Get ready with me – New Years Eve

It’s nearly 2013!!! It’s going to be a massive year for our family so I’m really excited to start it.

I love getting ready for New Years eve & I tend to make a bit more effort than usual, mostly because there tend to be a fair amount of cameras around. I wanted some sparkle in my makeup (of corse) but I didn’t want to go over the top so I decided on a subtle gold smokey eye & gold nails. Gold pigments look really lovely on blue eyes & I think this look could be great for any night out, not just New Years so I wanted to take some photos & make a Step-By-Step guide to the look, to help you recreate it if you fancy. What ever you’re doing tonight I hope you have fun seeing in 2013! Happy New Year!!! 

Products I used:

 

Eyes: Urban Decay Primer Potion http://tinyurl.com/ckwz9lj

Barry M Dazzle Dust (100 & 101) http://tinyurl.com/bcvsjff

Bobbi Brown Gel Liner (Black Ink) http://tinyurl.com/2w36fn3

L’oreal Volume Million Lashes (Extra-Black) http://tinyurl.com/44bm25h

Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers http://tinyurl.com/7t2qlw5

Face: Mac Face & Body Foundation (C1) http://tinyurl.com/cb4rbwl

Vichy Dermablend Foundation (15 Opal) http://tinyurl.com/cknowos

YSL Touche Eclat (2 Luminous Ivory) http://tinyurl.com/d7b7yn5

Arbonne Blusher (Dusty Rose & Merlot) http://tinyurl.com/bnznv9g

Nails: Barry M Nail Varnish (Gold Glitter) http://tinyurl.com/c262e7o

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Pregnancy Questions & Bump (27 Weeks)

I posted this not long after I woke up this morning & the bump shots are literally JUST after I rolled out of bed, so apologies in advance for bed hair, bed face, sleepy typing mistakes. The maternity top is from Debenhams as part of their “Red Herring Maternity” collection, I don’t think they’re selling it at the moment so I couldn’t include a direct link, but here’s a link to their full range: http://tinyurl.com/bd9ujwh
How far along? 27 weeks exactly
Waist measurement: 35.5 inches
Measurement at belly button: 38 inches
Maternity clothes: I got my first maternity T-shirt for Christmas from my lovely Aunt & Uncle. It’s lovely & I’ve worn it a few times already, but I still haven’t bought anything for myself. 
Stretch marks? No, but the skin on my tummy is a little itchy which can sometimes precede stretch marks – so I’m being a bit more liberal with adding moisture.
Sleep: Waking up about 3 times a night at the moment & my hips are really hurting from side sleeping which is not cool. But hey-ho.
Best moment this week: Baby FINALLY kicked my dad (that seems like such a funny thing to be excited by) & of corse the entirety of Christmas was amazing, had such a lovely time.
Miss anything? My gums have been a bit “bleedy” & I don’t like that at all, I do miss that not happening & I’m looking forward to it subsiding.
Movement: Lots again & I’m not even a little bit bored of it. 🙂
Food cravings: No. I’m so boring. 
Anything making you queasy or sick? No smells or tastes, but I really truly HATE the sound of people eating & lip smacking & the cat cleaning. They all make me heave (stupid acute sense of hearing)
Gender: Well this week both George and I were saying that we think that it’s going to be a boy. I wasn’t sure if I should post that in case baby is a girl, but we change what we think all the time & that’s half the fun of not knowing. 
Labour signs: Nope, but I do keep dreaming about giving birth.
Symptoms: Tiredness due to not sleeping well & “bleedy” gums.
Belly button in or out? In, most of the time – it’s sort of inline with my tummy as I’m typing this..
Happy or moody most of the time: Happy, very happy this week. Christmas ensured that.
Looking forward to: Car seat shopping – a little bit lame BUT I haven’t been shopping for donkeys years, so I’ll take car seat shopping over nothing. Oh and I suppose seeing in the New Years might be a little bit exciting too.
 

If I had to start over (my perfect makeup starter kit)

I’ve been making lists of things that we will need to buy for the new house and for the baby, and it got me wondering what would be on my makeup list if I was writing one.

Both the house and baby lists are split by what’s totally needed and what would be nice, but considering makeup isn’t EXACTLY an essential I thought I would just make a post of what I would go out and buy if I had to start from scratch. I hope you find it helpful if you’re thinking of starting your own collection. I would have loved to have had a more sensible starting point to my makeup collection, I could have saved so much money. I wouldn’t ever suggest to anyone that they go out and buy their entire makeup collection at once, but if you want a good starting point: these are my absolute favourite beauty essentials.

Base: Mac Face & Body (C1)  http://tinyurl.com/cb4rbwl

Vichy Dermablend – I use this as concealer (15 opal) http://tinyurl.com/cknowos

Rimmel Stay Matte powder (transparent) http://tinyurl.com/bmc47rj

YSL Touche Eclat (2 Luminous Ivory) http://tinyurl.com/d7b7yn5

Cheeks: Arbonne Blush (Taffeta) http://tinyurl.com/bnznv9g

Nars Bronzer (Laguna) http://tinyurl.com/d7fu2xx

Eyes: Urban Decay Naked 2 http://tinyurl.com/c2xpeht

Urban Decay primer potion http://tinyurl.com/ckwz9lj

Maybelline Gel Eyeliner (black & brown) http://tinyurl.com/d6znel4 http://tinyurl.com/cx52bjz

L’oreal Volume Million Lashes (black) http://tinyurl.com/44bm25h

Eyebrows: Mac Pro Pallet (2) http://tinyurl.com/bmg78le

Eyeshadow pan (brun & omega) http://tinyurl.com/blf9dx9

Brushes & Tools: Arbonne Brush Set http://tinyurl.com/bnznv9g

Real Techniques Core Collection Brush Set http://tinyurl.com/crgdg3n

Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers http://tinyurl.com/7t2qlw5

Lips: Mac Lipsticks (Teddy & Ruby Woo) http://tinyurl.com/6lpk63l

Christmas Gifts.

2013 is going to be a huge year for us as a family, and consequently it will also be a huge strain financially. As much as I wish that it weren’t true; it is an unavoidable fact that most of life’s big events are dependent on varying degrees of financial commitment. It just so happens that we’re embarking on two of the most expensive in the space of two months: Having a baby, and buying a house. This has obviously left us a little shy of making expensive purchases, and has resulted in us both becoming that most unattractive or words: frugal. And there lies out theme for gifts this year: a frugal Christmas.

For a lot of people I know that would destroy their festive feelings, but I found it a lovely challenge. My family had decided the best idea would be that each of us would agree to spend no more than £10 on each member of the family. There was no stress in wondering if we had spent enough, no sick feeling when checking our bank balance, and a genuine feeling of pride when giving our gifts and gratitude for every gift that we received.

George and I decided that we would combine our £10 per person budget to make it £20 per person so that I could find one nice item and a novelty item each (the links to each item are at the end- some are even cheaper now thanks to the January sales). We ended up buying everyone a plain white mug & decorating it with the name that baby will call them (Uncle, Grandad, Mormor). For mum we bought a “festive feet” box with three nail-varnishes and a pair of cashmere socks. For dad we bought a green short sleeved polo shirt, and for my brother we bought a lambswool scarf.

I started  the search months in advance, and began by deciding what I wanted to buy everyone. I then spent hours looking at different retailers and signing up for emails & catalogues with the retailers that I liked. The main reason for this was so that I could be the first to know if there were any sale items and as luck would have it I received discount codes for 3 of the items I ended up buying just for signing up to their catalogue, and I was made aware of a 3for2 on nail-varnishes thanks to a generic sales email. Everything was bought cheaper because I didn’t rush. I have always believed that Christmas is about more than just the amount that you spend on gifts, and this year has really proved that for me. Both George and I agree that this has been our favourite Christmas to date, and we have learnt a lot about how best to spend less.

White Mugs (65p each): http://tinyurl.com/cluxy7s

Nail varnish (£5 for 3) in Gold Glitter, 150 Red Glitter & 296 Coral: http://tinyurl.com/c262e7o 

http://tinyurl.com/cv2m2wu 

http://tinyurl.com/cyy9246

Cashmere Socks (RRP: £30, on sale for £2o, discount code made £14) in Camel: http://tinyurl.com/d5g7jgn

Lambswool Scarf (£20, discount code made £18 & gave free delivery) in Grey Steward Dress: http://tinyurl.com/bnxkkpx 

Polo Shirt (£20, discount code gave free delivery) in Green: http://tinyurl.com/cvp4d59

It’s all about the food

So the 12 days of Christmas are now in full swing and it’s about this time that I begin recovering from my food-hangover. I never really like to think that Christmas is done as soon as we all fall into bed in our new pj’s, I’m all for dragging out the Christmas spirit & I think the easiest way is with food.

In our family the preparing of Christmas food starts long before either of the main events: If I’m making a Christmas cake I will start that at least a month in advance, but even if I’m not we will most certainly be making gingerbread, and that will begin a fortnight before Christmas. We will then make saffron buns, start to pickle the herrings, cure the salmon, make the Christmas porridge, and eventually slow cook the Christmas ham. The final touch before the day is making our Christmas sweets: this year we made knack and ice chocolate. Then of corse there is the cooking that happens on the day itself.

Food is such a massive part of Christmas for us that most years it causes more excitement than the giving & receiving of gifts, this year was certainly one of those years. Despite the time and effort that goes into preparing the food it is always enjoyable, and rarely stressful: Cooking becomes a social event, and the food that we’re preparing is so unique to this time of year and is so traditional that it’s almost like falling back into a comfortable routine, there are few hidden surprises or stresses. There is also a real appreciation of the nostalgic flavours and ritual that goes with the food that help to bring back memories, and invoke a sense of certainty and calm in our other wise stressful and unpredictable lives.

The other great thing about Christmas food is that you always make too much, and that means there will be a day or two where you don’t need to cook at all – which considering I don’t generally enjoy cooking that much, is pretty awesome. And if like me you’ve eaten so much that even a grape would set you sweating: Left overs are perfect because you don’t feel guilty about only eating one mouthful per meal. I had one of my favourite Christmas’ to date, and the food certainly played a part. Here’s some photos of 2 of the 3 Christmas meals I some how managed to consume these past two days, I hope you had as merry a Christmas as we did. Love to you all.

 

God Jul

It’s Christmas Eve!! For my family, and others in parts of Europe, it means that todays the big event. If we were in Sweden we would be opening our presents soon, but that feels like cheating when we’re in England.

We’ve already had Christmas breakfast which was: Christmas Porridge with cinnamon & sugar; crisp bread & Christmas ham; & Christmas bread & cheese. We’ve also had elevensies which was: Tea/Coffee with saffron buns and gingerbread biscuits.

Now we’re preparing our lunch which is going to be a buffet-type affair. The first “course” is pickled herring, gravad lax, christmas ham & an assortment of breads. Then the second “course” is potatoes, kale, meatballs & prince-sausages. Both kitten & puppy are being fed cuts of meat and fish while we’re preparing & dad is sneaking a few mouthfuls here and there as well.

After food we will probably play a board game or maybe watch a film. Usually we would go for a Christmas walk but the weather is not the best, so we’ll probably just sing a few Christmas songs and dance around the house after that. Most years we would be drinking vodka throughout the day but that’s not possible for me, and no-one else seems that fussed, so we’re sticking to beer and Julmust. Tonight mum has invited a few friends round for Mulled Wine & nibbles, then we’ll probably all pass out in a food coma, ready to do it all again tomorrow British-style.

I wanted to post some photos of our day, but as we’re only half way through and now was the only time I thought would be possible to blog, I will probably upload them at a later date. For now though, Merry Swedish Christmas to you & I hope you have an amazing day.

Pregnancy Questions (26 Weeks)

I’m aiming to do one of these with a bump shot every Sunday, as that’s when it’s “week” + zero days, but as I posted one as my first blog a few days back & there really hasn’t been any change in bump size what so ever I’m not going to include a bump shot with this one. However there is a snap of baby’s first bear, which I think is much cooler..
 
How far along? 26 Weeks exactly
Maternity clothes: Nope, still none, but my favourite item of clothing is my H&M skater dress, which unfortunately they don’t sell at the moment, but is very similar to Top Shop’s Flippy Maternity Dresses. It’s the perfect shape for a growing bump & I would absolutely buy it if I didn’t already have my H&M one in a few colours. http://tinyurl.com/chma5ej
Stretch marks? Nothing new to report on this either.
Sleep: Has been pretty hit and miss this week. It took me a good few hours to get comfortable last night & I woke up a few times thanks to the wind outside & my overly sensitive hearing (it’s not proven to be a blessing just yet.)
Best moment this week: Mum bought baby it’s first bear while on a shopping trip, it’s adorable. I’m planning on taking a photo with it sitting on bump at some point, I thought that might be a nice image for the books. The Bear is a “Pudge Dangle Bear” from Air Puppy. http://tinyurl.com/ccfe4ph
Miss anything? I would like to be able to dye my hair. I can’t say that’s it’s something I miss, but I am finding it inconvenient that I can’t because it’s looking very brassy & I would prefer to have nice locks for the Christmas photos… never mind hey?
Movement: Still lots, but my dad is yet to feel any. Every time I call him over when baby’s having a moment it stops, the same thing happened with mum initially. It’s an odd one.
Food cravings: No pregnancy cravings, but I am really looking forward to all the Christmas food YAY.
Anything making you queasy or sick? Mince, but that’s been the case for the past few years.
Gender: Still no clue, I wonder if I have to include this question every week. Surely there’s never been a pregnancy where it changes that often…
Labour signs: No, thank goodness. 
Symptoms: Dry eyes, I hear this is quite common, especially as I wear contact lenses. It’s not unbearable but it has meant that I’ve been wearing my glasses more often that usual.
Belly button in or out? In, though it popped out after my curry the other night. too much korma.
Happy or moody most of the time: Happy, I’ve had one or two tiny freak outs, but I’d actually put that down to Christmas nerves & not hormones.
Looking forward to: Christmas!!! Everything starts today with the festivities, I LOVE THIS TIME OF YEAR.