Author Archives: Blogabooketc

25 Things to Do Before Christmas

Christmas, Organisation, Blogging, Lists, Blog A Book Etc, FayIn the run up to Christmas schedules become crammed and personal lives seem to be taken over by office parties, present buying and just the general frenzy that surrounds the festive season. With Michael Buble’s Christmas album on my Spotify I am sitting here writing this post sipping an extra hot Eggnog Latte in one of my toastiest jumpers. There is just something about getting cosy in a quite corner of Starbucks and planning the month ahead.

  1. Write out your Christmas cards and get them sent off on time (Find posting dates for Royal Mail HERE)
  2. Order your Turkey and other meats – I’m getting mine from Waitrose as they have such a wonderful range – don’t forget your veg too!
  3. Buy or make your own advent calendar
  4. Ask people for an idea of what they would like for Christmas – a way to save money instead of impulsive purchases
  5. Order any online purchases early to avoid delivery date disappointment
  6. Buy your wrapping essentials
  7. Put up the Christmas tree & decorate
  8. Decorate the rest of the house – twinkle lights, tinsel and other such decorations
  9. Visit a Christmas Market or two
  10. Buy some nice snugly woollies – socks, hats, gloves, earmuffs etc.
  11. Ice Skating – or viewing! I know that I am rather rubbish at it and would rather not fall in a heap ON ICE!!
  12. WINTER WONDERLAND – It’s in capitals just because I love it.
  13. Christmas Cocktail making – this can be a nice evening for friends to get together before the big day
  14. A winter walk – if you have dogs this may seem like just a regular day but grab a hot chocolate and layer up with your loved one, something to do together and head to a different park or route if without the hounds
  15. Get out the Christmas movies (I have a bundle that are bought out each year)
  16. Drink an Eggnog Latte – they are just so tasty, especially if you have a sweet tooth
  17. Buy a Christmas jumper or two – I got mine HERE
  18. Take lots of wintry photographs and make some memories
  19. Wrap presents
  20. Deliver presents that are local before the big day – so you don’t have to get out of your pj’s
  21. Drink Baileys and eat mince pies all in one sitting
  22. Draft up festive messages for those that are abroad and those that won’t be getting presents
  23. Get ready and party with the work lot
  24. Smooch under the mistletoe and for the rest of the day!
  25. Settle down and just ENJOY.

Christmas, Mistletoe, Love, Festive, Blog A Book Etc, Fay, Stock PhotoIn the past there have been some highly fraught Christmases that I can tell you now if I had prepared would not have been so bad. After last years Christmas was done and dusted I made a list (love a list!) of what I needed for next (this) Christmas and got cracking on my shopping list in the January sales. As we are merely a month away now I feel much more prepared than usual and do hope that this year will be much smoother throughout.

Is there anything in particular on your ‘Christmas List’?!

BEAUTY | Lush Oxford Street

Lush, Lush Oxford Street, Oxford Street, London, Beauty, Bath, Skincare, Blog A Book Etc, Fay**FIRSTLY Let me apologise this post was meant to be published yesterday but it skipped for some reason – better late than never**

There is something about finding a new Lush store, even though the products are the same the space is always different. The teams of people that work together at Lush always seem to gel incredibly well together and share one of the happiest workplace environments that I have ever seen. Coming from a career that is highly stressful to be able to walk into a store that is just chilled and functional is great experience.

From bath bombs to hair oils this place really does HAVE IT ALL, like I said at first there are no two stores that are exactly the same. As we were walking around we made our way downstairs and went peeked behind a black curtain, luckily one of the lovely members of staff talked us through the entire ‘behind the curtain’ experience. At the end of the experience the only thing I can really say about it is that I am still not sure how to describe it.

Lush, Lush Oxford Street, Oxford Street, London, Beauty, Bath, Skincare, Blog A Book Etc, FayLush Oxford Street really is a big deal guys, I mean seriously just look at the test pool for starters (that is just at the front!)

Many different products in a variety of alcoves and room spaces with descriptions of the thought that went into them. Before we reached the exit there were three perfumes on a podium with a cloche over each one, we were about to lift and sniff and two were a little too overpowering for my tastes. It was lovely to smell something that you knew was completely natural. For the life of me I cannot find the photo of the three perfumes or think of the name of my favourite but I will have another look and if still unsuccessful I will just have to go back (oh the horror!!! – of course I am joking!).

Lush, Lush Oxford Street, Oxford Street, London, Beauty, Bath, Skincare, Blog A Book Etc, FayEverywhere I go these days I see things that I would love to have in my future house and this sink is one of them. Being used to one at my parents I think has spoiled me a little and I would just love one of these for myself. Aside from the sink, check out all the lovely bits elsewhere. Lush’s entire shop seems to be based on ‘Indulgence‘ and the best thing about that is that it is luxury with a not so hefty price tag. You know those days when you really could just do with a day off from life in general . . . well this is one place that you can come to get all of the ingredients to put into such a day and I can almost guarantee that you will feel chilled out and ready for the world at the end of it.

Lush, Lush Oxford Street, Oxford Street, London, The Experimenter, Guardian of the Forest, Hair Products, Bath Ballistics, Bath Bombs,Beauty, Bath, Skincare, Blog A Book Etc, FayA favourite of mine is Guardian of the Forest and I don’t think it is available at other stores so this was one that made it into my basket with no hesitation whatsoever. The Experimenter is one that at the time I was yet to use so of course that made the final cut also. As we head into the month of December I am putting the finishing touches on my Christmas shopping, getting all previously bought presents (from throughout the year) out of their hiding places and am getting started on my wrapping plans.

I love to make Lush goody baskets for my mum and the boyf’s mum so this year will be no different. The only thing about that is that I don’t like to buy the bath bombs until a little closer to Christmas as they can be quite messy if left out. I have got so many ideas and cannot wait to get back to this store as soon as possible. If Guardian of the Forest is available I will definitely be including that one.

Lush, Lush Oxford Street, Oxford Street, London, Beauty, Bath, Skincare, Blog A Book Etc, FayAs you may already know I have quite difficult hair, despite having mixed Caribbean heritage I am far from the desired tight curls that I used to have when I was much younger. After years of relaxing, heat treating and just not a lot of TLC I am trying to get back to my roots and hopefully revive my locks. There are so many products out there promising so much from themselves and unfortunately quite a few that I have tried seemed to have just sagged and been an overall waste of my time and money.

Lush have got an incredibly vibrant selection in their Oxford Street store and the assistance is also top notch. Whether it is the person at the front of the shop or the one right at the back there is always a warm smile and hello waiting as you stroll in and waft for a fair while around this beautiful fragrant goodness.

Lush Oxford Street, Lush Soap, Lush Fresh Face Mask BarAs you can see there is so much to take in and if you go with a strict budget then it is probably fair to say that you will not be sticking to it. Between three floors you are likely to find something for yourself, your loved one and even a friendly next door neighbour. I was thinking about heading back soon whilst in the area to get a few little Christmas stocking fillers but I am not sure if my wallet is prepared let alone myself.Lush Bath Products, Top Floor Oxford StreetIf you have a favourite then you are almost sure to find it and if you let one of the staff know what you are looking for they will find you some delightful accompanying products. For some it may be an overload on your senses but really it is totally worth it for the experience. Once you have been in you would think that you could go back and straight in to pick up those few essentials – well, let me tell you now that no matter how many times you visit this amazing store you will never leave in 5 minutes unless you are pretty militant with your time.Lush Ocean Salt Scrub & Oxford Street SoapWith that in mind I am setting myself a 10 minute Lush challenge – I will post the details of it in another post but seriously this is something that I am slightly already doubting myself. If you would like to get involved then sure – give me a follow on one of the following . . .





Carnaby Street Lights

BEAUTY | Studio 8 with Clarins

Clarins GiftsA couple of months ago I attended my first John Lewis event, as we entered the store I felt a little nervous but as we approached the escalators my fears were soon quashed. We were welcomed by a lovely lady holding a sign who also directed us to the next member of staff who escorted us to the back office of the store (where the magic happens!). We were once again welcomed by one of lovely hosts and offered snacks and bubbles. Gratefully after rushing around during the day I put my bag down and indulged in the moment.

Fashion Blogger, Lifestyle Blogger, Beauty Blogger, Fashion, Studio 8, Phase Eight, Autumn, Winter, AW15, Blog A Book Etc, FayWith a rack of clothes on one side and a massage chair and table full of beauty bits on the other I was ready to get stuck in. Surrounded by a number of other bloggers I was amazed by how chilled and friendly they all were – when I say amazed I guess that is a slightly harsh word, I just mean that after the day I had it was nice to be in the company of people who were so chilled with the same passion as mine.

Over at the beauty bar we were able to get a soothing back massage and a hand treatment which really was a nice cherry on top of a very tasty cake. I love Clarins products with any extra encouragement so this really was a nice treat to start the evening ahead. Whilst we were getting our hand treatment we were asked to take some snaps and enter a draw to win a large Clarins goody bag with some full sized products and other bits. All that was needed from us was to tweet about it and the funniest tweet won the prize. Unfortunately I was not the lucky winner of this awesome goody bag but it went to a lovely welsh blogger called Duniye – everyone was lovely but I just loved her accent and she travelled a fair way to be there so she definitely deserved that little extra.

Clarins, Beauty, Spa, Beauty Blogger, Blogger, Blog A Book Etc, FayNot sure what happened with my hair there but I had a rough day so cut me some slack!!!

Onto the evening ahead. . .

We were sat down and involved in a discussion about current plus size fashion in correlation with smaller sized clothing and what ladies of such sizes really want. We were then shown a range of clothing (Studio 8) that I have to say really did take my breath away, with soft greys amongst bright patterns I just wanted to try it all on. Of course this was the next step for the evening ahead. Studio 8, Phase Eight, AW15, Work Attire, Fashion, Business Fashion, Fashion Blogger, Blogger, Blog A Book Etc, FayA dressing room was cordoned off just for us and we had the assistance of our own personal stylist and photographer. Posing for photos is something that I really don’t enjoy but what better time to get over myself and just get on with it (this is something that I am still battling with but hopefully will come out of my shell sooner rather than later).

Studio 8, Phase Eight, AW15, Fashion, Fashion Blogger, Blogger, Blog A Book Etc, Fay

Studio 8 Night at John Lewis dress and cardigan coatLooking back over the photos I want it all, I did feel pretty silly standing there with my hands on my hips but hey, getting in the spirit was extremely fun. My favourite section had to be the cardigans as they were all just so wonderful and snugly and exactly what I wanted for the winter ahead. The materials were soft, well cut and easily matched with other items that you would wear on a daily basis. Pairing them with the jeans and converse that I wore to the event I think I managed a very casual and comfy look.

As we went to leave we were given a goody bag it was fully of delightful goodies for us to take home including something for the men in our lives. It also came with a very pretty cosmetics bag.

John Lewis, Clarins, Gift Bag, Blogger Event, Event, Blogger, Lifestyle Blogger, Fashion Blogger, Beauty Blogger, Beauty, Blog A Book Etc, Fay

John Lewis, Clarins, Beauty, Men, Beauty Blogger, Blog A Book Etc, FayCute right?!

Do you have a favourite Clarins product?

Have you seen the Studio 8 brand yet?