Thoughts | Dear 2014

Dear 2014, 

Our time together is coming to an end far quicker than I'd like. You've been by far the busiest year of my life so far but you have been good to me and I feel that it's only right for us to look back over the year we've spent together at both the good bits and the bad bits.


Let's rewind back to January. It wasn't really up to much was it? To be straight with you, my memories of our first month together are just one huge blur of anxiety, stress and emotion. I was up to my eyeballs in mock exams and it all really took its toll on me. Looking back with a clear head, I'm glad I hit breaking point when I did. If my anxieties about my studies had bubbled away inside of me for another few months it would have been a complete disaster. This way, I was able to let it all out, learn to cope and tackle my exams in the summer with a clear head.

January Post Of The Month ~ Topshop "Screen Siren" Lipstick

After that whirlwind month, we greeted February with a smile. I'm not going to lie to you, my little head can't remember a whole lot of what this month had to offer. I vaguely recall doing something nice around valentines day with some of the fellow singletons in my friends. February was also the month where I began to organise the Easter Bloggers Box Swap, which went down a treat.

February Post Of The Month ~ February Beauty Wishlist

Soon enough, it was March's turn to take centre stage. March began with a whirlwind weekend away in Derbyshire with a rather large group of my family (forty odd people - needless to say we took the sleepy Derbyshire village by storm) to celebrate my grandmas birthday but after that I just settled down and got to work, revising hard for my upcoming exams.

March Post Of The Month ~ Little Black Playsuit

Once March was all done and dusted, April hit. It was in this month that I attended my first bloggers meet up. The #SEBloggers meet up in Covent Garden was a rather fabulous occasion and it definitely sparked my love of meeting up with fellow bloggers. 

April Post Of The Month ~ Maybelline Forever Strong: Mint For Life


Then, the much anticipated month of May came along. The month kicked off with my sixteenth birthday on the 4th and I had an amazing day with my family and friends before heading up to Sheffield to see McBusted. Talk about an incredible birthday. It was also at the start of May that I officially left year eleven and our last day as a year group was emotional yet exciting as we were all going on our separate paths (most of us ended up back at the school in the sixth form the following September but you get my drift). On a less exciting note, May also meant the start of my exams. They all got off to a rather good start and I surprised myself with just how calm I was about the whole thing.


After what felt like only a week, June made its way into our lives. That month simply comprised of exam after exam, with many a revision session slotted in between until around the 23rd, when "please put your pens down" was called out for the last time. Following that date, I dedicated my days to a bit of "me time", and gave myself the break I truly deserved. 

June Post Of The Month ~ Lush "Movis" Facial Soap Review

For me, July was a month of celebration. After two years of hard work and months of constant exams I was finally free and I really made the most of it. I had my prom, which was honestly one of the best nights of my life and a perfect way to end the five years I spent as part of a rather amazing year group, and I was able to see one of my favourite bands McBusted live in Hyde Park. In the later weeks of July, I jetted off to Greece for a two week holiday with 7 of my favourite people. It was there where I truly believe the stress of my last year of school was lifted. There where I was free to do what I wanted, when I wanted: swim, sunbathe, blog, and eat some of the yummiest food I've ever tasted whilst finding the old moment here and there to eye flirt with the attractive French boy we kept bumping in to, of course. It where I surprised myself and beat my anxiety of going outside without makeup on. Yes, I may not have made it further than our private pool everyday but this was still a huge deal for me and I couldn't be more proud of myself.

July Post Of The Month ~ Prom

August was a fine one, wasn't it? Full of milestones for this little blog. I kicked off the month by hitting 400 followers, which was incredible and I'm so grateful for every single one of you for helping me get there. I remember waking up to the news and tearing up a little, like a proud mum who's baby had just hit a significant milestone. It was also in August that I organised my first meet up with the lovely Georgie - the #tbloggers meet up in Hyde Park. Although the build up to the big day was stressful, it was amazing to meet so many wonderful bloggers. That month I also attended the second #SEBloggers Meet Up in Brighton where I was able to meet even more lovely bloggers, some of whom I've become really close to over recent months. 

August Post Of The Month ~ Where I've Been: Naxos, Greece



September meant back to school and the start of my AS Levels. It really was a shock to the system to have to go back to my school routine but all good things must come to an end. I started my courses in English Literature, History, Philosophy and Ethics and Sociology, which are all going just nicely so far.

September Post Of The Month ~ Out Come The Autumn Coats

Then we said hello to October. This was the month where I started my job - working as a receptionist at a local gym. So far I'm loving my job rather a lot and I seem to be getting the hang of it. The early morning Sunday shift might not be my cup of tea (I begin work just before 8 you see) but I'm sure I'll get used to it.

October Post Of The Month ~ Focus On Yourself

As our time together began to draw to a close. November came around. The penultimate month of the year got off with a bang when my little blog had it's second birthday. To celebrate, I spent the day exploring a quaint little town near my home, taking many an OOTD photo and enjoying mugs of hot chocolate in darling cafes. 


November Post Of The Month ~ 2 Years

Soon enough it was time for me to open the first door of my advent calender when December made its way into our lives. It's our last month together and boy hasn't it been a roller coaster? All too emotional for my liking, I'm not going to lie. But I wouldn't have ever been able to get through it like I have without the people around me. Without a shadow of a doubt, I have the best friends and family out there, and can't get over how fortunate I've been to be surrounded by such a supportive, caring and downright wonderful bunch of people this year. The month did it have it's high points though. I hosted the second #tbloggers meet up in Covent Garden where we oohed and aahed at the gorgeous decorations, spent our well earned pennies on festive goodies and had a bite to eat at Zizzi's, and I was able to spend lots of time with my loved ones.

December Post Of The Month ~ Baby It's Cold Outside

Well 2014 this is it hey? Before I bid you farewell and we go our separate ways, I want to thank you for a year filled with more amazing experiences than I could have ever possibly imagined because all things considered, we really had a remarkable year didn't we? Yes there have indeed been low points but I've come out the other end feeling much stronger and more appreciative of everything I'm blessed enough to have around me.





Fashion | Seeing The New Year In, In Style

What's new years eve without an inevitable last minute 'Argh! I have nothing to wear!' style freak out? As the big night is fast approaching I thought it would be a fabulous idea for me to provide a little assistance in the wardrobe department so all you cinderella's out there can go to the ball. So get ready to put your glad rags on and hit the town.

Tis the season to sparkle. These gorgeous pieces come equipped with all of the glitz and glamour you need to rock around the Christmas tree all night long. 




2 - Lipsy
5 - New Look

How are you going to be seeing in the new year?





Blogmas | Festive Teen Bloggers Meet Up


After opening the thirteenth door of my advent calender, I hopped on a train down to London for a festive teen bloggers shindig. There really is nothing I love more than catching up with the blogging girlies for a natter, a shop and a bite to eat, so the meet up was the perfect way to wrap up the year in style.


Although our numbers decreased on the day due to that pesky winter cough and cold stealing all the bloggers away, I couldn't have asked for a lovelier bunch of girls to spend the day with. It was a lovely blend of old chums and new faces, but soon enough we were all chatting like we'd known each other forever.


The festive celebrations began at 12:30 when we met at Starbucks in Covent Garden. Our plan was to sit down and have a nice cuppa (or a hot chocolate in the case of us non tea drinkers) and a natter but we didn't really factor in just how busy London can get, so it was virtually impossible to find enough chairs to cater for us all, so we ended up starting our shopping earlier. After spending far too much time and money in the likes of Boots, The Body Shop and MAC, we headed on over to our lunch location Zizzi's.


Zizzi's is one of my favourite restaurants to go to for a bite to eat, and there really is something for everybody on the menu. I had the lasagna and shared a side with one or two of the girls, followed by a 'Chocolate Melt' dessert which was simply heavenly. During our lunch we played a festive game of pass the parcel of sorts, and took part in a secret santa  box swap. I recieved a lovely selection of bits and pieces from Asia, all of which I will be featuring on here at some point.


After the meal, Tori, Becca and I had a mooch around some of the other shops Covent Garden has on offer, admiring (and photographing) all the stunning festive window displays on the way. Expect a post in the not so distant future dedicated to just how beautiful London is at Christmas.


I was oh so lucky to be able to work with a selection of lovely beauty brands to put together a festive goodie bag for each attendee. It was my little christmas gift to them, as they all deserve a special something for working so hard on their blogs this year (of course, all of the other bloggers in the land deserve something too but I don't have the magical present-delivering powers Santa has, so I was only able to treat those who were there on the day). I'm going to be dedicating a post to the goodie bags (with a full review of each product coming in due course) so keep your eyes peeled over the next few days.

I would just like to say a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to attend the meet up. It was lovely to see you all, and I really hope I'll be able to see you very soon.

Attendees:
Merraf

What christmas adventures have you been having?



P.S: I'm considering hosting a third teen bloggers meet up sometime around easter (late march/early april) time, so if you'd be interested in attending, let me know so I can have an idea of how many people would be up for it. x

Blogmas | Seascape Peppermint Lip Balm*


It's been a while since I popped up a proper beauty product review (they will be making a more regular appearance next year, I promise) so today I thought I'd take the opportunity to share with you a product I've been obsessing over recently. 

When the winter months arrive once arrive, your lips require a bit more T.L.C to protect them from the changes in the weather. Nobody wants dry lips do they? I try to ensure I always have a lip balm to hand so I can pop it on at regular intervals and my current go-to lip product is a little peppermint beauty from the brand Seascape.
  
Seascape Island Apothecary offer luxury skin and body care products, all containing 100% natural ingredients locally sourced from Jersey. All their products are paraben, silicone, petroleum and SLS free and are suitable for vegetarians. Perfect.


The product in question, their Peppermint Lip Balm, contains 100% natural Peppermint essential oil, along with Jersey Beeswax, Jersey Honey and Jojoba Seed Oil, which all moisturise and protect dry, chapped lips. As a product, it does everything a lip balm should; sooths, nourishes and softens.It smells and tastes incredible, and the peppermint is nothing too strong which is just brilliant as I'm not going to lie, I was apprehensive about it.

To apply this product I use a brush from my growing collection of lip brushes. It makes it so much easier to get just the right amount of product out of the pot and ensures smooth application. When worn, the lip balm simply looks like a clear lipgloss so you can look glam whilst your lips are nourished


I do have to say that because of the packaging, this isn't the most handbag friendly product if you're not one for mary-poppins style extravaganza but I've found that it fits quite nicely in one of the small pockets of my rather large bag (as shown in this post).

Seascape is a fairly luxurious brand, with prices starting at £10 but it really is worth the price. What's wrong with paying a more sizable price for a product of a fantastic quality?


Honestly, this is one of  the best lip balms I've tried and if I was you, I'd pop it right at the top of your beauty wishlist. It's the perfect addiction to a winter skincare routine.



*Disclaimer: This product was kindly gifted by Aqua PR on behalf of Seascape for the purpose of this review. All views and opinions shared on realityleaveslotstoimagination are always honest and unbiased.

Blogmas | All I Want For Christmas Is You (Gift Wishlist)

Today I'm going to be sharing with you some of the beauty bits and pieces I'm going to be asking Santa for this festive period. These are the things I've been lusting over, over the past couple of months. As always with wishlists, I'm not asking for or expecting any of these little beauties but I'd be one happy bunny if I was to receive just one.


1) Too Faced "Better Than Sex" Mascara
2) Real Techniques Eyes Starter Set
3) Sleek Palettes:  "Au Naturel" and "Garden of Eden"
4) Topshop Nails in "Filament"
5) Revlon Colourburst Matte Balm in "Sultry"
6) The Body Shop Tea Tree Face Mask
7) Benefit "The Porefessional"
8) Topshop Lipstick in "Hazard"

If you've tried and tested any of these products, please let me know what you thought!

What's on your wishlist this year?



Are you all caught up with all of the blogmas posts?

Blogmas | Step Into Christmas (Book Wishlist)

The theme of todays blogmas post is Books so I thought it would be a jolly good idea for me to share with you the books I'm going to be asking Santa for. Obviously I'm neither not asking for nor expecting all of these books (a girl can dream though can't she), and to be honest, I'm going to struggle finding a place on my bookshelves for even one more book.




Fiction
1) Everything That Makes You by Moriah McStay
2) What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick
3) Sometimes It Happens by Lauren Barnholdt
4) The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen
5) The Story of Us by Deb Caletti
6) The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
7) Being Friends With Boys by Terra Elan McVoy
8) Keeping The Moon by Sarah Dessen
9) Christmas With Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher




Non-Fiction
1) Lauren Conrad Beauty by Lauren Conrad
2) It by Alexa Chung
3) Eat Pretty: Nutrition for Beauty, Inside and Out Book by Jolene Hart
4) 14,000 Things to Be Happy About by Barbara Ann Kipfer
5) The Little Dictionary of Fashion by Christian Dior
6) Lauren Conrad Style by Lauren Conrad
7) The Complete A to Z Dictionary of Dreams Book by Ian Wallace
8) #GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso
9) Pretty Honest: The Straight-Talking Beauty Companion by Sali Hughes

Are there any books you're hoping to find under the tree?



Are you all caught up with all of the blogmas posts?

Blogmas | Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree (Decoration Wishlist)

Day four of Blogmas is a 'decoration wishlist' so I'm going to be showing you all of the christmassy bits and bobs that I'd love to pop around my house to really jazz it up ready for the christmas period.  



1 ~ Wooden Christmas Tree Decoration (£5.95)
I fell in love with the shabby-chic style of this decoration as soon as I saw it. It's so simple which makes it perfect if you tend to go for more of a discreet festive look.

You can find this decoration here.

2 ~ Small Retro Kids Sleigh Ride Vintage Heart" (£1.95)
This has such a lovely vintage vibe to it, and it's so cheap for such a cute little thing.

You can find this decoration here.

3 ~ Handmade Sheet Music Christmas Decoration (£3.50)
This is such a dainty little thing, and what I love most is it's not overly festive so you could get away with keeping it up all year round.

You can find this decoration here.

4 ~ Book Christmas Bauble (£10)
I'm a total book worm so a blend of christmas and books is just my idea of heaven.

You can find this decoration here.

5 ~ Christmas Decorative Birdhouse With Tray (£14.95)
I just adore jazzing up my garden when the festive season comes around again. My family always pops up lots of lovely fairy lights in the trees but I love buying some other outdoor decorations to really increase the festive-ness of the garden. This birdhouse is lovely and traditional and would make a stunning festive piece.

You can find this decoration here.

6 ~ Heart House Shelf Sitter - Christmas Rules (£3.95)
This is another decorative piece which has a lovely shabby chic feel.

You can find this decoration here.

7 ~ Porcelain Christmas Snowflake (£5.75)
Another really simple decoration that's just gorgeous. I feel like this particular piece would look beautiful hung up in a window.

You can find this decoration here.

What's on your decoration wishlist?



Are you all caught up with all of the blogmas posts?

Blogmas | Jingle Bell Rock (Christmas Tag)

(tumblr)

Today's post is just going to be a quick one as I'm currently up to my eyeballs in school work (that's year twelve for you) but I didn't want to even consider missing a day of blogmas so early on. And where do you turn when you need a quick post? A tag.

This is the christmas tag, which I have seen floating around the blogosphere a fair bit recently. It should give you a bit of an insight into what christmas is like for me, which is a perfect way of preparing you all of the blogmas posts that are soon to come.

Enough chat, let's get cracking:

1. What Is Your Favourite Holiday Movie?
It's got to be Love Actually for me. I just adore that film and I seem to watch it at least five times every holiday season.

2. What Are Your Favourite Christmas Colours?
Well red and silver are my two favourite colours and they play rather a big role in all of the festivities don't they?

3. Do You Like To Stay In Your PJs or Dress Up For Christmas?
I'm a bit of both kind of gal. I love spending the morning opening presents wearing some festive pjs (Primark has to be my go-to place for that sort of thing) but then I love dressing up just before lunch.

4. If You Could Only Buy One Person A Present This Year Who Would It Be?
This is such a tough one as there are so many people who have played such a key role in my life this year who all deserve a gift, but if I had to choose it would be my mum. She works so hard day in day out and she's given me so much support this year. Although all of my friends and family have been there for me hugely this year, my mum really is my rock.

5. Do You Open Your Presents On Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?
Christmas Day. It's got to be Christmas Day.

6. Have You Ever Built A Gingerbread House?
Don't tell anyone but... I don't actually like gingerbread!

7. What Do You Like To Do During Your Christmas Holidays?
For me, christmas is a time to spend as much time with my friends and family as possible.

8. Any Christmas Wishes?
I just want all of my family and friends to have a wonderful christmas and a perfect new year, they all really deserve it.

9. What Is Your Favourite Christmas Smell?
Any of the Yankee Christmas Candles. I just adore them and have been getting through my little collection so quickly. I think another candle shopping trip is on the cards...

10. Favourite Christmas Meal Or Treat?
You've got to go with a good ol' christmas dinner haven't you?

How do your answers differ from mine? Let me know what you think!



Are you all caught up with all of the blogmas posts?

Blogmas | Santa Baby (Female Gift Guide)



It's day two of Blogmas and today marks the return of my christmas gift guides. For this years gift guides, I've decided to focus on the little bits and pieces that I feel would make perfect stocking fillers for your loved ones, and today it's the turn of gifts for women/girls.

"Now Your Mug Can Feel Festive Too". This mug would make a perfect present for any hot drink lover and if you wanted to make it extra-special, it could easily be made into a tiny little hot drink hamper of sorts. Simply fill the mug with the single packets of fancy hot chocolate you can purchase from most supermarkets, add a tiny packet of marshmallows (perhaps fill a little organza bag which can be purchased from Hobbycraft or somewhere similar) and maybe a bit of chocolate. Wrap it up with tissue paper or something of that variety, and you're good to go.

Pugs seem to have been everywhere this year. I'm not going to lie, before now I simply haven't understood the craze but there's something about these adorable socks that I just love. Socks may seem like a bit of a trivial gift, but personally I think a person can never have too many socks; especially when they're this cute.

"Now Your Mug Can Feel Festive Too". This mug would make a perfect present for any hot drink lover and if you wanted to make it extra-special, it could easily be made into a tiny little hot drink hamper of sorts. Simply fill the mug with the single packets of fancy hot chocolate you can purchase from most supermarkets, add a tiny packet of marshmallows (perhaps fill a little organza bag which can be purchased from Hobbycraft or somewhere similar) and maybe a bit of chocolate. Wrap it up with tissue paper or something of that variety, and you're good to go.

A nail varnish is the perfect little gift for any beauty-lover, and you can't really go wrong with Essie can you? "Aperitif" is a stunning red shade that's perfect for the festive season.

This box would be perfect for any younger girls you need to buy a little gift for. It contains two fabulous festive products: the 'Golden Wonder' bath bomb and the 'Gold' fun, which are guaranteed to leave the bathroom smelling gorgeous.

I love a good festive beanie. They really jazz up an outfit and help to spread christmas spirit, even when the weather is all horrible and chilly. This reindeer beanie is just so cute, and would make a perfect stocking filler for a friend or sister. £12 may be a tad on the pricy side for a beanie, but when it's this adorable it really is worth it.

What have you been buying for stocking fillers for your loved ones?



Are you all caught up with all of the blogmas posts?

Blogmas | Baby It's Cold Outside



To kick of Blogmas 2014 I thought it would be a jolly good idea to salute the winter season and do a bit of a festive style post. When the chilly months greet us once more, it's time for me to dig out the fluffy coats and oversized scarves, and layer up ready to tackle the cold.



My parka has become one of my favourite fashion pieces in my wardrobe. The borg lining and fur-trimmed hood ensure that I keep cosy and warm no matter how dreadful the weather is, which is exactly what you look for in a good winter coat isn't it? I also absolutely adore this red snood. I purchased it last winter and to be completely honest, I spent most of the year waiting until it was cold enough for me to bring it out again.


Mini skirts have been such a staple fashion piece for me this year; I've spent more days wearing one than not. This particular piece is one of my favourites, and the red detailing makes it perfect for the festive season. Believe it or not, I actually purchased this little beauty from non-other than eBay for 99p. Oh how I love a good eBay bargain.


As the skirt is such an eye-catching piece, I tend to pair it with very simple clothes. On this occasion, I went for a simple black long sleeved top and some wooly black tights (a winter essential if ever there's one).




My footwear choice for this particular look was also quite simple. I own far too many pairs of black boots of so many different varieties for the colder months, and these are one of my favourites. The block heel makes them practical yet stylish, perfect for running around town when christmas shopping.


What are your winter fashion staples?


The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

(pinterest)

Oh my giddy aunt! I can't believe it's December already. Where on earth has 2014 gone?

To celebrate the run up to christmas, I'm going to be blogging every day in December. Yes that's right, Blogmas is back. And this year is going to be better than ever.

This month I'm going to be bringing a bit of festive cheer your way every single day. Consider it a written advent calender of sorts. I've been preparing a good ol' blend of beauty, fashion and lifestyle posts with a christmassy theme to really get you in the mood for my most favourite time of year. I am going to attempt to be all fancy and creative with the titles of my blogmas posts this year and name them all after festive song titles, but this may be a bit of a challenge so please wish me luck.

Day One of Blogmas will be going up later tonight so keep your eyes peeled!



P.S: If you are also setting yourself the challenge of taking part in blogmas 2014, let me know and I'll add you to my festive to-read list x
TEMPLATE DESIGNED BY PRETTYWILDTHINGS