Monday, 24 December 2012

The Xmas Shopping Guide To Sales Shopping

Hello ladies, I hope you are enjoying all of the festivities and that you are having a brilliant time with your loved ones.
I am a woman of very few talents, but sales shopping, that is my forte! 
Read my guide on how to get the very best from the Christmas sales.

Dress Code?!?
I know you must be thinking, 'are you kidding?!' but I think it is important to dress appropriately and prepare yourself if you are going serious sales hunting!
For me, trainers are a must. Comfy shoes are a basic necessity which everyone should wear when sales shopping. Do not wear heels or brand new shoes, they will ruin both your feet and your mood.
I suggest taking a pair of 'pop socks'/ socks or tights in case you are planning to try on shoes / dresses / skirts. 

Wear comfortable clothes which are easy to slip on and off to try things on, so not too many layers! Wearing something basic (for me, a long, loose tunic and leggings) means you can try on clothes on the shop floor to save you waiting for the fitting rooms. 
Don't wear anything particularly fancy either; new jewellery you received for Christmas may get knocked about in the sales rush.
Take a small over the shoulder bag you can keep over your shoulders without the worry of losing anything. Try only to carry essentials with you! Take out all the usual junk in your handbag, as you don't want to be lugging that around all day.

Prep Time!
Have a bottle of water with you at all times so you don't get dehydrated (and to save waiting in a busy long queue later to get a drink!). Another thing I try to carry is something small to eat like a cereal bar, in-case I get peckish and to avoid finding a table/queuing up for food.
I also find it handy to keep my prefered anti-biotics at hand as I find I get headaches from the bright lights in shopping centres.

A good nights sleep and a proper breakfast before you begin is crucial, as shopping when you are tired and cranky is not fun and will ruin your mood all day.
Its probably a good idea to keep a spare carrier bag with you in-case yours decide to collapse on you in the middle of the shopping centre / highstreet and all your stuff goes flying everywhere...Or even take a 'shoppers bag for life' bag - a canvas floppy bag you can chuck in your handbag which are much stronger than carrier plastic bags.

Obviously its completely up to you who you go with or whether you go alone. Some find it easier to bag a bargain when others aren't distracting them. where as some folk love a helping hand to find a bargain. I personally cant do a serious shop with more than 2 other people with me, and I definitely don't find my OH helpful when it comes to shopping (the moaning of the feet hurting and wandering off every 5 seconds do it for me) so he is left at home.

And shop...
Write a list. This, for me at least, is essential so that I don't go off track. I write one list of all the things I need and then a list of things I have seen and really want. Look in your wardrobe - if you have 20 pairs of jeans but no blouses, don't buy any jeans! I also make a quick note of things I have received for Christmas, for example, if I received 4 bath and shower gel sets, I would make a note of this to ensure I didn't purchase another in the sale. It is also great to list what you received so you can buy things to go with those items, for example you had a new Kindle perhaps? Pick up some accessories for your Kindle in the sales. (does that make any sense? Thought not.).

Don't buy things just 'cause its on offer. I always think, 'if I wouldn't want it at full price, don't buy it if its on sale'. If you wouldn't have wanted the item at full price but are buying it when its reduced, you don't tend to really need or want the item, just buying it cause its cheaper.
Try and set yourself a 'limit' about a price you would be happy to spend, then through out the day, take a small note each time you buy something of how much you spend, so you can keep track of what you have left.
Remember, a bargain isn't a bargain if the item wasn't needed or wanted in the first place.

I read this somewhere but I forget where, but it basically said to stay classic when sales shopping. For example, those bright orange leggings are 80% off for a reason! It is not the time to be overly adventurous with your style, as chances are, the majority of the sales will be full of the rubbish they couldn't sell throughout the year. Shop wisely and when buying clothes, think about when you'd wear it, what you would wear it with and if it suits you.
Check your items before buying! It may be on a size 14 coat hanger (I'm looking at you New Look!) but once you get it home you don't want to find it a size 6!
Also, check zips, buttons and seams to ensure there are no faulty parts of your items :)

Don't be moody with staff or other customers! The staff are so stressed and so busy, the last thing they need is a customer snapping and snarling at them, even if the queue is ridiculously long and you've waited for ages, its post- Christmas- it is to be expected. Don't take your mood out on anyone else - No-one forced you to go shopping. In contrast to that point, don't let people push you around when you are looking at something - you have the exact same right to be there as they have.

I am majorly looking forward to sales shopping post-Christmas (does that make me sad?!) and my first places to visit will definitely be Lush and Boots!
If you would like to see a post on what I pick up from the sales, let me know!

Hope that helps a little bit at least!
Remember to always stay safe :)
Happy sales shopping!
Let me know what you pick up! :)

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Merry Christmas to one and all

Just a quick post to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas!
I hope you all have a fantastic Holiday and enjoy every minute with your family, friends and loved ones.

I am not sure whether I will have chance to post here again in the next week or two, it will be my 1 year Blog Birthday at the end of December, and just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to all of my lovely followers and readers for sticking with me. I appreciate all the lovely comments and feedback, bring on the next year of blogging!

If I don't post beforehand, I hope you have a Happy New Year!
See you in 2013!
Love you all


Wednesday, 12 December 2012

My Bloggers Secret Santa Arrived!

Hey everyone, its under 2 weeks until Christmas, hands up who is excited?!

Back in November I saw that Charlotte was organising a Bloggers Secret Santa and I really wanted to take part. The rules were pretty straight-forward, the limit was £5 and off course, in true secret Santa style, it was off course in secret. 

My lovely package arrived yesterday and I was so so excited I just couldn't help myself and couldn't wait until Christmas, I had to open it....

As you can see it was wrapped absolutely beautifully. I had the most sweetest card from my Secret Santa, I wont share what was written but the little essay which was written for me was so kind and heartfelt I actually cried! It completely made my day and you do not know how truly grateful that little card meant to me. I will treasure it.

Onto what I got:

The Polar Express on DVD
 I was completely thrilled when I opened my little parcel and found this! It is one of those films I adore but never got round to buying it for myself. I remember going to the cinema and watching it when it came out and I cried my eyes out at the end scene with the little boy. Even my dad chirped up when I opened it and said 'that is a brilliant film!' so it is definitely one that not only me, but my whole family will enjoy over the festive period.

Dirty Works Blemish Buster 2-in-1 Scrub and Mask
My secret Santa obviously has studied my likes very well as I adore clay masks! I have never tried any Dirty Works products before but I know my sister uses their Day Cream religiously and cant praise them enough, so I know it is going to be good! It is just what I need to relax and unwind after all the busy festivities (and working in a busy shop) is going on!

As my lovely Secret Santa chose to keep herself a secret, I would like to say a huge thank you to her (I hope you are reading this!) because the gifts which you gave me were so, so thoughtful and sweet. I haven't had the greatest year this year, so the sweet words you wrote in the card really did touch me; knowing that there are such lovely and kind people in the World is such a lovely feeling. I cant wait to sit down and watch The Polar Express, and I will definitely follow your orders and watch it in my comfiest clothes with the Blemish Buster face mask on the go (Hot Chocolate with cream as well off course!) 

It would lovely if you could contact me on here, through email or even Direct Message me on twitter cause I would love to thank you personally :)

How lovely were my gifts!

Have you taken part in any Secret Santa's this year?

Monday, 10 December 2012

Christmas Tag!

Hey everyone! Christmas is upon us and I couldn't resist doing one of these Xmas tags - there were so many! So I did two or three of these together here! 

  1.What is Your Favourite Holiday Movie? 
 Muppets Christmas Carol :)  and Christmas Shoes I absolutely adore that film!

  2. Whats Your Favourite Christmas Colour? 
I love reds and golds at Christmas time :)

  3. Do You Like To Stay in Your PJs Or Dress Up For Christmas?
we always get dressed usually in something new and pretty :)

  4. If You Could Only Buy One Person a Present This Year Who Would It Be?
Oh this is hard, I'd probably say my Dad as he is the best and most selfless person in the world so he definitely would deserve my only gift :)

  5. Do You Open Your Present Christmas Eve Or Christmas Morning?
I have never been allowed to open Christmas presents early, the only things we can open are presents from friends. All of presents are opened on Christmas morning :)

6. Have You Ever Built a Ginger Bread House?
Nope but I really want to!

  7. What Do You Like To Do On Your Christmas Break?
Seeing as I work part time, I don't get any time off over Christmas except for the day itself! but i love the build up to Christmas, the shopping, decorating, cooking etc.
  8. Any Christmas Wishes?
To have a lovely time spent with family and friends :) and best wishes to the year again

9. Favourite Christmas Smell?
Easy-Christmas dinner!!
10. Favourite Christmas Meal Or Treat?
Christmas dinner again :) or cold turkey plate with all the mini party food snacks and cabbage, pickled onions YUM! 

1. Favourite holiday destination?
I have always spent Christmas at home with my family, so I would have to say there!

2. Any family traditions?
Not really. We open gifts in a morning and cook Christmas dinner throughout the day, on a night we usually relax in front of the TV and have a 'Turkey Plate' (cold turkey with savouries and pickled vegetables)

3. Favourite ornament of decoration?
There's a few that me and my sister made as very young children out of clay that we put on the tree every year. My least favourite are these photo tree decorations we has which have photos of me and my sister inside from about 5 years ago- really embarrassing but they are put up every year!

4. What are you doing for the holidays?
I don't actually get any time off work except for Christmas Day so not a lot really.The week before new year I will be working and visiting other family members.

5.Are you a late or early Christmas shopper?
I'm a strange one, me. I start my shopping in mid February, get a few bits, but leave the important presents to the last minute. Next Christmas I'm going to try and get all my presents earlier as I hate leaving it late!

6. Who usually cooks holiday dinners?
We all help, however admittedly mine is a very small impart, as I am useless and cannot cope with the responsibility of an important meal like Christmas Dinner! My family say I am like Chandler from Friends haha

7. Have you ever gone Christmas carolling?
I did this as a child at Primary School for a few years, as I was in the choir for the School. Also at Secondary School I was in vocal group so our School performed over Christmas at a few places, but not carolling.

8. Do you live where it snows?
Well I live in the UK, so it doesn't snow too often! I am one of the few people that dislikes the snow though. 

9. One thing that makes you happiest at Christmas?
Spending time with family and loved ones is the best part of Christmas. I think all the thought, preparation, time and money put into everything at Christmas makes everyone feel warm and fuzzy inside, its a nice feeling.

10. What do you want most for Christmas?
I don't really want anything in particular, I never do! Well, I do like things but not necessarily ask for anything, I love anything anyone gets me because they got it for me.

Favourite Christmas Song - Jingle bell rock- Brenda Lee - I just love this song!

Christmas tree real or fake? - Fake!

Hottest celebrity - Hugh Grant or Charlie Simpson (acquired taste okay!?)

Favourite Restaurant - At Christmas or whenever? I love Frankie and Bennie's Xmas Meals, so I will say there :)

Favourite Magazine - More! and Cosmo

Favourite Holiday Drink - The good old classic Babycham! It wouldn't be Christmas without it.

Favourite Christmas Movie - Oh god this is such a hard question, I don't know! I think I will have to go for the muppets Christmas Carol, as this was my favourite as a child and I still love it now!


Saturday, 8 December 2012

The Xmas Shopping Guide: The Party Edition

The Work Xmas Do

A lot of work Christmas parties tend to be set around the start of December, as venues are veryyy difficult to book around Christmas time. Why not get your outfit ready so you don't have to stress the day before!
I love dressing up. The only thing is, I never get the opportunity to dress up. I say go all out! You have to wear your smart work clothes or uniform all year (well that is unless you have a very glamorous job) you may as well make the extra effort and look your finest at the Christmas do!
Here are a few things I would personally pick out.

1. BooHoo Ria Sequin One Shoulder Dip Hem Dress £30.00. 2. New Look Black Metal Corner Envelope Clutch £14.99. 3. Superdrug Essie Nail Polish A List £7.99.  4. Dorothy Perkins Black frill peplum skirt £20. 5. Select Black Two Tone Platforms £15.00. 6. Topshop Paisley Lace Peplum Tee £28. 

The Family Christmas Get Together/ Party

A lot of families that celebrate Christmas celebrate it very differently. Some may have a small gathering, some may go all out and have a big party. I think with a 'party' like this, I personally would try and dress up a little, but I would probably, myself, wear a casual dress with leggings, or jeans and a pretty top, as I like to be comfortable when I am stuffing my face with turkey sarnies in the company of my loved ones! ;)
Here are some gorgeous pieces I would wear at home or to a family gathering over Christmas.

1. New Look Oatmeal Reindeer Embellished Nose Hoodie £16.99. 2. Miss Selfridge Lace Flock Skater Dress £42. 3. Matalan Slipper Ballet £10. 4. ASOS Christmas Cat Jumper £30. 5. ASDA George Hello Kitty Mule Slippers £6. 6. River Island Dark Denim Molly Jeggings £35. 

The New Years Eve Party
Depending on what you are doing to celebrate the New Year in off course, it is still lovely to dress up a little! I think a bit of glitter and sparkle is a very festive way to dress up over the season, here is what I adore for the New Year Party look.
Here are my fave picks for a New Years party.

1. BooHoo Lucie Leopard Lace Bandeau Skater Dress £20.00. 2. River Island Black Diamante Pointed Collar Necklace £28. 3. MissGuided Josette Slingback Glitter Platform Heels £35.99. 4. Superdrug Max Factor Colour Elixir Lipstick 853 Chilli £7.99. 5. New Look AX Curve Black Sequin Drape Dress £40.00. 6. BooHoo Kim Intense Look Eyelashes Set £3. 

Really hope you enjoyed this post!

Are you dressing up over Christmas?

Do you wear PJ's on Xmas Day or do you dress up?


Thursday, 6 December 2012

Xmas: The 'Don't Forget!' Edition

Hello lovelies, here is another post of my series of 'The Xmas Shopping Guide'. Today's edition will be looking at the bits and pieces you may need to pick up or that you may need to consider and remember over the Christmas period. 

Last UK Post Dates For Christmas 2012:
Make sure your cards/gifts arrive in time for Christmas!

Tuesday 18th December - 2nd Class Delivery
Thursday 20th December - 1st Class Delivery
Saturday 22nd December - Special Delivery 

You can also find a list of the last Christmas post dates for International Airmail and British Air-forces here  on the Royal Mail website. 

Some shopping things to remember...
  • Don't forget to pick up some extra bin bags as I am sure you will have lots of excess packaging to throw away! 
  • Gravy granules, cranberry sauce and tin foil are things we tend to forget until the last minute on Christmas Eve, which means we are rushing around again... think about what you and your family tend to forget and get it early to cross it off the list! 
  • This may be a little late to state and obvious but I am going to write it anyway... buy early to avoid disappointment! And to also avoid arguing over the last frozen turkey with another woman on Christmas Eve...
  • Things our family always seem to forget are BATTERIES! Although we aren't kids any more, we always get a gift every year which needs batteries to be able to use, and we NEVER have any spare at home. Definitely one to pick up before Christmas!
  • Charge your cameras! Every year we always forget to charge the digital cameras meaning missing out taking a few snaps Christmas morning (although I am grateful for this, my morning face isn't pretty).

Closed? Delayed?
Shops will be closed on Christmas day, and a lot of shops will be closed around the Christmas period or not open at normal times. Ensure you have all the essentials (milk, bread, toothpaste) at home already.
The same goes with buses and other forms of public transport. I am unsure if Buses and Trains run on Christmas day (?) but I know that they are known to be less frequent throughout this period, especially on Bank Holidays. If you use public transport, ensure you know the correct times and how frequent they are over this period. If you need to buy train tickets over Xmas, try your best to buy them now as the prices rocket up and up the longer you leave it!

Other things to remember
  • Don't forget that over this time there is a lot of waste, try to recycle bottles, plastic and glass when you can to do your bit and help the environment a little.
  • There a lot of lovely events going on around Christmas time local to you. Christmas light switch ons, Santa's grottos, Christmas Markets, Parties, Pantomimes, much much more I am sure. Be careful and always stay safe lovelies! 
  • If you are wanting / planning to book a venue for a Holiday gathering, do it in advance! Restaurants started taking Christmas bookings as early as July, ensure you book early to avoid dissapointment.

I hope you all have an amazing Christmas holiday and stay safe!

Saturday, 1 December 2012

The Xmas Shopping Guide: The Everyone Else Edition

Hello lovelies. This is the last gift guide post I will be doing now, but be sure to keep on the look out for more Christmas Shopping guides - think party, Christmas dinner and suchlike! (Can you tell I am a crazy Christmas lady yet?)

My top picks for your auntie, grandma, female cousin, friend:
Us ladies are hard to please... usually something pretty to look at and useful to have makes a great present!
My top picks for your uncle, grandad, male cousin, friend:
I think the male family members in anyone's family seem to be one of the hardest to buy for. I picked a few of these, if all else fails, some socks and a big box of chocs will do just nicely I am sure!

Robbie Savage Football Funnies, £10, ASDA

My top picks for 'secret santa':
Most 'secret santas' have a limit of aorund the £5 mark. Here are a few ideas.

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?