Essential Winter Blog Props

Hey there !

Remember me? It’s been a while hasn’t it! Apologies about the MASSIVE break in my posts … I’ve just felt so uninspired recently which is very unlike me… especially at this time of year when there is so much festive inspo flying around ! I’ve just been SO out of the loop… BUT I am glad to be sat down writing up a post for you all.

So.. how have you all been? I’ve just been SO busy settling into my new job and trying to get back into the swing of blogging. If you didn’t already know.. I recently brought the ever so dreamy Olympus Pen camera.. which of course meant that I spent the majority of my weekend having the biggest blog photo session ever. I also spent my Saturday morning trawling the shops looking for some winter blog props… and then I thought to myself that would be such a fab idea for a post!

 

Now.. blog props for me are something that is so essential if you really want to up your photo game .. they just make your photos look so much more interesting and you can really show your personality through them too! So guys .. I have a whole load of things that you can go out and find that will make your photos look perfect for winter and also add that special festive touch!

Blankets

 

We all know blankets are an essential when it comes to winter time (who doesn’t love to snuggle in one after a long day!).. so why not incorporate that into your blog too? I find grey, white or cream blankets are perfect for this time of year to use as a backdrop and just to add some “texture” to your photos (if that makes sense!). Mine is actually a £4 one from Primark… but you can definitely go all out and pick up a fluffy one too. I think they look adorable and give a real cosy vibe to your pictures!

Fairy Lights

 

What even was my life without fairy lights? I can’t believe that I ever used to take photos without fairy lights! They instantly make your photos look amazing and so so cosy! I picked up some adorable red ones from Home Bargains and they are SO festive! They also jingle .. but that wouldn’t be very effective in a blogpost, ha. Seriously though, get yourself some… they really make all the difference.

Candles

 

Ahhhh candles. I’m obsessed with candles anyway so it was only obvious I picked up some wintery ones to go in my photos. Check out Home Bargains or B&M for some adorable, festive ones… and they can work either lit or just as a prop in a flatlay… either way looks faaaaabulous. Also .. HOW CUTE is the one shaped like a Christmas tree! I doubt I will ever actually burn it because I don’t want to ruin the beautiful shape it has.. but it definitely looks adorable in the background.

Mugs

 
I’ve become a little bit obsessed with mugs recently and thought they would look so cute as props! I feel like they add such a homey, comfortable feel to your photos, and there are so many festive ones that just add something special to your photos! The Christmassy one is from Home Bargains, and the kitten one (although not vey festive by frickin’ adorable) is from the Velvet Ghost range in Primark by the stunning Gabby… and when I saw it was only £2… I HAD to have it.

Zoella Range

 

Let’s be honest guys… all of the Zoella beauty/lifestyle range is absolutely beautiful and SO instagrammable! I am in LOVE with the gingerbread body mist/cream… and they look so adorable as props, especially as they are SO festive. In fact, any perfume bottle can be added to your photos and look gorgeous!

Pinecones/Berries/Wreaths & Room Sprays

All of the above just scream Christmas & winter to me.. and adding them to your photos instantly makes them look SO winter ready. They are so affordable yet add so much to your images .. definitely worth picking up! I got my mini wreath thing from Home Bargains & the pinecones are from some old pot pourri.. which I am so sure you’ll have lying around somewhere!

There is something so beautiful about room spray bottles .. and this one from Home Bargains caught my eye as it was so classic yet perfect for winter time! Added bonus … it smells absolutely divine!

Candy Canes

 

I am OBSESSED with candy canes.. and they literally add the most beautiful pop of colour to an all white, winter-y photo! I love seeing these little gems pop up in the shops, and as soon as I saw them, I knew they would be perfect for photos! They are so so affordable too… and it means you have a little treat to have after you’ve had your photo taking session!

So guys… they are the few items I have picked up that I think will make my photos look so festive and perfect for winter! It definitely is worth picking up a few bits.. I find they really help me enjoy taking photos even more! You can get as creative as you want… and even make your own Winter props too! Pinterest is your best friend for this 🙂

I’m going to be off now… hope you enjoy the rest of your week! I am in the midst of editing a weekly vlog so I am hoping to get the up this weekend!! Fingers crossed for me to actually upload a video this time ha!

Lots of love,

Saira

Xx

Twitter // Instagram // Blog Lovin //YouTube ♥♥

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Why Winter Is The Best Season EVER

Why I LOVE Winter Time … (and you know you do too!)

Hey there…

It’s come to that time of year guys … Halloween and Bonfire Night have passed (just about!), the clocks have gone forward, and we are all dealing with darkness approaching by about 4pm. The days are starting to feel nippy, and all we keep hearing in the news is ‘be prepared for the COLDEST WINTER IN DECADES’. Although let’s be fair – Yorkshire has already had its first snowfall of the season – so it may happen. I know so many of you are probably thinking why the HELL can we not go back to Summer time.. I’ve seen quite a few tweets of people already getting fed up of the colder weather, even though we probably have a good few months of it yet!

Now… I am definitely a colder weather girlie .. I LOVE the Autumn/Winter time for SO many different reasons! I thought it would be fun to list down why I love the colder months so much.. and maybe cheer up some of you who HATE winter time!

Lush baths become more bearable AND enjoyable

During summer… most of us prefer to have a quick shower as the thought of sitting in a hot bath for half an hour seems like an absolute chore… but when the days get colder (A LOT COLDER) and darker, there is nothing better than lighting some candles, getting a face mask on and settling down in a relaxing bath with your favourite book – absolute bliss!

 

Shaving your legs = Doesn’t happen for the next few months

Lets be honest here guys, not many of us bother with it in the winter time. Nobody sees them..and it provides some extra warmth right? So pack up your razors for the winter ladies and don’t worry about those razor cuts on your ankles for a while!

The feel of a hot drink in your hands

 You’ve been out in the cold for SO long and you finally settle down with a brew… and warming up your hands with a hot drink is literally the best feeling EVER

 

Speaking of hot drinks – The festive drinks menu is back!

Guys … have you SEEN the Costa cups and drinks menu?! I am definitely a Costa girl over Starbucks.. and I think they have definitely outdone themselves with their drinks this year. The only disappointment? The Lindt hot chocolate. And I KNOW most of you agree (thanks to Twitter). It is definitely my aim this year to try EVERY drink on that menu!

Winter mornings are beautiful

How stunning are foggy, frosty mornings? There is nothing better than snuggling up in your fave coat and cosy scarf and heading out for a walk (and picking up a hot drink on your way out to keep you toasty whilst strolling!).

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You might love it, or you might absolutely DESPISE it.. but you’ve got to admit it is bloody beautiful right). FYI – I LOVE IT 🙂

SO MANY FESTIVITIES

Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, NYE… not to mention all those extra bank holidays. WIN.

 

Buying New PJ’s

I don’t know about you guys but I always stock up on snuggly PJ’s … especially those Christmas ones ! I am after the most adorable tartan PJ’s in Primark … they just scream Christmas to me!

Watching ALL your fave programmes

When there is an absolute STORM going on outside and the temperature has hit below zero degrees, there is nothing better than settling down in a cozy blanket and binge watching all your favourite programmes (AND Christmas movies!)…. something that just doesn’t feel the same in the summer! I am currently working through the full series of Friends!

Extra Calories Are Allowed

It’s Christmas time, so technically you are allowed all the chocolate imaginable. AND those cosy, over-sized sweaters mean you can afford to let yourself go a little bit. You can worry about shifting those extra pounds when the new year comes around (hehe).

I could probably go on forever but they are definitely my top reasons why I love Winter. Are you a winter girl? I’d love to know the reasons why you love Winter! I am off now to have a chilled Sunday … hope you all have a good one!

Lots of Love,

Saira

xxx

Twitter // Instagram // Blog Lovin //YouTube ♥♥

Christmas Beauty/Fashion Essentials♥

Hiya my angels!♥♥

How have you all been?!! Are you all feeling festive yet? Can you believe it is Christmas on Friday (??!!!). Although I do not specifically celebrate Christmas, I LOVE getting into the festive spirit, buying Christmassy decor and watching festive movies. We always have a family meal on Christmas day too! I am also glad to be having a few extra days off work, giving me plenty of time to relax and watch lots of movies/eat lots of treats :P.

Anyway, yesterday and today I was actually working in store – with it being the busy festive period, everyone in the office was required to offer support for a few days in their local store! I enjoyed it but it was VERY tiring – I give SO much credit to people who work in Retail, especially during Christmas! I have not done a 8 hour shift standing up in YEARS, and my feet were KILLING! Anyways – it’s back to the office tomorrow!

So my lovelies… hope you have been well! With it being almost Christmas, I wanted to put up a post of my Christmas essentials – both beauty and fashion. Be prepared to see lots of red lipsticks and fur (hehe!). These are the pieces that I don’t think I could have been without this December… and I noticed they also have a very Christmassy theme to them!

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Should we have a quick overview of these festive goodies first lovelies? I have …. A STUNNING bag with a faux fur panel from LYDC London* (which I think is sold out! I cannot see it on the site, but they have SO MANY MORE!) … a gorgeous furry jumper from George at Asda, Rimmel lipstick in 01, Clinique’s lipstick in Cherry Pop, No 7 Highlighter and Bronzer, Soap and Glory Sugar Crush Body Butter, OPI, 17 & Rimmel nail polishes, So White Bath Bomb, Nivea Lip Butter, Boots Botanics Rose face spritz & a tartan scarf! Phew … don’t think I realized how much stuff there was ha! ♥

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Fluffy Christmas Jumpers♥

 Now this STUNNING jumper is actually from George at Asda .. I APPLAUDE Asda on their Christmas jumpers this year … they are AMAZING and their is also such a huge variety!! I LOVE this “Let It Snow” one .. it is fuzzy too .. which I ADORE, and I know you all know how much I love my fuzzy jumpers! I love jumpers like this throughout the whole of winter…. but festive ones are a MUST in December! ♥SAM_2893

Red & White Nail Polishes♥

 I don’t think ANYONE should go through December without having red, glittery nails at least ONCE! I have the perfect one from OPI called Off With Her Red! – which I think is limited edition .. eeek! But I am sure you can find a good alternative … I recommend Barry M…. they have an amazing selection and are so affordable, but the quality is AMAZING! I also have a Seventeen nail polish in red, which is an absolute BARGAIN at £1 – they also last pretty well… mine started to chip after 2 days.. which is GREAT considering the price! The white nail polish is from Rimmel in the shade London Clouds – and this looks stunning on with some glitter over the top .. SO FESTIVE… IT LOOKS LIKE SNOW GUYS!!! Any red/white/glitter nail polish is ESSENTIAL for Christmas lovelies !

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Highlighters!♥

No 7 Highlighting & Bronzer Shimmer Palette

Now I actually got these in a limited addition gift set last Christmas, but No 7 have them online, and they are SO AFFORDABLE! I LOVE both of these palettes SO much! I LOVE highlighter so so much during the festive season… and this palette is SO stunning .. I use the lightest shade on my cheekbones, on my brow bone and down the bridge of my nose – it gives the most beautiful sheen EVER! It has subtle glitter and not HUGE bits which I DO NOT like. The bronzer is also the same … I love using both these palettes when I am rocking a red lip and winged liner … I think it looks SO Christmassy! ♥SAM_2897

The PERFECT bag♥

 My essential bag for Christmas time has been this baby from LYDC* which I have featured in me previous post HERE. The reason I ADORE this is because it has FAUX FUR on it .. which I think is an essential at this time of year! It is also the perfect size for going Christmas shopping, as well as all those Christmas parties you’ll be going to! Make sure you check out the bags from LYDC .. they have a great range of day and night bags – and you can get 10% off using the code ‘SAIRA10’…. Have a peek here angels!! ♥

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WINTER RED LIPSTICKS ♥

Ohhhh… I think we ALL know red lips are probably the most festive things EVER! My ESSENTIALS have been Kate Moss by Rimmel in 01 (the most stunning deep red EVER!) – the quality of this lipstick is AMAZING, considering the cost of it! I could not recommend it ENOUGH loves! The next is Clinique’s lipstick in Cherry Pop, which was actually a gift in Glamour magazine – it is a definite favourite of mine! It is lighter and glossier than the Rimmel one, but just as beautiful! If you are after something more berry toned and natural (maybe for work/school).. the Rimmel 1000 Kisses Lip Tint in Everlasting Mauve IS PERFECT – they are a felt tip with a lip balm on the other end. This lip tint gives a very natural tint to the tips, but unfortunately doesn’t last as long as the lipsticks! I love it just for a nice, natural colour on the lips, but make sure I carry it in my bag to reapply! I couldn’t find these online – so it may  be best to have a look in Boots or Superdrug. The Revlon Colour Bursts are an EXCELLENT alternative! Also .. my Nivea Lip Butter just never EVER leaves my side … it is the BEST lip butter HANDS DOWN! ESPECIALLY THE VANILLA & MACADAMIA ONE

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Tartan Scarves ♥

 Ahhhh WHERE would I be without this tartan scarf .. you have probably seen it in SO many of my fashions posts … It is definitely a massive essential for me … I think it would also make a FABULOUS Christmas gift .. I picked mine up in Primark but you can find similar ones HERE  from New Look! ♥SAM_2904

Lush Bath Bombs♥

So White Bath Bomb♥ – I have to thank Zoella (who I am sure you all know) for introducing me to this bath bomb – I would always just walk past it in Lush! I know ALL the bath bombs are SO FESTIVE and it is so HARD to pick my favourite – but I picked this as it was white and matched my theme for this post (HA!)… BUT also because it is such a LOVELY bath bomb. It may look boring but the scent is AMAZING (it smells like sweet apples!!) and it also leaves your bath a beautiful pink colour! You have to try this bath bomb if you haven’t already! ♥SAM_2905SAM_2908

Beauty Products♥

Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Butter♥I am sure you all know the obsession I have with Soap and Glory products, and Sugar Crush is definitely one of my favourite scents from there too! I adore this body butter as it is SO moisturizing, doesn’t leave your skin feeling greasy, is affordable AND smells gorgeous. Also – you get SO much in the tub … so it will last you through the whole of the month (well.. probably longer … as I use SO much body butter!).

Boots Botanics Rosewater Toning Spritz – this is SO good for making your skin feeling more awake during those dark mornings/evenings, and for giving your skin a quick refresh after sitting in an office with central heating all day! You can read a more in depth review of it HERE and also purchase it HERE 

Ahhhh … this post has me feeling SO FESTIVE! What about you lovelies? I would love to know what your essential beauty products/fashion pieces are for Christmas time … let me know loves! If you want to check out my other festive post on how to have a GREAT CHRISTMASSY AFTERNOON (which would be a PERFECT Christmas Eve) .. have a look HERE!

I really hope you enjoyed this post my loves … do you also love reds/whites at Christmas time? What have been your fave fashion/beauty pieces?

Hope you all have a FAB week! See you in my next post angels!

Lots of Love,

Saira

xo

Twitter // Instagram // Blog Lovin ♥

*Items have been gifted to me. This does not affect my opinions.

Back to Black (& Grey)♥♣

Well hello lovelies!♥♣

It is me again (WOOP WOOP!)… I really wanted to put up another post … just to have a good chat with you and also ANOTHER FASHION POST. Ohh don’t I spoil you all :P. I am actually in the process of putting up a Winter Beauty/Random essentials post … so keep a look out for that angels!

So… It has been a very busy week at work as I mentioned in earlier posts … making sure everybody gets paid correctly is hard work haha! I also received some upsetting news about one of my friend’s at University this week … meaning I wasn’t feeling my usual upbeat self for a while. However, I know that everything happens for a reason, no matter how bad it is. The rest of the week was just spent relaxing as usual!

Anyway … my Saturday consisted of sleeping in until 9AM (this is a lie in for me ha!), putting up a blog post and then going shopping for a dress for my Registration ceremony (for marriage). I actually ended up finding one and it is BLACK …YES BLACK .. Only I would choose to wear black (hehe!). I am planning on getting some red shoes though to add a pop of colour! I then just catching up on some TV in my PJ’s … so a very lazy Saturday night for me!

So lovelies … I have a fashion post for you WOO! Funnily enough, this outfit is actually from a week ago when I worked from home and had good lighting… but I just never got round to putting them in a post!

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I feel like this type of outfit is definitely my go-to one. I am sure you guys know how much I LOVE wearing any type of black trouser/jeggings … and I am sure you also know how much I love midi skirts. Recently….. I have been reaching more for midi skirts rather than trousers. They are definitely a very classic, versatile piece to have and can definitely be dressed up or down! They have become SUCH an essential in my wardrobe 😀

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I think this particular outfit is quite smart and is definitely something I would wear to work or for going out in the evening. I think you have probably seen each item in an individual outfit post before (whoops .. You know that once I like an item I wear it so so much :P). And I am rocking BLACK AND GREY AGAIN YAY! Are you sick of this yet… no? Good :D. I do have a feeble attempt at trying to add colour by wearing red lips again 😛

Outfit Details:♥

Fuzzy Jumper – New Look (me thinks)

Midi Skirt – New Look

Boots – Primark

Sleeveless Blazer – Market

Scarf – Market

Lipstick – Rimmel 01

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I literally feel like I want to buy SO many midi skirts and fluffy jumpers in ever single colour and just wear them (Oh aren’t I just so imaginative :D). I suggest you all go out and  buy a midi skirt – and you will see how versatile it is!

I am thinking of doing a post on different ways to wear midi skirts … let me know if you would want to see this!

So my loves .. I really hope you like this outfit! It is definitely a typical “Saira” outfit. I recently was nominated for “Best Dressed Blogger” (what .. me!?)… So I was so so excited to put an outfit which just defined me and also one of my favourite outfits from all of my older outfit posts. I love this one because it is so classic, can be worn for a casual or smart event, and is also modest so is definitely perfect for us Hijab wearers! I also feel like it is so simple and not too “in-your-face” … I absolutely love the mix of textures – the jumper is so fun and “fuzzy”, and the midi skirt is knitted so is PERFECT for the colder months (although it has not been very cold at all .. I am still hoping for snow this Christmas though! This competition is being hosted by Fire Label – A wholesale merchandiser … and they will be revealing the winner on 21st Janurary 2016… So fingers crossed!♥

That will be all for today lovelies!! I REALLY hope you like this outfit .. and wish me luck for the “Best Dressed Blogger!”

Lots of Love,

Saira ♥

xo 

Twitter // Blog Lovin’ // Instagram  ♥♥

LYDC: My Style♥♥

Evening my darlings!

How are you all? Hope you have all had a FAB week … I will be honest, I have not had the best(update in my next post though loves!). I just want to say how thankful I am for everything I have and what I have been given … Make sure you make the most of your time with loved ones, don’t hold grudges, and if you are missing someone … CONTACT THEM! Wow… I don’t think I have gotten this serious in my posts before .. I guess I am getting more comfortable with you all my loves! I really do class you all as my friends… you are so sweet and mean a lot to me!

Anyways … I am so so excited to put a fashion post up .. it has been quite a while since my last one! I am loving having a variety of posts on my blog though… we were discussing branding in a Twitter chat recently.. and although I don’t have a specific “brand” .. my main aims are to inspire other girls in dressing modestly yet being fashionable, make-up/DIY tips, and how to have a positive lifestyle! I would love to know what you guys think of my blog, what your favourite types of posts are, and if there is anything you want me to write about!

RIGHT STOP RAMBLING SAIRA … onto the outfits!

So… I actually was contacted by the LOVELY Chloe at LYDC London after taking part in the #FBLchat on Twitter. They kindly gifted me (EEEEK!) one of their bags* (that I got to choose …tehehehe), and wanted me to show how it could be styled for day and night! Now, whether I am going out during the day, or for an evening out, I usually ALWAYS carry a big bag. This is because I like to carry so much in my bags.. BECAUSE ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN RIGHT.. I like to be prepared :).

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What a beauty 😛 :D♥

So I’ll tell you a little more about the bag before showing you how I styled it! I chose a black bag (standard :P), with some gorgeous fur detail on the front! It is also that gorgeous structured/briefcase style, which is my FAVOURITE! This style of bag is SO classic and can be worn for both work and going out in the evening! I was also so HAPPY with the quality of the bag… as they are great value for money! It has one main compartment, those cute little pouches that can store your phone/lipsticks/other random stuff you don’t need, and a large pocket at the front! It also comes with a long strap so you can wear cross-body too! I think this bag would be great for University and work.. as well as those evenings out where you want a classic bag that will go with more or less everything!

So my darlings.. let’s see how I styled this bag during the day!♥

Day♥

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I think this would be the perfect look for University, or even a day out shopping! I think the button up shirt and the furry gilet give it a very comfortable look! I have also added the long strap and shown how you can wear it cross body (which I DEFINITELY prefer :D). This really gives it more of a laid-back vibe! I also wore my usual winged eyeliner, and Makeup Revolutions lipstick in “Rebel with Case” .. It is a gorgeous berry shade.. perfect for everyday! What do you guys think? 😀

Day Outfit Details!♥

Shirt and Skirt -H&M

Gilet and Boots – Primark

Hijab – Market

Bag* – LYDC London

Night♥

After a quick outfit change (and slightly more make-up.. hehehe) here is how I styled the bag for an evening out (Let’s just pretend I was actually going out in the evening guys, hehe :D).

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Night Outfit Details!♥

White Top – New Look

Long Shirt – Market (!!)

Jeggings – Zara

Boots – Primark

Bag* – LYDC London

Hijab – Market

I added darker colours to my outfit, red lips, and also got rid of the strap on the bag! I normally like to stick to quite classic pieces when I go out (it is very unlikely that you will see me in a lot of glitter/bright colours)… so having a very classic bag just fits my style perfectly! LYDC definitely have an amazing range of classic bags, as well as more modern styles (I am LUSTING after their faux fur rucksack!).

So that is how I would transition this bag from day to night! I LOVED this post so much … because I am the type of girl who HATES swapping over her bags, so having a bag that I can take from a shopping trip to dinner in the evening is ALWAYS a win! You all know how much I love my outfit posts too loves :P. The style of the bag is so beautiful, and the faux fur design on the front really adds a stunning touch! I WAS SO HAPPY WITH IT ♥

LYDC London have such an amazing collection for Autumn/Winter 2015 (I have also seen on Twitter that they have had a peek of their A/W 2016 range .. JEALOUS!). They really do have something for everyone, whatever your style! Whether you like huge bags like me, small cross body bags, rucksacks or clutches.. I am so sure you will find something you love. Have a peek at their site: http://www.lydc.co.uk/… see if you can squeeze in a gift for someone (or yourself) before Christmas!

Do let me know if you find something you love! If you need some ideas, check out my Wishlist post HERE. You can also get 10% off anything using the code “SAIRA10” … because they are just the NICEST GIRLS EVER!♥ 

I hope you liked this post my lovelies (you got two outfits in one muhaha!)… It definitely was hectic getting in two sets of outfit photos, one after the other (as I was trying to beat the upcoming rain AND get good lighting.. oh the struggles!). Fashion posts are definitely one of my FAVOURITES to do… and I really hope you like them darlings!

Right dolls… hope you all have a wonderful evening …. I am catching up on The Apprentice, and then will be snuggling into bed! I literally cannot WAIT for a few extra days off at Christmas time. I will catch you in my next post! Make sure you follow my Twitter/Instagram so you stay up to date!

Lots of Love,

Saira

xo

Twitter // Instagram // Blog Lovin’ 

*This post is in collaboration with LYDC London. The bag was gifted to me for this post. All opinions are my own.

How to: Perfect Christmassy Afternoon♥

Hi my lovelies!

Hope you have all had an amazing weekend! I woke up to no rain today (YAY)… meaning I can take my outfit pictures!! I have also been a little busy this weekend organizing our registry office “wedding”… Me and my hubby have already had our “main” wedding day and our Nikkah done (the Islamic ceremony of marriage).. but we are just not registered yet.. so we will be having that done in January next year! Very exciting times!

Anyway….. I HAVE A VERY FESTIVE POST FOR YOU. I have been planning this post for SO long and am so excited to finally put it up! It is how to have the PERFECT Christmassy afternoon/evening, with festive themed baking, drinks, baths and pamper ideas! It is the perfect afternoon to have in the run up to Christmas, especially on a weekend! Eeeeek I am literally so exciting for you to see this post … And I really hope you try the ideas!

So, put aside a few hours, get some Christmas music playing, and lets have the PERFECT CHRISTMASSY AFTERNOON!

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The first thing that I think is SO MUCH FUN at this time of year is to do some BAKING! I am not a huge fan of mince pies (wish I was though!).. so I tend to avoid baking things with fruit in them.. I am however a HUGE fan of any vanilla/chocolate cupcakes! I thought I would make some standard vanilla cupcakes, but make it festive with different types of frosting and decoration. I also added some sprinkles into the cake mix (hehe!)

Recipe for Cupcakes:

Makes 24

  • 225g Butter (softened)
  • 225g Caster Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Essence
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 225g Self-Raising Flour
  • 5 tbsp Milk
  • Sprinkles (optional) – as many as you want!
  • Lots of Christmassy sprinkles/decorations

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Method:

Put 24 red cake cases in muffin pans

Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/Gas Mark 4. Put the butter, sugar and vanilla essence in a bowl and beat together until light and fluffy. Then, add one egg at a time, beating the mixture well after each one. Sift the flour in and fold into the mixture with the milk. If you want to, add the sprinkles in at this stage and mix well. Then, spoon the mixture into the 24 paper cases. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until well risen. Put onto a wire rack and leave to cool for at leas 20 minutes.

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Frosting!

Now, I actually had 4 differant types of frosting. I firstly made some basic buttercream frosting:

Ingredients:

  • 175g Unsalted Buteer
  • 350g Icing Sugar
  • Milk (if required) 1-2tsps

Method: 

Put the butter in a bowl and beat until fluffy. Sift the icing sugar in and beat together until it is well mixed. If the frosting is quite thick, add in the milk. Separate into 3 bowls

Peppermint Frosting:

Add 2 candy canes (crushed) into the frosting (make sure they are TINY.. if the pieces are too big, you will NOT be able to pipe (TRUST ME IT HAPPENED TO ME!). Put the frosting into a piping bag and use a medium star-shaped nozzle. Pipe onto the cupcakes and sprinkle more crushed candy canes on top!

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Cinnamon Frosting:

Sprinkle a TINY amount of cinnamon into the frosting and mix well. Put in the piping bag and pipe the frosting on. Then, sprinkle some cinnamon sugar (sugar mixed with cinnamon) onto the top of the cupcake, and then place some edible gingerbread men on the top! I LOVE THESE! The gingerbread men are from TK Maxx and they are the cutest things I’ve ever seen!

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Chocolate Frosting

Add 2 tbsp of cocoa powder to the frosting and mix well. Add to the piping bag and pipe onto the cakes. Sprinkle crushed candy canes on some, and add the edible sugar decorations on others. Then, sift some icing sugar on the top to make it look like snow! ADORABLE!

Green Frosting

I cheated as this was ready made hehe! Just pipe it onto the cupcakes and add the edible sugar decorations on them.

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So there you have it! Vanilla cupcakes with different types of frosting .. these are just some examples that you can try but there really are so many variations .. so get creative my loves! YOU WILL HAVE SO MUCH FUN!

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Wow.. I bet all that baking tired you out! What better thing to do than have a… LUSH BATH!♥ Before we start to run our bath, I want to show you how you can make the yummiest smelling body scrub EVER! It is so perfect for this time of year.. as it is a WHIPPED GINGERBREAD SCRUB!

HOW TO: Whipped Gingerbread Scrub

You will need:

  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of demera sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ginger (grated)
  • Gingerbread sprinkles

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Put the sugars and oil in a bowl, and use an electric whisk until it is a whipped consistency. Add the spices, ginger and vanilla and whisk until they are blended in. Add to a cute jar, top with little gingerbread sprinkles… and you’re done! All set to use during your bath!

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Quick disclaimer: as this scrub has cinnamon and nutmeg (spices), it may irritate those with sensitive skin. I recommend ALWAYS doing a patch test, with ANY homemade scrub.. I also WOULD NOT recommend this one for your face lovelies.. I think you can guess why :P. If you want some DIY masks that are gentler, have a read of my blog post HERE

 Lush Bath♥

YES.. you knew this would be fitted into our Christmassy afternoon :D. You know the drill guys… lots of candles, face masks, scrubs and some magazines! My FAVOURITE bath bombs to use are Yog Nog and Lord of Misrule.. but you can use WHICHEVER ones you like angels!

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Bet your’re feeling pretty good after your bath right! Now it’s time to put on your coziest PJ’s and make a hot chocolate (check out my blog post HERE for some yummy ideas!)

It is now time to relax… you can put some Christmas movies on and start to wrap your presents!

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That is how you can have the perfect Christmassy afternoon! I can guarantee you will feel very festive after this, and definitely excited for Christmas. I really hoped you enjoyed this post angels… and let me know if you try the cupcakes and scrub! I think the scrub can also make a great DIY gift… I just cannot get over how gorgeous it smells!

Let me know what you thought of this post lovelies! I will see you in my next one!

Lots of Love

Saira xo

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Morning Routine… & My Everyday Makeup!♥

Hi my angels!

Hope you have all had a fantastic week so far …. I have to admit – mine has not been the best! It’s been quite stressful .. you know one day everything is great, and then the next day BOOM .. so many things go wrong.. yep it’s been one of those weeks. BUT I am never one to dwell on things and let them stress me out/upset me .. so let’s not focus on that ey lovelies!

I thought I would do a beauty/lifestyle-ish post today! And it is my morning routine (wooo!). Now, this is my routine during the week – my weekend routine is slightly different – maybe that will be another post soon (hehe!). I also thought I would talk about my everyday makeup routine too .. it is very basic and quick – I need something like this as I like to get as much sleep as possible! I also am one to shower on a night as if I don’t, I have to wake up at 6AM because my hair takes SO long to wash AND dry..I may wear a scarf but I would NEVER leave the house with wet hair.. ESPECIALLY WHEN IT IS COLD!

So my darlings … let’s follow my morning routine!

6:40AM – My DREADED alarm goes off. I snooze it 😛

6:43AM – Another alarm goes off – now I feel as though I can wake up – for some reason those 3 minutes that I get to sleep in make ALL the difference to me *very sarcastic tone* ha! I put on a huge hoody and fuzzy slippers as I am always SO cold when I wake up (boo!)

6:45AM – I go to the bathroom (Surely no additional details needed here). I brush my teeth and wash my face – my GO TO face soap is Movis by Lush, it is AMAZING and I featured it in an earlier post of mine HERE if you want more information on it. IT SMELLS LIKE BISCUITS GUYS!

6:55AM – I am done in the bathroom – and then head back to the bedroom to start on my make-up! I firstly moisturize my face, then grab my make-up bag, sit on the floor in front of my mirror and get started! Oh also guys – bear in mind I do my make-up everyday in very dim lighting, as my husband is always still sleeping whilst I get ready so I don’t turn the main light on (I ALWAYS make sure I check everything in the bathroom mirror before I leave, JUST in case I am too pink one day :P).

7:00AM – Time to get started on my make-up! Read below for my routine and the products I use 😛

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Firstly, foundation! I use Estee Lauder Double Wear in Ivory Beige – I never bother with primer (at least for during the week) – this foundation has amazing lasting power anyway and still looks amazing even after I finish work! I use the Real Techniques Buffing Brush to apply my foundation. I also spray my brush with the Botanics Rose Spritz before I use it … it helps my foundation go on smoothly.. give it a go loves!

Next I use the Rimmel Stay Matte Powder with my Kabuki Brush from No7, and buff it onto my face. This powder is AMAZING and does not look cakey at all! I am sure you have all tried and loved this powder – It is a must have!

For some reason, instead of finishing my face make-up, I move onto eyes (not sure why – weird habits I suppose). I use the Collection 2000 24hour Extreme Liner (I think that is the correct name!) and line the top of my lid.. I don’t actually do winged liner during the week! Then I apply mascara – at the moment my favourite is Maybelline Colossal Go Extreme Volume Mascara.. It makes your eyelashes look AMAZING!

Once my eyes are done – I move onto the rest of my face! I use the ELF Blusher Brush to apply blush to the apples of my cheeks (lots of ‘ushes’ there guys.. haha!) – and of course I use my trusty Barry M palette (which was featured in my November faves HERE) I also use the highlighter in this palette for the tops of my cheek and down the bridge of my nose :). You will also notice Rimmel’s 107 lipstick in my picture – I skip this step during work days, but it is a STAPLE for my weekend make-up!

I then use the Boots Botanics Rose Spritz on my face, which I feel just gives my makeup a gorgeous, healthy glow! I then use some Nivea lip balm .. and that’s my make-up done! And the best part .. It only takes me 10-15 minutes everyday WOOP!

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7:10-7:15AM– Now I get dressed! I usually have my outfits ironed and ready for the week (talk about being organised!) – So I get dressed, then put on my hijab! My outfits for work usually are black dresses/black trousers with smart tops/midi skirts with shirts and cardigans…. Workwear OOTD’s anyone? All together, this probably takes me around 10 minutes (maybe 15 if I am having a bad hijab day – they are the worst!)

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7:25AM – I make my way downstairs to make breakfast for me and hubby! As it has gotten colder, we both have toast with Nutella every morning! I also just make sure I have all my snacks/lunch ready for work (I take a lot of food to work guys!).

7:35AM – I then head back upstairs, make sure hubby’s clothes for work are out/do that last minute check of my face I spoke about earlier/apply my perfume. I ALWAYS put my perfume on just as I am about to leave .. anyone else do this?

7:40AM – I head back downstairs, check my phone for a few minutes, then am out the door!

7:45AM – I then make my way to the car – make sure my heated seats are on, put my music on as loud as acceptable that early in the morning.. and drive to work!

8:10-8:15AM – I normally get to work around this time – I then head inside, and get on with whatever work/emails/meetings I have for the day! AND that is my morning routine lovelies WOOP WOOP!

So I hope you liked this little insight into my morning guys .. I would love to read your morning routines too! I find them so interesting (I think it is because I am nosy muaha!). Let me know what you thought of this style of post lovelies … if you like them I would definitely love to do an evening routine/what I get up to in a day etc!

Anyway… UPDATE TIME YAY! I was honestly so glad to just sit down for an hour or so to write up this post today .. It really is a way for me to de-stress and just take some time out for a while! I also am working on a festive post which WILL be up some sometime this week.. and also a very special post for some of my fave blogging babes! NOT TO MENTION AN OUTFIT POST .. I feel like it has been a while since I put one up. I also will be working on a VERY exciting blog post this weekend.. keep your eyes peeled for that one loves!

I honestly just wish I had more time in the day! There are SO many posts I want to write… I am feeling very inspired by so many bloggers/brands! So my angels.. I think I will stop rambling for the day – I really hope you enjoyed this post.. and I will see you in my next one! I am just going to catch up on some blogs, watch TV, shower and then SLEEP!

Lots of Love,

Saira xo

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♥November Faves!♥

Happy Sunday lovelies!

How has your weekend been? Well.. all I can say is that Storm Desmond (those of you in the UK will KNOW about this!) has definitely been causing many issues – the weather has just been awful. Strong winds, lots of rain … it has just been a nightmare! I really want to take some outfit pictures today – let’s see how kind the storm will be to me (probably not much to be fair .. boo!)

Anyway …. This post is going to be my November FAVES .. I know what you guys are already thinking .. it is a little but late .. but better late than never right (blah what a cheesy saying ha!)

Dark Lipsticks ♥

So if you are a follower of my blog (if so you are a babe!), you will know how much I have been LOVING dark lipsticks at the moment. I really ventured out of my comfort zone of only wearing Carmex, and started to wear lipstick … and now I feel SO bare without it!

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My FAVES that have literally not left my on-the-go makeup bag are Rimmel’s 107 (middle)EVERY BLOGGERS FAVE – Well almost every :P, Make Up Revolution 100% Vamp (right), and Rimmel’s Moisture Renew Lipstick in Dark Night Waterl-Oops (left). Also guys – have you noticed my little owl tray and glass hearts? I bought them both from B&M – I am trying to improve my photography and add cute little random things in my pictures – I think they add something a little extra! Also I have a very wintery background going on too – which is wallpaper that I stole  took after asking nicely from B&M ;).

Anyway – all 3 lipsticks are SO PRETTY! When I don’t want a VERY dark lip, I will just stick to 107, but on other days, I will wear 107 as a base and then but either of the 2 darker lipsticks on top. I LOVE YOU DARK LIPS – is it still acceptable to wear dark lipstick in the summer? 😛

Scarves♥

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Where would we be in November without scarves? It definitely started to get a lot chillier this month.. so of course huge, furry scarves became a favourite of mine. The two that I have been loving the most is this tartan, blanket style one from Primark, which you can see styled HERE. It is basically just like having a blanket round your shoulders, and is just the best thing EVER! AND IT WAS ONLY £5 – PRIMARK WHERE WOULD I BE WITHOUT YOU! The next one is my faux fur scarf – you guys are probably sick to death of seeing this but I think I wore it with almost half my outfits in November! It has been a FIRM favourite this month :D.

Clementines♥

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This might be weird to some of you – but I have been loving clementines SO much this month! I think they really come into season around this time of year, so are SO YUMMY! I probably take around 3 to work and eat them all (haha!). When I was younger, my parents would put a clementine at the bottom of our stockings at Christmas time – I think it used to be some tradition.. anyone else heard of this?

THIS make-up bag♥

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Now I actually received this little bag from LYDC London as a surprise (Thank you LYDC!) – and I fell in love with it! I love the iridescent colour of it – AND it is also the perfect size to fit my everyday make-up essentials in (which just includes lipstick, lipbalm, blotting sheets and a mirror). It is SO pretty, and is also so easy to find in the bottom of the dark pit that is my handbag :P. If you also want to purchase it, or anything else from LYDC London, you can get 10% off using the code “SAIRA10″… because they are just TOO KIND!

Barry M Bronzer, Blusher, Highlighter Palette♥

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Untitled design (19)

Now this Barry M palette has been an absolute GEM this month – it has something for everyone – a gorgeous highlighter, bronzer, and 3 different blushers. The colours are so pigmented, and not too glittery at all. I can probably say it has been my most favourite product of ALL of November (woop!). It is so handy to have everything in one palette, and not be fiddling around in my make up bag for different products. Best of all, you can pick it up from Boots and Superdrug for ONLY £6.99! Now if that isn’t the bargain of the year – I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS! 😀

Candles♥

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Now this candle has already made quite a few appearances on my blog .. so you probably know how much I LOVE it.. I have been burning it through the whole month of November and now it has ALMOST GONE! The smell literally is like a freshly baked apple pie .. so yummy! I will be getting a Christmassy one soon .. which I cannot wait for!

So there we have my November faves lovelies .. I hope you enjoyed this post! It is now actually later on in the evening .. I have had quite a busy day! I took my car on the motorway for the first time (eeeek!), and then on the way home I popped to TK Maxx and B&M, and then stopped at KFC for some food! Phew! By the way guys TK Maxx have THE BEST house/kitchen stuff ever… especially at this time of year! If you have not already been I suggest you go and take a look .. sometimes you do have to look quite hard but that’s when you find the AMAZING THINGS! I bought something for a very exciting and festive post which I cannot wait to put up during the week! So make sure you check back on my blog angels!

Right lovelies… that is me done with this post – I am now going to do some laundry, maybe take some blog photos and then just relax! This weekend has gone by way too fast for my liking – I feel like I have not had any time to relax at all! Saturday was spent in Manchester, and Sunday was spent doing lots of shopping! I may have a Lush bath later on… I think I deserve it!

Hope you have a lovely Sunday night angels … See you in my next post!

Lots of Love,

Saira xo

LYDC London: My Wishlist♥

Evening my lovely ladies!

How has your week been? Hope you have had an excellent one so far … It is Friday tomorrow WOOP WOOP! This week has been VERY tiring .. I literally feel as though I need a whole weekend to just SLEEP and catch up. I usually go to bed around midnight – 1AM (I know eeek!), and then I am up again at 6:45AM for work! I know guys, I need to get some more sleep. I am very weird though .. I don’t like to sleep in on the weekends because I feel like I am wasting time … I usually wake up around 7:00-7:30AM on weekends and cannot get back to sleep! Oh well.. all that extra time can go towards blogging right 😛

Anyways my loves… I have an exciting post for you today .. It is a WISHLIST! This is actually my first one EVER on my blog (although I will be putting up a Christmas wishlist/gift guide very soon!)… I have been loving looking online and picking things to go on my “wishlists”. I think they are great posts as it gives other bloggers an insight into your style, as well as showing what certain shops/online sites have on offer!

I have a wishlist for.. bags!! All these bags are from LYDC London* .. And I have picked quite a few styles! LYDC have a huge variety of bags for all ages (I LOVE how they display their bags on their home page for different age groups.. so adorable!). They also have bags for evenings out, as well as for work. Now lovelies… if you read my blog you will know that I LOVE my over-sized bags, even for going out in the evening.. therefore you will see a lot of big bags!

Take a peek at my picks below lovelies 🙂

Colour Contrast Cross Body Navy and White

Cross Body Bag in Navy and White – This is probably the smallest I will go with bags (I am not very good at clutch bags – they always end up looking stuffed ha!). I LOVE cross body bags so much, and this colour block style is SO on trend and will look great with any outfit – although you girls know I love my black clothes :P. Bags like this are so great for shopping days and evenings out!Colour Contrast Shoulder Bag Grey

Colour Contrast Shoulder Bag in Grey – This bag is BEAUTIFUL – there is something about white and grey together that just GOES – it is perfect. This bag is a great size for everyday – and will fit everything you need and MORE :P. You guys will also know I am a huge fan of any type of satchel style bag – so this one won my heart instantly 😀Colour Contrast Shoulder Bag Tote

Tote Bag in Black and Navy – There is something about tote bags – probably that they can fit SO much stuff in them ha! I love the simple detailing on this, and again it is that beautiful colour contrast style. LOVE IT! There is also something so casual about totes, I always imagine styling them with jeggings (you girlies know I do not do jeans :P), an over-sized jumper and boots 😀Faux Fur Shoulder Bag Black

Faux Fur Shoulder Bag in Black – FUR FUR FUR FUR FUR! I LOVE FUR! This bag is so stunning – there is something so glamorous about fur, and I think this style of bag is so perfect for this time of year. I don’t think there has ever been a year where fur has not been popular during Autumn/Winter. I would personally pair this bag with a black/white outfit and rock bright red/dark lips.. WHOOP!

Patent Shoulder Bag in Wine

Quilted Shoulder Bag in Wine – This bag is such a stunning colour and style! I love this duffle type of bag – again you can just shove everything in them! This bag is great for this time of year, and will look gorgeous with all the autumnal/winter outfits!

Snakeskin Cross Body Bag in Nude

Croc Skin Cross Body Bag in Nude  I love how structured this bag is – I think it gives it such a modern feel – and you can also never go wrong with a nude bag! It is also cross body so is great for the weekends/days out where you are doing a lot of walking and you do not want to be carrying a bag round all day (in your hand that is.. just swing around your shoulder and you’re good to go!).

So my angels .. there is my wishlist! I think doing posts like this are great if there is a gift that you want, and you want to hint to someone that you want it 😛 I really hope you liked the bags I picked! Let me know what you think loves!

And guess what angels! … The lovely ladies at LYDC London are giving you 10% off any purchase by using the code “SAIRA10″… aren’t they just absolute babes? So whether you want a bag from my picks, or if you want to have a look on the website http://www.lydc.co.uk/ and choose something else, definitely let me know loves! I would love to see what you pick!

I hope you enjoyed this post lovelies… I have spent my evening taking pictures for my November Faves, which will be up soon! I want to thank you all for reading, I appreciate all the lovely comments you leave me… you guys make me HAPPY!

Lots of Love,

Saira xo

*This post is in collaboration with LYDC London. All pictures are owned by them. All opinions are my own.

Kittens & Coconut Lane

Hi Angels!

HOW ARE YOU ALL! I am very very excited as I write up this post because MY NEW CAR HAS ARRIVED! I am so excited to drive it! I actually worked from home as I wasn’t given a time for the car to come – all the information I was given is that the driver would call when he was an hour away – which was fine :). It arrived at about 2PM, and I am in LOVE with it! No doubt I will feature it in a blog post later loves 🙂

Anyway.. I have another outfit post for you WOOP .. and very exciting feature further down! Now I took these photos on Saturday, when the rain and wind were HORRIFIC! I am not sure if you will be able to tell from the pictures ha! I think I JUST got done in time, as after I went inside the rain REALLY started to fall… and it has been the same the whole weekend! The weather in the UK recently has just been awful, and it is meant to be carrying on like this too (boo!).. can it not just snow already?

So.. lets see my outfit posts from the weekend!

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Guys…my shirt has kittens on it … KITTENS! If you know me you will know the OBSESSION I have with cats/kittens. I ADORE them, and to have an over-sized top with kittens on is all it takes to make Saira happy with her outfit :).

I paired the top with a knitted, over-sized (again I know) cardigan, which I picked up from a market for £5(!!!!). I have so many cardigans like this in this style.. I think they add so much to an outfit rather than just a plain one. Also, I wore my knitted midi skirts from Primark which I featured in a previous haul post… They never seem to leave the lower half of my body (pahaha).. I am OBSESSED! Another thing that never leaves my feet are my trusty Primark boots… I have no idea where I would be without them! I also wore the same hijab featured in the previous post… I love the style of it and it is such a nice change to having a plain hijab!

Yes guys.. I am also still rocking dark lips …and LOVING them. The combination is my trusty Rimmel 107 and Makeup Revolution 100% Vamp…I love the finish it gives and it is very long lasting!

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Now all the funny marks on this picture is actually the rain! I think this is where it started to get very bad and I decided that it was time to go in. Bless my dad for taking these pictures for me though… It was chucking it down and I made him take LOTS of pictures (Sorry!!), but they came out pretty well considering the circumstances, especially towards the end!

Anyway … on to something else. LOOK AT MY ADORABLE PHONE CASE! I got this case from the lovely Charlotte at Coconut Lane*. Coconut Lane is an online, independent company that sells phone cases, house decor, jewelry and other cute little bits and pieces! I love how they refer to their peices as “SASSY”… which I must say they definitely are :P. The wall art is next on my shopping list :D. 

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But seriously guys … pineapples. Do I really need to say anymore? I used to have the most hideous case ever on my phone (one of those huge bulky cases that make your phone look like a brick, haha). This case feels really strong and not like cheap plastic at all, as I have had phone cases off eBay that get scratched and chipped within days. There is also one with FLAMINGOS, and one with UNICORNS.. it’s like they can read my mind. If there was one with kittens, I would have screamed (with excitement of course :D). SAM_2686

Can we also just take a moment to admire this sterling silver ring (also from Coconut Lane) which is in the shape of an arrow?! LOVE! I find it so cute and dainty .. it is adjustable so you can have it as a normal or midi ring. I am not the hugest jewelry wearer, but I love small, individual pieces like this. It also feels really strong and won’t bend out of shape easily (it took some effort to make it fit my tiny fingers ha!).

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I love both of these so so much … and Charlotte is also such an angel .. she is giving you a discount of 20%off ANYTHING from Coconut Lane using the code glitterglass20

Make sure you have a peek at Coconut Lane .. I got my items the day after, and they also ship worldwide! They have some adorable pieces and I am sure you will find something you love!

So… can you guys believe it is December?!!! I definitely can’t.. we have one month left in 2015 guys .. ONE MONTH!! I am so excited for the new year though … I cannot wait to see what is in store for me and my little blog! I think it has come SO FAR.. and I am so grateful for all the new followers I have! Thank you so so much for reading my blog.. you are all little babes!! Make sure you follow me on TWITTER so I can get to know you all and keep you up to date with what I am up to!

I will be posting some beauty/favourites posts up soon… Seeing as the weather has been HORRIFIC and I wasn’t able to take a second day’s outfit pictures 😦 (damn you horrible weather!!). I am also thinking of doing a gift guide/wish list too…what do you guys think? Let me know! I also have one festive post planned that I am excited and hope you guys like it! I think I also want to do a post on my favourite bloggers too .. even though there probably will be quite a lot of you. I just want to thank them for inspiring me and welcoming me to this community. I also want to say a special thank you to EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU that follows me. You really do make me smile every day and make me and my blog feel very special. You also keep me motivated to continue posting and make my blog better for you guys! YOU DA BEST 😀

Lots of Love,

Saira XO

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*This post is in collaboration with Coconut Lane. All opinions are my own. Who doesn’t love a pineapple phone case?!