Getting a box filled with food through the post every month really is quite exciting! I used to be a bit of a scaredy cat when it came to trying out new foods, but getting older I seemed to have 'matured' my food tastes & will be brave sometimes! Degustabox is a monthly subscription box containing 9-14 items, most of which are new to the market. The November box is probably my favourite one yet, I love so many of the products included & the miniature Baileys reminded me of the Baileys hot chocolate I had last year at Christmas so I'll be whipping up one of those on Christmas Eve!
Butterkist are the best brand of popcorn in my opinion, the toffee one is heavenly! Dom is a huge fan of salted popcorn & we both love to mix sweet & salted together when we go to the cinema so the Sweet & Salted one will go down a treat on movie night. Our latest obsession is Salted Caramel though, I've been non-stop buying anything salted caramel flavoured so you can imagine I was really happy to see popcorn in that flavour too!
Ryvita are well known for their crackerbreads, they're handy as a quick snack & are healthier than your average sandwich. I'll be giving the crackerbreads I received in my box to my family as I'm not keen on Olives but I absolutely love the Mature Cheddar & Black Pepper thins. They're tasty on their own & also really yummy to have with dips like salsa & houmous.
I often buy the Belvita breakfast biscuits as they're really good to pop in your handbag & have on the way to work if you didn't have time to grab breakfast. The soft bakes are a similar concept, tasty & keep you full until lunch.
If you want to try your very own Degustabox then you can subscribe here & be sure to use the discount code 'BLDEG15' to get £6.00 off, making your box just £6.99!
Let me know what you think of Degustabox in the comments (:
Tilly & Lulu are two popular little Pugs who have in fact received more Christmas cards than us this year! All their Puggy friends from around the World have been posting them festive cards with the most adorable photos on! It's been really exciting opening each card to reveal the cards the girls have been sent, it's just even more proof that all these squishy puggies really do love a photoshoot haha. We decided to get involved with the homemade Christmas card idea & did our own photoshoot on Sunday with the girls. Surprisingly they both behaved & posed patiently whilst I snapped away with my camera. I'm literally in love with how the photos turned out, I think I've managed to capture the perfect Christmas card shot with the Christmas tree in the background & the girls in their festive outfits. This is definitely the start of a yearly tradition now, it's so fun to do & now I've got loads of amazing photos of our lil pug babies! Have you ever had a photoshoot with your pet? Let me know, I'd love to see photos!
Here is my third & final instalment of my little gift guide series, with the last one focusing on more pricey items that make perfect main pressies!
When we moved into our new house I knew I wanted to have some quirky bits & pieces, which is why I chose the Wild & Wolf Retro Telephone. Whenever someone visits us they always comment on our 'old fashioned' phone, I like having homeware items that get people talking! It's pretty much a statement piece as it adds a pop of colour to our mostly monochrome lounge.
Perfume is a lovely gift to give, there are always pretty gift sets available at Christmas too. I know I always appreciate a new bottle of perfume, the Marc Jacob ones are my favourite but I've also got my eye on a Jo Malone fragrance this year!
Jewellery is another good gift & something that can be kept forever. The Pandora Birthstone Ring I have is the March birthstone, which represents Tilly Pugs birthday. I preferred her birthstone over mine & thought it was more meaningful, giving it sentimental value. If you're after something a bit special for someone why not have a look at the Pandora birthstone collection & get their beloved pets/child/partners?
Makeup & beauty gifts are up there as one of the top gifts to give us girls. I hardly ever buy myself 'high end' makeup as my money usually goes on bills, the pugs & house things, which is why I absolutely love it when I receive makeup products I've been lusting over! Last year I was desperate to get my hands on the Zoeva Rose Gold Brush Set, they are an absolute dream & a real pleasure to use. I also got the Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette last year, neutral eyeshadow palettes are a good choice as they suit everybody. The UD palettes are beautiful, the shadows are so pigmented & apply really well, they're great for beginners too if you know someone who is just started to take an interest in makeup!
I tend to spend around £20-30 on presents for family members, having quite a few people to buy for (big family problems!) I have to stick to a budget otherwise my bank balance would go into meltdown!
I had a bit of a brainwave when planning this post & suddenly thought what a good idea it would be to get someone their favourite magazine subscription. I usually to buy home & interior related magazines the most these days, but there are so many magazines out there to cater to everyones interests & hobbies & they end up being much cheaper than if you were to buy each magazine individiually throughout the year. I'd personally opt for an Ideal Home one, a few years ago I was subbed to Vogue when I was set on being a fashion designer, a girl can dream hey... It's also worth checking to see if there are any incentives when you join a subscription, they usually throw in a free gift too which would be a bonus!
Buying somebody a skincare product can be a bit of a risk, as we all have different skin types meaning we all like to use different things. However Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish is a good all round cleanser which is suitable for pretty much everyone. They usually do gift sets too so if you did know your friend/family members skin type you could always pick one of those up for a bit extra.
A beauty product I'd recommend for makeup lovers is the Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade, it's been a makeup staple for most beauty bloggers/lovers this past year. With so many shades to choose from you might be thinking but won't that be difficult to select one for somebody else? There are hundreds of swatches & reviews online, making it quite easy to figure out which one would be most suitable.
Cookbooks always make great gifts, I mean everybody has to cook so why not give someone a book filled with inspiration that they can use for their next meal? I love the Deliciously Ella one & whilst I'm not Vegan I really like using her recipes when I feel like eating healthily. The Leon cookbooks are really good too, super easy to follow & filled with loads of tasty meals!
Bath products are a total winner with me & as you know I'm a big lushie but ever since discovering these The Body Shop Fuji Green Tea Bath Tea I've been obsessed. Anyone that gets quite stressed needs these in their life, the refreshing scent of Green Tea helps you to unwind & relax. Along with the Bath Infuser it makes a unique but lovely gift as it's a bit different from your usual bath product gift set.
A gift that is perfect for the party season is the Oliver Bonas Darya Clutch Bag*, a tiny bit over my 'Under £30' budget but who cares when it's so beautiful! Combining the golden metallic & slate suede textures together makes it a versatile accessory to complete any party outfit.
Yay, it's time for my first Christmas Gift Guide of the year, starting off with Stocking Fillers. I actually find buying stocking fillers one of the best bits about present giving, it's so much fun to pick up little extras that accompany a main present or even make a gift bag full of lots of things instead of one big present.
Soap & Glory always have amazing gift sets at Christmas, the Soaprise* one is definitely my favourite from the range, with six crackers each containing a miniature shower gel. I'm going to split these between my friends & family so they can all have their very own beauty themed cracker!
I always think Essie Nail Polishes are quite a treat, with them being slightly more expensive than most other high street brands which makes them a good little gift without breaking the bank. I'm loving all the glittery ones atm!
Oliver Bonas do the best homeware in my opinion, I'm forever lusting after so many items on their website & often buy an item or two! The Copper Alphabet Letters make such a nice addition to our shelves, so if you know someone who is moving house or updating their decor one of these letters could be a great way to give a more personal gift.
You can never go wrong with a Yankee Candle, either a festive fragrance or one thats more suitable for the whole year round there is a huge choice! My top picks would be Christmas Cookie, Candy Cane Lane, Vanilla Cupcake, Fireside Treats, Pain Au Raisin & Cotton Candy.
I don't know anyone who wouldn't be happy to receive a Lush bath product in their stocking on Christmas morning, I'd say they're my go-to gift if I'm unsure what to get someone or if I want to add an extra surprise for somebody! Golden Wonder is a good choice with it being gift shaped & having a fragrance which isn't too overpowering or offensive it's not going to disappoint anyone.
Look at how cute & adorable the lil Macaron egg timer is! I'm a big fan of the pretty sweet treats & when I was gifted this I thought it was such a perfect present, as well as actually being a useful one too.
Books always seem to be something on my gift list, whether thats Christmas or Birthday, they're just not something I tend to by myself. I'd recommend #GirlBoss as a stocking filler for anyone you know who could do with a bit of a kick up the butt (me, lol), it's one to make you feel motivated & determined!
I've put together some more of my stocking filler picks down below if you're after more inspiration, all the images are clickable, happy shopping! (: (I absolutely need the Pug nail dryer in my life, hint hint Dom if you're reading!)
Every year without fail as soon as LUSH release their Christmas range I just have to get my hands on some of it & this year was no different. I don't know what it is that makes Lush so appealing to me, I love the whole atmosphere, the colourful products, the scents, the smiley staff who are always so knowledgable & willing to share the secrets behind each product, it's such a great lil place.
Surpisingly I'm yet to pick up a bottle of Snow Fairy Shower Gel, I'm still working my way through a bottle of The Comforter but I'm sure Snow Fairy will end up coming home with me soon. I am however the owner of the Magic Wand bubble bar so I'm still getting my fix of the sweet scent of Candyfloss & Peardrops! Another wand bubble bar made it's way into my basket too, The Magic of Christmas made up of Cinnamon & Cloves, it's a more traditional spicy Christmas fragrance, but one which I also really enjoy.
I picked up a couple of old favourites, Golden Wonder & Luxury Lush Pud. Golden Wonder bath bomb was actually the first product I tried from the Christmas collection a few years ago now. The present shaped bath bomb has a citrusy fragrance which begins by fizzing into lots of golden bubbles that then turn blue & purple when the 'gift' is unwrapped. It's fun & I'm pretty sure the novelty is never gonna wear off for me! Luxury Lush Pud bath bomb has got to be my favourite in terms of appearance, a cute multicoloured polka dot Christmas pudding! As soon as it's dropped into the water an array of colours appear, it's like a rainbow in the bath, love it.
Two new ones for me this year are Yog Nog & Bar Humbug. Yog Nog bath bomb smells like cinder toffee, I can't wait to have a bath with this now I've taken photos of it! I expect it will be really comforting & warming. Bar Humbug bubble bar is one you'll either love or hate, it's a bit of a marmite product! It's a similar one to The Comforter & Brightside bubble bars with their marble-esque veins of colours running through however the scent of liquorice isn't going to appeal to everyone. I don't think the liquorice is too overpowering though & actually find it to be quite refreshing.
The last product I bought isn't strictly a Christmas one, although it is a new one to me so I thought I'd include it anyway. You've Been Mangoed is a luxury bath melt, which smells incredible, so fresh & fruity. I've used a bath melt before & loved how soft it made the water, which resulted in my skin being super moisturised. They're a nice change if you don't fancy a big bath filled with bubbles but still want to have a good soak.
Have you picked up anything from the LUSH Christmas range yet?
It feels like forever since I've shared a monthly favourites post, but sometimes the products I love the most don't change & it would be pretty boring to keep repeating them over & over. I'm just gonna put it out there as well that I'm not actually happy with the photo but it was the best of a very bad bunch. By the time I came to edit these I realised the lighting hadn't been quite right which has resulted in them being grainy, that will teach me for not uploading them to my MacBook to check them! I almost didn't go ahead with today's post but I love all the products & didn't want to alter my schedule for the rest of Blogmas. After that long intro I'll move on to writing about my actual favourite products now!
I can guarantee that throughout Autumn & Winter 99% of the time I'll be wearing a berry toned nail polish. The one I've been reaching for the most is Essie's Bahama Mama, a warm plum shade which I've received so many compliments on. I use the Essie Gel Setter as a top coat which I can't rave about enough, my manicure has a professional salon finish without the price tag!
Shampoo is a hair care product that takes me a long time to get through, as my hair is thick & frizzy it hardly gets greasy so I can get away with around 5 days in between hair washes. Having said that, I do like to try out new shampoos & conditioners when I get the chance to. I bought the LUSH Lullaby Shampoo Bar when I visited the Oxford Street store purely because the gold glitter caught my eye. The little information stand made it appeal to me even more so as it mentions the calming ingredients like chamomile & lavender. I'm really pleased with this shampoo bar, it lathers up a lot more than I expected it to & it's actually really easy to use. I did imagine it being awkward as it's not your conventional kind of shampoo! The reason I love it so much is the fragrance, it's perfect to use if you're washing your hair in the evening, it's a relaxing scent hence the name lullaby. One thing that did take a while to get used to was the fact it leaves my hair feeling quite 'squeaky' but the lady in LUSH told me to expect that as it contains no nasties such as silicone meaning your hair doesn't get coated in anything.
LUSH is getting another mention in my favourites this month, it's no surprise really though as I am a bit of an addict! Cup O' Coffee Exfoliating Mask has got to be up there as one of the best exfoliators I've used. I use it on both my face & body, however I don't tend to leave it on as a mask on my body purely because I'm lazy/impatient. Although it contains grains it's not harsh or too 'scrubby' on my skin, it just feels like you're giving your skin a good clean. I genuinely can't stop stroking my skin afterwards because it feels so new & soft! If you're a coffee lover you'll absolutely love this!
I'd been looking to try out a different drugstore foundation for a while now, so when I noticed a little offer on L'Oreal (spend £14.99 & get a free gift!) I decided to pick up the Infallible 24hr Foundation. It's a really similar formula to NARS Sheer Glow, not quite as thick but provides a soft, dewy looking finish to the skin with a decent amount of coverage. I literally get so excited to apply this in a morning, I got really fed up of applying my makeup but I just needed a change & this foundation has really done the trick! It's everything I love in a base product & it doesn't break the bank either. I also bought the Lumi Magique Concealer as it's said to be a dupe for YSL Touché Éclat. The Rose Gold packaging is all of the heart eyed emojis to me, you just can't beat a rose gold beauty product! I like that this is a 2-in-1 as it can be used to conceal but also highlight. It's amazing at covering my panda eyes, my dark circles have been a lot worse over the past few months so anything that hides them is a miracle product to me! Considering the coverage is high it doesn't feel heavy on my skin at all, it's really lightweight & blends easily too. I'll definitely be making sure theres always a tube of this in my handbag!
We all know how much of a chore washing our makeup brushes is, so when I discovered there was brush cleansers out there that required minimal effort I was sold. I was recommend the No.7 Make Up Brush Cleanser by a friend & I've been hooked since. A couple of pumps onto a cotton pad followed by swirling your brush around & ta-da your brush is makeup free! It's great if you're doing an eyeshadow look that requires multiple colours as you can quickly remove any left over product off the brush without needing to do a thorough wash. Plus you don't need to leave your brushes overnight to dry as you can easily blot them dry on a cotton pad & they're good to go again! You can use the £3 off No.7 makeup vouchers that Boots seem to always be handing out too, so instead of £8 it's a bargain at only £5.
So today marks the first day of advent & also the first day of Blogmas! I'm gonna try my best to be involved with it the whole time, I've done a LOT of planning so I'll be really disapointed with myself if I end up failing. I'm really excited for all the content I've got planned, I've been pretty quiet on my blog this year so I'm looking forward to getting back into the swing of things!
Today I've been turning our home into a magical, festive grotto. Ever since we bought the house I've been counting down the days until I could get the tree down from the attic & quite literally deck the halls! I actually put the tree up two weeks ago because I just couldn't wait, it's made our house really cosy. I've now added bunting, tissue paper pom poms, festive scented candles & I've got some more decorations on order to finish it off completely. My cousin actually made the tissue pom poms for me, we had a crafty afternoon on Sunday making decorations which was really fun, I'll be sharing a tutorial soon. I'd also LOVE to get a real Christmas tree as well but I'm a little wary of the needles dropping with two pugs around who eat anything & everything they can find. Has anyone any experience of real trees with dogs?
I've started off with a simple post but tomorrow I'll be sharing my November favourites, then I'll be bombarding you all with Christmassy related content, think gift guides, recipes & festive beauty posts! Hope you all enjoy (: