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 ♥♥

Advertisements

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!

SAM_2890

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! ♥

SAM_2891

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 !

SAM_2896

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!! ♥

SAM_2910

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

SAM_2903

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!

SAM_2743SAM_2765SAM_2751

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 😀

SAM_2742SAM_2774SAM_2768SAM_2766

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

SAM_2781SAM_2775

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  ♥♥

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!

SAM_2720

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

SAM_2787

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.

SAM_2789SAM_2791SAM_2735

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!

SAM_2800

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!

SAM_2796

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.

SAM_2811

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!

SAM_2819

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

IMG_7173

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!

IMG_7177

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!

IMG_7002

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!

SAM_2823

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

Twitter // Instagram // Blog Lovin ♥