Christmas Gift Guide

*’Tis the season where I get all stress-y, fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la!*

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Christmas, the lights, the family time and of course, THE FOOD – bring on the pigs in blanket-induced food coma!
But yeah, the only thing I hate about Christmas is thinking about what to buy everyone… I love buying gifts for people, I just haven’t a clue what to get them and then I get all stressed and my boyfriend wants to kill me haha!
So this year, I’ve got my shit together and sorted out what I’m getting everyone and all before December too! Absolute record for me this!

Here’s a few presents that I’ve got for family and friends, I hope they’ll give you some ideas on what you could get your loved ones this year!

For the parents…

Whenever I ask my mum or dad what they would like for Christmas or birthdays they always say, “Oh don’t worry about us, just get us some chocolates or something…”, which is kind but omg annoying! They deserve so much more than just chocolates so I’ve gone one better and got them the ‘Christmas Treats Gift Box’ from Appleyard London!

I was searching for Christmas hampers online and came across Appleyard London’s selection of hampers, I thought they only sold beautiful flowers – how wrong was I?!
They have an amazing selection of hampers/gift boxes that include so many delicious, yummy items inside them.

After spending a FULL hour looking through all the different hampers they have on offer, I settled on the ‘Christmas Treats Gift Box’ as my parents have such a sweet tooth, like me, and would enjoy every single item it includes.
I was also pleased to see they have ‘Free From’ hampers too, which includes hampers for Diabetics, Vegans, Alcohol-free and Gluten & Wheat free. They’ve literally thought of everyone!

Just when I thought things couldn’t get any better, I went through the checkout with my hamper and discovered that it was FREE NEXT DAY DELIVERY! What have I done to deserve you in my life Appleyard London, why cant other companies have amazing delivery services like yours?!

So the next day my hamper arrived and I had to stop myself from eating everything! I wish someone would buy me one…
How cute is the box it came in though, I’m not even going to wrap it up y’know, it’s cute enough as it is…

Here’s a list of everything that came inside the Christmas Treats Gift Box…

  • Shiraz Cawston Cove South Africa 75cl 13% vol
  • Abbey Biscuits Handmade Christmas Spice Biscuits 150g
  • Barfield Bakery Mince Pies x 3
  • Buiteman Cheddar Biscuits 75g
  • Buttermilk Tab Top Mince Pie Fudge 100g
  • Gold Crown Chocolate Slab with Gold Holly & Red Berries
  • Linden Lady Milk Chocolate Bar with White Snowflake Sprinkles & Mini Marshmallows 100g
  • Mr Filbert’s Chilli & Fennel Mixed Nuts 50g

 

I’m so impressed with all of the items inside this hamper and they all look of good quality too. I cant wait to give it to my parents on Christmas Day, bet it’ll be all gone by Boxing Day!

Now I just need to find a way of getting a bit all of that chocolate bar with marshmallows…

 

For the Boyfriend…

I’ve bought 2 things for G (my boyfriend) this year and it took me friggin FOREVER to think of these items. Men are too hard to buy for in my opinion – they do not know the utter stress we go through trying to think of what to buy them.

Nintendo Switch

Pokemon

I bought this from Game but so many other retailers sell them in various bundles or just on their own.
I decided to buy this bundle for £339.99 as it has a special edition Pokémon design on the switch itself, the new Pokémon game pre-installed AND a pokeball which does something, I’m not really sure what but I’m sure G will figure it out haha!

The other thing I got him was this book by CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale)

G really enjoys all those real ales you see when you go to a pub and likes to discover new ones whenever we go somewhere new so I thought this may be a perfect gift for him.


CAMRA actually have a LOT of gift options which I was really surprised at. Aside from books, they have gift memberships and items of clothing too! Their shop is definitely worth a look for Christmas gifts!
Go to their website to find out more!

Other gifts…

These are the other gifts I have bought for my friends and loved ones.

‘Cold Toes at Christmas’ written by Jo Fitzgerald

I thought this would make a lovely present for one of my friends little boy. The book can be found in Waterstones stores and online too!

 

Sleek MakeUp Set

I thought this Sleek MakeUP set was a bit of a barg in Boots. I actually haven’t got anyone in mind for this yet, I’ll probably end up keeping it but thought it was too good to miss out on!

The set includes…

  • Highlighting Palette Solstice 9 g ! Net wt. 0.31 Oz.
  • i-Divine Eyeshadow Palette Vintage Romance 9 g ! Net wt. 0.31 Oz.
  • Full Fat Lash Mascara 9 ml ! 0.29 US Fl. Oz.
  • Dip It Eyeliner Black 4 ml 0.13 US Fl. Oz.
  • Lip VIP Lipstick Show Off 3.6 g Net wt. 0.12 Oz.
  • Eau La La Lip Liner Dragonfruit 1.1 g Net wt. 0.03 Oz.
  • Matte Me Metallic Lip Cream Anodized Ruby 6 ml ! 0.19 US Fl. Oz.
  • Matte Me Lip Cream That’s So Fetch 6 ml ! 0.19 US Fl. Oz.

Get to your nearest Boots store or their website to get yours!

 

Not forgetting…

CARDS!
Yes I’m one of those people who still love to give cards for all types of occasions despite it being easier to send texts/emails or use social media.

Receiving a card, to me, shows that someone’s taken the time to think of you and what better time to do that than at Christmas!

I usually like to buy cards that are not found in high street shops so I buy most of them from Etsy shops. This year I came across these guys – Extra Strong Prints, they have really cute simple designs in their shop!

 

 

I hope my gifts have given you some ideas on what to buy your loved ones this Christmas!!
Now to get wrapping everything, I’m not the best so wish me luck?

 

Liv x

 

 

christmas gifts presents lights hamper gift guide xmas

St Tropez One Minute Everyday Pre-Shower Tanning Mousse Review

Bit of a mouthful that title isn’t it?!

I’m a complete tanning novice with only a few orange streaky applications of Dove Summer Glow under my belt when I was around 15 years old.

This year, what with the heatwaves we had, I felt confident enough to wear shorts but that meant I’d have to expose my milk bottle legs to the world. I did and I felt fine doing this but I was so jealous of all the girls with gorgeous tanned legs. Plus I’d managed to acquire some interesting tan lines on my feet which look friggin’ awful!

I actually first saw this gradual tan on YouTube, I watched a couple of vids from people who’d reviewed it and thought I’d give it a go. To be honest though, looking back, these girls who reviewed the product were already quite tanned to start with…

st tropez tan

This product appealed to me as I’m mega lazy and it claimed to work BEFORE a shower and take one minute to do so. I could so easily fit it into my daily routine no probs, my prayers had been answered!
Here’s what St Tropez claim on their website:

The World’s first One Minute Pre-Shower Tanning Mousse is the most convenient way to an everyday sunkissed glow. Simply apply to dry skin daily and shower off after just 1 minute for a subtle golden glow from day one. Reapply daily, or leave on longer for a deeper glow.

I WAS SOLD.

*Just a note to do a test patch the day before you use this product in case you are allergic to it*

DAY ONE

To apply this mousse was really nice and easy if I’m honest. It comes out as a white fluffy mousse and when you put it onto your skin it’s white too which makes application much easier as you can see where you’ve applied it.
There was a slight smell on application but it reminded me of shampoo rather than biscuit-y tan smell which was quite nice tbh! It also soaked into my skin really quickly.
St Tropez say on their website that you can leave it on for up to 5 minutes so that you get a deeper glow so I thought I’d try make the most of the product.

After 4 minutes I hopped into the shower and washed my body with my usual shower gel.

Throughout the day I kept checking my legs to see if anything was developing but didn’t really notice anything…

DAY TWO

After sleeping with the product on, I woke up to my legs looking, not so tan-like, but as if the product had evened out my skin tone. Which was good but I was expecting more of a little glow.
I could also smell the dreaded biscuit-y smell… BUT there was no transfer on my pyjamas or bed sheets.
Onto the next application…
Before I had my usual shower of the day I stuck another layer on my legs, waited the full 5 minutes this time and then showered it off.

During the day I did notice a very very slight tan beginning to develop but I wouldn’t really call it a tan if I’m honest.

DAY THREE

When I woke up this morning I REALLY wanted to see lovely tanned legs and they just weren’t there… I would say that it definitely evened out the skin tone of my legs but again, no real tan to shout about.

I decided to give it one last try as it is a gradual tan after all and I guess the results I’ve got are gradual…
So again, I applied another layer of the tan before my morning shower, waited 5 minutes then washed it off.

I did notice this time during the day that a bit of colour developed! THANK THE LORD!

THE VERDICT

Please excuse my AWFUL legs!

I don’t think gradual tanners are for me, I’m faaaaaaar too impatient! This product did even out my skin tone and gave me a very slight tan but I don’t think it’s for me.
What doesn’t work for one person may work for another though and I do think it’s worth a shot.

I think I’m going to give St Tropez’s Self Tan Express Bronzing Mousse a go next. Has anyone used it or got any recommendations for other self tans?

Liv x

tan st tropez

John Frieda Frizz Ease Miraculous Recovery

I just had to write about these products as they COMPLETELY saved my hair!

In 2016 my hair started to die. Every time I went to wash it big clumps would fall out in my fingers, it was absolutely devastating and so scary. My long thick hair which always got compliments from everyone I met was reduced to a limp, dull, lifeless mess.

Over a year and a half I went through 4 different brands of shampoo and conditioner hoping that a change would do the trick but no, the clumps still kept falling and I dreaded every time my hair needed washing.

I went to my GP and asked if I could have blood tests to see if I was lacking any vitamins or to see if there were any problems with my hormones. The tests all came back fine.

So I racked my brains desperately trying to think what could be doing this. Was there anything I was doing to my hair that could cause this? Then it hit me, it had been staring me right in the face. I’d damaged my hair due to over 10 years of using straighteners on it.
It was a vicious circle. I always felt I had to straighten it because it was frizzy if I didn’t but every time I straightened I just caused more damage and of course more frizzy-ness.

So I went online and scoured the Boots website for shampoos and conditioners to help tame my frizz and try to fix the damage I’d done to my beautiful hair.
I read so many reviews you would not believe! Eventually I settled on a well-known brand, John Frieda Frizz Ease. I chose their Miraculous Recovery range as it claimed it would repair the look and feel of dry damaged hair and restore hair’s natural frizz defences.

 

The Products

I bought the shampoo, conditioner, intensive masque AND their crème serum. Can you tell I was desperate to save my hair?!

The shampoo and conditioner are both a pearlescent white colour and a nice thick consistency, which to me, says luxury all over it.

I use the masque once a week after shampooing my hair and leave it on for 5 minutes, letting it work its magic and then rinse it out.

I’m almost certain that this masque is the main product which has helped my hair most of all. I felt and saw a difference in my hair straight away after the first and every time I use it!

In the past, with other hair products I have used, I never saw any difference. But with these products and especially the masque, I do! And they all smell DIVINE.

After I’ve shampooed, conditioned/used the masque, I use the repairing crème serum on my damp hair and then leave my hair to air dry. I also use the serum over the next couple of days on my dry hair and it takes away any frizz that I might have due to being caught out in the rain or humidity. This stuff WORKS people!!! And it doesn’t leave any sticky residue in my hair either.

I’ve been using all these products for around 7 months now and my hair feels so nice again. Soft, shiny, bouncy and thankfully it’s beginning to get thicker again. Most importantly, I don’t get clumps of hair falling out anymore!!! Washing my hair is not so frightening once again, still an annoying job but thankfully not upsetting.

I have not been sponsored for this post, I just remember how I used to spend hours desperately searching for help with my hair hoping to find something that would save it.

 

 

Livvy x

 

hair

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