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 Β 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 πŸ™‚

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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!Β 

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

 

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How I Style: Blanket Scarves

Hey hey!

How is it so close toΒ Christmas ?! I can’t even believe how quick December is passing by … this year is almost over! I’ve already had my Christmas do at work, and have a few days at work before some time off! Honestly .. I’ve been enjoying my new job so much but my goodness do I need a break!

Anyway.. Winter is my favourite season (after Autumn that is)… I just love everything about it! I did a whole post if you want to know WHY I love it so much .. which you can check out here ! Anyway .. the fashion is one of the main reasons I love it!

Now … there are so many different fashion items this winter that I’ve been obsessed with (I’m planning a whole post on it actually!)… BUT there is one specific thing that I’ve not been able to be without, and honestly if you do not have one of these, you are missing out! They have been everywhere this season, and you can pick up so many different colours & styles.. and they are definitely an essential item. It is of course … blanket scarves!

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I have been so so obsessed with blanket scarves this year.. they are so easy to style up and instantly make you feel so cosy! There are so many ways to style it.. but I’ve been sticking to a regular way which has become my go to outfit on cold, winter-y days!

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This little beauty is from Primark .. WHO FYI have some gorgeous scarves.. and they are less then a tenner (!). My fave way to style then has just been draped over this beautiful ‘coatigan’ from Zara (which is a mix between a coat & a cardigan… it’s a word guys!). I feel SO cosy and warm.. and of course greys & blacks just go with everything!

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The boots are little stunners from Primark.. and honestly guys I fell in love with these as soon as I saw them! The quality is insane and they are SUCH a staple! I’ve noticed myself wearing them so much too… definitely pick them up if you spot them! I adore the detail of the zip on the side and the slight hint of snakeskin… they are definitely perfect for everyday :).

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So many of you will know that winter is my all time favourite season for fashion … just because I find it so effortless .. it’s all about layering and feeling comfy! This is why I think blanket scarves are perfect … all I do before heading out the door is drape one of them over my shoulders, or wrap around my neck and I am GOOD TO GO!

Coat: Zara
Scarf: Primark
Bag: LYDC
Boots: Primark

The whole point of this post (besides experimenting with my new camera & outfit pics!)… you NEED a blanket scarf this Winter. Get one πŸ™‚

Have an amazing weekend guys.. I am going to be spending mine making a gingerbread house, doing some shopping and getting inspiration for re-decorating my room! Sending you lots of love!

Love,

Saira

X

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!

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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

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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 Β£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

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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

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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

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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 Β£2… I HAD to have it.

Zoella Range

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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

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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 πŸ™‚

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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How to: Have the most relaxing evening EVER..

Hi all!

How has your week been so far? I can honestly say it has been very productive but TIRING guys! Starting a new job is hard… especially when it is something that you previously have no experience in whatsoever so every single thing you learn is something new and exciting. But do you know what.. I am happy and loving all the new things I am learning!

Have you been caught up in the storm we are having? It was the first time in ages that I had to literally run like a mad woman to my car after work yesterday because the rain was SO bad. Hope you’ve all stayed safe… let me tell you strong rain/winds can be JUST as scary to drive in than snow!

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So the idea for this post actually came to me a few nights ago before I went to bed.. and I honestly do not know why I have never written a post like this before. I am the biggest lover of relaxation, pampering, feeling cozy and having “me time”. Now, whether you have had a crappy day and need cheering up, or if you just fancy a few hours to yourself… I’m going to talk you through the things that are essential to me for a good old relaxing evening.. and ones that you should definitely try!

A good pair of PJ’s

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Let’s be honest guys.. who would ever feel comfortable in a pair of jeans that feel a little too tight around your tummy because of that extra pizza and cheeky cake you had? Girl.. get them OFF and chuck on your PJ’s… whether you are a fluffy or silky PJ lover… as long as they make you feel good & comfortable… they are the FIRST step. Put them on and you instantly feel relaxed. Trust me. The best place to pick up cute PJ’s (besides Primark … which FYI is where my onesie is from).. your local Asda. Guys.. I got some fluffy reindeer print bottoms and a REINDEER DRESSING GOWN WITH ANTLERS AND EARS.

Get those candles lit

Turn off your main lights, and get a lamp & your favourite candles lit. It instantly creates such a relaxing ambience, not to mention making your house smell bloody amazing. You try and tell me someone who can have a proper relaxed evening without candles? Nope.. it just doesn’t happen… the pair go hand in hand guys.

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Make-up OFF

The easiest/quickest way to take your makeup off when you have had a poopy day? Micellar water. Usually, I would use a cleansing balm and melt all my makeup off.. but when I just want to relax.. I break out the micellar water. It’s quick, effective and requires literally zero effort.. perfect for when you are fed up/tired.

Hot baths

When I have had a crappy day… there is nothing better than picking out some Lush bath bombs and fixing up a right bath cocktail for me to relax in for the next 45 minutes. It is the perfect time to clear your mind, forget about the world and just focus on yourself. Slap on some deep conditioner and a face mask and let them do all the work. Also quick tip guys.. keep our PJ’s/dressing gown on the radiator whilst you are in the bath so they are all toasty for you when you put them on. If ONLY they stayed that warm.

Moisturize

I think this is a definite when it comes to relaxing as it is like giving yourself a personal massage AND it makes your skin feel amazing. My favourite for YEARS had been the Palmers solid formula cocoa butter.. but recently I have been obsessed with the Lush massage bars (the love heart one that smells like chocolate is my FAVE). I find them SO easy to use and they make my skin super soft.. AND smell delish.

Good skincare routine

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Going all out with my skincare routine really helps me wind down and also makes me feel so so much better. I can always tell the difference in how my skin looks & how well my makeup applies/stays on when I have done a really good routine the night before. This means a good cleanse (using none other than the Liz Earle C&P… If you have not tried this guys you have not experienced a proper hot cloth cleanse.. I LOVE this stuff). It also has hints of lavender in it.. which we all know is perfect to relax you ey? I always use a facial oil, eye cream and a good moisturizer on these particular days.. they really do make all the difference in how fricking gorgeous your skin looks.

Have a drink

Now I am talking hot chocolate with plenty of marshmallows or something a little bit more herbal. There are so many types of tea out there.. fruit tea, peppermint tea, green tea.. you have so many to pick from but I can guarantee they will make you feel so relaxed. My favourite has to be either green or peppermint tea.. both of which help with any bloating you may have which can be uncomfortable!

Gather up the pillows & blankets

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Make yourself as comfortable as possible with your favourite blanket & plenty of pillows. Grab your laptop (or a book… whichever you fancy) and spend as long as you want watching your favourite series/reading. My favourite thing to watch at the minute is Friends… although it is making me want to move to NYC SO bad! Make sure to switch off the computer at least half an hour before you go to bed so your well needed sleep isn’t disrupted!

Put that bloody phone away

As hard as it may be… once you settle down ready to get some zzzzz’s, you need to avoid picking up your phone. Use it to set your alarm and PUT IT AWAY. All that action on social media & the staring at your bright screen will trick your brain into thinking it is no longer time to sleep.. which could lead to you struggling to get some shut eye (NOT what we want after our relaxing evening).

Use a Pillow Mist

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Last thing I do… but definitely one of the biggest essentials! I have literally fallen in LOVE with pillow mists.. I used to use one a few years ago, but once it ran out I never bothered to pick up a new one (I do not know why I didn’t either!). I bloody love these things… I have one from Avon that I spray all over my pillow before I settle down to sleep and I find it relaxes me so so much. I definitely recommend picking one up… I find they do an amazing job at just setting you up for sleep (if that makes sense!).

So there we have it.. all the essentials you need to have the BEST relaxing evening ever. Once winter comes around (ahem.. which it definitely has), I like to do this routine at least twice a week… and it gives you a little something to look forward to during the week if work/school/life stresses you out!Β 

I will see you all in my next posts guys. FYI.. I have ordered an Olympus Pen (eeeeeek.. FINALLY!), so hopefully I should be filming more YT videos and doing more blog posts. I really have missed you all .. let me know how life is for you and if anything exciting is happening!

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!

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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

Β 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

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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 πŸ™‚

SO MANY FESTIVITIES

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

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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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