certainly seemed to be enjoying them! There are also many other starter alternatives on the menu, including spicy calamari, BBQ chicken tenders, chorizo & mozzarella baked mushrooms and a Christmas tomato and cannellini bean soup!

After these were devoured, it wc2c14as time for the main event – Christmas dinner! As you’d expect, it is the classic turkey breast complete with cranberry sauce and all the trimmings including roast and mashed potatoes, pigs in blankets, pork and sage stuffing, Chantenay carrots and green vegetables. It will also topped in a rich gravy which was really delicious and elevated the dish even more.

If you are a bit bored of turkey come Christmas time however, there are other options available including baked salmon fillet, mushroom risotto and sweet chilli chicken skewers. There is also a maple bacon burger, which Andy brought us out to try, however I was just too full from all the dinner and cocktails already. Other guests at the event who tried it however were delighted with it – saying the maple bacon was gorgeous.

c2c12After all, I was saving room for dessert – which was an Oreo Cookie Cheesecake. I’m not the biggest lover of cheescake ever as I sometimes feel it can be too rich, however this was light enough that I ate the whole (generous) piece – even after that big Christmas dinner! Coast to Coast definitely don’t skimp on the Oreo either considering that the while biscuit base is made from Oreos and you also get some on top too. The cheescake also comes with Oreo ice cream, which has been made especially for Coast to Coast, and a good serving of cream!

After all that I didn’t think there could be anything more, however Joyce came over and brought us yet another Christmas cocktail to try – called ‘The Snowman’. This is an extremely creamy cocktail featuring liqueur and even comes complete with a snowman face made out of Oreos, matchmakers and a little carrot nose! This is the perfect indulgent treat at the end of the meal for grown ups who like to be a bit silly (like me).

And that was it! Full to thc2c1e brim with food and drink, my belly was extremely happy. I can honestly say that you definitely won’t be disappointed if you book a Christmas meal with your family, friends or colleagues here. The food is tasty, original, perfectly festive and there is tons of choice from just the standard options you would expect.

I am also a HUGE cocktail fan and I can honestly say that the drinks I had on Tuesday were literally the best cocktails I ever had, so even if it’s just a Christmas catch-up you’re after, definitely find you’re spot in the Coast to Coast bar for drinks!

If you are after the full Christmas menu, it will coats a reasonable £24.95 for three courses or £19.95 for two. The cocktails are around the £6-7 mark each, but great value for money considering the quality and work that have been put into them. So what are you waiting for? Contact your nearest Coast to Coast today and get your Christmas party sorted!

(Early) Seasons Greetings,

Sam x

Product Love: Ciate Advent Calendar

ciateI know some of you will grumble at this post because it’s Christmas-related, but I just HAD to write about this year’s Ciate Advent Calendar.

This cute gift, which is on sale NOW, is a total must-have for any beauty lover. Complete with 24 little Ciate treats, including its polishes, paint pots and nail transfers, you definitely won’t struggle for some nail inspo over the festive season!

The calendar, which comes complete in a cute little manor house design, may be a little more pricey than an average advent calendar, at £49, However, that is a huge saving on what it would cost you if you bought all of the items separately.

Beauty advent calendars are still quite new, with some retailers only introducing them last year. However, the ones who did sold out straight away so snap your Ciate one up before they all go!

Boxing day sales: Why you should skip the high street and just stay in bed!

a-funny-bed-quotesNow I’m sure people are waking up this morning and getting ready for another day of eating lots of yummy goodies and drinking faaaar too many Xmas spirits.

However, if you are like me, Boxing Day means only one thing… SHOPPING!

Yes those legendary Boxing Day/January sales have now started – hurrah! Now back in the olden days, we would have all been jumping in the shower right now, frantically rushing to get down the high street to make sure that we were the first ones with our hands on that half-price sparkly Topshop top before the blonde next to us nabbed it. Or pushing a granny out the way so we can grab those reduced luxury Christmas cards for next year.

However… it has now all changed. Yes, we have this amazing this called online shopping (hallelujah). Although this is probably the worst thing to ever happen to my bankcard, it is also the best thing ever to happen to my wardrobe. You see, I cannot STAND sale shopping on the high street.

I mean, you walk in a shop and it is literally just like a jumble sale. Usually I just grab anything that has my size on it, pay and get out of there before I end up with an elbow in my eye. This ends up with me getting home and questioning myself to the reason about why I bought those inappropriate gold hotpants which I will never wear in my life.

mince pieWhereas, online shopping is a totally different ball game. Sat in your comfy bed, or on the sofa, it is so damn easy. I mean, you don’t even have the disappointment of something not being in your size, as you search for this on the handy sidebars. Plus, you can do all of this in your jammies, whilst you have a mince pie and a glass of champers in your hand – heaven!

I mean sure, you are not burning off as many of those calories stamping down the high street. But hey it’s Chrimbo, who even cares about that now!

Now there is the argument that this kind of behaviour is “killing off the high street”. I do agree with this to some extent, as I would hate not having a high street, due to the fact it is one of my favourite hobbies to go shopping for some new clobber on the weekend.

However, I think that for Boxing Day, you’d be stupid to leave your comfy home to go shopping, seeing as you can do it on your own settee with that new ‘Despicable Me 2’ DVD playing in the background.

So go forth my friends, eat, drink and shop for those amazing bargains to kit out your 2014 wardrobe with!

And have a very merry Boxing Day x

Please note: I wrote this article whilst in a onesie, drinking a glass of champagne.