Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Christmas 2014

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas, I certainly did. I headed home to my parents for Christmas and did the usual, Christmas lights tour and present swapping with my two oldest friends on Christmas Eve, new pj's and Christmas films with my sisters, niece and nephew on Christmas Eve night and stuffed my face and feel asleep on the sofa while watching Miranda on Christmas Day. I also managed to remove my lazy bum from the sofa for some nice walks and some sale shopping. 


I was well and truly spoiled with all the gifts I received on Christmas day as you can see from my picture below. I'm not going to do a full post on what I got for Christmas because I have all ready started to use my new things but I do love those kinda posts so feel free to leave me your link below so I can have a nosy. 



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Sunday, 30 November 2014

How To Make Money Back On Everything You Buy

One thing I'm really good at is making my money go as far as possible. I don't earn big bucks and I do like the finer things in life (well, who doesn't really) so, I like to make the money I do have go far.

I'm going to give you my top tips on how to make money back every time you spend. I know a lot of people will say they can't be bothered or don't have time but honestly, if you follow these tips you could be better off by £1000s a year and once you get into the habit of it, it's easy. 

As most people will be spending a lot of money over the festive season this is a great way to make a little something back for yourself which will come in very handy when most people are feeling the pinch come January. 

Use Cashback Websites
I love Quidco

When buying online make sure you do so via a Cashback website. The website will track your purchase and pay you back a percentage of the purchase. I use Quidco and Topcashback and check to see who is paying the most cashback before I make a purchase. Both have over 4000 retailers so you will find pretty much every brand on their website. On average you can make about £320 a year but I have earned over £1000 since joining Quidco 2 years ago and £130 with Topcashback in less than a year. 

Topcashback are offering a £5 Marks and Spencer Voucher if you join using this link and you can also join Quidco using this link. 

Use a Cashback Credit Card
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The Santander 123 credit card card will give you back 1% in Supermarkets 2% in Department Stores and 3% in petrol stations, National Rail and transports for London Travel. If you use it when spending in these places you could earn a small fortune that will be deducted from your bill each month. You just need to remember to pay the balance off in full to avoid high interest charges. This card also comes with a £2 a month fee so only worth it if you are using it to earn cashback.

Use a Credit Card That Earns Loyalty Points
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Instead of paying with cash, use your credit card to pay for things and pay off in full when the bill comes in to avoid paying interest. You will be surprised how quickly the points add up. I use one and have made £120 this year in vouchers.

Tesco credit card gives you 1 club card point for every £4 you spend on it. 1 point is worth 1p to spend in store with Tesco. 
Sainsburys credit card allows you to collect 8 Nectar Points per £1 on Sainbury's shopping and fuel for the first 3 months (2 points per point after the 3 months) and 1 point on every £5 spent elsewhere. 
House of Fraser credit card allows to earn 3 points per pound when you spend at House Fraser and 1 point per pound elsewhere. 1 point is worth 1p which is converted into reward vouchers to spend at House of Fraser. 
Marks and Spencer credit card gives 1 point for every £1 spent spent in M&S and 1 point for every £2 spent elsewhere. 1 point is worth 1p which are converted into M&S reward vouchers. 

Use Apps To Earn Cashback


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Now, this can be a little more time consuming than the rest as you have to take a picture of your receipt and upload it but by doing this via these apps you could easy earn about £10 cashback a month. Not only do they offer cashback, they also offer products for free (which you have to purchase first and then claim back). These apps can be downloaded on to a smart phone from the app store for free.

Shopitze
Checkout Smart
Click Snap
Topcashback

Collect Loyalty Points 



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Most larger retailers will offer a loyalty card where it allows you to collect points every time you spend. Some are better than others and in my opinion the Boots Advantage Card gives you back the most. My favourite loyality cards are:

Boots Advantage Card - 4 points per £1 and money off vouchers through the post. 1 point is worth 1p and can be redeeded against products but you must have the correct amount of points.
Debenhams Beauty Card - 3 points per £1 and the opportunity to collect bonus points throughout the year. Once you have 500 points it will be converted into a £5 reward.
Superdrug Beauty Card - 1 point per £1 and bonus points from time to time. 1 point is worth 1p and can be redeemed by the £ when you have earned a £1. 
Tesco Clubcard - 1 point per £1 and points booster vouchers sent through the post. Tesco will convert into vouchers and send through the post every 3 months.
Nectar Card- 2 points per £1 and points booster voucher given in store and sent through the post. Points can be redeemed each time you have earned £2.50.

Hope you find these useful and if you have any tips please let me know as I'm always on the lookout.

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Luxury Christmas Crackers

Can you believe tomorrow is the 1st of December?? I can't wait to get my tree up and open my advent calendar (yeah I'm 31 and still buy an advent calendar). 

Anyway, today I thought I would share with you some luxury Christmas crackers I've been lusting over. Gone are days you get nail clippers and daft jokes, now you can find luxury beauty products inside. But I warn you, they do come at a price.



Green and Spring Cracker, TK Maxx, £12.99 / Origins Crackers, Origins, £30 / Jo Malone Cracker, Selfridges, £32 / Clarins Crackers, Selfridges, £39  Lancome Crackers, Selfridges, £54

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Saturday, 29 November 2014

Christmas Party Wear

Last night I spent hours searching the internet trying to find the perfect dress for my Christmas night out.

During the festive season I love sequins and metallics so while I was browsing I added my favourites to a clipboard to share with you which will hopefully help you find your perfect Christmas party outfit. I have also added on some discount codes at the end of this post which I have found while browsing.

Happy shopping everyone, I hope you like my picks.

Metallics 


Pink MetallicTop, River Island / Pink Metalic Clutch, ASOS / Jacquard Tee, Miss Selfridge / Gold Metallic Skirt, Warehouse / Silver Heel, Miss Selfridge / Jacquard Skirt, Miss Selfridge

Sequins


Black Embellished Bodycon Dress, Miss Selfridge / Sequin dress, Oasis / Sequin Dress, Warehouse / Sequin Skirt, Miss Selfridge / Sequin Top, Miss Selfridge Gold Sequin Dress

Discount Codes 

Miss Selfridge upto 50% off and and an extra 10% off with this code CYBERVC

Debenhams upto 30% off and and an extra 10% off with this code LB76

ASOS 20% with this code CYBERWKND20

Warehouse 25% with this code CYBER25

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Saturday, 8 November 2014

Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Shampoo and Conditioner

The last time I visited the hairdressers I was telling her how my excessive use of dry shampoo was leaving a powdery build up in my scalp and she gave me a great tip. She told me that Tea Tree shampoo can be a great clarifying shampoo for your hair and would remove product build up. So after attending a Paul Mitchell event last month (see post here) I was rather please to find a shampoo and conditioner from their Tea Tree range in my goodie bag.


I decided to put it to the test and turns out, it is great at removing product build up. I applied a small amount of shampoo to my hand and lathered into my hair. I noticed while lathering up it gave my scalp a refreshing tingle which really felt like it was working to remove impurities and product build up. I then followed with the conditioner but before applying, I squeezed out the excess water to help the conditioner penetrate the ends of my hair. After a few minutes, I rinsed out. Once I blow dried my hair with my Paul Mitchell Neuro Dryer (see review here) my hair was left feeling super clean, soft and shiny. I was so impressed with the condition of my hair and now use this on a weekly basis to remove that horrible build up of hair products.
The Tree Tree range is free from parabens and suitable for vegan and coloured hair. Paul Mitchell can be purchased in professional hair salons to find one near you check here.

*These products were given to me as PR Samples

Don't forget to enter my giveaway to win a New CID Cosmetices 3 in 1 Lip Wand.

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Sunday, 26 October 2014

Paul Mitchell Art of Style Event and Giveaway

Paul Mitchell is one of favourite haircare brands at the moment so I love it when the Paul Mitchell girls come to town to tell us about the latest products.

A few weeks ago, I was invited along to The Art Style Event at the Blythswood Square Hotel which was hosted by the lovely Sarah from Paul Mitchell. The purpose of the event was to show us the Christmas range which includes The Art of Style gift sets and make up range New CID Cosmetics which I have a product to giveaway at the end of this post. As well as this we were treated to hair styles from Hely Hair Studio.

The Art of Style gift sets have been designed by fashion illustrator, Sarah Hankinson who has previously worked with Vogue and Haper's Bazaar. The sets contain a shampoo, conditioner, a styling product (depending on which set you choose) and a reusable gift bag. The sets start from £18 - £35.00.

The Art of Style Gift Set 

As well as the gift sets, we looked at the new range from award winning New CID Cosmetics. This is a range I hadn't heard of until now but I was so impressed with the range and I thought the packaging was gorgeous and looked so luxurious. Here are some pics from the event.



My Updo.
Myself and Eilidh from Maisy Meow blog with our hairstyles.

My hair the morning after the night before. I love it!!! 

I mentioned above I have small giveaway which is a one of the products I received in my goodie bag. The product is a New CID Cosmetics 3 in 1 Lip Wand in Sugar Plum which I notice is sold out on nearly every website!! Please use the Raffelcopter below to enter.


3 in 1 Lip Wand 


Giveaway Rules
You must follow my blog via GFC or Bloglovin. 
You must be over 16 years old.
Giveaway will run from today until midnight on the 15th of November.
Giveaway is open to UK Residents only.
Winner will be contacted within 48 hours of giveaway ending via email and if no response, another winner will be chosen. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Monday, 13 October 2014

Lush Christmas Blogger Event

I can't believe it's that time of year again, yes it's nearly Christmas! I love the build up to Christmas, so as you can imagine, I was super excited to be invited along to Lush Braehead last week to see what products they have brought out for Christmas 2014. Lush is always a huge favourite of mine around Christmas time as I think their Bath Bombs make the best stocking fillers so I knew I wouldn't be disappointed. I honestly don't know how they do it, they really do get bigger and better every year.
Like the last Lush event I attended, we had a small ice breaker to introduce ourselves and were then split into groups and taken round the store to find out more about the new products. First up, we talked through the new range of Christmas Bath Bombs and Bubble Bars. Honestly, I never knew you could have so much fun with Bath Bombs. We were given demonstrations and once melted in to water the colours were amazing. The Christmas range includes: Luxury Lush Pud, Golden Wonder, Father Christmas, So White and Dashing Santa Bath Bombs and Holly Golightly, Christmas Hedgehog and Magic Wand Bubble Bars. They also had a Halloween range that included Sparkly Pumpkin and Wizard bubble bars.



We then moved on to the shower gels which included everyone's favourite, the Snow Fairy and a new one the Hot Toddy. The Hot Toddy smells so Christmasy and would be great to use on a cold winters night. There was also a So White shower gel which is the same fragrance as the bath bomb and also came in a gift set. We were also introduced to the Snow Man Kit which is great for kids. It's kinda like play-do for your bath. You can make little shapes and then run it under water to create bubbles in the bath.

Next up was the soaps and massage bars. The soaps are far to pretty to use if you ask me. There was Baked Alaska and Fairy Ring that looked like a fairy's house (too cute ). We then tested the massage bars and were shown how to give hand and arm massages. I mentioned the Snow Fairy shower gel earlier, if you are a fan, you will love the new Snow Fairy Massage Bar. It smells like the shower gel and leaves you with a lovely shimmer. This was my favourite product and I think it would be great to use before a Christmas night out for a lovely shimmer all over your body.

Of course the best product was saved until last and this was 12 Days of Christmas. This box included 12 individual treats from Christmas range. I don't want to spoil it for you incase you receive it as gift but let me just tell you it was a belter!

At the end of the night we were all treated to lovely goody which included products from the Christmas and Halloween range. I can't wait to pamper myself with them.
Thanks again to the Lush Braehead team for a fabulous evening. For more info on all the products mentioned you can check out the Christmas range here.

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Monday, 29 September 2014

Elanic

Since hitting the big 30 last year, I really have become quite obsessed with skincare to keep my skin looking as young as possible. I like to think I look a few years younger than my 31 years of age, so when I was invited along to Elanic to have my skin assessed using their new Visia Complextion Analysis I was keen to go along and find out the results.

The Visia Complextion Analysis allows you to view your skin in microsopic detail to see how it looks on the outside but also the underlying damage that is not visable to the naked eye. It identifies problems such as, redness, wrinkles, pigmentation and sun damage. Once it has taken an analysis it produces a personalised report. Here is a copy of my report below.


As I said previously, I like to think I look a few years younger than 31, well, wasn't I proved wrong. My skin age according to the analysis came out 10 years older than my real age! Shock horror, I know! On the positive side, the analysis showed that I have very few wrinkles but on the other hand I have a lot of underlying UV damage that is not visible to the naked eye. All those years of not protecting my skin properly in my late teens/early 20s have well and truly caught up with me. But fear not, the experts at Elanic were able to prescribe tailored products from the specialist skincare range Skinceuticals (if these products are good enough for Naomi Campbell and Gwyneth Paltrow them I'm willing to give them a try). 

Skinceuticals are an advanced skincare range born from years of scientific research. They work on three main philosophies: prevention, protection and correction. Based on my Visia Complextion Analysis I was prescribed 3 products to take home and use over the next 3 months. These were:

Phloretin CF - Prevent 

Phloretin CF provides a high level of protection against UV rays which helps prevent the skin from further skin damage.

Use once a day in the morning after cleansing.



Retexturing Activator - Correct


This serum is clinically proven to reduce the appearance of surface lines for a visibly smoother, more radiant looking skin. It works by targeting two mechanisms, exfoliation and hydration which help promote the skin's natural regeneration process. 

Use twice daily morning and night.




Retinol 0.3 - Correct

Retinol helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots. A high factor sun protection must be worn when using this as part of your skincare regime. 

Use once or twice weekly in the evening and gradually increase to every other night.



Once I had my skin analysis and products prescribed, I spoke to the clinics Dermatologist which I found very informative. Rather than focusing on the cosmetic side of things, he focused more on the dangerous effects UV damage can have on your skin such as skin cancer. It really made me realise how important it is to protect your skin from UV damage as it could potentially be life threatening. For now on, I will make sure I lather myself in a high factor sun screen when I'm in the sun. 

I was also given the opportunity to experience Scotland's first ever Vectra XT system, a 3D imaging system that allows patients to visualise the results of cosmetic surgery. As this is not something I plan to do in the future I didn't try it. I did however have chat with the cosmetic surgeon who explained how it worked which I found interesting as I feel it will help people make better informed decisions when it comes to considering cosmetic surgery.  

I am due to go back to Elanic in December for a further Visia Complextion Analysis to discover the findings from using my prescribed products over the next 3 months. I'm praying for good results so I can knock a few years of my first skin analysis. I can honestly say that I'm already noticing my skin looks brighter and that's only after 2 weeks usage. So look out for follow up post to see how I get on. 

I would like to thank the staff at Elanic for my invaluable experience and advice and The Big Partnership for giving me the opportunity to visit Elanic. 

Sunday, 21 September 2014

A night with The Scottish Ballet

The past few weeks have been mega busy with blogger events so my apologies for the delay in this post. The week before last, The Scottish Ballet invited me to a night of witches, hysteria and tapas. The purpose of the night was to celebrate the world premiere of their brand new production, The Crucible double billed with Ten Poems. The Crucible based on Arthur Millers award winning play, tells the story of the Salem which trails of 1692. The Ballet also features 10 Dylan Thomas poems brought to life by dance.



The night began at the Glasgow Film Theater where we were treated to a screening of 90s teen film The Craft. Before The Craft we were shown an exclusive behind the scenes film of the making of the Crucible. Afterwards, we headed over to one of my favourite Glasgow venues, Blythswood Square Hotel where we spent the rest of evening sipping cocktails,  nibbling tapas and talking about the production with the lovely ladies (Ann, Christina and Miriam) from The Scottish Ballet. Thank you ladies for a lovely evening.



The Crucible previews in Glasgow on Thursday 25th September, further info and online booking can be found on their website.


Monday, 15 September 2014

The Glasgow Wedding Collective

A few weeks ago, Lisa from Palampo PR invited me along to the Glasgow Wedding Collective Press Launch at the Lighthouse in Glasgow. I know, I know, you might wonder why I was attending a Wedding Show when I'm not engaged (my boyfriend certainly did, lol) but you never know when you might need some ideas and something like this is great to share with my readers. The aim of the Glasgow Wedding Collective is "to handpick and bring together a selection of exciting independent and vintage wedding suppliers handpicked from throughout Scotland". 

On arrival, myself, Lynnie Bop and Glasgow Fashion Girl were greeted by Lisa and given lovely little tags to write on our blog names. We then entered the venue (which would be great for a wedding by the way) and were greeted with gin cocktails. There were lovely stalls set up with each supplier showcasing what they had to offer. First up was one of my favourites, The Three Sister's Bake. They had a great selection of savory snacks which somehow I forgot to take a picture of, sorry. If I was planning a wedding these girls would be the top of my list. We then had the Big Bear Bakery who had the most delicious cakes. I sampled quite a few and I can tell you they were all amazing. There was also a lovely selection of Vintage Wedding dresses which were later styled up by 4 guest bloggers Florals and Corals, Honey Pop Kisses, Bee Waits and Forever Yours Betty. My favourite stall was The Bygone Photobooth Company. This was a vintage style photobooth where you could choose from a number of vintage props and given a instant print to take away with you.


The Big Bear Bakery 
Vintage Wedding Dresses
The Bygone Photobooth Company
If you are planning a wedding or looking for ideas then I highly recommend heading along to The Glasgow Wedding Collective on Sunday the 28th September at the Lighthouse. Entrance is free and more details can be found on their website.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Debenhams A/W Press Show

I get quite excited about the thought of Autumn/Winter fashion so you can imagine my excitement when I was invited along to the Debenhams A/W Press Show last week. Held in one of my favorite Glasgow locations, Blythswood Square Hotel, we were given a preview of the Designers at Debenhams, Debenhams own brand and the latest beauty offerings. Not only that, we were treated to fabulous cocktails, canapes and manicures.



Of course, I was drawn to the glamorous evening gowns, sparkly shoes and handbags which would be great for the festive season. I was also drawn to Murad range which I'm dying to try (already on my Christmas wishlist). Another beauty brand that caught my eye was Elemis. Just look at the gorgeous packaging. I also spotted an Urban Decay, Naked Basics 2 pallet which was much the same as the first (a bit disappointing) and wait for it ladies....... a new Benefit advent calendar. I don't know about you, but I can't wait for all this to hit the stores!








Saturday, 6 September 2014

Oasis Bloggers Breakfast

Last Friday I was invited along to the Oasis Bloggers Breakfast at the Oasis store in Buchanan Galleries, Glasgow. The purpose of the breakfast was to introduce the new Flutter range. The Flutter collection is collaboration between Oasis and award winning ceramic designer Peter Ting. They have taken his iconic print inspired by the traditional Chinese flower bird and created a beautiful collection ranging from kimono's to printed trousers. 



Once we had been introduced to the collection and treated to a delicious breakfast, we were given time to shop the store before it officially opened, 15% off all items and a free gift. Thanks Oasis!!!  




Here are some of my favourite picks from the collection:



Have you got a favourite item from the collection? 

Monday, 25 August 2014

Amsterdam

A few weeks ago I took my boyfriend to Amsterdam for his 30th birthday. It's a city I have never been to before so was I pleased to tick another one of my list and to finally knock visiting the Anne Frank House off my bucket list (which is huge by the way). Sadly, it rained for the majority of our trip so I was unable to take as many pictures as I would have liked. Despite the rain, I thought Amsterdam was a great city and I would love to go back one day.

If you have been to Amsterdam then I'm sure you will know there are countless things to do and see. Top of our list was a city bus tour, the Heineken Experience, a canal cruise, a visit to the red light district and the Anne Frank House.

On arrival (at the airport) we purchased an Amsterdam Holland Pass. An Amsterdam Holland Pass is an all in one city pass offering tickets to various museums and attractions and discounts in shops and restaurants. The Amsterdam Holland Pass comes with a book listing all the places the pass can be used. We opted for the 2 ticket pass for 35 Euros each. This included 2 tickets to a number of attractions such as The Heineken Experience and The Van Gogh Museum (check here for a list museums and attractions).  The pass also included  the choice of free public transport for 24 hours or a city tour. We choose the city tour as a train ticket from the aiport was only 4 Euros and we bought a 72 hour tram/metro pass for 16 Euros. Not only that but the Amsterdam Holland pass also allowed you fast track entry to most museums and upto 50% off the entrance fee. Unfortunately, the Anne Frank House is not included in the Amsterdam Holland Pass. However, the entrance fee was very reasonable 9 Euros but be prepared for a very long wait a the que.

During our trip we stayed in the museum district which was a short walk to the Leidseplein area where there was countless restaurants and bars. You could also find the Hard Rock Cafe and the Casino here. We ate dinner in this area every night and I was so impressed with the food. On our last night we eat in a traditional dutch restaurant called De Blauwe Hollander which I would highly recommend. We went in just at the right time and managed to get a table straight away. Within 10 minutes the restaurant was full and they were turning people away every few minutes so we guessed it must have been a popular little restaurant. Another recommendation of mine is to try the Profferjes (a Dutch dessert) which are like small fluffy pancakes. They sold Profferjes in cafes and street stalls.

Here are the pictures I managed to get in between the rain.