Tag Archives: London

Christmas: Gift Guide (Female|More Expensive)

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 Hello Everyone! It is finally December 1st which means it’s time to open our advent calenders and decorate the house. I want this month to be festive on my blog and this is why I’m doing Christmassy themed posts. This week I’ll be posting Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday with the next four days being gift guides for those of you out there who still haven’t got anything (or any ideas) for a loved one, or perhaps you don’t even know what you want yourself and are looking for some inspiration.

Today’s gift guide is going to consist of some more expensive gifts with a female orientation. This doesn’t mean, of course, that some of the gifts can’t be given to men – if it’s something that they will like, then that’s what matters. To see the gift guide for Females but with less expensive gifts visit my blog again on Wednesday. 1To find the items I’m recommending, click the orange links that will be displayed on certain words. Enjoy!

Let’s start with make-up because after all even if the woman isn’t a make-up artist or a YouTube guru, they will still wear make-up of some variety: the make-up palette I have found is the Clarins Enchanted Colour Quartet and Liner Palette for £29 at Tesco Direct. Another example is the Too Faced: Beauty Wishes and Sweet Kisses Christmas Palette for £28.80.2

Next, a skincare item, since everyone of any gender needs to take care of their skin to ensure it remains strong and healthy looking: For this I have found the Winter Lace Aria Clarisonic currently a steep £155 from Space.NK but it is totally worth the money since it ‘cleanses your skin up to six times more effectively with this using patented sonic frequency, the Aria exfoliates while it cleanses, revealing a softer, 3smoother and clearer complexion’.

Every girl needs some perfume, right? How about Chanel Coco Mademoiselle for £75? This gift set includes a 20ml Eau De Parfum purse spray and two 20ml refills. Its fragrance is described as ‘sexy, fresh oriental’.

Christmas is the time when all the bath sets and beauty gifts come out all prettified and beautiful. This year I have found three delicious looking sets from The Body Shop. The first is the Frosted Cranberry Tubes of Treasures costing £15. It contain4s a shower gel, a body polish, a body butter and a Bath Lily. The second is the Strawberry Ultimate Luxuries containing a shower gel, body butter, body polish, body sorbet, beautifying oil and a perfume for £35. The final set is the Shea Ultimate Luxuries and is an alternate theme than the previous set. It contains a shower cream, body scrub, body butter, beautifying oil, perfume and a 5Body Whip… again for £35.

 Continuing on this theme, you could always buy that speci6al person an experience… say a spa day for example. The cheapest example I found was on Tesco Direct: Clarice House Superior Pampering Spa Day for 2 for £130. To find out more click the relevant links, for other experiences if a spa day is not for you click here.

Clothes are a classic Christmas gift but it can be terribly difficult to buy something that fits perfectly, that suits the person’s style and is something that they’ll like. Perhaps this Oversized Black Check Square Scarf from ASOS for £18 will do the job since everyone 7needs a scarf in these winter months.

For the more fashionable female, you may consider buying a stylish bag of some sort. I found this really modern and chic ‘Mi Pac‘ backpack from Liberty for £60.

 Another popular gift is the candle, especially those Christmas themed ones… my first candle is the Elemis Spa Light Candle8; £25 from Feel Unique. It is described through this short blurb: ‘Infuse and illuminate your home with this iconic Elemis scent of spa. Soothe the mind with beautiful aromatics of vanilla, whilst uplifting with orange and cinnamon spices’. The second ‘candle’ I’m showing you is actually a set from Yankee Candle, available from Amazon for £10.99 (with free delivery),  containing five Christmas scents.

Hopefully, this has given you plenty of inspiration or some sort of starting point if you are still completely unstarted with your Christmas Shopping! Happy December 1st!

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Disclaimers:

1. Some of my inspiration came from Fleur’s gift guide: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXrSE7TqUlk

2. All images in this post came from the links already inserted – I do not own these pictures.

3. I am not sponsored by any of these companies nor have I been asked to comment on these products.

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Beauty: What’s in my shower?

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DSC07804Today I’m going through the products I have in my shower, since I’m absolutely loving them recently.

First, Shampoo. I’ve been using the Anovia Head On Detangling Shampoo. It’s a wonderful product as it is so easy to lather and then to wash out so that you get the cleanest hair and no horrible residue. It treats the hair as well since it has tea tree oil in the formula. If I’m not using this shampoo I tend to use Head and Shoulders for the same reasons.

Conditioner. I don’t use conditioner often because to be honest, I don’t feel like I need to. When I do use it though, I’ve been using the Wilko’s Fruits Rhubarb and Vanilla conditioner. I love the smell and I love the whole Fruits range which is why I have a lot of it.

Shower Gel. At the moment I’ve been alternating between two Fruits shower gels. The Strawberry and Pomegranate one and the Lemon and Black Pepper one. The scents are so strong but not in an overpowering way. They’re just so delicious. The Fruits range are currently 3 for £3, so they’re a good bargain too.

So far, these tend to be my typical shower products but recently I’ve found or been given some hotel ‘freebies’. First I have two from a London hotel, I think, it doesn’t say on the bottles, and I’ve got a body wash and a shampoo. They’re Refresh products ‘enriched with natural extracts of Aloe Vera’ and I have to say they’re quite good. The next three are from Letoonia Resorts (in Turkey I think) and I was given these by my grandma. I have a shampoo, a shower gel and a hair conditioner. Once again, these work pretty well and I’ve had no complaints from any of my hotel ‘goodies’.

That’s it!

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Music: Matt Willis

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MWToday’s Music Recommendation is Matt Willis’ Solo Album, Don’t Let It Go to Waste. Most people, I’m sure, know who Matt is but in case you don’t he is a British musician and songwriter, TV presenter and actor. He is one third of the now split band Busted and one sixth of the newly formed supergroup McBusted. Following the Busted split Matt released his debut solo album which had three top 20 singles. In 2006, following this release, he won I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! In 2011 Matt starred as Fiyero in the West End hit musical Wicked! Following this in 2013, he appeared in The West End Men alongside Lee Mead. Matt Willis, as well as working with the McFly and Busted boys, has a role in UK soap EastEnders as Luke Riley. In January Matt played the role of Garth Stubbs in Birds of a Feather.

CDMatt Willis’ solo career was short-lived as he soon realised he much preferred creating albums and music in a band. Never the less, Matt managed to create a wonderful pop-punk album. I listen to this album a lot because it’s got a similar sound to Busted but is mixed with a harder, edgier tone which just sounds so good. My favourite songs are Fade out and Ex-Girlfriend although I do absolutely the entire album.

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Disclaimer – I do not own the above photo of Matt, it is from: http://www.tattoodonkey.com/kerry-king-marshall-s-tattoo/

Music: Jesus Christ Superstar and Phantom of the Opera

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Today’s music recommendation is going to be Jesus Christ Superstar. This is because I like a lot of musicals and I always name Phantom of the Jesus Christ SuperstarOpera as my favourite for its atmosphere, it’s drama and the phantom himself and I absolutely love it’s music but I don’t necessarily love all the songs… so I’ve had to re-evaluate which is my favourite and I think Jesus Christ Superstar deserves the top spot in my musical lophantom-1ving heart. I love all of the music in Jesus Christ Superstar and I always sing along and I know all the words. The music tends to be my go to play on Spotify and I think it’s just crafted magnificently, not that Phantom isn’t, both Phantom of the Opera and Jesus Christ Superstar have brilliantly composed music and that’s thanks to the genius that is Andrew Lloyd Webber.

So I guess this post has become me raving about both musicals. Now I’ve had the pleasure to watch Phantom of the Opera in London at the West End and it was fantastic. I’ve also fallen in love with the 2013 arena tour version of Jesus Christ Superstar that we have on DVD. It is because of the incredible music that they’ve hooked me so well.

Before the rambling continues… Here’s a song from both shows:

 

If ever you have the chance to see either show, grab it!

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Disclaimer – I do not own these pictures, they are from: http://now-here-this.timeout.com/2012/05/18/christ-almighty-%E2%80%98jesus-christ-superstar%E2%80%99-comes-to-town/ and http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/whats-on/music/jesus-christ-superstar-birmingham-nia-1717195 and http://www.uktheatretickets.co.uk/blog/index.php/547/phantom-of-the-opera-a-musical-that-has-everything

Books and Reading: Letter to an Unknown Soldier

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Today I’m not recommending a book, nor am I recommending a magazine. Today, I’m recommending a website, a website with lots of things to read and this is the 1418 website which is hSoldier Statueosting the Letter to an Unknown Soldier project.

This project was inspired by a statue of an unknown soldier in London’s Paddington Station to commemorate the 100th year Anniversary of World War One. The project asked for letters to be written to the Unknown Soldier but this was to be loosely followed with people writing to the soldier, from the soldier and some were just general ponderings. The project is now finished and the Unknown Soldier can no longer receive any more letters but all of the letters are now stored on the 1418 website creating a new kind of War Memorial. Letters will be shown on the website until 2018 when they will be transferred and stored in the British Library.

For a more in depth version of what I just said, here is some information from the website itself: ‘The website opened on the 28th June 2014, the centenary of the Sarajevo assassinations, and close at 11pm on the night of 4th August 2014, the centenary of the moment when Prime Minister Asquith announced to the House of Commons that Britain had joined the First World War. As the letters arrived, they were all published on the website and made available for everyone to read.

Letter to Unknown Soldier will be archived here, as part of 14-18 NOW, until 2018. After that, all of the letters will be archived in the British Library where they will remain permanently accessible online, providing a snapshot of what people in this country and across the world were thinking and feeling about the centenary of WW1.’

Many celebrities have taken part in the project such as Stephen Fry and our own Prime Minister, David Cameron. Not only that but many schools took part including my own, even I have taken part. I’ll enter my letter at the end of this blog post if anyone wants to read it. I then urge you to go over to the website and read some of the worlds’ letters.

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Disclaimer – I do not own the picture, it is from: http://www.culture24.org.uk/history-and-heritage/war-and-conflict/first-world-war/art488420-Statue-of-the-Unknown-Soldier-receives-over-4000-letters-in-First-World-War-Centenary-project

 

Letter from an Unknown Soldier:

Tension has been building ever so slowly, as time goes on, the more we grow silent. There’s a chill in the air making everything feel unpleasant, the sinister wind is whispering tales to us from the future. I didn’t have any sleep last night, as the fear in my stomach fluttered, the anticipation numbs my thoughts, my very feelings. I haven’t eaten breakfast this morning, although I was served a hearty meal, I couldn’t eat a bite. I feel like a condemned man, awaiting the dark that’s inevitable. The others and I don’t bear to look into each other’s eyes for we do not know who will still be here in the coming hours. When the whistle blows, I may not be here either.

So this is my last goodbye I suppose, I hope my efforts and the efforts of my comrades do make a difference, that they’re worth it later tonight, worth it when the wars over, worth it in 100 years. Don’t cry, as I presume you already are, for I will finally be in peace, in my heart, as I won’t have to suffer the images of my friends, my brothers, dying… to finally see the end of the cries, the gunshots, to stop fearing death… it will be a great pleasure. When I’m in Heaven, I can once again enjoy the sweet sound of music, the taste of those boiled sweets, the baking you made for me the last time we spoke and I will once again be able to see my boys as they play football in the streets. I’ll forever be watching, my love.

***

Dear Mrs. Locke.
            It is my painful duty to inform you that a report has been received from the War Office notifying the death of: Corporal Edward Locke, which occurred on the front lines.
            By His Majesty’s command I am to forward the enclosed message of sympathy from Their Gracious Majesties the King and Queen, I am at the same time to express the regret of the Army Council at his passing in his Country’s service.
            Any information that may be received as to the soldier’s burial will be communicated to you in due course. A separate leaflet dealing more fully with this subject is enclosed.
Will you also kindly accept my sincere sympathy and condolence in the demise of such a worthy citizen and heroic soldier. While one cannot too deeply mourn the loss of such a brave comrade and husband, I believe comfort can be taken in knowing that he did his duty fearlessly and well, and gave his life for the protection of his country.
            Again extending to you my heartfelt sympathy.                                                                             Faithfully, Major General William Phelps.

***

I’m just an unknown soldier, going to die amongst other unknown faces, I know that. So remember, when you see an Unknown Soldier show him love for his name has already been forgotten… make sure his face isn’t.