I’m having a BABY!

Can’t believe I’m actually blogging about this guys. FINALLY. I’ve wanted to tell you for SO long, but time has just not been on my side, let alone my energy levels. But yep. I’m only having an ACTUAL BABY. Holy crap. I have a little human growing inside me. Eeeeeek. It’s SO exciting, but nerve wracking at the same time. I feel like I have SO much I want to say but I just don’t know where to start?!

We’ll start with how many weeks I am – I’m actually 20 weeks and counting. Yep. Past that halfway mark. And I can’t believe I have managed to keep it a secret for this long. Wow. I had originally planned to do a whole reveal blog post after our 12 week scan – however that plan went down the toilet because I honestly just did NOT have the energy. Which will bring me on to my next point..

How I’ve been feeling? I’ve actually not been THAT bad so far (thankfully!). The first few weeks I was just SO FRICKIN’ exhausted. Literally guys pregnancy fatigue is real. I would come home after work (which I barely made it through without wanting to knock out at my desk) and just sleep. And no matter how much sleep I got – I still felt knackered. I couldn’t make it past 8pm, and struggled SO much to get up in a morning for work. I also found out that my iron levels were quite low, which definitely explained why my tiredness was so bad. I still get pretty tired now, although it’s definitely improved from my first trimester! I’m just trying to take everyone’s advice and SLEEP as much as I can, before I forget what the words ‘lie in’ mean.

Another thing that I have that I think is worsened by my anaemia is how quickly I get out of breath. I know it’s a symptom of pregnancy anyway but bloody hell I can’t manage going up one flight of stairs without being left feeling breathless AF. Nice.

Also – one of the main questions I always get asked when I tell people I’m pregnant – did you have morning sickness? Answer – no. Did I have all day nausea? Answer – yes. For the first 12 weeks there wasn’t a day where I didn’t feel nauseous, and I found I felt it more in the evening (odd I know), but I never actually threw up (which I was really thankful for!). I was so chuffed when I passed 12 weeks and the nausea just slowly started to die down. It’s amazing how your body just gets used to the crazy amount of hormones it produces!

Also – there are certain foods/smells that I have completely gone off. Firstly – you know the Lush Twilight body spray that I fell in LOVE with? Makes we want to vom now. Mini eggs – the thing that I could eat a whole bag of in one sitting? I can’t think of anything worse to eat. Chicken – what I used to have every single day? Completely gone off it. I’ve been living off a diet of clementines, beef steak & ready salted crisps. Nom.

So how is my little bubba doing? Thankfully, every scan we’ve had has been amazing and bubba is VERY active. I have an anterior placenta so was a little bit worried that I wouldn’t feel movements until the 24-26 week mark, but I’ve been feeling flutters since 17 weeks which is SUCH a surreal feeling. In fact, as I’ve been writing this, bubs has been moving around in there quite a bit.

 

Phew – what a relief to finally blog about my news! I am so chuffed to tell you and put out some pregnancy/new mamma blog posts! There are SO many amazing bloggers that are pregnant/new mums and I am so excited to join them! I’m sure this explains why I’ve been absent for so long – for the first 12 weeks all I did was work, eat and sleep, and since then I’ve just been trying to get into a routine but FAILING miserably. I’m planning to get on it now and get myself organised, so I can get plenty of content out there! If there is anything specific you guys want to see – let me know!

Sending you all lots of love!

Saira xx

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Baking For the Lazy (Or Busy)

Baking. I’m sure all of us have dabbled into the world of baking at least once right ? Whether it’s something you do whenever you have some free time, or you just use the ready made mixes once in a while (ahem, moi), it’s always fun & satisfying to enjoy something you’ve made. I have always wanted to invest more time into baking so I can get REALLY good at it, but sometimes time is just not on your side (boo). With working full time, and spending every weekend doing the things I can’t during the week, I barely have spare time to put aside for hobbies like baking – meaning I usually delve into the shop made stuff (which we all know is never as yummy right?).

Now, there is something about the colder months that just makes you want more sweet, homemade things right? I think it’s the idea of having everything with a huge hot chocolate that gets me every time. Guys, is there anything better than a homemade cake with a marshmallow topped hot chocolate after you’ve been outside in the cold all day? Definitely not. This is why I was so chuffed when Dr Oetker contacted me about some new products they had launched (and yes, I was shaking with excitement when I received the email!).

So – Dr Oetker itself is always the brand I know everyone can trust when it comes to baking. My sister (an avid baker) is always picking up their products when she has something special to make, so I knew I was in for a treat. I received their ‘Bake in the Box’ loaf cake mixes, which sounded like they’d be perfect for me.

 
So, on Saturday morning I got set on baking them. I received 3 flavours, Double Chocolate, Banana & Choc Chip & Lemon & Poppy Seed, and decided to bake 2 of them, and save one for later. I went for the chocolate (obviously) and lemon. So, all the instructions called for was to preheat the oven, remove the lid from the box, pour in some milk, whisk it up, and bake. That’s all. No mess, no mixing bowls, no awkward measuring, no greasing – it literally took me 5 minutes. I then popped it in the oven and went about doing some laundry, and then came back around 25 minutes later to TWO FRESHLY BAKED LOAF CAKES. I then let them cool, removed them from their baking boxes and served. Safe so say they didn’t last long.

 
My thoughts on the Double Chocolate

 
The recipe used a little bit more milk than the other & required some more baking time (only around 5 minutes), but I think that was due to it having chocolate chips/a more fudgy texture. This one was DEFINITELY my favourite. I have always been a fan of chocolate cake, and this was no exception. It is not too sickly, and I loved the fact that it had chocolate chips in too.

My thoughts on the Lemon & Poppy Seed

 
There is nothing better than a little bit of lemon cake every now and again. I am a massive fan of lemon drizzle, and knew I’d love this lemon loaf cake too. It was SO yummy, and had a lovely, subtle citrus flavour with the right amount of poppy seeds. Nom.

I am definitely a massive fan of this bake in the box range and how quick and easy it is. Especially on those evenings when you want something homemade but don’t have the energy to fully bake something. I think they would also work a treat if you have some last minute guests coming round and want something sweet to have with a cuppa. I also loved that I could make both a chocolate & a lemon cake in literally no time at all (as my mum is not a fan of chocolate). In fact, I still have the banana and chocolate chip one left – which after writing this post up am going to bake as I am now CRAVING cake. How people cope when posting a lot of baking blog posts I do not know! Make sure to have a quick peek on Dr Oetker’s website here to see what they have on offer too

 
Quick life update before I go – I am working on a post after this one as to where I’ve been and why my blogging schedule has recently gone down the toilet. I am sure you’ll all understand! I am also looking into updating my blog (which I looked into a while ago but just never got round to), so will of course keep you up to speed on all of that too! I don’t think my lack of inspiration is also helped by the fact that I’ve not done anything exciting with my blog since starting (!!). Watch this space ey?

Love, Saira xx

How To Motivate Yourself To Blog

Do you ever get those days where you want to sit down and write down all the blog posts you have in mind – but it just does not happen. No matter how much you want to, the words just don’t come. Your motivation is non existent, and everything else just seems so distracting. You spend hours scrolling through the internet, watching cat videos & conspiracy theories (ahem, not me), but you know you should be typing up that review of your new makeup brushes…

Now – in the (almost) 2 years I’ve been blogging (wow has it been that long?!), I have found that certain things really help me get in the right blogging mind, not just the inspiration side but also writing. Of course – whenever I find certain things that help me blogwise -it’s always a good idea to share them. I know that most bloggers go through the same thing (we rant about it on Twitter all the time right guys) – so ya gal here as got some things that can help you feel inspired & motivated when you are in a bit of a slump.

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Have a blog set up

For some people, they can find the inspiration to write anywhere – whether that is on the bus/train, on their lunch break or on the sofa whilst watching TV. For me – I need a proper set up. I’m talking cosy pillows & blankets, a cuppa & plenty of candles & fairy lights. Even in the summer, I love having candles & a warm drink. I find just being in this sort of chilled environment helps me stay motivated and want to write. It also inspires me to come up with ideas too. If I’m ever feeling a little lost for ideas, I just get in my cosy environment & think about the things that have effected me recently & what I’ve been loving – and some ideas always spring into my head !

Pinterest is your SAVIOUR

Pinterest has so many ideas & inspiration – if I’m ever stuck for ideas I always have a trawl through Pinterest. Whether it is inspo for some post ideas or blog/Instagram shots – Pinterest always has something to help. Plus – making season themed boards is SO much fun – have you SEEN the Autumn ones?!

Sometimes your thoughts/feelings are the best posts

For a while, I’d only feel motivated to blog if I had new beauty products/an interesting, hot topic to post about – simply because I felt like that was what brought in the most views. This eventually made me stress out when I didn’t have anything ‘exciting’ to post about. Then one day – I just literally sat down & wrote a whole blog post about everything that was on my mind. It was almost like a diary entry – and I posted it – and not only did it get a good response, but I felt like a massive weight had been lifted off my shoulders too. I actually LOVE reading personal, diary-like blog posts too – I think they help you really connect with the blogger too. So, don’t feel disheartened if you don’t have any new products to talk about – your thoughts are enough loves.

Read other blogs & gain inspiration 

Now – I’m not saying go and copy another bloggers post idea – they probably worked their ass off to not only come up with the idea, but to put the whole thing together. But – getting inspiration from other blog posts is definitely a way to motivate yourself and get some ideas. I always feel so out of the loop when I don’t read other blogs, so I always make sure I set aside some time every few days to have a scroll through my fave blogs. Funnily enough – I always find I miss writing blog posts when I read others – so that always helps me get motivated!

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Lastly – blog for YOURSELF & because you LOVE it

Sometimes – no matter what you do – the words/motivation just don’t come to you. If this happens to me, I find taking a few days out really helps. This usually leads me to find inspiration and realise how much I miss blogging. Also – blog because you LOVE to, not because you’re trying to get the next PR package or some extra followers. Blogging is so much fun & it should be something that you do to relax & unwind – but if it is becoming something that stresses you, it’s time to take a few days out. Trust me – you will come back feeling more motivated than ever!

There we have it – a few little pointers that I always find help motivate and inspire me to write when I am having one of those rubbish, slump moments with my blog. If you have other tips you use – make sure to let me know !

Guys – I can’t even tell you how excited I am for the next few months – it is almost AUTUMN – I am already planning my “reasons to be excited for Autumn” post – as well as some other content. I have a few Summer themed posts coming up – then it is ALL about Autumn (how many times did I say Autumn then!?).

Take care m’loves – and I will see you all in my next post!

Love, Saira x

Travel Diary – Amsterdam

Hi GUYS

How ya’ll doing? Hope you have had the best week EVER. Been up to much ? If you follow me on practically any social media – you will know that I recently went to the ever so popular, BEAUT city of Amsterdam. Oh yes. One of the most popular places to visit ATM – especially amongst my fellow blogging gals. In fact – booking a city break and travelling to Amsterdam was actually on my Spring bucket list (ahem – post here if you fancy a gander) – and I was SO chuffed to tick it off!

So – as I was saying, unless you’ve been avoiding me on Twitter (hope not) you will know that I went to Amsterdam over the May Day bank holiday – and as the typical blogger would do – am writing up my travel diary for you (WOOP). Now – I have decided to incorporate a travel series on my blog – so will be doing a few posts on my trip, so keep your eyes peeled for those.

For now though – a quick run through of what I got up to, with plenty of shots of one of the most picturesque places I’ve EVER visited.

Day 1

Armed with our bags, we scuttled off to Leeds Bradford Airport and boarded our flight to Amsterdam, which only took 50 minutes (I couldn’t even fit an episode of 13 Reasons Why on it). We arrived at Schipol Airport around 4pm & got the train to Sloterdijk Station. We stayed at the Mercure Hotel just opposite there, so getting the train to central was an absolute doddle (literally took around 8 minutes).

After settling in to our hotel, we freshened up and headed out to central Amsterdam to explore. It honestly is one of the most beautiful places. It sounds odd but I found it one of the most lively, yet calm places ever. There was so much going on, but I never once felt stressed walking around. We were absolutely starving so found a cute Turkish restaurant to have dinner (you will be spoilt for choice -there is SO much to eat!), and then explored the centre a little bit more. We also found ourselves walking down the Red Light District too (don’t judge – hear me out guys), and I found it so fascinating to walk around. It didn’t have that ‘seedy’ feel to it that I thought it would, and honestly it was more of a tourist attraction than anything else. Prepare for a lot of ‘live show’ adverts & naughty shops though. Lol. After that – we scoped out where we’d be having breakfast the next morning, then headed back to our hotel.

Also – when booking the hotel I only selected a ‘room’ option – as there were SO many breakfast places that I wanted to try rather than just having what the hotel would serve (quick tip there for you).

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Day 2

We had a little bit of a lie in then headed out on the train to central again for breakfast. I’d planned on having breakfast at the famous Pancakes – which there was actually a queue OUTSIDE for. But luckily we only waited around 15 minutes until we were seated. The pancakes were INSANE though and pretty reasonably priced too which was fab! After – we hopped on a ferry to North Amsterdam (which we could get with the travel ticket – more on that in my tips post!) and found a cute little cafe where we hung out for a while & for some lunch. Then, we got the ferry back to central & went to the Body Worlds museum – which was FANTASTIC. It is literally a museum with real human bodies that people have ‘donated’ and they have been preserved so you can see every single bit! It sounds creepy but it’s amazing and such an interesting place to see. We then got some fries (which Amsterdam is popular for and DAMN were they good) and then went back to the hotel for a quick rest, before heading back out to central for some dinner and another wander round! And yes as you can probably tell, we ate A LOT. I actually went past the Anne Frank museum – which unfortunately I couldn’t get into as it was SO busy, but it was just nice to see it in person. I love Anne Frank and her story and am definitely looking at going again so I can actually visit the museum next time.

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Day 3

Our last day (boo!). We visited a place called Omelegg for breakfast which is again a very popular place – and I can honestly say it was one of the nicest breakfasts I’ve ever had! As you can probably tell by the name, they serve up omelettes (literally any one that you can imagine), and it was SO GOOD. The interior was also so adorable, but again this was quite busy too. We did have to queue to get a seat but we were seated pretty quickly, and it was worth the wait! After – we headed to a place called Beginhof, which is a courtyard in the middle of central Amsterdam where nun’s actually live, but it is open to the public to visit. This was a highly recommended place as it is so peaceful & beautiful, despite being in the centre of the city. I would highly suggest checking it out if you want to get away from the hustle & bustle for a while. We then walked around the gardens of Amsterdam museum for a while, before getting on a tram to Vondelpark. Ahh guys … the park. I feel as though this is Amsterdam’s version of Central Park in NYC (despite me never visiting New York LOL), it is definitely a beautiful place and if we’d had enough time, we would have rented some bikes out to ride around (as it was a BEAUT day). Unfortunately, time was ticking so we headed back to central, where we got some souvenirs and churros (which were SO good), and then made our way to the airport.

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So – that was my short but very eventful trip to Amsterdam. I regretted not going for a canal boat ride, but we just did not have the time *cries*. Amsterdam is definitely a city where you are never short of things to do – and I am hoping to take another trip soon to visit other places such as the Anne Frank House & the outer regions (where the popular windmills & cheese farms are!) OH- we also managed to taste a lot of cheese whilst we were there in one of the many cheese shops (yum).

Right guys – I hope you enjoyed this travel diary of my trip! As I’ve said I will do another post with tips where I’ll go into detail about getting around Amsterdam, things you have to do and just some general helpful things! If you are thinking of visiting, I would 100% reccomend as there is SO much to see and do, whether you fancy a chilled out break or one spending your time in the coffee shops (hehe), or exploring all the history & museums!

Let me know if you liked this post – and also if you’ve been to Amsterdam! I’d love to know and see your posts if you have done any!

I’ll see you all in my next one – have an amazing weekend!

Lots of LOVE

Saira xxxxx

Fuss Free Mother’s Day – Gift Ideas & Things To Do

Happy Sunday loves…

So.. Mother’s Day is right around the corner – and I thought it would be the perfect time to write up my first ever gift guide ! But of course – I wanted to do something a little bit different (as you do!). For me, Mother’s Day is more about being a fuss free day that you spend with your mum making memories & just making sure she feels as loved as she deserves. So.. I’m going to share with you my fool-proof Mother’s Day gift ideas that just cannot go wrong, as well as some activities that will definitely create some wonderful memories with the most special woman in your life!

Beauty Goodies

Every woman loves being pampered, especially your momma ladies. Of course, my favourite place when it comes to beauty goodies? Lush! And obviously they have the most amazing gift sets EVER all themed around Mother’s Day, including the ‘Mum’* set, which includes 6 products set around pampering herself from head to toe. You can never go wrong with Lush goodies – and guaranteed your mum will absolutely adore them too!


Caudalie Products

I have loved Caudalie products for so so long – they are such good quality and have a whole range of skincare items designed for every single skin type out there. They are a SUCH a good quality brand and I can definitely see every mum out there loving their products. It’s always nice to treat your mum to some new skincare bits (or stock up on some of her known faves!). I love that Caudalie ranges from really luxury items (such as their Premier Cru Du Cream) to a more affordable range (Vine Active Anti-Aging Range*). Highly recommend checking them out loves, as they have some stunning gift sets, as well as some Spa Gift Vouchers – which your momma definitely deserves!

 

Sweet Treats

Of course – you can never go wrong with some good old chocolates ey? But why not take it up a notch and order a handmade gift tin from the EVER so popular Biscuteers*? Ahh… I am so sure you have seen these stunning biscuits around, and they have the most amazing range of Mother’s Day themed gift tins. Whether your mum loves flowers, afternoon tea or sewing … there are themed biscuits for all these and more! I was lucky enough to be sent a flower themed biscuit tin and they are honestly the most beautiful biscuits I have ever seen. They are for my mum but I may have sneakily eaten one myself (shhh!), and I can confirm they taste bloody yummy. Definite, fool proof gift idea guys – I don’t know who wouldn’t be chuffed to receive these as a gift.

 

Perfume

Ahhhh perfumes are one of the easiest (but most loved gifts) you can get your mum. Whether you know her staple scent, or pick up something new for her, you can’t go wrong. A very popular scent is Lancôme’s La Vie Est Belle.. it is a sweet (but not sickly) scent that settles into a musky, powdery scent.. and this stuff lasts for AGES with it being an Eau Du Parfum (winning).

 

Personal gifts

Nothing will mean more to your mum than something personal. You don’t even have to spend a fortune to make your mum happy – collect up some of your favourite pictures together and put them in an album, and you can spend Mother’s Day just going through them and re-living all the memories you had together.

 

How to: Have The Perfect, Fuss Free Mother’s Day

So … a lot of people may have planned days out for Mother’s Day.. but you know me and how I’m a massive lover of chilled out days at home .. & Mother’s Day is no different. So.. I have some ideas of how you can have the perfect, chilled out, fuss free day with your mum.

Start off with a walk together

 There is nothing more perfect than having an early morning walk with your mum to just catch up & get some gentle exercise. With Spring upon us now.. it’s the perfect time to take a walk in the park and just enjoy seeing the flowers now blossoming, the lighter mornings & (slightly) warmer weather.

Have an unhealthy breakfast

 

Mother’s Day is all about treating your mum right! So whether she loves a sweet or savoury breakfast, make it a treat. I have a recipe for the best sweet pancakes ever if you fancy something sweet, or of course you can just make a fry up right? Cos everyone (including your mamma) loves a fry up every now & then!

Get the gifts out

After breakfast would be the best time to pass on your gifts to your mum – so whether you’ve treated her to one of the special gifts mentioned above, or just made her something yourself… she’ll definitely appreciate being spoilt!

DIY Afternoon Tea

So – rather than have to spend time/effort going out for afternoon tea.. why not just do it yourself? Make some sandwiches, pick up some mini desserts & stick the kettle on to have your own afternoon tea together.. in the comfort of your own home! Afternoon tea in your PJ’s? Yes please.

Pamper Time

If you’ve brought your mum some goodies to pamper herself.. it’s the perfect time to have her use them now. Run a bath for her & let her just chill out for a few hours. Do some face masks & mani/pedi’s together & I can guarantee she’ll feel hugely spoilt. It’s seems like such a small thing but it’s one of the best ways to unwind with her!

Get comfy together & stick on some movies

 

Whether you have a TV series you both love watching or a movie that you’ve not watched together for years… get yourself loads of blankets & sit in front of the TV together for a few hours. It’s the perfect way to end the day together.

Right guys – they were my tips for having the perfect, fuss free, chilled out Mother’s Day! I hope you got inspiration if you’ve been stuck for some ideas! Remember.. you don’t have to spend a fortune… Mother’s Day is a for making your mum feel special and creating memories with her. Of course .. every single day should be spent like that – but it’s always nice to make that extra effort! Make sure to let me know what your plans are .. I’d love to know !

Lots Of Love,

Saira xo

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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

 

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

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Life Update … & My Favourite Purchase

Hey!

So .. I know I have been a little bit of a stranger to the blogging world recently (slap on the wrist I know!)… but I have a genuine reason .. promise. If you follow me on Twitter you would have known that a) I have started a new job recently, and b) my husband had major knee surgery last week. So… a combination of these has meant my little blog has unfortunately been pushed to the back of my mind – but hey, life gets in the way sometimes and guess what… that’s OK. It took me a while to really get that in my head because every time I didn’t take my blog/Instagram photos for that day or draft up my post, I felt guilty. But what you have to remember is that certain things in life are more important than that perfect Instagram shot or getting a post up at a certain time … I blog as a hobby, not a forced activity. So taking time out helps you realize that and for a long time I have had the mindset ‘quality over quantity’, which has really helped me because I never rush my posts and love every single one I put up.

Also … another thing that has probably led to my lack of posts is that I am getting slightly bored of the layout of my blog… but I have done some research and am actually going to (finally) self host.. AND get a whole new theme! I am also on the hunt for a new camera (yes I know I still have my £40 Samsung), but I am so torn as to whether I want a Canon or the Olympus Pen (help me!).

Phew.. that felt good to get off my chest! That is what I love about blogging .. you can literally pour your heart out on a post and instantly feel better about it.  

Now … another reason why I want another camera is because I really miss doing fashion posts… and I just feel my camera is not up to taking shots that I am happy with. When I first starting blogging, it was completely fine and I was happy with it, but now that I want to up my game slightly (eeek), I want to invest in a camera that will give me shots I will be happy with and proud to put on my blog.

Speaking of fashion posts … I HAD to share with you probably the best purchase I have made recently. A few reasons why I love it.. it’s velvet, it’s black, it’s over-sized, and… it cost me £2.50 (!!)

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This the reason I love charity shops so much … you can literally pick up some of the nicest, most unique things ever. As I was trawling the rails, I spotted this little velvet beauty and just fell in love. Velvet is absolutely huge this season… both for clothes and accessories… in fact I have velvet ankle boots on my wishlist because I just NEED them. There is something so luxe about velvet .. it is honestly one of my most favourite things to wear!

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Sometimes velvet can be seen as something that is worn mostly for evenings out… but I wanted to show you that paired with the right things, you can rock velvet during the day. In fact.. I’ve been nice enough to come up with some helpful tips:

  • Wear something over-sized (over-sized tops, swing dress etc) I think it’s best to save the body-con stuff for the evenings guys (although if you feel like you want to rock it.. you go girl.. fashion is all about personal preference and being unique)
  • Make it casual by wearing it with some black jeans/trousers and boots/trainers
  • Try mixing up textures … velvet and knitwear are gorgeous together… especially if you have a velvet dress with an over-sized cardigan (ultimate Autumn outfit goals)
  • Velvet blazers are so easy to style and go with so much (a lot more than you would think!)
  • Personally.. my favourite colours in velvet are black, burgundy and forest green. What are yours?
  • If you want to incorporate a little bit of velvet, get your hands on some loafers/boots or a bag

So guys ..there are some of my tips for  wearing velvet … I really want to pick up some more velvet things and show you how easy it is to style them up!

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Details

Top – Charity Shop
Trousers – H&M
Trainers – Topshop

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I went for a really casual look and just love how comfortable this whole outfit was. The only thing I WISHED I had was a metallic backpack … I feel like that would have just completed the outfit SO well (I can imagine right).

I know I’d definitely be able to take this look into the evening by pairing it with some heeled boots and a bold lip (perfect!)

Right girls and boys … I think I have rambled on enough .. I hope you enjoyed my little life update and also tips on bringing some velvet into your wardrobe! I am off to watch Friends and cuddle up with my poorly hubby! I will see you all in my next one!

Lots Of Love,

Saira

Xxx

Autumn Essentials: Beauty, Fashion & Makeup

Hiya loves

Hope you have all had an amazing weekend! I have spent it catching up on ironing (exciting I know), going to see the Blackpool Illuminations (a tradition me and my family have), and taking some Autumn inspired outfit pictures (which you guys will see soon!). What have you all been up to?

Now.. I am sure you all know I was ready for Autumn WAY before it was acceptable (I am talking end of August guys)… but I think now is an appropriate time to do an Autumn essentials post right? I got you covered for beauty, fashion and makeup… so if you want to know what my essentials are for this season… have a peek 🙂

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Make Up

To me.. Autumn makeup is all about dark lips, matte skin and TONS of highlight. Basically… makeup that resembles a vampire’s is what I am talking about. And of course you know me and my drugstore OBSESSION when it comes to make up – so of course I have a whole load of my fave bits that I always have on hand for my Autumn makeup.

  • Seventeen Stay Matte Foundation

I have raved and RAVED about this foundation for so so long… it really is one to try if you need a long lasting, matte foundation that has amazing coverage. You really need the smallest amount of this, as it goes SUCH a long way. And, at a little over a fiver… it is SO affordable and is a right hidden gem too. It’s worth a try girls, so pick it up on your next trip to Boots

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  • MUA Undress Your Skin Highlighter – Pink Shimmer

Can you believe that this time last year I did not use highlight (GASP)… it is now one thing that I never miss out when doing my makeup … it makes such a HUGE difference to how healthy your skin looks. And of course.. when it comes to Autumn time, the days are getting darker, your skin is not getting as much sun anymore and can tend to look a little dull. Your best friend? Yep.. highlighter. This little baby from MUA is one of my faves.. as is is SO affordable yet has the most amazing pigmentation. This one is more pink toned, but there is also one that is more on the gold side if that is what you prefer.. but I think I much prefer more cool toned highlights for the colder months (something about them just reminds me of frost on your skin.. and I LOVE that).

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  • Sleek Matte Me – Vino Tinto

I have done a whole post on these guys, so I will link that here… but I LOVE these so much. Dark lips and Autumn just go hand in hand (ahem… like candles and Autumn.. FULL POST on that here too guys). I adore Vino Tinto as it is the right mix of berry and dark purple… it requires a little bit of practice to get a smooth application, but with a little bit of time and a good lip liner, it gives the most gorgeous, vampy finish.

Clothes

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  • Faux Fur

I always pull out the faux fur when the days start to get colder. Autumn is all about feeling cozy… and I like to feel snug when I am out as well as when I am inside. Having a faux fur scarf, coat or gilet means you can do EXACTLY that.. you literally feel like you have a blanket around you and I am all about that. I am one of these people that would go out in my PJ’s every single day if I could (I am not lazy.. I just like being comfy, hehe).

  • Tartan

Regardless of whether you like to follow trends or not.. I can guarantee that tartan prints (just like fur) will always be popular for Autumn. Whether that is a tartan scarf, dress or shirt… you will DEFINITELY feel Autumnal when you rock it. I picked this beautiful, ruffled top from Zara (which I have currently become obsessed with)… I have been rocking it with a grey or black top underneath and love the layered look it gives. ANOTHER thing I can start doing is LAYERING… I will probably do a whole separate post on this because I could babble on about that for ages HA.

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  • Pinafores

Ahhhhh PINAFORES.. I am so so so glad these came back into style this year because guys they are honestly one of the EASIEST things to style, both for work and casual wear. These two beauties are the ever so popular, £10 pinafores from Primark that EVERYBODY has become obsessed with. They are a gorgeous velvet/suede.. which again is HUGE for this season, and look fab with jumpers, button up shirts or t-shirts underneath. Seriously, if you do not have a pinafore yet.. GET YOURSELF ONE.

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Beauty

  • Lush Snow Fairy  – Shower Gel and Body Conditioner

Now this might be a little controversial because we all know Snow Fairy screams Christmas time.. but I am a LITTLE bit in love with it so I have already whipped it out and become obsessed with it ALL over again. I am sure you are familiar with the beautiful pink, candy floss scented range from Lush.. but if not and you love your sweet scents, you have to pick it up! This year.. Lush have released a Snow Fairy body conditioner which I have fallen in love with. I find it really helps prolong that lovely candyfloss scent and makes your skin feel so so soft!

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Another essential item is of course Lush bath bombs.. but I think they deserve a post all of their own right? I will definitely do a fave bath bombs post soon.. because there are SO many  that I love… in fact I could easily talk about each and every one ha!

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Thank you so much for reading this guys… do you have any essential items you love for Autumn time? Let me know… and I may find some new things to try too! I will see you all in my next one 🙂

Lots of Love,

Saira

xx

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Autumn Candle Collection – UNDER £10

Hey hey!

Hope you have had a fab week! Are all of you feeling autumnal yet? If not I can guarantee this post will help AND it will make you WANT to go shopping. I apologize in advance (hehe).

Now… if there is one thing that goes hand in hand… it is Autumn and candles. AM I RIGHT OR AM I RIGHT?  There is just something about getting in after a long day, getting into your PJ’s and lighting a candle. They just make you feel calm and relaxed… and most importantly.. SO FRICKIN’ COZY. I don’t know about you… but I love having a variation of candles to pick and choose from… sometimes I am feeling a fresh, clean scent (apple scented candles are AMAZING), and sometimes I fancy something a little on the spicier side (yep.. gingerbread I am looking STRAIGHT at you). Whichever you fancy… I have a candle JUST for you. So… pack away those summery, floral, pineapple scents.. and get yourself some spicy, pinecone-y (is that even a word) autumn-y candles.

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FYI.. everything I talk about is under a tenner.. and easy to find in your local homeware shops. Thank me later.

Wickford & Co

Where: Home Bargains

How Much: £2.99

Scents I Have: Gingerbread & Apple Cinnamon

This is probably the biggest bargain I found… I actually showed them in my recent haul and I am honestly obsessed. Gingerbread is a beautiful, spicy/sweet scent and literally makes your room smell like you have just baked a batch of gingerbread men. Apple Cinnamon smells exactly like apple pie… I can imagine your room would smell like a bakery at Autumn time if burnt at the same time. If you love your foodie scents (ahem.. my fave type of candle scent).. these are perfect. They also make a nice change to the usual vanilla cupcake/cookie scents that are popular.

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Village Candles

Where: Hallmark

How Much: £5.99 for a small jar (when on offer, usually I think they are £7)

Scents I Have: Crisp Apple & Peppermint Bark

If you want a candle that is an exact dupe of Yankee Candles… you need to get your hands on some of these guys… they are FAB! The scent of these is POWERFUL… you can definitely smell this one for hours after you have blown out the candle. Crisp apple is my fave for burning on a Saturday morning during Autumn time… I just feel like it sets the mood perfectly! Peppermint Bark is perfect for evenings when you are in your PJ’s with a hot chocolate.. feeling ALL cozy. I absolutely LOVE that about candles.. they really can help set an amazing atmosphere, whatever your mood!

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Essence Candles

Where: B&M

How Much: £2.99

Scent I Have: Brown Sugar Allspice

I desperately wanted to get more of these because they look absolutely stunning on your coffee table/dresser… but there was only one scent I liked! The jar and lid combination of this is just absolutely gorgeous (the lid is metal with leaves imprinted on it!)… It is practically a dupe of the Bath and Body Works candles! Now… I was not the biggest fan of this scent when I first tried it.. BUT it has definitely become a favourite of mine! It is the perfect mix of sweet and spicy… and just reminds me so much of a cinnamon hot chocolate! This candle is an amazing dupe for the BBW candles.. but literally at a fraction of the price! They unfortunately do not burn as evenly as the others… but the scent is just as good! I just WISH I could get my hands on more scents!

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Better Homes

Where: Home Bargains

How Much: £2.99

Scent I Have: Pomander & Pinecone

This is probably the spiciest candle of them all… and it literally makes your room smell like a forest at Autumn! I think this would make an amazing candle for your hallway.. so every single person that walks through your home gets the STUNNING scent of Autumn. The only way I can describe the scent is that potpourri that lived in a ceramic bowl when you were younger that had a mix of pinecones, dried leaves and oranges. Yum.

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SO…. these are all the candles I have picked up for Autumn.. I was so tempted to get more.. but I had to stop myself. After all, I’ll  be getting more for Christmas time right?

Thank you SO much for reading.. and let me know if you have picked up any candles for Autumn too! I’ll see you all in my next one!

Lots of Love,

Saira

xo

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