5 Great Christmas Presents

8 December 2015

The holiday season means great fun for everyone which includes not only receiving gifts but giving them as well! I always talk about beauty, jewellery and stylish gifts so thought I'd share some more technical and fun gift ideas and help take the guesswork out of your holiday shopping by learning which items are sure to be hit with that someone special!

christmas do outfit shopping

7 December 2015

Chriiiistmas time! Mistletoe and wine... Lots of wine. Party season is here so it's time to pick out your party outfit of the year, the outfit to top all others - unless you happened upon a wedding dress this year in which case, second best is fine. I've been shopping for one particular event and I've come up with 3 quite different styles, all of which I'd love to rock!

outfit one
Image Map Black Caged Heels Black enamel ring set Gold bracelet Bodycon black dress Gold fringe ear cuff Gold hexagon earrings Gold cut out ring

metallic shoe shopping

1 December 2015

It's no secret that I've become pretty obsessed with metallics so for me it's now only natural that I would source and share lots of pretty shiny shoes! Especially seeing as we're getting seriously close to Christmas and there are festive-do's happening pretty much every weekend at the moment. If you ask me I think we all need some sparkle in our lives and on our feet.

my christmas wish list #4: beauty

30 November 2015

Beauty products are a really personal thing so can be one of the hardest things to buy as a gift for another person. Sometimes people have a single makeup brand that they love almost everything from so it's easy to pick out a product or two, like my mum with Clinique. But some people like more variety, or they just know what they like from trying and testing so many things - This is me. I love Benefit face products but not so keen on the eye and lip items, for eye shadows and cream base pots I prefer Mac, pencils NYX and brows Anastasia Beverly Hills. It's helpful to give ideas of brands/stores for gift cards or direct links to your makeup and skincare staples with shades and names, kinda like I've done in this post. :)

Image Map Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz Laura Geller Eye Calligraphy Set Essie nail polish Essie nail polish Essie nail polish Essie nail polish Benefit Hello Flawless powder Benefit Hoola bronzer Benefit Benetint cheek tint Garnier BB Cream Ciate London glitter Ciate London rose gold metal

thoughts on mio skincare

24 November 2015

Skincare is one of those things that we all do (or atleast we should do) so I often find myself picking up new brands depending on offers or if they're new. I'd only heard of Mio because of Mama Mio which is skincare specific to pregnant women, a friend mentioned how much they liked using Mama Mio so I thought the everyday skincare range was worth taking a look at and opted for an all round skincare regime to replace some empties.

my christmas wish list #3: fashion & accessories

22 November 2015

This wishlist could have been so so much bigger, especially since my trip into town on the weekend allowed me to discover so many beautiful new-in season items. New Look especially caught my eye to the point of wanting to walk out with arm loads of goodies from suede calf boots to beaded clutch bags - I want all the stuffs!

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The November #LFBeautyBox

20 November 2015

The second of the limited edition beauty boxes arrived and it's great. With a box just as gorgeous as the first and equally great contents I'm pretty impressed with the LFBeautyBox and can see myself renewing even after my 3 month subscription ends.

my christmas wish list #2: home decor

17 November 2015

More and more often I'm choosing to browse the homeware section of the likes of Zara, H&M, Asda, Next and more rather than the fashion departments. I think since we've been going through the process of buying our house I've become much more receptive to decorating it myself and injecting some of my personality into the rooms. At the moment a lot of the things in our home were bought on the cheap to fill a gap or gifted and lent to us while we didn't have the funds for new things but now I'm ready to move forward with a real plan for our decor and the theme of each room.

I've pulled together some of the things I'm loving from my go-to online homeware shops, things which I hope will still be available if I don't happen to receive them as Christmas gifts! ;)

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shopping the shoe sales

16 November 2015

I've come across some beautiful things in the end of season sales that are going on all over, shoes grabbing the most of my attention. So it's heels that I've focussed on in this post because if I could own every pair of these on-sale shoes I would. Each pair of pretties that I've found and put into this post is under £30. I've also linked the image so that if you click the pair of shoes you want then you'll find it'll take you straight to them! :)

Image Map

little things & happy distractions : october

12 November 2015

This months post is more about items than distractions, beauty products mostly and that's because I haven't been able to find that many distractions from the mounds of work and planning I've been doing. Aside from a glass of wine and tv shows on in the background it's been all about getting-on-with-it this past month so the things I've pulled out for this post are beauty items and pretty things in my home.

my christmas wish list #1: stationery & things

7 November 2015

I love a bit of stationery and almost everyone craves after gold and rose gold goodies as well as cute animals so it's a good thing that my first proper christmas wish list is full of them! From unicorn pens to swearing notepads.. I want all of this stationery good-ness.

gold glitter bath time

6 November 2015

It's been so lovely to rediscover my love of baths and it's all thanks to the Lush Halloween and Christmas products. The ethical buying of Lush cosmetics makes me feel much less guilty when shopping and being indulgent than if looking at other cosmetics.I thought I'd share some of the products I'm trying lately because some of these products could make lovely Christmas gifts.

Christmas gift ideas

25 October 2015

Each year I knock out a handful of wishlists and gift idea posts for Christmas and as I've already started buying this years presents for my friends and family I thought I'd share some of the fab things I've come across along the way. This post is full of a mix of items including makeup, home decor and foods - a good combination to start the process of Christmas gift shopping I think!

My first #LFBeautyBox - the October

24 October 2015

It's been some time since I bought a beauty box let alone a subscription to one so on ordering the Look Fantastic beauty box I awaited my surprise contents almost nervously. My parcel arrived within days of purchasing a subscription online and I'm more than satisfied with the contents, the service and of course, the packaging.

planning a wedding countdown calendar gift

21 October 2015

This post has been a long time coming, since June actually because the countdown began way back then, 3 months before my best friends wedding. On 14th June 2015 I presented my best friend with a pretty box full of wrapped gifts, all dated so that she would have a collection of beautiful and useful things to unwrap in the lead up to her big day!

a very lush christmas

17 October 2015

I've been a fan of Lush products for a very long time so it's always nice when I get invited along to my local in Plymouth for a get together and fun evening talking about the wonderful things they do.

Lush at Christmas time is such a wonderful thing! Every year they release fab gift sets alongside amazing new products that we can't help fall in love with. I was lucky enough to be introduced to and to smell most of this years Christmas range as well as some halloween themed treats. As always everything smells and looks awesome so I took lots of photographs but you'll need to go in-store to witness the scents.

This years have a great variety of designs, shapes, sizes and containers including knot wrap boxes, reuseable storage tins and interactive boxes like the wind up 'Christmas Wishes' tin and 'Human Cannonball' cracker opening gift.

My Autumn Boots Need-list

20 September 2015

Fall is upon us! As one of my favourite seasons I look forward to autumn shopping because it's a brilliant excuse to stock up on new boots and grow my collection. The ankle boots, calf boots and knee high boots obsession lives on and I'm convinced that I won't be happy until I have a wall full of them! Quite literally if my interior plans work out. :)  I realised yesterday that I had put 9 pairs of boots in my shopping cart on Spartoo with the view to purchasing them all. I know that is pretty ridiculous but I can't help myself, especially when they're such bargain finds.

I require (yes I actually NEED) a new pair of dark brown boots suitable for both work and casual weekend wear which is why this blog posts is more of a 'need-list' than a 'wishlist'. Ideally they need to sit high enough up my calf to cover the base of my jeans but I wouldn't class them as calf boots necessarily. They need to be a cross between calf boots and ankle boots in order to be my perfect 'everyday' shoes so I've been having a good hunt around my favourite online shoe store.

The problem is, when you browse a website that has so many pairs (over 25,000 shoes just for women) it's easy to get distracted from your mission...

craving: succulent khaki

30 August 2015

I fancy khaki. There, I said it. Khaki green plants and fluffy green cushions right down to fitted midi skirts and shimmering nail polish, I want them all on and around me. :D

Because of this I've put together a little wishlist, much smaller than my usual bulk of products that I use to create a collage and I've also put it together in a different style, I hope you like!

My house remodelling inspiration

24 August 2015

I'm really into interiors at the moment so I've been reading lots of blogs, pinning ev-e-ry-thing and drooling over inspirational sites. I find myself shopping more for the home than for myself which is really odd but I kinda like it!  I think I've got to the point of my life where because the mortgage of our house is finally going through we can actually start thinking about what we really want our home to be, too look like and to feel like. At the moment it's just the house we live in, the house Shaun's grandparents bought and lived it when it was built and that his mum grew up in from about the age of 7. It's lovely but there are changes, or rather 'improvements' that we'd like to make, not only to bring it up to date and maintain the house and all of it's amenities but also to modernise it in terms of the decor. We have redecorated 3 rooms so far (though something has to be done about the wardrobe in our room - Shaun picked that by himself!).

We're currently in the middle of sorting the bathroom out and next will be my wardrobe room. :D
Because of this I have been scouring the interwebs for decoration ideas only to find some amazing sites and images that have been so inspirational to my final idea. Below are a few images I've come across that have ultimately inspired me to decorate my dressing room a certain way.


craving: wedding guest shoes

6 July 2015

We're well into wedding season now, with ceremonies going on left right and centre of me, there's so much to celebrate and so many outfits to think about! Shoes have been my biggest fret whilst getting ready in recent months. I've had a right mare trying to pick out wedding appropriate formal shoes because I have just one choice really; black Kurt Geiger peep toe bow sandals, that's it. Any of my other heels are either more suitable for a clubbing night out and have actually been worn for such an occasion meaning they're a bit roughed up, or other shoes I have are chunky heeled or platform wedges more suitable for a casual event than a wedding. So as usual I've spent some time doing a spot of shopping for my favourite thing. :)

festival footwear

26 June 2015

When planning a festival outfit I would bet that a lot of people don't consider their shoes to be of high importance but for me it's the item that I would pick first. Think about it, festivals tend to be a bit muddy wet and gross, you're going to be on your feet for most of the time and maybe wearing the same footwear for a couple of days unless you fancy taking a spare pair. It's actually the item of highest priority to me because of all this, if your feet aren't comfy then you may not have as much of an awesome time as you could. Because of all of this your chosen footwear should be waterproof, comfortable and obviously look good!

April Degustabox Review

12 June 2015

I know this was way back in April and the month is now June but life has taken over all of my available blogging time so here is my delayed (but maybe worth it) review of the April Degustabox! Yummy. :)

Considering my removal of certain things from my diet I didn't eat all of these but relied on the guys as my food and drink testers to taste the things that I couldn't enjoy for myself, it's a hard job but the rose to occasion and drank beer and energy drinks for me.. Someone had to! The April Degustabox was an international themed selection of goodies and mine contained items from both the alcohol and non-alcohol box including a selection of sweet and savoury items so here's a break down of what was in the box and what we thought.

you think you've had a bad day

9 June 2015

I've had a bit of a weird day today, beginning with an earlier start to day which in my experience isn't usually a good thing. I sat down in Costa and an old man decided to sit opposite me and stared whilst I quietly sipped on my cappuccino and practiced my theory test. I then spilled coffee down my white fabric biker coat and proceeded to fail the hazard perception part of my driving theory test, and all of that was just this morning! Picking yourself back up is a skill and yes I've had a fairly miserable morning really but I try to do a number of things to get past crappy moments like this because I know that it could be worse! So I'll eat or drink something that makes me feel good, (like a peppermint tea and a cinnamon swirl) then I'll avoid things that may anger me (e.g. certain horrific twitter hashtag conversations and ungrateful people) and then I look at the good things that are going on around me and on the web. Good news is worth watching and how people help one-another get out of a bad space is so impressive and incredibly moving. I've come across a campaign for children to have safe summer holidays and it's lovely. It's about pulling under-privileged kids out of a miserable time and letting them have some fun - even if it's just getting to experience a day at the beach. As well as the good it does to pull them away from a damaging home life I feel like this is such an important part of growing up because not only are you enjoying yourself when 'on holiday' you're also experiencing different surrounding and situations that you likely wouldn't have before. I also think it's good to be away from your parents from time to time, and not just by going to school, because it gains independence. Most importantly this campaign is targeting vulnerable children who are facing a living nightmare during the summer holidays due to neglect, abuse and other truly horrible living circumstances. It's not fair that these children should have to miss out on important life experiences as well as dealing with such a negative environment when at home! Not fair at all! This video is one that has moved me and whilst it's a truly terrible thing children are going through, campaigns like this one by businesses like 'Kids Company' are a great step in the right direction.

They say that every penny counts when donating to charity and it's true but with this Safe Summer Appeal, every penny counts twice(!) because thanks to The Childhood Trust each donation will be doubled.

I encourage you to watch this video and then if you feel the same way as I do, here's the donate button. It takes no time at all.

Thanks for reading.

♥ abby

craving: new look dresses

26 May 2015

New Look dresses are some of the most cost effective, pretty and on trend pieces on the high street. The store is easily my go-to when wandering around town for up to date style to add to my wardrobe as it never really breaks the bank - unless I buy too much at once!

healthy eating and why it's awesome for me

22 May 2015

I've been incredibly lazy for the last month and a half. I've really slacked in my exercise routine as well as with food. It's really effected me mentally and physically so I've made the decision to get back into the routine I was in before we went to America. Last week I encouraged myself to exercise again and eat the meals I used to eat a lot then this week I've been cutting things out of my diet again. So no more crisps, no coffee, different milk, no snacking, no chocolate. That may seem a bit strict but I will not miss these things, none of them, and I'll be so much happier and healthier for doing it.

rose gold summer sandals

20 May 2015

Over the last week or so I've felt like summer is so far away what with the weather being really quite awful down here. With no real sign of things improving it hasn't stopped me from dreaming about footwear for the warmer weather that is set to come (hopefully) and in my dreams I may have ordered a couple of great looking pairs of shoes and sandals for summer. oops.. I know it's not hot and I'm sorry but I couldn't wait to share these with you, besides, there's nothing wrong with being prepared!

Tasting the new Yo!Sushi menu

17 May 2015

Myself and a friend recently attended a fab VIP evening at our local Yo! Sushi where we got to give some amazing new additions to their menu. I'm a massive fan of Yo! anyway, ever since I took part in a masterclass at the Plymouth restaurant late last year (You can see a zillion photos of the experience here.)

USA shopping haul

26 April 2015

The place we visit in Colorado doesn't have the usual suspects of American stores that are great to visit so whilst we fly into Denver and that has a Forever21 and a Sephora, out near where we stay in Vail it's an hours drive to Target and an outlet village.

I bought a few fashion pieces from the outlets as well as some much loved beauty bits from Target and the local City Market and thought I'd give you a breakdown of them including costs because it's so different out there!

summer shoes wishlist

19 April 2015

We came back from Colorado to beautiful weather here in Devon, it almost feels like summer is here already and I'm so unprepared. Before we left three weeks ago the weather was pretty dismal and it was far from warm, my winter clothes were still out, I wore a coat every day and carried around an umbrella but now all of a sudden I don't need any of that. I'm reaching for lighter clothes and sandals instead of heavy boots, It's a bizarre transition that's for sure so I've quickly been reminded of my lack of open shoes, hence this wishlist!

Summer Shoe Wishlist

little things I love & happy distractions: march

6 April 2015

I'm currently on holiday 'Shoop Shoop Shooping' but I prepped my March favourites post for you anyway!Although there isn't a book included in these Happy Distractions I have been continuing to read the Game of Thrones series, I just thought you may be bored of hearing me talk about it.

#abzski fitness - my workout routine

1 April 2015

You may be aware that the time has finally come, I'm off skiing right now (maybe even as you're reading this). It seems as though I've been preparing for this holiday for a long time and it's true because I've been trying to get myself back into shape for the mountain. Seeing as I tool a fall down the stairs almost 2 years ago and damaged my coxis it's been important for my to strengthen my back, alongside this I've felt the need to strengthen my knees, my legs generally and increase my stamina so I thought I'd show you some parts to my workout regime.

what's in my long-haul flight carry on #abzski

25 March 2015

We fly out in a few days and I'm packed and ready. My hold-all luggage and my carry on are sat waiting to go which I know is sad but I really like to be prepared and not be faffing around last minute wondering where my gloves are or if I've remembered to take my lip balm. So I've been writing a list or two since the beginning of the month to make sure that I have all of the right gear and then over the last week I've sorted everything out and packed it.

what's in my ski holiday luggage #abzski

22 March 2015

Aside from the two bikini's I've just packed this holiday pack list couldn't be any further away from my summer holiday suitcase blog post from last year. This one is jam packed full of waterproof and cosy good-ness which is why I thought I'd blog my packing list for my ski holiday coming up as part of the #abzski series I've been writing. Today I started packing into my wonderful new Animal and Dakine luggage because we leave in a week! (Eeek!) I pulled out all of my ski gear, a handful of hats and my base layers then as this week goes by I'll gradually pack my everyday clothes along with my toiletries and shoes and so on. So here's the full list..

craving: H&M accessories

21 March 2015

I can't get over how much of the h&m accessories range I just put in my online basket, it's a little ridiculous. They have so many beautiful pieces of jewellery, detailed leather bags and awesome boots and heels.

Lush product reviews part 1

Last weeks Lush event sent me away with some wonderful goodies including a body spray, bubble bar and shower jelly as well as other pretties that I wanted to try and needed to repurchase.

#abzski health kick: food to keep you on track

19 March 2015

Last week I was talking with a friend about the food I love to eat and it was at that point that I realised how much my diet has changed for the better over recent years. Because of this I thought I'd talk about some of the meals and food that I love to eat and how they help me to stay healthy and feel good. Before I do I'd like to stress that I'm not an expert on nutrition, exercise or anything else and I'm not vegetarian, vegan or anything like that. I like a wide range of food from around the world am and always looking for new things to try. I do however have a problem where I can't eat certain foods and I can only take others in small doses. For example certain types of dairy are becoming a no-no for me and I can't ingest more than one acidic item a day, i.e. an orange or something spicy.

an evening at #LushPlymouth

16 March 2015

Last Tuesday I got to attend my second ever local blogger event. I've been to a few brand events and meet ups before but they hardly ever happen local to me. The evening was set to be full of beautiful smells, ethically sound products and an introduction to both the Mother's Day and Easter gift collections as well as some of the perfumes.

glitter nail obsession

12 March 2015

I can't seem to wear normal plain ol' coloured nail varnish alone on my nails anymore, for a long time I've always had a feature glitter nail, full glitter manicure or some sort of glitter nail art adorning my little fingers.

craving: white dresses

11 March 2015

I'm drawn to white every time I shop, it's pure, clean and simple so whilst I'm loving dresses a hell of a lot at the moment I thought it was only suitable to create another white dresses wishlist.

craving: an affordable handbag

26 February 2015

Since an incident which occurred last week where a strap snapped clean off my everyday bag I've been more desperate for a new, pretty and functional handbag than ever. I'm looking for one that won't give way and that can take the heat so my instant thought was River Island and then of course ASOS.

l'oreal professional steampod review

23 February 2015

I haven't been wearing my hair straight very often of late and that's mostly been down to the weather and longevity of my hair staying straight. Normally when I straighten my hair it bounces back up again within minutes of leaving the house, I've tried all sorts to prevent this from happening from hairspray to hair masks and extra special heat protection sprays nothing has worked in my favour. At least until now. I'm super excited about this product because it has allowed me to have a different hair style during colder months besides my usual natural messy waves.

birthday gift menswear haulin'

17 February 2015

It was Shaun's birthday at the beginning of the month and for some of his gifts I decided to take my own advice and go on a mens clothing binge at one of my go-to online shops, Spartoo. I bought a small selection of things that I knew Shaun would love and that he needed. Though he didn't know he needed them, for instance the leather belt he was wearing daily was looking quite worse for wear and I thought it was about time he had his own jogging bottoms so that he stopped borrowing mine!

craving: co-ords

16 February 2015

I'm becoming obsessed with co-ordinates again. Blacks, white and neutral beauties are adorning my fashion wishlists and 'if only' online shopping baskets. All of the above co-ord sets are from Missguided and Boohoo, well two are from Boohoo and the rest are MG which is no surprise really, I'm always scouring the new-in section for their co-ordinates and they always come through with gorgeous pieces in flattering cuts and on trend styles.