Saturday, 3 December 2016

Creating Christmas!

 Christmas is undoubtedly my favourite time of the year EVER. Last year we bought our first house, and the most exciting thing was being able to decorate it how we wanted! I knew I always wanted a tree which had snow tips (until I now have one and realise how MESSY they are, blimey!). The tree was actually from Homebase. I've checked the website and they haven't re-stocked this tree this year, but, there are some very similar ones available. It's a 7ft tree and I just love it!

All of our baubles are either white, silver or grey. We got the majority of our decorations at places like garden centres, The Range, B&M, and they were all so reasonably priced. The star topper is from Asda, but that was a last minute mad rush buy, and I'm not too keen on it still.

We have some gorgeous red and white striped stockings which hang over our 'fireplace', These were also from Homebase. Super cute.

The bauble with my name on it and the gorgeous glittery bauble box are made by my friend Lorna. She honestly makes some of the most gorgeous products I have ever seen. She runs Pebbles and Pearls through Facebook and can personalise almost any item you ask. Check out her business here!

I managed to pick up the cute Christmas countdown board and the gingerbread man sweet tray (which is obviously covered in celebrations because let's be honest, Christmas is incomplete without them!) from a pop-up store. The store is based in Norwich in Norfolk, and is a temporary Christmas store. It had some of the most festive stock. I have seen some similar things in general home stores like B&M, so you may be able to pick up something similar!

I also managed to grab some silver standing tress from the same shop which you may be able to see on my coffee table. On our small windowsill we have a bauble tree decorative which I picked up from B&Q and this came in a variety of colours.

On our little dining room table I have a Gingerbread shaped cage which is filled with potpourri. This was from Asda, Although it isn't online, I have seen it in lots of stores, so keep an eye out for this! And next to the Gingerbread man is a beautiful rounded vase with detailed holly and acorns covering the outside. I have filled this with acorns and berries for a festive touch! (Again from Asda, they honestly do the best Christmas homeware!)

And last but not least I have my favourite selection of Yankee Candles to fit in with the Christmas festivities! We have Black Cherry in the kitchen which is so gorgeous and honestly smells like Christmas in a jar! Now, in the living room we have the Yankee Christmas Treats. This is a candle that is part of the Asda Yankee range. This candle was discontinued last year, and I was genuinely heartbroken. It was one of those candles that was lit the whole year round. This year Asda have released a Santa's treats. It's a good dupe and very similar. It's a sweet vanilla baking smell. So bloomin' good!

I hope you have enjoyed my house decorations for this year, I would love to see some of your decorations. Don't forget you can now find me here on twitter!

Thanks for reading as always, and I am loving your feedback about the new look of my blog. I am finally happy with it and cannot thanks Pipdig enough.

Until next time,

Love, Chelsea x


Monday, 3 October 2016

50 Things To Do This Christmas

Many of my friends, family, colleagues know me as the insanely annoying Christmas person that starts watching Christmas films in September (although, might have happened in August this year...)

It is without a doubt my favourite time of year! Autumn - Winter is the time I live for! This year I have been thinking a little more about what Christmas'y type things I want to do in December to have a fun and festive period! So, I'm here to help out to get you planning for Christmas! A little early, maybe, but preparation is key! The list is long....

  1. Decorate the tree
  2. Make a gingerbread house
  3. Send out Christmas cards to friends & family
  4. Late night shopping in your town/city
  5. Go to a Christmas market in your own town/city centre
  6. Make cream/marshmallow topped hot chocolates
  7. Take a road trip to see old friends
  8. Treat yourself to something & wrap it up and put it under the tree
  9. Visit a Christmas market in a random town/city
  10. Make a Christmas shoe-box to send to children - link here!
  11. Organise a Christmas meal with a group of friends
  12. Go to a Christmas lights switch on!
  13. Organise a Secret Santa!
  14. Bake gingerbread men
  15. Have a Christmas jumper day at work
  16. Visit a garden centre and buy Christmas decorations
  17. Buy chocolate advent calendars
  18. Hang stockings above the fireplace
  19. Have a shopping day to buy Christmas presents
  20. Organise a Christmas pub night with friends & family
  21. Ladies - treat yourself to one of this years Beauty Advent Calendars!
  22. Go to Midnight-Mass
  23. Take a younger relative to see Santa! 
  24. Pick out a real Christmas tree - or just go for the smell to be honest!
  25. Buy a Christmas wreath to hang on your door
  26. Have a Christmas movie day! 
  27. Make a snowman... Or maybe just watch the film if it isn't snowing...
  28. Have a present wrapping day joined with Christmas songs!
  29. Grab your fave festive Starbucks drink! 
  30. Check the TV Guide for all the Christmas films - we all do it!
  31. Go ice skating
  32. Hang mistletoe
  33. Devour a tub of celebrations with a good ol' film
  34. Have a cold winters walk in the country
  35. Visit a craft fair
  36. Have a Christmas dinner prep-run (always a good excuse for a roast!)
  37. Stock up on novelty Christmas socks and pyjamas!
  38. Find the Coca Cola van!
  39. Buy a Christmas Candle
  40. Stock up on Christmas chocolate
  41. Load a Christmas CD into your car
  42. Have a nice glass of Baileys & Ice (only if you're old enough of course!)
  43. Hang Christmas lights outside your house and in the windows
  44. Spend quality time with friends and family
  45. Stock up on mince pies
  46. Make some homemade mulled wine!
  47. Grab all the old board games out of the cupboard
  48. Listen to carol singers 
  49. Visit a pantomime 
  50. Eat, drink, be merry and have the best festive period!


Friday, 23 September 2016

How To Deal with Travel Anxiety

Having travelled more this year than any other year in my life, my travel anxiety has pretty much been up there. A lot of people laugh or half smirk when they hear that I couldn't tell you the last time I sat on a plane without crying.

For some, travelling is incredible! Nothing but a joyous delight to take you to your destination. For others, an absolute nightmarish hell. I, being the latter, of course. Planes, trains, buses, doesn't matter. I can just about deal with a long car journey, as long as I'm the one not driving. This really does have an impact on your holiday. Not being able to look forward to the holiday itself because you know you have to travel to get there. Spending the entire holiday worrying about the travel home. 

It's awful and frustrating. And even more frustrating for most people travelling with you who have no idea whatsoever what or how travel anxiety feels.

Step #1 - Plan, plan and plan again!
Nothing helps me more than getting organised. I make a list of all the things I need to do. For example, checking in online, printing out boarding passes/train tickets, finding the passports out about 2 weeks in advance to save the day before freak-out, plan what things I need to take, find out your health insurance documents/card. Plan it all! Once you have all of these things sorted you will know everything you need to do.

Step #2 - Make the journey a comfortable one.
I always make sure I have 2 things sorted for the journey. Comfy clothes, and good music. Wear something loose and comfy to travel in, there is simply nothing worse than sitting on transport for long periods of time in your tight skinny jeans! Wear some cool, loose clothing to feel relaxed throughout the journey. Music is the best distraction for a journey. Update the music on your smartphone/device to the kind of things you will want to listen to. I even have a separate calming music playlist just in-case I'm not quite in the frame of mind for the latest Calvin Harris kinda' track. (Ludovico Einaudi is a great musician if you need some beaut' music to get you through a flight).

Step #3 - Do your research!
One thing that really helps me is to do lots of reading up about the place I'm visiting. Looking around the area you're staying on Google Earth is the best tip ever! You can get some kind of idea of the area, find hotspots where you want to go, and when you arrive, it doesn't all seem too unfamiliar!

Step #4 - Distraction
I find breaking the travel up into sections of 30 minutes is the best. If your journey is short, try 10 or 15 minutes. So, for example if my flight is 2 hours long, I will break it up into 4 half hours. The first half hour I will listen to music, the second half hour I will read a book, the third half hour I might play a game or watch something on my phone, and then I normally go back to reading my book again for the last half an hour. It helps to keep your mind busy and focused on how long you have until your next half hour.

Step #5 - Breathe and be honest
Never hide the fact that you are feeling slightly uneasy on a journey. Making the person you are travelling with aware that you don't feel great helps in itself. They know to keep an eye on you and they're there to comfort you if you have a moment! Take deep breaths, drink plenty of cold water and keep cool (although easier said than done if you're on a plane!)

Good luck and remember- you CAN do it! Try not to let the fear of anxiety stop you from visiting all of the beautiful places around the world.

Lots of love,

Chelsea x

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Benefit - Do The Hoola Kit // Product Review

Many of us nowadays are totally all about the make-up game. I mean, does anyone else get super excited when Feel Unique have a 20% flash sale?

I am always discovering and trying out new brands, but sometimes I'm quite hesitant. Hesitant to spend large amounts of money on products that might not suit my skin, reluctant to buy an expensive mascara for it to clump - totally. All the time.

Recently, I have been searching and searching for a good, reliable bronzer. I have honestly tried more bronzer's this year, that I have probably eaten dinners... (Well, maybe not quite, but, y'know...)

I had heard SO many good reviews about the Benefit Hoola Bronzer, but, I was reluctant to spend over £23 on yet ANOTHER bronzer that I could possibly hate. But then, I discovered the 'Do The Hoola Kit' from Benefit, which is essentially a small kit made up of mini hoola products from the range. And, I have to say Benefit, what a cracking idea! 

Although the kit retails at £28.50, which is more than the bronzer itself, it meant that I would be able to try lots of other Benefit minis too, and I am always up for trying new products. I actually purchased this kit on the plane home from Cannes - so as it was part of duty free, I only paid £19 for this set! Making it even more worthwhile, but I had been planning to purchase it once I was home, so for me £28.50 is still such a good price for what you get.

The kit comes packaged in this really cute little box which has a magnetic clip on it which keeps it sealed. So handy to take if you are travelling. There are essentially 5 items included in the box, plus a handy little bronzing brush. The box also includes a tips and tricks booklet which is such a good idea, there's nothing worse than trying a new make-up item and not having the foggiest where to start with it! Underneath the book is a mirror, which again makes it such a handy little kit to take on your travels!

The kit includes (from left to right) Benefit Hoola Ultra Lip Gloss Mini, Benefit They're Real Mascara Mini, Benefit Hoola Bronzing Powder and Brush, Benefit Dew The Hoola Liquid Bronzer, and the Benefit Benebalm.

Benefit Hoola Ultra Lip Gloss Mini

So, the first product of the set is the Benefit Hoola Ultra Plush Lip Gloss. I am really not the worlds biggest lip gloss fan, simply for the fact that I hate that sticky feeling they leave on your lips, however, I was so happy to find that this gloss doesn't feel sticky at all. It looks really sheer over the top of a nude lip, and just adds volume and definition to your lips. I would say that this is probably the only lip gloss I would reach for in my drawer. I was surprisingly impressed with this product! 8/10 for this mini gloss!

Benefit They're Real! Mascara Mini

The next product was the Benefit They're Real! Mascara. I have actually never tried any Benefit mascaras, so I was excited to give this one a go. I actually have to say that I was really impressed with the consistency of the liquid. The mascara itself is thick, but it doesn't clump. I have naturally quite long eyelashes, which I personally hate because they clump soooo easy, but with this mascara they don't! The only thing I wasn't so keen on was the fact that the applicator has bristles on the top of it. I found this made it quite a messy job at first to apply, but now I'm used to it, it doesn't really bother me so much. It definitely wouldn't put me off re-purchasing! 8/10 for the mascara!

Benefit Hoola Bronzer & Brush

So, the Hoola Bronzer. The sole purpose to buying this kit! I have to say... I have finally found my dream bronzer! After months of searching I have finally found a bronzer that doesn't make me orange, doesn't go patchy, it just sits perfectly on the skin. This bronzer is freakin' incredible! It's so subtle, but so buildable. You can totally adapt this to however much bronzer you like and it looks so glowy. It isn't crammed with glitter like a lot of other bronzers, and it gives a flawless finish to the skin. I have already re-purchased this in the bigger size, and I am totally recommending this to you all! Without a doubt 10/10 from me!

Benefit Dew The Hoola Liquid Bronzer

Until now I had never used a liquid bronzer before, so I panicked at the thought of using this! But it is actually a really gorgeous product. I mixed this in with my foundation one evening and it gave me such a healthy glow. I'm naturally quite pale so it really brightened up my skin. It isn't glittery, which is good, because I did expect it to be, but I really enjoyed using this and I'm kinda' disappointed I didn't buy this kit on the way to Cannes as this would have been great for evening make-up! It will certainly be coming along to my next holiday! First liquid bronzer, I will have to give this a strong 8/10 (as I don't really have any other liquid bronzers to compare it to!)

Benefit Benebalm Lip Balm

The last product of the kit if the Benefit Benebalm. This is such a hydrating lip balm and I definitely feel like it does what its set out to do. What I quite liked about this product is that it is slightly tinted red. It isn't overpowering, or too in your face, but it's a gentle tint and I like that you can wear a balm which also has colour to it. As much as I liked this product, I wouldn't say it was much different to the tinted balms from KiKo - however, do still try it, lip balm is definitely a personal preference. The balm gets a 7/10 from me.

So, there is it, that is the Do the Hoola Benefit kit. I genuinely cannot recommend this kit enough. If you want to have a try at these products then this is definitely the best taster way forward! I have already re-purchased one thing, and there is certainly two or three more things I will re-purchase after. This is not only a great little treat for yourself, but would also make a great gift for a friend too! If you want to purchase this kit I will link you to somewhere you can buy it here!

I really hope you enjoyed this post - let me know your thoughts on these products or even about some of the other Benefit kits!

Thank you for reading as always - and don't forget to find me over on Twitter to keep up-to-date with all new posts coming!

Lots of love,

Chelsea x


Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Visiting Cannes - The South of France

For a long time the South of France has been on my bucket list. A glorious place filled with blue sea, white sands and the most amazing heat. A rich city with famous streets and expensive stores, I had to make this a trip to do this year. I will leave a few hints and tips down below in case you are thinking of going, if you aren't, then I hope you enjoy the photos!

Cannes is undoubtedly the most beautiful place I have ever been too. The city is based on the French Riviera and is just spectacular. We decided to visit Cannes during August which was super hot. The sun blazed each day right through until about 9pm every night. Hitting highs of 35-36 degrees, sun cream was a must! We stayed in a hotel which was about a ten minute walk down to the train station/shopping area which was about another 5 minutes to the beach. A lot of people have asked if Cannes was expensive, and yes, it was. 

Food was expensive, alcohol was expensive and Sephora definitely wasn't the dream that I was excited for (probably due to how low the euro is at the moment), but to be honest, you prepare for that before the trip. We saved a few extra euros up, we planned ahead a little, and if you go expecting it, it doesn't ruin your trip. 

A lot of people are cautious about visiting the area at the moment, but I can assure you security is on top form at all times, and you can't let that stop you from visiting. 

We stayed for 4 nights and I would say that this is probably a good length of time to travel. I would recommend spending some time in Nice and maybe in the town of Antibes. Although we didn't get chance to visit these locations, we passed them on the train and they looked beautiful. Transport is super easy to follow throughout the city and is reasonably priced too.

I hope this helped a little for any of you keen to go, if you want one place to visit in your life, I cannot recommend it enough. A beautiful place to visit. You must see it for yourself.

Love, Chelsea x

p.s. If you have any questions - pop them through to my Love Chelsea email address!

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