Make Your Own: Costa Festive Drinks

Hey!

WELL I WISH IT COULD BE CHRISTMAS EVERYDAY. Seriously though… after watching a Christmas themed episode of Black Mirror (which if you haven’t watched yet WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING WITH YOUR LIFE), I literally get chills every time I hear this song (and not the good type either). I think it was Zoella’s video I watched where she talked about Black Mirror and how it’s one of those programmes that sticks in your head and makes you just THINK about things.. which I can definitely agree with! I’ve been hooked on watching it!

Anyways… let’s put that to a side and focus on what this post is actually about! I feel like my blog has not been as festive this year .. and in all honesty it’s just because I haven’t had the TIME to put out as many posts as I’ve wanted to! But … I  thought I would do what I could in the last few days before Christmas to get as festive as possible !

Little quiz for you all.. what is one of the things that I get SO EXCITED for… it only comes during the winter months and includes festive cups? Yep you got it … festive hot drinks! Specifically .. Costa. Yum. I’ve been all over Costa festive drinks this year and tried every single one. Well.. the hot chocolates, lol.. never been much of a coffee lover tbh.

I had a little sad moment earlier when I realized that I wouldn’t be able to get the festive drinks for another year… so what did I do? Make my own of course 🙂

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Now.. before I put up a blog post about these I knew I had to test them out … so I made 3 different drinks & had the most honest people I know (hubby, dad & sister) try them (they would 100% tell me if they tasted like crap, ha).

But guess what guys? They tasted frickin’ amazing.. in fact BETTER than I expected! Now.. I have to share the ‘how to’ with you.. because I know so many of you are going to be gutted when we can no longer get the festive drinks *cries*… but it’s possible (in fact pretty easy) to recreate at home.

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*ONE MAJOR TIP*

Use GOOD quality cocoa powder … this helps so much in achieving that Costa hot chocolate flavour! 

Orange Hot Chocolate

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I think this is by far my favourite drink … it was always my go to and it just made me feel SO festive every time I got it!

1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder (the pricey stuff guys)

1 mug milk

Few pieces of Terry’s Chocolate Orange

1 tsp orange extract (the liquid in a little bottle – from the baking section in any supermarket)

Whipped cream in a can

Chocolate/festive sprinkles

Pour the milk in a saucepan over medium heat and add in the cocoa powder, and whisk until frothy. Add the Terry’s chocolate and let it melt, followed by more whisking. Once the milk starts to bubble on the sides, turn it to low heat and add in the orange extract. And yep.. whisk again. Leave for a minute or so, take off the heat and pour in your fave mug. Top with whipped cream & sprinkles. Voila!

Peppermint White Hot Chocolate

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This one is a little bit more special because it is WHITE Hot chocolate. It looks SO Christmassy!

1 1/2 tbsp white hot chocolate powder

1 mug milk

1 candy cane – crushed (some to add to the drink, some for decorating)

1 tsp peppermint extract

Whipped cream in a can

Exactly the same process – but instead of adding the Terry’s chocolate, add 3/4 of the candy cane, and of course peppermint extract instead of orange. Once you’ve put it in the mug, add whipped cream and the remaining candy cane on top.

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

Now.. this wasn’t exactly a hot chocolate at Costa.. but it did come in coffee form and I wanted to create my own version!

1 1/2 tbsp hot chocolate powder

1 mug milk

1 handful of milk chocolate chips & 1 handful of white chocolate chips

1 tsp salted caramel extract

Whipped cream in a can

Cute toppings

Same process again .. but add different chocolate/extracts as required!

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And that’s how you can make your very own, festive drinks! Get yourself some cute toppings and go all out decorating them too!

Thank me later when you’re craving that Costa hot chocolate.

ALSO – I am so sure you can try something similar with any syrups/extracts you find! You can get as creative as you want too – I could not for the life of me find gingerbread anywhere .. which I was SO gutted about because I am sure you all know my obsession with it this year!

Hope you enjoyed this festive little post … let me know if you try any of the hot chocolates!

Lots of love,

Saira

Xx

 

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

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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!).

Snow

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

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7 reasons I can’t wait for Autumn

Hiya!

Now.. I don’t know about you.. but I am the biggest fan of “list type” blog posts.. and there has been one particular thing that I have been listing in my head. Something that I am literally SO EXCITED for… and I know SO many of you are too!

*cough cough.. Autumn*

I get that some of you may be thinking WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU PLAYING AT.. it is still too early to be thinking about the change of seasons. But guys.. I am just SO ready for Autumn… I honestly could not resist sitting down and chatting about it. You know when you are just so excited about something? Yep… that is me right now. You want to know something else? I am sat wrapped up in a blanket, with a cuppa, burning a candle & listening to Fairytale of New York (fyi.. THE BEST Christmas song). I DON’T EVEN CARE, MUAHA!

OK… maybe I am getting a little bit ahead of myself…

Seriously though… Autumn.. here are 7 reasons why I cannot WAIT for it

*BTW.. like my little friend? He is PERFECT for Halloween*

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You are allowed to drink hot chocolate every single evening. Yes you  read that .. EVERY EVENING. And I am not talking cocoa powder and milk stirred up and shoved in the microwave.. NO NO! I am talking Nutella melted with milk in a saucepan, topped with whipped cream, sprinkles, chocolate wafers… the list goes on. The more sugar/chocolate, (basically unhealthy shit crap), the better.

Dark lips become the norm again. Time to start rocking those gorgeous, berry lips again girls (and not have people give you funny looks/thinking you are a goth).

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Over-sized cardigans. That feeling of being able to chuck on a cardigan that is 3 sizes too big and rock that look like you are the sassiest chic around. You know what? I don’t think I have ever bought a cardigan that is my size. And I love it.. I always feel like I am carrying a blanket around my shoulders during the colder months, HA! Also.. I am not the biggest fan of summer clothes.. there is just something about being able to snuggle up in your clothes and layering up with scarves/gloves (eeeeeek I am SO excited!)

HALLOWEEN. I LOVE Halloween SO SO SO much… if you know me… you will know how much I LOVE scary movies.. and just creepy things in general. So.. it is pretty obvious that I am a huge fan of Halloween. Another thing that I can’t wait for? Carving pumpkins, decorating my desk at work & room (if the hubs doesn’t mind ha!), and posting Halloween themed blogposts/videos (hopefully!!).

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Darker evenings. Cozy evenings in are my favourite! Now.. I know that the clocks don’t actually go back until the end of October (when we get that EXTRA HOUR IN BED), but the evenings do start to get darker when September hits. Don’t get me wrong.. Summer evenings are AMAZING (for the few we have in UK)… but I much prefer cuddling up on the sofa with a hot drink and surrounded by candles, hehe. That’s got to beat all those sweaty, humid nights right?

Autumn walks and CONKER HUNTING. There is just something so nostalgic about searching for conkers… It is such a nice way to spend an afternoon! Also.. going for a walk when all the leaves have started to change colour .. CAN YOU IMAGINE THE OUTFIT PHOTOS!

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I can wear fuzzy socks and PJ’s without getting sweaty legs/feet. I am sure if you have read my blog/followed my social media for a while.. you will know the massive obsession I have with PJ bottoms. I always stock up on a few (erm.. OK.. LOTS) of pairs when Autumn hits. And of course.. I get the warmest, fuzziest, most random printed ones.. as you do.

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SO… If you weren’t already.. I hope my post has you very excited for Autumn (like me!).

Are you excited for Autumn? If so.. let me know what you favourite thing about it is!

Thank you SO much for reading – and make sure to leave me a comment to let me know what you thought! See you all in my next one.

Lots of Love,

Saira

xo

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Valentine’s Day: Lets go CASUAL♥

Hey loves!!♥

HOW ARE YOU!! I literally have such a huge smile on my face right now because I am just SO happy to be blogging today! Have you had a wonderful week so far? Mine has been a busy one as usual at work, so I just find it such a relief to sit down when I get home, have my dinner and just catch up on what everyone is doing!

Who else is noticing the lighter mornings/evenings – I am! I love that it is now NOT pitch black when I leave for work! It is one of the signs that Spring is well on its way! If you want to get all giddy about Spring, check out my post on that HERE! I cannot say the same about the weather though… Storm Imogen anyone? AND .. it has been SO COLD! PLEASE can we have some sunny, spring days?

ANYWAY….. I have seen SO many bloggers already putting up Valentine’s Day posts… do you celebrate it? I personally don’t really make a big deal out of it.. to me it is just another day! BUT.. I could not resist putting SOMETHING “Valentines” themed up… and you guessed what it had to be.. it’s an OUTFIT WOOO!!! Of course, I would wear this outfit ANYTIME, but I thought this post would fit in nicely for anyone having a casual Valentine’s date! So lovelies, should we get on to the outfit?

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NOW… You may recognize some of the bits I am wearing in this outfit.. YES I featured them in my “Excited for Spring” post… the jumper and gilet are BOTH FROM A CHARITY SHOP! If you want some tips on finding beauties in charity shops, check my post HERE!

So.. I don’t know about you angels, but I would pick a cozy night in my PJ’s rather than going out.. but every now and again, it is nice to get yourself dressed up! BUT, one of my favourite past times are exploring new places and going out for casual dinners/desserts… so I thought I would put together an outfit that would be PERFECT for doing either of these activities!

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I absolutely ADORE the colour of the jumper.. it is a GORGEOUS light pink colour, and I think it is PERFECT with the fur lined gilet! Now.. I usually would have paired this outfit with some sort of “black” jegging/trouser.. BUT I thought for a Valentine’s themed outfit.. THIS WOULD NOT BE APPROPRIATE! So… I decided to wear my maroon jeggings from River Island, and paired it with some little “primary school style” shoes from New Look!

Now for my bag.. I had to use this beauty from LYDC*.. it is always nice to have a cross body bag when you are going out on a date/day out.. so I knew this bag would be PERFECT!! The colours of the bag also go BEAUTIFULLY with the outfit… I LOVED how it just tied everything together!

If you fancy picking up this bag … the link is HERE… AND of course as always you can get 10% off using ‘SAIRA10’.

More Detail Jumper and Gilet

Ohhh.. one thing I KNEW I wanted in this OOTD was BRIGHT LIPS! Oh my girlies.. I LOVE this colour SO much… it is the Bourjois Rouge Edition in Fuchsia Safari… It is SO long lasting too…. I wore it for HOURS after! It will definitely be perfect for those who are going out in the evening too… it would look BEAUTIFUL with a smokey eye!.. I’ll stick to my PJ’s and movies though thanks HA!

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To finish off the look.. I wore this GORGEOUS light pink scarf.. which was definitely a perfect match with the jumper! Are you guys proud of me for incorporating light colours into my outfits? 😀

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SO THERE WE HAVE IT.. an OOTD for those of us who LOVE casual dates .. I think a look like this would be perfect for a cinema or lunch date! I definitely think that the colours help give it the “girly” vibe …Ahhhhhhh … I feel like this is one of the “girliest” outfits on my blog ever ha!! Tell me what you think of it lovelies?

Right angels… I REALLY hope you liked this! I will have a quick catch up with you all before I leave you OK? The rest of my week is just going to be spent working & blogging (as per usual!).. I do not have anything planned as of yet for the weekend .. I am normally a last minute type of girl on the weekends! ALSO… we are thinking of going on holiday in the summer (eeeeeek!).. so I have been looking up different places we can visit! I will definitely keep you posted lovelies!! AND.. I will be going to London for the Bloggers_Hangout Fashion Week soon.. I literally CANNOT WAIT!!

So loves.. that is all from me today! Make sure to let me know if you have any plans for Valentines, whether your have a partner or you are single! Have a fabulous week.. and I will see you all in my next post!

Lots of Love,

Saira

xo

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Best of Beauty: 2015♥

Hi lovelies!♥

I would just like to start by saying HAPPY NEW YEAR!! I really hope you all had an amazing start to the year, whatever you got up to! I’ll be completely honest… my NYE consisted of getting some Chinese food, spending the evening in my PJ’s, falling asleep and then waking up just in time to see the London firework display on TV.. wasn’t it a wild night ha!

What did you all get up to? Did you have a crazy night out, or spend time at home with family/friends? Let me know!

Anyway.. I am SO excited to share this post with you as it is the BEST OF BEAUTY for 2015 (well for me anyway :P). This post is basically going to show you all the beauty items I LOVED and could not have been without in the past year … they are products I will DEFINITELY be re-purchasing in 2016 … Give some of these products a go lovelies.. I guarantee you will find at least ONE that you love just as much as me!♥

Soap & Glory 

Right angels …first things first.. some items from SOAP & GLORY! Now.. if you know me then you will know the obsession I have with this brand. I still remember the FIRST TIME these products came into Boots.. I instantly fell in love with the packaging, their cute little sayings on each of their products, the scent of everything… and OBVIOUSLY the products themselves! The FIRST items I ever purchased from this brand were The Righteous Butter Body Butter, Clean on Me Shower Gel & that HUGE pink loofah. These are all still FIRM favourites of mine… but recently the products I have been LOVING SO MUCH are from the Sugar Crush range (which I think was released a few years ago). OH MY I am sure the majority of you have heard of these products… They are DEFINITELY some of my FAVES!!

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The products I have been loving include:

Sugar Crush Shower Gel

Sugar Crush Body Butter

Sugar Crush Hand Cream

Sugar Crush Body Mist

The scent is GORGEOUS, the products are amazing (and not expensive either).. I am going to be doing a full review of them later on.. so keep an eye out for that!

Lancome La Vie Est Belle

Next up is this stunning perfume from Lancome .. I notice that SO many other people LOVE this perfume. I ALWAYS get so many compliments from others when I wear this.. it lasts for absolutely AGES (it is an Eau Du Parfum), and how stunning is the bottle angels!!! In the past, I would only stick to very sickly, sweet scents (which I now CRINGE at the thought of … anyone remember Britney Spears Fantasy .. no joke I wore that perfume for 4 years STRAIGHT from when I was about 13 years old!). This perfume is sweet but is SO much nicer, and I think is quite a “grown up” scent.. definitely check it out if you haven’t loves!

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Colgate Optic White Toothpaste

You might think it is slightly weird that I am featuring a toothpaste.. but I do not know where I would have been without it this year. Me and my little brother CANNOT use any other … and every single time there was another toothpaste in the bathroom, we WOULD NOT be happy (haha!). I always make sure we have a back up of this, and also always pack this if I am ever staying elsewhere for the night! It does a FAB job at keeping my teeth white.. for me having good teeth/dental hygiene is SO important .. and this product is AMAZING.. the mouthwash from this range is also great (but I don’t have a picture of this unfortunately .. sorry loves!).

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Garnier Micellar Water & L’Oreal Triple Active Moisturizer 

These are the two main face products that I have been reaching for this year.. and don’t know where I would be without them! Nothing (that I have tried so far) takes my makeup off like the Garnier Micellar water … I LOVE IT SO MUCH GIRLIES!! It literally feels like water .. and my skin always feels so refreshed after using it! Another product that I have been loving is this moisturizer from L’Oreal .. I only started using this recently but I AM IN LOVE! It does such a FAB job at making my skin feel amazing and SO SOFT! I also have a very oily T-zone, and although this moisturizer says it is for dry skin.. I never experience excessive oiliness with it!

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Movis Soap

Ahhhhhh my BELOVED Movis soap from Lush … I bought this soap the first time it came out in Lush a few years ago after seeing it in their catalogue, and I have not used ANYTHING else to wash my face since. It does the most amazing job at cleansing my face and leaving it feeling SO soft and not dried out at all! I usually buy 100g every few weeks, and then cut it up into smaller pieces. It is packed with cocoa butter, wheat germ, coconut oil & WHOLEMEAL BREAD.. yep BREAD! It smells good enough to eat, and also looks like a loaf of bread too! ♥

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Make up♥

I don’t even have to go into detail about Estee Lauder Double Wear, because I have mentioned it SO much on my blog .. it is so long lasting, gives me GREAT coverage (You can make it lighter coverage by mixing in with your moisturizer and applying a finishing spray), and does not break me out! The lipsticks that I have been loving (only recently though) is the combination of Rimmel 107 & Make Up Revolution’s 100% Vamp. It gives the MOST gorgeous dark lip EVER, and lasts quite a while too!

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So lovelies .. there we have it .. the BEST OF BEAUTY for 2015! I am literally SO excited to see what new products I will discover in the near year.. especially as one of my blog goals is to include more beauty posts :P. I really hope you enjoyed reading this .. and maybe found some new products to try for the new year!

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I also have my diary for 2016 (woop!)… I am hopefully planning on having a schedule (which I will blog about if it all goes ahead!), as well as trying to bulk write my posts on a weekend .. so I have more time to read all of yours!

Anways angels.. have a FANTASTIC start to the year, let me know if you made any resolutions, and also what your plans are for the new year! See you in my next one!

Lots of Love!

Saira ♥

Twitter // Instagram // Blog Lovin ♥

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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