New Year, Same Me

Every year I make the same New Year’s resolutions like eating healthier, doing more work, buying less makeup etc and every year I never stick to them. It’s only now that I realised that I’m making the wrong approach. So this year, rather than making resolutions of what I will do in the New year, I’m making resolutions to help me become the happiest me I can be for many years to come.

I hope 2017 brings you all joy,

Happy New Year,

Love, Chloe

  1. Stop stressing over work.
  • I’m one of those people who constantly stress over getting good grades and doing well in school and university and it often causes me to stress to the point where I’m unhappy and wishing for it to all be over, as well as contemplating what I’ve done with my life for the past few years.
  • This year I’m thinking differently. Yes, it’s good to aim for the best you can do when it comes to Uni/school but grades aren’t everything. Don’t push yourself so hard that all you ever do is work. For me, I’m constantly worried about getting a good degree mark, therefore when it comes to exams I try and cram in so much stuff that I forget why I’m even studying it. It’s so important to have a balance in life to keep you happy and healthy. This means taking days off work or revision to watch movies or see your friends. You don’t want to be working so hard that you start to hate what you’re doing. A degree is a degree. It doesn’t define you as a person. A degree is helpful for many jobs, yes, but at the end of the day, it’s not a requirement to live your life to its full potential. So if you’re like me and stress a lot, try and think about the bigger picture. Life will go on even if you don’t get a 1st-grade mark in your exams. All you can do is try your best with the situation you have.
  1. Save more money.
  • This may be a typical resolution but it means a lot to me. All I’ve ever wanted to do it travel around the world, and I’ve been so blessed with a number of opportunities my parents have given me so far. But, now it’s time for me to take over. I’m an adult now and I need to start saving my own money so that I can do what I want with it. I plan on travelling as much as possible, and in the new year, I want to save up for my future adventures around the world. It’ll be hard considering every time I have money I tend to spend it on makeup or food, but I’ll give it my best shot.
  1. Spend more time with friends and family.
  • I spend a lot of time with my friends and family anyway, but I think this year has really hit me on how much they mean to me. So many iconic legends have passed away this year that I can’t help but think of how anything can happen to any one of us. I hate thinking of death, but with all these incidents it’s hard not to. I want to make the most of the moments I have with my friends and family and appreciate all that they do for me. This is more of a given, but sometimes it takes a kick in the face to realise that all the little arguments you have now and then are really nothing compared to all the good times you have.

Best Moments of 2016

If there’s one thing I love, it’s looking back at old photos and reminiscing on times I’ve had. 2016 was a pretty good year for me and I’m hoping 2017 will be even better! So here’s a few of my favourite moments of 2016 (almost all will probably be about travelling):

  1. South Africa – It was mine and my boyfriend’s (shout out to Rhys) first proper holiday abroad together and I was so happy that I got to take him to my home city Cape Town to meet all my family and experience the city. It was one of my favourite holidays to date and I’m so happy I got the chance to see all my family again and have Rhys beside me. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset
  2. Amsterdam – I was so happy to go back to Amsterdam this year. It’s one of my favourite cities and I got to go with my oldest friend Sam (previously mentioned in my inter-railing blog and my biggest fan – Hi Sam). We had one of the best trips and would 100% go back there again together in the future! We got to do all the touristy stuff because it was Sam’s first time as well as just exploring. Not to mention the bar crawl and stumbling back to our hostel at 6 am.19
  3. Seeing My Best Friend’s Shows – Emily has had a pretty successful year for her acting career and these were definitely some of my favourite moments. Emily is my best friend and we spend the longest times away from each other because we’re both so busy. So the days I get to go and see her shows are also the days I get to spend time with her and catch-up with her. I tend to miss her a lot.20160621_145134000_ios
  4. Rhys’ Birthday Weekend – For Rhys’ 20th birthday present this year I took him away on a mini-break to a little village in Cornwall. We had the most amazing time, it was so peaceful and quiet and the perfect break from university deadlines. Our little hut overlooked the sea and was hidden away in its own little forest. Bliss.Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
  5. Starting This Blog – I was so hesitant about starting this blog because I didn’t know if I would be any good or if I’d have enough content to write about. I had been wanting to write it for a while and I’m so glad I did. I have such an amazing support system of family and friends that all tell me if they’re enjoying my posts. Starting the blog has given me an escape from all the work and stress of life and it’s particularly therapeutic.

 

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Guide To Inter-railing

I love to travel, it’s a huge passion of mine and if I had the money I would travel all around the world. I had the privilege of travelling around a few different cities across Europe with my best friend Emily back in 2015. This post may be a bit long, but it may also help you if you plan to go travelling anytime soon! I’m taking you on a journey to the places we visited and we’ll be having a look at how we managed our money and what we did!

Here is my guide to inter-railing on a budget (it’s a long post, I’m sorry)

Love, Chloe

Planning:

This is a particularly important thing when travelling to set places. If you’re going backpacking around the world then this is less important, but because we had a schedule to stick to, planning was our best friend. Here is an idea of what to do:

  • We bought a 15 day inter-rail Global pass from interrail.eu. This pass allows you train access between 30 different countries in Europe and the pass is activated when you travel on a train between a non-home country to the next. Therefore, we booked flights to our first location and from our final location so that we could extend our trip to around 21 days, by staying longer in the first and last destination (this is harder to explain than I thought it would be)
  • **WARNING** some trains in different countries in Europe require seat reservations in order for you to get on. These are additional costs that are not included in the inter-rail pass cost. We weren’t aware of this and ended up with £200 worth of extra costs.
  • The inter-rail package arrived all packed with a map, the pass and a form for you to fill in on every train you get on. Using the map, we planned out our journey.
  • Make sure to note the times it takes to travel between countries because you don’t want to miss out on a day in a country because you forgot that it’s a 7hr train to the next. A lot of journeys offer overnight trains which are handy in order to make the most of your time in each place.
  • Make sure to do some research into the countries you want to visit. Western-European countries tend to be more expensive than Eastern-European countries, however, prices will vary from place to place.
  • numbeo.com allows you to enter a city of your choice and provides you with general costs in that city to give you an idea as to how much you’ll be spending. It gives you estimates on food and drink prices, transportation, accommodation and more.
  • Once you figure out where you’d like to visit, try and make a budget for each country for you to stick to. This doesn’t have to be specific, but more of a rough estimate. I kept a notes page on my phone as we went to each different country and wrote down an estimate of what I spent so I could keep up with my budgeting.
  • Look into which activities you really want to do that may cost you extra. I suggest you budget for things such as boat tours or museum visits into your plan. Again, I kept all this information on a notes page or a book so I knew what we planned on doing.
  • When you know where you want to go, plan your order. By looking at the different times it takes to get from country to country, you can plan out the easiest route to take.

 

Packing:

It’s important not to over pack when going inter-railing, because you have to lug your bag around with you on trains, and whilst getting to your accommodation in each country. I would highly recommend taking a backpack as its easier to shove into small spaces on a train as well as being easier to carry around. Do not pack unnecessary things and remember that you will have access to washing facilities so you can re-use your clothes (it’s also easy enough to hand wash some stuff such as underwear). Here’s what I packed:

  • 10 pairs approx. of underwear (they can be folded and shoved into tiny spaces so lots of underwear isn’t a problem).
  • A couple of tops
  • Leggings
  • Shorts
  • Pair of flip-flops (they can be folded or easily fit in the side of the bag)
  • Pair of flat shoes
  • Pair of shoes for walking
  • Minimal make-up (I hardly wore it on the trip so it probably wasn’t necessary)
  • Travel toiletries
  • Microtowel – fits into your pocket and dries about 10x faster than a normal towel
  • Lighter
  • Money, passport and important travel and accommodation documents
  • Lock (almost all hostels provide lockers for you to put your bags in, you have to bring your own lock or pay for one at reception)

 

Accommodation:

The best places to stay when travelling on a budget are hostels. We booked all of our hostels on http://www.hostelworld.com. You can also stay in other people’s homes using www.Airbnb.com. Both websites have apps that you can use on your travels so you can keep up with your bookings on the go. Hostels can be as cheap as £5/6 a night, but the average we paid was around £14 a night (still probably 3/4 of the price of a hotel).  Look into reviews of different hostels in the places you’re visiting. Our main concern was safety, so we looked into places with the highest reviews for safety. Hostels are better than hotels in many ways, as they only tend to have 1 or 2 social areas it allows you to meet new people and interact so easily. Throw yourself in and learn about other people’s experiences.

 

Food and Drink:

It’s all great when you’re dining in a restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner on holiday, but this is unrealistic when travelling on a budget. Although some restaurants can be cheap, you’re better off budgeting yourself to having only a couple of restaurant meals. The great thing about hostels is that they have public kitchens for you to use. The majority of the food we had involved going to the supermarket and picking up ingredients and then cooking at the hostel. This is a great way to save money and get to know more people. Make sure to stay hydrated when travelling around the cities so be sure to carry a water bottle or two around with you. If you’re a drinker, look online to find out what the cheapest drinks are in that country (it tends to be beer or wine).

 

Stop 1: Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Accommodation – The Iron Horse Hotel. This is the only hotel we stayed in on our trip as we were late to booking accommodation and so many hostels were booked up. It was also a similar price to what the available hostels were charging. Great hotel with a good location (almost everywhere in Amsterdam is walking distance).

Activities – there is so much to do in Amsterdam and we tried to do as much of it as possible. We paid a visit to the sex museum, took a boat tour along the canals and went to visit the red light district. However, the best part for me was the parks. We hired bikes and picked up things for a picnic in the local supermarket. We then rode to Vondelpark and spent hours just riding round, exploring, eating and sunbathing (it was quite warm when we went). Another special moment was visiting the Anne Frank museum. If you haven’t seen it, you need to. It was such an eye-opening experience. One of those things you only do once but are so much better for it (be sure to get there at a good time because the queues are loooong). Go for a walk in the evening, when the city comes to life with lights. The canals are lit up and the neon lights shine through, a sight to see. I went back to Amsterdam recently with my oldest friend Sam and got to experience the amazing city all over again. 100% recommend.

*p.s – there is the best burger place ever in Amsterdam called Burgerlijk, I went back again when I went with Sam and I 100% recommend going there.

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Stop 2: Berlin, Germany.

We weren’t the biggest fans of Berlin. I’m not sure if it was because it was raining 90% of the time or because we arrived there at 4am and had to wait outside for 3 hours before any buses ran.

Accommodation – The Cat’s Pyjama’s Hostel. Great hostel, breakfast was included and the staff were good.

Activities – My favourite part of the trip was doing a free walking tour around the city. We did a street art walking tour and it was incredible. The different artists making their marks on different parts of the city and even stories of how Banksy’s art was sawed out of a brick wall when it once appeared in the city. Apart from visiting the centre and the main tourist attractions of the city, we had a peaceful time here and spent our evenings in cute bars we found near our hostel.

Stop 3: Warsaw, Poland.

Poland is one of the most budget-friendly countries we’ve ever been to. Everything was so cheap and the city was beautiful.

Accommodation – Warsaw Downtown hostel. Again, a lovely hostel with great staff.

Activities – we went on a normal free city walking tour here and our favourite part was visiting the old town. The houses resemble those in Amsterdam and the town is flooded with locals selling their work/produce in markets. Warsaw was more of a stopover on the way to Krakow, but we had a great time regardless.

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Stop 4: Krakow, Poland.

This was one of our favourite stops and we met the nicest people at our hostel.

Accommodation – Mundo Hostel. They made us pancakes on arrival (best welcome ever) and the people were lovely.

Activities – we had two main activities planned when coming here. Firstly, was the Wieliczka Salt Mines. We descended down 350 stairs and made our way through the mines where you could literally lick the walls as they were pure salt. There were some beautiful views and rooms. Secondly was visiting Auschwitz. It was important to the both of us that we went and I’m definitely glad we did. One of the saddest but most incredible days. It was such an eye-opener to see physical evidence of the traumatic events that went on and to be able to pay our respects to all those lost during those awful times.

Stop 5: Vienna, Austria.

Austria is not a very budget friendly country. We found ourselves paying more for everything here than anywhere else on our travels. However, the city is stunning and the views on the train alone travelling into the country are enough to sell it to you.

Accommodation – Wombats City Hostel. Great hostel, amazing location right next to a big market and you get a coupon for a free drink on arrival. Win win.

Activities – We didn’t do much in Vienna except wander round the city. We didn’t want to spend a lot of money here because we knew everything was more expensive. So we spent the majority of our time on walks taking in the views.

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Stop 6: Salzburg, Austria.

The views in this city are incredible and be prepared to do a lot of walking because there’s a lot to do.

Accommodation: Summer Hostel. Another great hostel.

Activities: the main reason we went to Salzburg was to explore the grounds of the location in which the Sound of Music was filmed. Emily was fan girling so hard and so was everyone else. And so they should be. The location is beautiful and there are so many gardens to explore.

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Stop 7: Bled, Slovenia.

Probably one of the best destinations I have ever been to. Perfect for a mini break during the summer.

Accommodation: Ace of Spades Hostel. Great accommodation, amazing location and the staff organise free trips to the gorges and view point for you!

Activities: Bled is a pretty small town so there’s not an awful lot to do, but that’s the point. At the centre is Lake Bled. It’s an incredible lake with a church right in the centre with mountain views in the background. We were lucky enough to visit when it was warm and we got to swim in the lake. Some parts are off limits but there are loads of areas which you are allowed to swim in. You can hire paddle boats and kayaks to use on the lake and to get to the centre (or you could swim, it’s not too far). The hostel organised trips to the viewpoint which we didn’t do because we wanted to swim, but we did go to the gorges which I recommend doing. This is definitely a place of relaxation.

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Stop 8: Budapest, Hungary.

This was probably my favourite destination of the whole trip and was definitely the most fun.

Accommodation: Hive Party Hostel. Amazing hostel and great location.

Activities: one of the great things about the hostel is that it has a bar downstairs with seating areas and live bands play at night. This is the perfect way to start off your evening. Something I highly recommend doing is visiting the ruin bars that are dotted around. The streets are crawling with hidden bars and artwork and street food stalls. Also, cocktails come to about £2.50 each (this was a massive bonus for us). We also had the most amazing chicken with brie that we went back the next night to get again. So cheap and so much to do. I also highly recommend going to the baths, it’s a great way to spend your day, and if you stay there over a weekend there’s a party there every Saturday!

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Stop 9: Zagreb, Croatia.

Croatia is one of the best places to go to relax and enjoy the sun, which is why we ended our trip here.

Accommodation: Hostel Chic

Activities: We weren’t in Zagreb for very long so we didn’t have much time to explore. However, the main reason we went was to visit Plitvice lakes. If you like walking, adventures and waterfalls then this is the perfect place for you. The views were incredible and it was a great addition to our trip.

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Stop 10: Split, Croatia.

This was our final destination and our aim after lugging around huge backpacks for weeks was to wind down and relax and that’s exactly what we did.

Accommodation: Lavanda Apartment. This was a lady’s home which we rented out the room off. She was incredibly nice and offered us any help with getting around.

Activities: beaches, beaches, beaches. This is the perfect location to spend hours on the beach and in the sea. The prices weren’t the cheapest we had seen but they weren’t as expensive as Austria. However, we did manage to splash out one last excursion. We did the most amazing cave boat day out. We went on a boat in the morning and they took us to all the nearby blue caves and secret beaches. It would have been the best day of the entire trip if I hadn’t spent the majority of it throwing up (sea sickness) and if Emily hadn’t nearly drowned. Long story short we weren’t supposed to go into a cave because the water was too high for the boat to get in and you’re not technically allowed to go swimming in there BUT the leader said if we were strong swimmers (because the current was strong) we could go in. It was the most incredible view once inside but probably wasn’t worth the near death of a friend.

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Places I would visit again from my trip: Poland, Slovenia, Budapest, Amsterdam and Croatia.

Don’t be afraid to get out there and explore. If Emily and I could survive 6 hours on a Poland station floor at 3 o clock in the morning, then you can too.

Beauty On A Budget

I’m a student. Simple as that. I’m in debt beyond belief and will be paying off my student loans until the day I die. I only have time for a job during holidays and even then, what I earn usually goes towards paying off something else.

Brands are constantly coming out with new stuff and I always seem to find myself crying a little on the inside when I look at the price. I don’t know about you but I have many wish list baskets on different makeup sites, with items that I don’t necessarily need (depending on whose point of view you’re looking at) but want. However, I would prefer not to pay and arm and a leg for a single makeup product. If you’re one of these people, then drugstore products are your best friends. I’m constantly on the hunt for good quality make up that is affordable and will last me a long time. The majority of the make-up I use is affordable with a few high-end products that I treat myself to on pay day (this inner ‘treat yourself’ voice takes over on many occasions). Don’t get me wrong, if I won the lottery I would have a beauty room filled with high end make up. But until that day, here are my favourite affordable make-up products.

One last thing – I am in no way saying that the products I mention are better than high-end products, because the likelihood is that they’re not, but some are pretty damn close! Also, some of these products that work for me might not necessarily work for you.

Happy shopping,

Love, Chloe

  1. Foundation – I haven’t tried a lot of foundations in my time because I can’t bring myself to spend over £30+ on a high-quality one that may not suit my skin type or tone. As a person of colour, drugstore foundations can be quite difficult to find as there are limited brands that have products to match a wide range of skin tones. The L’Oréal True Match foundation in shade ‘8.D/ 8.W Cappuccino’ is my favourite foundation so far. It’s light-weight, has even coverage all round and is easily buildable. It feels good on the skin and matches me perfectly and, it retails for £9.99!
  2. Concealer – I’ve been lucky with my skin as I don’t get blemishes that often that need covering up. If I do, I use the LA Girl Pro concealer in shade ‘Warm Honey’. This is an amazing affordable concealer, creamy and easy to blend. You can get these at lagirlcosmetics.co.uk for £3.99! My main use for concealer is to highlight under my eyes. For this purpose, I use the Maybelline Fit Me concealer in shade ‘10’. There isn’t a huge range of colours, but the product itself is only £5.99.
  3. Eyeshadow – The Morphe 35O palette is my holy grail. It’s my favourite eyeshadow palette so far. This palette is the definition of warm tone heaven and it will not disappoint. For the price of £22.95, you get 35 shades! That is £0.65 per eyeshadow!! I cannot stress how much of a staple this is in my collection. It has a range of matte transition shades as well as shimmers. Yes, some shadows are not as pigmented but for the price you’re paying, it’s to be expected. This product is constantly selling out fast. I got mine from glamsaidey.com. One to add to the wish list!
  4. Liquid Liner – The NYC liquid liner is the only liquid liner I use. I’ve tried a number of different drugstore liners and nothing has compared to this one. It’s incredibly pigmented and super black, not to mention it dries completely matte, which is what I want in a liner. It also has an application brush that is easy to use. I don’t personally use the brush because I have an even smaller brush that I use for extra precision. You can get this liner on Ebay for only £4.50! (not the one with the felt tip pen applicator)
  5. Contour/Blush/Highlight – I’ve only used one drugstore palette for all 3 of these and that’s the Sleek Face Form Contour Kis in shade medium. I don’t use the palette much anymore because I have other products that I prefer. It comes with a bronzy blush, a highlighter shade, and a contour shade. This is a really good palette if you’re on a budget as its £9.99, however, it doesn’t meet different skin tones. Cool tone contour shades tend to look ashy on me and while this wasn’t extremely cool tone, there was a slight tint, therefore I wouldn’t use a lot of product when using this.
  6. Face powder – To bake or set my foundation/concealer I use two different drugstore products. The collection sheer loose powder is only £2.99 and I use this to bake under my cheek bones. To set the rest of my face I use the max factor crème puff press powder which retails for £6.99.
  7. Lip liner – I don’t have a favourite drugstore lipstick as I don’t tend to wear lipstick unless I’m going out. But I do use the Revlon Colour Stay lip liner’s retailing at £6.29 as well as the Maybelline colour sensational lip liners at £3.99.
  8. Setting spray – my favourite drugstore setting spray is the NYX setting spray in matte finish retailing at £7. They have a choice of matte and dewy finish so it’s perfect for if you have dry or oily skin.
  9. Brow products – I am a die-hard Anastasia Beverly hills girl so I rarely wear anything drugstore on my brows. I also don’t tend to do my brows unless I’m going out. However, when I don’t want to waste my product I use the NYX micro brow pencil retailing at £7 and the tinted brow mascara in shade ‘Black’ retailing at £5.50.

 

Ultimate Christmas Package

I think it’s safe to say that Christmas doesn’t last just one day, but the whole winter season. Not everyone celebrates Christmas but for those who do, it’s something to look forward to whether it’s a break from work or studies, or a chance for all of your friends and family to get together and enjoy one another’s company. Everyone has their own different traditions and celebrate Christmas differently. Some people prepare in advance with decorations, presents, and even little touches to make the home feel extra Christmassy, whilst others just look forward to the food. I put together a bunch of Christmas related stuff to get you in the mood for the holiday season if you’re not already (which you should be), or even just for a bit of light reading. If you’re a Grinch, just remember that he eventually learns to love Christmas too (and so should you).

P.s I wrote this blog post with Michael Bublé’s Christmas album playing in the background, so it’s safe to say that I’m already in the holiday mood. Oh and also, Merry Christmas!

Love, Chloe

Movies:

One of my favourite parts of the season is curling up in a ball in bed with blankets, a cup of tea and a good Christmas movie… or 10. There are hundreds of Christmas movies and so many of them are classics. And as much as I love most of the ones out there, I put together a list of my absolute favourites (not in order though, because I don’t think I could choose):

  1. The Grinch
  2. Home Alone (1&2)
  3. The Holiday
  4. The Santa Clause (1&2)
  5. Love Actually
  6. Elf
  7. The Nightmare before Christmas
  8. The Polar Express

Music:

Playing Christmas music is a big part of getting into the spirit of Christmas. Whether you’re dancing around whilst decorating your tree or just listening to music on your way to work or school. I personally don’t think you can go wrong with Christmas music, but then again I will constantly play the same Christmas songs for hours on repeat. So here are my favourite songs/albums:

  1. Michael Bublé Christmas Album
  2. Fairytale of New York – The Pogues
  3. All I Want for Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey
  4. Last Christmas – Wham!
  5. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Frank Sinatra
  6. White Christmas – Bing Crosby
  7. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – Bing Crosby
  8. Do They Know It’s Christmas – Band Aid
  9. Merry Christmas Everyone – Shakin’ Stevens
  10. Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow – Dean Martin
  11. Driving Home for Christmas – Chris Rea

Home Decorations:

  1. Candles – There are so many different scented candles that can get you into the festive mood. My favourite one that I own is the Yankee Candle ‘Cranberry Ice’ scented candle. Other Christmas candles they sell are Candy Cane, Christmas Garland, Snow in Love, Angel’s Wings and Snowflake Cookie. I’d suggest going to a shop and picking one out yourself instead of ordering online, because the scent you like is probably different to what someone else might like.
  2. Bedroom Bits and Bobs – Pillows and blankets for the inevitable Christmas film marathon are a given. Most shops will sell Christmas blankets so just have a look around or online. A few of my friends get new Christmas pyjama’s each year as a tradition, mainly on Christmas eve. My family has never done this personally, but I love the idea. I recently went to Primark and they had the cutest Christmas Pyjamas. You could easily go all out with Christmas bedding, fairy lights and even a mini Christmas tree in your room if you wanted to, I mean, why not?

 

Photo credit: beautybitsblog.com (Candle), iconosquare.com (PJ’s), weheartit.com (Bed), Ikea.com(lights)

 

  1. Baking – there are so many recipes out there for Christmas related baking. Anything can be made festive with a little customisation. Here are a few ideas that I got from Pinterest:
  • Brownie Christmas Trees from onelittleproject.com
  • Reindeer Rice Crispies from thirtyhandmadedays.com
  • Mince pies from Jamieoliver.com
  • White chocolate ginger cookies from cookingclassy.com

 

I asked some of my friends what they’re favourite parts of Christmas are, so you can see the different things that people look forward to:

  • Holly – As a kid, I definitely enjoyed waking up and seeing my stocking. The magical being that is Santa having eaten the mince pies and left crumbs everywhere and carrots half chewed (obviously by Rudolph). But as an adult, I enjoy giving people presents and seeing their reactions.
  • Ria – for me, it’s about the build-up. I like waiting up with my brother until midnight on Christmas eve (not that I sleep anyway) watching TV and eating chocolate. It’s kind of like our own family tradition.
  • Jade – Christmas eve is my favourite part. In my family, we do a bunch of baking and get all the little ones excited for Santa. It’s the cutest thing and it’s great to keep the Christmas spirit alive.
  • Meg – My favourite part is getting to see all my family and seeing my friends for a catch-up. I also love treating people with presents and eating pigs in blankets.
  • Amy – I love spending time with my family and friends, and of course getting to eat all the nice food.

 

My tradition – ever since I was younger, I’ve done the same thing every Christmas eve with my family. We would go to 8/9pm mass at our local church and as we would leave one of the parents would nibble on the carrots, eat the cookies and drink the milk while the kids were in the car getting ready to go. By the time we got back from Church the kids would notice and get all excited. Then we would all stay up together, put on Christmas music, pull out the cheese boards and the drinks and wait till 12 o’clock. When it hit 12, we would open our presents one by one in age order, youngest first and oldest last. Then once the presents are open we would all head to bed and prepare for food the next day. I know it’s very different and many people think it’s weird that we don’t wait until the morning to open our presents, but it’s our tradition!

Home away from Home

The Christmas season always gets me feeling sentimental. It’s so nice to see people so excited to see their families and friends that they may not have seen in a while. I love seeing my family and even though there aren’t many of us at Christmas, it’s still the best day of the year.

I was born in South Africa and my sister, my mum, my dad and I moved to Wales when I was about 1 ½ years old and we’ve lived here ever since. I have a set of cousins who also live in Cardiff (recently moved here) and a set that live in Ireland, as well as family in Manchester and all over the world. However, the majority of my family still live in South Africa. If we’re lucky, we get to see them once every 2-3 years but it’s often longer than that. It’s so expensive to travel there that it can’t be done frequently. I know many people are in the same situation as me. My best friend Emily, for example, has family members here in the UK but also has a fair few out in Barbados and she understands how hard it is to travel there when it’s so expensive. I had the privilege of going out to Barbados with her and her family and meeting everyone (by the way it’s basically my family too, I have a room in their house).

Living so far away from such a large proportion of your family is difficult, but it varies from person to person. For example, it’s much harder for my parents to live away from their family because it’s their brothers, sisters, and cousins that are all out there. Not to mention, they grew up there and started a family of their own out in South Africa. For me, it’s hard too, but not to the extent that it is for my parents because I grew up in Wales. All of my friends are here and I would consider this my home. It’s hard, however when you make such strong bonds with your family whilst you’re out there and you have to leave in a week’s time. It’s kind of like the feeling of the unknown. A lot of the time you have no idea what’s going on there, and even if you did, there’s nothing you can do about it. So overall what’s it like living away from my family? Definitely difficult, but some times are harder than others and I’m happy to have the great friends and family that I have here in the UK. I will forever be grateful to even have a family and to have such a good bond with them, no matter where they live.

Enough of the soppy stuff. I was lucky enough to go back to South Africa this past March with my boyfriend. I got to see most of my family (I have A LOT of family members out there and was only there for a week, so I didn’t manage to see everyone) and it was so good to see how everyone was doing. If you ever get the chance to go to South Africa, do it. My family is from Cape Town and it’s such a beautiful city. Like all places, it has its ups and downs but it’s definitely a place to go to. If you want great views, cheap drinks and good food then give it a try.

So here are a few photos of my most recent trip.

P.s No matter how far away you live from them, they will never stop being your family.

Love, Chloe

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5 Looks Using Glitter

I am in no way a make-up expert nor do I claim to be. I’m still learning the ropes like everyone else and love recreating looks from beauty gurus on YouTube. I enjoy practicing my make-up even if I’m not going anywhere and lately, these have mainly included glitter.

Glitter is one of the most controversial makeup products if not used properly. It can make your look stand out and adds that extra touch, sure! but prepare yourself to be picking out glitter specs for the rest of your life. Now I’m not just talking from your eyes. I mean in your hair, on your clothes and all over your face and body.

But if you’re a glitter lover like me, you’ll suffer the mess and wear it anyway, because after all ‘beauty is pain’ and all that. Glitter instantly adds dimension to your look and makes it look like you’ve put a lot of effort in, even if you haven’t. I don’t know about you, but when I wear glitter I instantly feel better about myself. Plus, Christmas is the perfect excuse to wear as much glitter as you want (because it’s festive right?), even if you do end up looking like walking tinsel.

So for all the make-up and glitter lovers out there, I have created 5 makeup looks using different colour glitters. Some are easy and some are more precise. So grab your glitter, a good glitter primer (this is important, trust me) and get to creating.

P.s my entire vanity desk, bed and body are covered in glitter, but it was 100% worth it.

Love, Chloe

*warning* – trying to do glam make-up just before going to Uni is not ideal, that’s why all of these pictures only show a single eye. Odds are I didn’t do the other eye or the rest of my face because I didn’t have time and didn’t fancy showing up to Uni with a full face ready for a night out. I also didn’t want to put false lashes on for only 10 minutes.

  1. Starting with something easy and simple. Layering transition colours in your crease creates a perfect blended effect and adds depth to the eye look. I use a lot of browns and oranges for my crease as I’m a warm tone girl all the way. Then you have the rest of the lid to play with. Slap on some good glitter primer and pat the glitter colour of your choice on top. It’s as easy as that and you instantly look glam.

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2. This is probably the easiest look of them all. Do whatever look you want on the lid, whether you want glitter, shimmer or matte is completely up to you. All you have to do is pop some glitter primer in the inner corner of your eye and top it with some glitter and you’re good to go. Simple but effective.

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3.The next two looks are a little more complicated and may require more precision. If you’re a beginner feel free to give it ago, but if you’re not confident enough then that’s what the other 3 looks are for! For this look, draw your sharpest wing (I believe in you) with your liner. Once dried using a tiny brush, place some glitter glue inside the wing and top with glitter. To clean up, go over the edges of the wing with the liquid liner again.

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4. Next is a double liner look. Go in again with your winged liner then using a tiny brush go across the top of that wing with the glitter primer and top it with glitter (using that same brush). If you need to clean it up, use some concealer to clean the top and liquid liner to clean underneath the glitter.

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5. A glitter lip! This is so simple and so effective. Be careful, as odds are you’ll end up with flakes of glitter in your mouth. But it looks amazing. All you have to do it apply a lipstick as usual (preferably matte), then apply glitter glue and top with glitter.

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Products Used:

  • Morphe 35O Palette.
  • NYC Liquid Liner.
  • Champagne Pop Highlighter.
  • Sample pots of glitter from Ebay.
  • Anastasia Beverly hills brow definer.
  • Too faced glitter glue shadow insurance primer.
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in ‘Heathers’

Goodbye Autumn

This is my very first blog post, and I have to admit that I have no idea what I’m doing. These first few posts are likely to resemble a newborn deer stumbling around trying to gain it’s feet, a bit of a bumpy ride *cue harry potter quote* but hopefully I’ll get the hang of it. 

My first post is wishing farewell to the beautiful season that is Autumn. It’s the start of December and officially the end of Autumn. Autumn is the perfect season for me (but before you ask, I don’t like pumpkin spice latte’s – sorry). I hate the heat, the idea of sweating makes me feel uncomfortable and I tan so quick that within 10 minutes of being in the sun, I will look like a piece of charcoal (no joke). But I also hate the extreme cold. Don’t get me wrong I love the snow and I love winter, but being cold to the point where I cannot feel my fingers and toes isn’t a pleasant experience. Autumn is the perfect amount of cold. Cold enough to wrap up in cosy blankets watching films and to go on walks in your favourite jacket, boots and scarves, but not cold enough to turn into a human ice sculpture.

Not to mention the incredible colours the autumn season brings. All the bright oranges, reds, yellows and even browns make for the perfect scenic photos. This season instantly means Autumn ( or ‘fall’) make up looks, the best of them all and my favourite make up looks to create! Red toned smokey eyes, copper creases and winged liner that could cut someone. A warm tone lover’s dream.

There’s something about the autumn colours that make you feel content and if you don’t enjoy kicking piles of leaves around like you’re 10 years old then you’re not doing it right. Autumn also brings the anticipation of Christmas. It’s not late enough to have to worry about presents, but it’s not too early to get excited and listen to music. Once halloween and bonfire night have passed, it’s automatically acceptable to get in the Christmas spirit (which I’m currently in now).

So enjoy these pictures I took of my favourite season. 

Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter… 

Love, Chloe

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