• Christmas In July

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    I know what you’re thinking, Christmas? In July? Well it happened! I was invited to an event recently where we got to see what’s coming this Christmas, In July!

    There were many stands including lots of online retailers including firebox, moonpig, crabtree and evelyn, Wunder2, Teapigs, R Chocolate, National Trust and many many more.

    It was honestly a feast for the eyes and I will share many pictures with you of the sort of things you might find.

    The best thing about this is that I was able to connect with some brands that would be able to help with my gift guides for Christmas.

    I haven’t done these before but I know lots of people find them useful so I am going to do them for different interests, for example, for the foodie, for the beauty junkie, for the gadget mad etc…

    Although there were many amazing brands there, the best part of the whole event was I got to spend time with the lovely Charlie from Gin Fuelled Blue Stockings blog.

    We have spent time online chatting but never met in real life and I am really pleased we did finally meet.

    If you have a penchant for gin (or any booze) you have to go and visit her blog. She is like the rainman of gin. I actually adore her.

    We did go out for dinner too which I will do a review of later on the blog but I just wanted to give you a lowdown on my day.

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    All of this event just made me more excited about the festivities and I am now already planning for Christmas (only 5 more pay days to go!)

    Are you excited for Christmas? Is it too early to talk about it? Have you ever been to one of these events?

     

    Top 30 Feel Unique Top Vlogger

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    If you follow me on social media you will know I made it to the top 30 of the Top Vlogger competition for Feel Unique.

    To say I was shocked was an understatement.

    I also was really proud of my achievement and it really boosted my confidence.

    I write this blog and have my YouTube channel because I enjoy it but it’s also nice, once in a while to be recognised for the hard work you do so getting picked out of hundreds of entries was a fantastic achievement.

    Ok, I didn’t get in to the top 4 but that really doesn’t matter to me and someone I know did which is amazing, I am so frickin’ excited for them.

    The thing is, I don’t want to be a YouTube superstar or a full time blogger so what does it matter anyway? I entered to prove I was capable and I am.

    I know some people were really upset they didn’t get through and you know what, it proves how much they care, and it also proved how much I didn’t because I wasn’t affected by it.

    If you are a subscriber to my YouTube channel and you comment and engage in some way then that is what I really care about. In fact I realise in everything I do I care about building community, the events I put on and the people I surround myself with.

    I think in everything I do community is at the heart.

    I feel good making others feel good and I also enjoy and thrive on praise. It really motivates me to do more.

    I am so proud of making top 30 and the moral of the story is that if you work hard enough it will happen. Don’t think it won’t…you are awesome so believe in yourself and the work you do.

    My entry for the top 30 is here:

    I wanna be social on Social Media!

    Social 1Throughout my time on social media (and I am talking from the MySpace days!) there has been a growing need to extend and grow ones following.

    There are those that grow quickly, either they had a concept first or are naturally ‘popular’ but most people on social media are just vying for attention, numbers, asking, no, begging for you to follow them.

    And at first it was, who had the most friends. You know because popularity is a contest but now it’s because the more followers you have the bigger the ‘influencer’ you are. Even if you don’t engage with any of them or even follow anyone else. Not sure how much influence you have in that case but you know, numbers mean dollars on social media.

    I am not saying that those that have big numbers didn’t work hard to get them because I believe they all have! It’s a tough world out there and I think anyone who has managed to be successful in the numbers game needs to be celebrated and given their dues!

    So, why the decision to stop asking? Well, since I started my blog in 2010 (which was so much more different to the blog you see today) I have asked, every day, every post, every video and the numbers grew but it didn’t feel better. It didn’t matter what goal I set myself I wasn’t happy when I got there.

    I was comparing myself to others, why did they have more? Why wasn’t I doing as well? and let’s be honest – we all know how that ends…it just makes you feel bitter and lose sight of what is important.

    So I decided to think about WHY?

    Why am I asking people to follow?

    To what ends?

    The ultimate questions is WHY SHOULD THEY?

    I decided that because I have a day job that pays the bills and because blogging and vlogging is a hobby I should just enjoy it for what it is. Engagement is my favourite part of blogging so I concentrate on commenting and reading and responding to my comments (when I can!)

    However, Social Media, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook (and snapchat etc) I have decided to treat them in a social way. Yes I will still share my blog posts but I also want to be social. Chat, engage, laugh, enjoy and ultimately have an online social life!

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    I will no longer ask you to follow me in every post or video…because it’s cool if you do and it’s cool if you don’t. My only ask is that if you want, engage, say hi, chat to me. It’s my favourite thing. Be social!

    Review | Gin Explorer Box – March 2017*

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    I know we are nearly in May but I have been absolutely flat out with work…which is why these were not drunk until my deadline was over. And boy did I need the Gin Explorer Box after that!

    This is the March Gin Explorer box which is a monthly subscription of Gin, themed in different ways each month.

    This month was their 1 year anniversary and we received 4 gins and a vodka from around the country.

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    Firstly let’s talk about packaging.

    The box that it came in looked like a little suitcase, it was so beautiful. I opened it up to find a beautifully presented box.Gin explorer 2

    Inside were 4 double measures of gin, Tinker Gin, Stirling Gin, Dingle Gin and Trevethian Cornish Gin.

    Me and my colleague decided we were going to try them together after finally completing our deadline.

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    You also got 2 bottles of tonic water but for me I had to add in some of my own. I like to have tall glasses of gin with plenty of ice and tonic.

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    The little bottle of vodka was a nice touch. I do enjoy a vodka now and again and they had included this one from Dingle too to try.

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    Our favourite was the Trevethian Cornish Gin, It was crisp and Fruity, really danced on the tongue. Definitely one I would try again.

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    So what can I say about this fantastic box?!?

    It’s a great way to try new gins…who knew there were so many???

    It is a fair price per month at £24.99,  so if you’re in to trying new things but not going too overboard this will definitely be good for you.

    It’s got a lovely personal feel to it. You know the company really know their stuff and enjoy what they do.

    Ooh, I wonder if they have one person who has to try them all (reminds me of the episode of the Apprentice where they got hammered trying gins!)

    I also think this would make such a fantastic gift for a gin lover. My best friends are both Gin lovers so I am tempted to get them a 3 month subscription for £69.99 as I know they would love it.

    Have you ever tried this subscription box?

    Are you a a fan of Gin?

    What other subscription boxes do you love?

    *PR sample – No affiliate links

    Review | Lovable Lashes Caribbean Spices Palette

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    ” Lovable Lashes, Caribbean Spices, never heard of it!”

    Well you will do soon because this little (well not little) beauty of a palette is so gorgeous it’s been in high demand and sold out twice!

    You might recognise the layout of the palette in terms of it being a 35 pan palette similar to the morphe ones but that is the first palette to come from the wonderful lady, Tammi Clarke,  behind Lovable Lashes.

    Tammi has her own YouTube channel and of course lash line but decided that 2016 she would launch this palette.

    I only found out about it from two of my favourite beauty vloggers, SophDoesNails and Beauty Breaks with Vicky, and I had to check out the original video showing off swatches by Tammi.

    The inspiration behind the palette was her caribbean heritage and the colours of the spices found from the area.

    So, what can I say about this palette?

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    Packaging

    This has a basic black plastic packaging with a clear window which I have to say I much prefer to the Morphe palettes. With the palettes being large they are hard to hold anyway and with a mirror it would make it really heavy so the fact you can see the eyeshadows is a great idea.

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    Texture

    I had no doubt in my mind the shimmers would be fantastic but what has surprised me is how wonderful the matte shades are in this palette. There is no fall out from these shades and they are so pigmented but not too chalky. Definitely a great formula.

    Pigmentation

    Tammi says in her video here that these are highly pigmented and she is absolutely correct. I actually found that some of them stained my skin as the pigmentation was so intense.

    Application

    I find that with most of the shadows work well with a dense flat brush. I also really like using my finger with the more metallic shades to get more colour pay off.

    Results

    These are so long wearing and they really do look beautiful on the eye. The colours are really well thought out and it definitely suits all skin types, however if you are pale like me there isn’t a base shade but honestly – that is a minor thing as, if you’re like me, you have SO many in other palettes anyway or you have a single you use for this reason.

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    Final thoughts

    This is a beautifully well thought out palette and it’s so nice to support another Beauty YouTuber / Influencer in providing great products to the community.

    I know she has now released two new palettes and am excited to get my hands on them.

     

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