Life: Blogger's Secret Santa!

If I haven't mentioned it before, I LOVE CHRISTMAS. I'm like a little kid at this time of year, and nothing makes me happier than Christmas trees, lights and presents! I'm more into giving presents than receiving them myself - there's just something so satisfying about watching someones face whilst they open something you've specially picked out just for them - but when I was contacted to take part in a special blogger's Secret Santa by the girls at Workwear Express, I couldn't say no!

As well as receiving this snuggly Christmas jumper in the post, I was also sent another little treat - an old fashioned santa sack - lovingly picked out for me by my Secret Santa. I was set the same task and was asked to pick out a jumper and another gift, and was lucky enough to be sent the same jumper as I'd picked out! Thank you so much to Branded 3 and to my Secret Santa for making Christmas come early this year...

I hope you're all enjoying National Christmas Jumper Day and have spent it snuggly and warm in your own festive attire ready for the big day in a week's time!

What are you most looking forward to this Christmas?
Let me know in the comments below and don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to keep up to date with more of my posts :)

Always, Alice x

Life: The #wrenfamilyfavourites Event With Linda Barker!

 A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending a lovely little event at the Wren Kitchen HQ not far from where I live. And who would be there? None other than Linda Barker herself!
It was a lovely opportunity to catch up with some familiar faces (Charlotte from Styleaked in particular, what a babe!) and also meet so many new gals with the prosecco flowing and cake on the table!

We were there to have a little nosy around Linda Barker's collaboration with Wren - which is bloody amazing btw - and having just moved into my first home, it was right up my street as I've been going absolutely interiors bonkers at the minute! We were also treated to a live baking demonstration as part of the Wren Family Favourites competition and campaign, with Linda playing the part of Mary Berry and she did so well! We got to sample some of the yummy cakes she had made, which were inspired by recipes sent in by members of the public for the #wrenfamilyfavourites campaign. On offer was a chocolate and vanilla marble cake, a peanut butter banana bread and I got to tuck into my first mince pie of the year!

As for Linda's kitchens, I need one in every colour and style please. Thanks.

I want to say a massive thankyou to everyone at Branded 3 for putting on such a lovely event and for providing with the most amazing personalised goodie bags (personalised mixing spoon, so CUTE!). It was such a pleasure to meet Linda Barker who was probably the most beautiful woman I've ever seen and it was lovely to meet so many local bloggers too!

Always, Alice x

(Click the Wren link above to find a hilarious video of the evening featuring a verrrrrrry goofy your truly!)

Beauty: HUGE Lush Haul!

It's that time of year again - when my bank balance is at an all-time low but my bath game is strong. Of course, I'm talking about my massive annual Lush haul where I go absolutely bonkers and get sucked in by all the Christmas goodness and buy two of each. It's a hard life.

Whilst visiting Liverpool at the beginning of last week and to the dismay of my other half, I couldn't resist but have a browse in their store and after fighting through the crazed Christmas shoppers, I came out with a VERY full bag.
The first thing I picked up was the Salted Coconut Hand Scrub (£7.95 for 130g) after having my eye on it for aaaaaages. Working two jobs throughout Autumn/Winter has really taken it's toll on my skin - especially my hands - so I'm excited to give this a go. It smells a lil' bit like Playdough, but after using it once I can already see a massive improvement and my lizard hands are super soft!
The other non-Christmassy thing I added to my collection was the Experimenter bathbomb (£3.95). I'm a little late to the party with this one, and although I'm not keen on the smell, I think it will look AMAAZING.

Now on to the good stuff...

It wouldn't be Christmas without a Butterbear bathbomb (£1.95), he's so CUTE! No bells and whistles with this one but it smells so good and with the little beads of cocoa butter inside to nourish the skin while you bathe, it's definitely one of my favourites!
One of the newbies I'm excited to try out this year is the Bah Humbug bubble bar (£3.65), which also smells friggin' amazing! Its powerful liquorice scent might not be to everyone's taste but I bloody love it, and I'll be stocking up on more before they're all gone...

I couldn't leave behind the adorable Peeping Santa bubble bar (£3.95), which smells so fruity and yummy! He got a little bit squished in the midst of my crazed shopping spree around Liverpool ONE but he's still in tact and I can't wait to pop him in my bath!
I went a little bit Rose Jam mad, picking up the new Rose Jam bubbleroon (£3.75) and the Rose Jam shower gel (£9.75 for 250g). It's a scent that I really didn't like last year but I thought I'd give it another whiff this time  around and I'd even go as far as saying I prefer it over my beloved Snow Fairy! I always cringe slightly handing over so much money for so little product when it comes to the shower gels but a little definitely goes a long way - I'm still working my way through a 500g bottle of Snow Fairy I've had since last year!
They're both full of rosy goodness to perk you up and make you feel gorgeous, which is just what I need right now, and the scent lingers for hours, which makes 6.30am shower time all the most pleasant!

I love love LOOOOOVE sweet cinnamon and anything festive scented, so I took no time at all in tracking down the Yog Nog bath bomb (£3.95) and also The Magic of Christmas reusable bubble bar (£5.95). They both smell so bloody Christmassy and wonderful and I'm that weirdo who wishes they were available all year round! I loved the Yog Nog soap offering last year but the bath bomb is much more up my street, and The Magic of Christmas bubble bar has to be my fave thing from the whole collection! It smells so warming and comforting thanks to the cinnamon stick it is presented on and the Star Anise in the centre and it's so shimmery and pretty that I almost don't want to use it!

Last but not least is an oldie but goodie - the So White bathbomb (£3.65). I'm a little disappointed that they haven't released the shower gel equivalent this year as it's my all time favourite Lush scent but I can still get my fix from this little ball of sweet apple scented goodness!

What is your favourite thing from Lush?
Let me know in the comments and don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to stay up to date with more of my posts :)

Always, Alice x

The Sunday Post: Things That Made Me Happy This Week #23

 What made me happy this week...

-  I started my Christmas shopping! Me and my other half went to Liverpool and spent A LOT. All for a good cause though and I can't wait to give out my gifts on the the big day!

- Whilst in Liverpool we also went to see Mumford and Sons! They're one of my favourite bands of all time and it was one of the best gigs I've ever been to - if you've never seen them before, get on it, they were amazing! Can't believe it was nearly a week ago, WHERE IS THIS YEAR GOING?!

- Me and the girls had a lovely night in at mine, where a lot of wine and pizza was consumed. What better way to spend a Saturday night?

- I've really been getting in the festive mood and the town where I live looks so adorable and Christmas-sy! We've put up all the cosy Christmas lights up at work, it's our staff Christmas party tomorrow and there was a massive Christmas festival in town today too. I love this time of year!

What made you happy this week?
Let me know in the comments below and don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to stay up to date with all my posts :)

Always, Alice x

Life: Back To Blogging.

As you may or may not have realized, I've been a bit AWOL recently and for the last couple of months Always, Alice has been SERIOUSLY neglected. 
Without making this sound like one of those 'I'm back and I'm going to be the best blogger there ever was from now on..." posts, instead I wanted to share with you what I've been getting up to in my absence and welcome my little space of internet back into the blogging world!

For starters - and most importantly - I MOVED HOUSE!

Me and my other half had been on the hunt for a place of our own for a while and we finally found the perfect place! Gone are the days of spending every waking moment within the same room and having to eat all of my meals in bed (gross.) and now we have so much space to fill! It's been nearly a month in our first home and I think we're finally on our way to being settled in and everything is looking super cosy and ready for Christmas! You don't even know how excited I was to buy my first ever Christmas tree...
I can't wait to share little snippets of our home with you, so watch this space!

I finally got round to booking my first driving test and unsurprisingly, I failed. Rather than being absolutely gutted though, it's given me so much confidence and I'm ready to pass my next one! I need to develop a sense of direction before then though but fingers crossed!
I haven't had much free time in between working mad hours at my 2 jobs and obviously moving house - but I've had some pretty fab days and nights out recently that have made the back-end of 2015 really exciting! Most recently, on Monday I went to see Mumford and Sons live in Liverpool after a spot of "Christmas shopping" in John Lewis and Charlotte Tilbury and it was such a great night! They're one of my all-time favourite bands and it was probably one of the best gigs I've been to yet. I also managed to snap up some Coldplay tickets for their tour next year and I literally cannot wait!

And despite not posting anything to my blog for a while, I've still been fortunate enough to attend a couple of blogging events, including the #wrenfamilyfavouites event with Linda Barker at Wren Kitchens HQ!

I'm not going to make any promises to myself that I know I can't keep but I will try my very best to write more posts and get back to what I love doing! 

What have you been up to recently? 
Let me know in the comments and don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to keep up to date with more of my posts!

Always, Alice x

Fashion: A/W High Street Wishlist

A/W Highstreet Wishlist

There is nothing I love more than A/W fashion (except maybe cake, but that's a separate issue...) and although I've been so incredibly busy that I haven't had a spare minute to actually add anything A/W worthy into my wardrobe, thanks to many midnight internet window shopping sessions I've put together a wishlist of everything I simply NEED in my life.

I adore trench coats and find that they're one of the only longer coats that suit my vertically challenged frame, so I was instantly drawn to the 70s inspired offering from Topshop! A total steal at £89 too and I love the belt detail! I'm obsessed with stripes at the minute - blogger cliché I know - and I am loving the stripey Zara shirt. It has kimono style sleeves too which makes it a little different and would look great tucked into the New Look rust buttoned skirt and with the trench coat over the top!

Something I'm always on the hunt for at this time of year is the perfect pair of boots. I've noticed that Zara has it all in this department and I couldn't believe that the gorgeous faux leather and suede ankle boots on my list are only £29.99! That's definitely a purchase I will be making in the very near future - they do them in a beautiful dark burgundy colour too!
H&m has it right on the accessories front, especially with their range of hats. I LOVE the grey marl fedora which I think is incredibly versatile and would save me from those horrid bad hair days! I'm not one for statement jewelry but do appreciate a statement watch and love the gold vintage inspired one which I think looks so classy and elegant, especially if I paired it with the stripy shirt! H&M is also the place to shop affordable jumpers and cardigans at this time of year and I'm loving simple and oversized styles currently so the dark grey one I've picked out is perfect.
Finishing my wishlist off is the light beige adjustable tote bag from Mango which will also be making it's way into my clutches very soon  - I love it! I'm one of those who carries around pretty much their whole life in their handbag so I need it to be big, and this one is perfect! Love the colour too and I think it would last me all year round (and it's under £40, WINNER!)

What is on your wishlist for Autumn/Winter?
Let me know in the comments below and don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to keep up to date with more of my posts!

Always, Alice x

Beauty: October Birchbox + First Impressions

I've been a subscriber to Birchbox for a few months now and none have been more hotly anticipated than this month's offering!
Each subscriber was given the choice between 2 special edits - the Stylist magazine edition, and the Back to Basics box - the latter of which I went for!

I was super excited for my box to arrive in the post and literally clawed the postmans arm off at the front door on delivery day - but is it any good?

Firstly I love the neat and 'basic' blue box (I'll definitely be re-using that later, ta Birchbox!) and what's inside definitely took my fancy right away. 
I received a full size Eyeko FAT liquid eyeliner pen, which having used once already, I LOVE. I ran out of my trusty Soap & Glory Supercat felt liner a month or so ago and haven't gotten round to repurchasing so I was very excited to try something new and it did not disappoint! The nib is a lot thicker than I'm used to but to be honest it made for a quicker and easier application and within only a minute or so, my winged eyeliner was on fleek and I was out the door. Well done Birchbox!

I was thrilled to also receive a full size of the blogger favourite Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat nail polish! I've heard about it countless times and I'm excited to give it a proper try myself and hopefully love it too. Working behind a bar ain't kind on the ol' manicure so I'm hoping this will help my nail varnish stay put!
Also in my box was a (very) mini Bioderma micellar water and while I'm a little disappointed on the size, I'm intrigued to see what all the fuss is about! It's no secret that Bioderma is everyone's fave so I'm interested to see how it compares to my trusty Garnier version.

There was also samples of the Beaver Hyrdo Nutritive Shampoo & Conditioner. I've not heard of the brand before but since these claim to repair and nourish the hair, they sound right up my street and definitely something I need in my life right now...bye bye rank split ends!
Lastly is a tube of the Regenerate Advanced toothpaste and while I'm not exactly going to have a party about cleaning my teeth, this will make for a fab travel product (and an excuse to go on a little mini break yes?!)

All in all I am pretty impressed with my little box and I'll definitely be making good use of the Eyeko eyeliner! Roll on next month...

What do you think to the October Birchbox? Are you a subscriber?
Let me know in the comments below and don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to keep up to date with more of my posts :)

Always, Alice x

Life: 12 Reasons Autumn Is The One.

I've probably said it about 15767520745 million times on my blog already but I. LOVE. AUTUMN.
As much as I'd love to be a bronzed goddess who lives for summer, in reality I'm pale and interesting and hot weather just ain't my thang.
But just why do I love it so much you ask...

1. All the cosy socks, hats and wooly jumpers. And that's just the start...

2. It's finally cold enough to wear one of Zara's MASSIVE blanket scarves but a good hour is needed to decide which one to buy.

3. The people in Costa no longer give you funny looks when you order a gingerbread latte (not like they did in August when it was baking hot and not even remotely seasonal)

4. You can finally show your boyfriend that you DO actually wear all those berry lipsticks and spending £24 on Charlotte Tilbury's Glastonberry was well worth it.

5. You can be forgiven for jumping off the healthy eating bandwagon from time to time. It's colder now so we need all the insulation we can get. Don't fret gals, the jumper will hide it all...

6. It's also okay to spend more time in bed. If bears can hibernate, so can we!

7. The rainy weather is one massive inconvenience but in actual fact you quite like it and it's the perfect excuse to stay in and get cosy on the sofa with a hot chocolate.

8. All the candles. You've practically wiped Homesense of all the pumpkin and cinnamon smelling goodness and now your room smells like a bakery.

9. The Lush Halloween and Christmas collections have arrived and noone can judge you for stocking up on two of each.

10. Bonfire night! You just can't hide that big kid in you that secretly wants to play with all the sparklers...

11. It's officially acceptable to get excited about Christmas and start planning your gift tag and wrapping paper combos.

12. Lastly, it's never been a better time to unleash your inner goth and wear all black errrrrrythang.

What do you love most about Autumn?
Let me know in the comments below and don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to keep up to date!

Always, Alice x

The Sunday Post: Things That Made Me Happy This Week #22

What made me happy this week...

- It was the second week of my new job and I am absolutely loving it so far! I'm working pretty much all the time and have sacrificed having any days off throughout the week but I'm enjoying having a new little challenge and the extra income that will follow!

- And as perk of my new job, there has been lots of free cake and coffee to be had this week which definitely makes me happy...

- I received my lovely little order from Busy B stationery this week, including my new wedding planner which is helping me in my mission to GET. SHIT. DONE.

- The weather has been positively miserable all week and rather weirdly I have loved it! I'm so glad Autumn is finally here and it's cold enough to wear cosy coats and scarves and have an excuse to drink copious amounts of tea!

What made you happy this week?
Let me know in the comments below and don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' if you'd like to keep up to date with more of my posts!

Always, Alice x

Wedding: All The Flowers

So as you may or may not know, I'M GETTING MARRIED!
Yes, that's right, little old me is tying the knot to the love of my life next August (cringe, soz) and in the spirit of all things wedding - and as a personal incentive to actually PLAN the bloody thing - I'm going to start a new little series sharing with you all of my wedding-y inspirations from Pinterest and everywhere else and giving you a wee insight to the big day!


I love flowers, and nothing makes me happier than seeing a big fat bunch of blooms on my bedside table in a morning - but the expense of having them filling our reception space definitely does not make me happy and I'm thinking of just sorting all the flowers and bouquets out myself for a fraction of the price (I hope!)
Enter Pinterest. I've been pinning lots of floral loveliness to my board lately and although I'm not really set on any particular colours or flowers just yet, I thought I'd have a nosy and see what I fancy!

Let me know what you think of my ideas, and any advice from you married ladies would be fab!
Don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' too if you want to keep up with this little series and all of my other posts!

Always, Alice x

September Favourites

I know, I know - I'm 5 days late to the September favourites party, but the end of the month was absolutely caaaaaraaazy and I've barely had a minute to sit down and think!
I've also been on a spending ban over the last month as the reality of planning a wedding AND moving out has hit home and my lippy buying obsession has had to be put on the back burner (for now...), which means this month my faves are a little less exciting than I'd like.

I have been loving however, my Benefit skincare duo - It's Potent eye cream and the Triple Performing facial emulsion. If you've been reading my blog for a little while, I'm sure you'll know how loyal I am to my Origins GinZing eye cream and moisturiser but since the colder weather has set in, my skin needed a little bit more.The Benefit moisturiser is a lot thicker and hydrating than the Origins offering, which is perfect for my dryer skin and the eye cream does wonders for adding a little bit of OOOMPH in a morning - especially after all my recent late nights!
In one of the recent Birchboxes, I received a sample of the Rituals Ayurveda Scrub. To be honest, I wasn't really expecting to love it but after trying it on a whim one day, it has quickly become one of  my favourite pamper products. As scrub-clay mask hybrid, it is a dream to apply as you can really feel the dirt and dry skin dissolving from your body and I feel my skin literally tingle with cleanliness everytime I use it. Definite thumbs up.

Now that Winter is on it's way, so are the dreaded chapped lips and as I'm determined to avoid them this year, I've been using the Popcorn lip scrub from Lush at every opportunity. I adore the scent and taste of this adorable little pot and it works wonders for those after-effects of wearing too much matte lipstick!
It didn't take me long to ditch the pastel nail polish for the vampy nail shades, and my favourite of the minute is the Barry M Speedy Quick Dry polish in 'Sprint Finish'. I wrote a little post about it here, but I am in LOVE with the colour and the fact it takes, like, 3.5 seconds to paint my nails. Winner!

A while ago after placing a spontaneous ASOS order, I picked up these patent nude loafers from Daisy Street - and I don't think I've taken them off since! They are super comfy and took no breaking in at all, and go with just about everything in my wardrobe whether it be smart or casual. The best part though? They were only £14 at the time!
My last favourite of September is something me and my other half are completely ADDICTED to at the minute - Hunted. It's a documentary on All 4 at the moment about real-life UK citizens who are challenged to go on the run for 28 days around the country without being caught by the worlds best detectives. Sounds seriously geeky but I challenge you to not watch one episode and become hooked!

What have you been loving in September?
Let me know in the comments below and don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' if you'd like to keep up to date with more of my posts :)

Always, Alice x

The Sunday Post: Things That Made Me Happy This Week #21

What made me happy this week...

- I started off the week with a brunch date between me and my other half at the lovely little tea room that's just opened where I live! We enjoyed some gorgeous Bakewell Tart tea and cake and crumpets and it was DIVINE.

- I also got a new job! At the tea room no less...apparently my love for all things coffee, tea and cake is going to be put to good use and I can't wait to get started. I'll be working non-stop at 2 jobs again though but holla at all the dolla.

- I dyed my hair again and went back over to the ginge side. The best part though, being auburn makes every one of my lipsticks look so much better...winner!

- My other half. Cringe alert, but I'm literally the luckiest girl in the world and this week has had a few downs that have made me realize how good I've got it. Best hubby to be ever.

What made you happy this week?
Let me know in the comments below and don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' if you'd like to keep up to date with my posts!

Always, Alice x

Beauty: Speedy Quick Nail Fix

(l-r Sprint Finish, Dragster)

I love painting my nails. Nothing makes me feel like I've got my shit together more than having a nice manicure that is chip free and gorgeous and shiny. But let's be real gals, ain't nobody really got time to hold down a full time job (behind a bar no less), run a blog and a home and still be looking all perfect. There just isn't TIME.

Enter the new Barry M Speedy Quick Dry Autumn range...

I have a couple of shades from when the first collection of pastel assorted colours were released back in February and while I love the pretty lavender shade 'Lap of Honour', the rest just weren't really my cup of tea. The Autumn range though, features 4 more dark and vampy colours which are more up my street and it didn't take long for them to make their way into my stash.
I picked up a statement slate grey shade in the colour 'Dragster' and my recent can't-get-off-my-nails favourite, 'Sprint Finish' - a GORGEOUS berry red shade.
The formula of these is the same as the first offerings and while they don't last as long as their Gelly Hi-Shine sisters, the colour pay-off of these alone make them well worth buying! The best part though? It takes literally 30 seconds for these badboys to dry before you can go ahead and apply a second coat making them the holy grail for those with Busy Life Syndrome and lazy gals everywhere!

Have you tried this collection yet? What is your favourite shade?

Let me know in the comments below and don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' if you'd like to keep up to date with more of my posts :)

Always, Alice x

Happy Birthday Always, Alice + What Blogging Has Taught Me

Always, Alice is 1 today!
I can't believe I've been blogging for a whole entire year - as someone with the attention span of a table leg, it's a massive achievement for me!
I've loved pretty much every minute of it though and while it's been hard work and admittedly there have been a couple of times where I've thought of packing it all in, I'm proud of where I've gotten to so far and I'm happy to be going onwards and upwards!

In light of spending a whole year blogging, I thought I'd share with you some things that I've learnt along the way and maybe the things that people don't reaaaally tell you about blogging...

- It is a COMMITMENT. Yeah sure, blogging is a fun hobby and can be incredibly rewarding but nothing happens overnight and it takes long hours of writing posts and taking those perfect photos to get to the end result. Oh also, running a full time job whilst trying to write 4 posts a week...not easy!

- It's hard to be "original". That might be a bit of a controversial statement to make but with all the millions of bloggers out there these days, I've found it's very unlikely that you're writing a post that hasn't been done before. But I think the best thing you can do is inject some personality all over your blog and make it your own with some amazing photography, and even it's a makeup haul that's been done a thousand times before, it'll be different because you made it YOURS.

- It's the best place to speak to people and make friends! I've met so many different people at blog events and spoken to heaps of lovely gals on blog comments and in twitter chats and it's amazing just how friendly our little community really is! Twitter chats are definitely the way forward, and even if you're the busiest person ever, there's one on practically every night of the week so there's something for everyone!

- It's all a learning process. There's been times I've been massively unhappy with all different aspects of my little blog - the layout, the photos, the content. But with each post comes a chance to learn from it and find new ways to do things, and it's always interesting looking back on my first few posts and noticing a difference. Here's my very first post (don't judge...I was really proud of it at the time!)

- You might develop a slight shopping addiction. This might just be me but I've noticed that it's become increasingly harder to walk past a Boots and not leave with a massive full bag of lipsticks and nail varnishes...all for blog post purposes of course though!

- Most of all, it's FUN! I love nothing more than sitting down in front of my laptop in my little office space that I've set up an writing to my hearts content. Here's to the next year of blogging!

How long have you been a blogger?

Let me know in the comments below and don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' if you'd like to stay up to date with more of my posts!

Always, Alice x

The Sunday Post: Things That Made Me Happy This Week #20

What made me happy this week...

- I started off the week with a lovely little visit from my mum and best friend and best of all, baby Luna! We had coffee and cake and some yummy food and had lots of wedding chat! I really need to get my arse into gear and start doing some more planning...

- Me and the other half have started the ball rolling and we're now looking for a place of our own! I've never been so excited IN. MY. LIFE. (Soz wedding), but I've always been one of those weirdos who has dreamed of decorating their own house for EVER and it might be happening sooner than I thought.

- We also went to look around my boss's house renovation and it is amaaaaazing. The work that has gone into it is is beautiful and I'm really excited to see the finished product! Definitely inspired me to become rich so I can do the same...

What made you happy this week?

Let me know in the comments below and don't forget there's still a couple of hours left to enter my GIVEAWAY if you want to win some Lush, MAC and Benefit goodies!

Always, Alice x

Interiors: New Home Wishlist Ft. Asda Living

So THE most exciting thing is going to happen...WE'RE MOVING OUT! Me and the other half have been living with his parents for the last 2 years (and we're super grateful, obvs), but we thought it was time to fly the nest and get a little place of our own before we get married! 
And obviously my inner interior design freak has been going cray-cray about the idea of decorating my own little place - spoiler, I want all the candles.

The first place I headed to do a bit of internet window shopping was Asda! I'm a big lover of supermarket home ranges as I think the stuff they stock is super chic and v.affordable - and Asda is definitely my favourite. Here's my wishlist of things that I just LOVE. Everything I chose is under £20 and is bloody gorgeous! I will definitely be purchasing the majority when we find a house and I can't wait to have a cosy little living room filled with candles and loads of cushions and throws! My favourite thing out of everything is the terrarium style table lamp which is such a steal at £17 and would look great on a coffee table surrounded by lots of cosy candles.
I can't wait to keep you all updated on the house hunt and to show you a work in progress of the inside when we finally move in...

Where is your favourite place to pick up homeware?

Let me know in the comments below and don't forget there is still a couple of days to enter my GIVEAWAY to win some MAC, Lush and Benefit goodies!

Always, Alice x

Beauty: My September Birchbox + First Impressions

First of all, let my take a minute to introduce to you the new look Always, Alice blog! I've been a bit here and there with blogging lately (nothing new there!) and decided enough was enough and it was time to get back on the horse, and the best place to start and give myself a kick up the backside was with a beautiful new blog design!

I've been drooling over the Pipdig blog templates for some time now and while at £29 they don't exactly break the bank, I just couldn't bring myself to hit the purchase button...until now! It was so easy to install too and I couldn't be happier with my new little corner of the internet - hopefully I won't be as neglectful in the future!


The latest Birchbox offering fell on my doormat recently it's probably one of my favourites so far! The September Birchbox (UK) came as a celebration of the brand's 5th birthday, with birthday inspired packaging designed by lucky Birchbox subscribers - I received the birthday balloon variety which is gorgeous and I'll definitely be re-using it for something else.
To top it off, each of the products inside this month hailed from the US, which was very excited as I've never been! (Sephora, I need you in my life...)
But what was inside?

The first thing that caught my eye straight away was the 'Birchbrush' - basically Birchbox's version of the popular Tangle Teezer! I've never jumper on the TT bandwagon as they're a littttttle bit pricey so I was glad to have one of these in my box for a fraction of the price! It's the perfect size for my handbag which is handy as I've got A LOT of hair on my pea head that needs constant detangling.
Next was the Benefit Porefessional License to Blot oil-blotting stick. I've been a fan of the original Porefessional balm for a while and while I don't have particularly oily skin, I think this will be fab for use as a base before applying my makeup!

I received a Laqa & Co Cheeky lip pencil in a peachy-coral shade called 'Cray-Cray'...not sure I love the packaging on this one as it rattles around a little bit and sounds a bit cheap BUT saying that, the colour is gorgeous! I haven't tested it out fully but it looks like a perfect everyday your-lips-but-better shade.
A product I'm not really sure on is the Citrus Neroli Detangler by John Masters Organics. Being from the US, it's not a brand I've heard of before and while I love the fresh scent of this, I don't know if I'll have much use for it! I'll get back to you...
I love the idea of the liquid exfoliant from Paula's Choice. I've heard them raved about and while I'm not really sure how this works, I'm excited to try it as I'm too lazy to exfoliate the old fashioned way!
The best of them all is the Beauty Protector Beauty Wash body cleanser which smells frickin' AMAZINGGGG. I'm going to save this little mini for the gym (motivation to go, right?!) but I used a little and it makes my skin feel so clean and soft. WINNER.

Overall I'm quite happy with this months box and I'm counting down the days until the next offering!
What is your favourite beauty box?

Let me know in the comments below and don't forget there are still a few days to enter my GIVEAWAY to win some Lush, MAC and Benefit goodies!

Always, Alice x

The Sunday Post: Things That Made Me Happy This Week #19

What made me happy this week...

- I met my newborn nephew for the first time! Me and the other half went on a little road trip down to Southampton to visit my sister-in-law and her beautiful little family and it was so exciting to meet the newest addition, baby Freddie!

- Whilst down south we may have also made a cheeky trip to IKEA and Tiger and I bought ALL the home things to make our little room at home a lot more cosy!

- I've taken to completely gutting out our room - a weird thing to make me happy but it's amazing how much stuff two people can accumulate and I thought it was about time to throw a load of stuff out, put unwanted junk on ebay and make our little space a haven!

What's made you happy this week?
Let me know in the comments below and don't forget there is still time to enter my GIVEAWAY to win some Lush, MAC and Benefit treats!

Always, Alice x

August Favourites

Where the heck did August disappear to?! It was a hectic month for me, especially at work and it being our busiest period and I feel like August was just completely non-stop! Not that I'm complaining though because September = AUTUMN!
Anyone that knows me knows that I absolutely hate Summer (pale skin problems) and I have been wittering on for ages how I can't wait for Autumn and Winter to arrive and now it has and I'm so bloody exctited!


 My first favourite of August is the Liz Earle Eyebright Soothing Eye Lotion and this has helped with the dreaded panda eyes that take over my face. I've been applying a little bit to a cotton pad every morning and night and it instantly cools and soothes the eye area and I've noticed A LOT of brightness already and my under-eyes are looking less panda-like...YAY!
Next I've been absolutely obsessed with Nakd fruit and nut bars and Urban Fruit packets! Since turning veggie, I've made a real effort to keep up with eating healthy but I've been significantly lacking in the snack department (I like biscuits. Don't judge.) until I met these babies! Yes, they're expensive and some of them taste really really gross but I am constantly craving the Cocoa Orange & Bakewell Tart Nakd bars and the Smashing Strawberry Urban Fruit packets!

A couple of makeup faves this month include a new and oldie! My new find is the Topshop Glow highlighter in 'Polished' which is a quick and easy fix to add some glow (geddit?!) to my makeup routine! My old favourite is the Collection Fast Stroke eyeliner which I have used on and off for the last 10 years or so and I keep coming back to cos it's just THAT GOOD! Cheap as chips too.
My favourite scent of the moment has to be my Vikor & Rolf Bon Bon Eau De Parfum which was my birthday present from my lovely other half! Aside from the gorgeous packaging, the scent itself is absolutely amaaaaaazing and the staying power is fab. I like to savour my perfumes so I've only been wearing this on special occasions but I always get lots of compliments and my other half loves it!

My last favourite of the month is my MASSIVE striped scarf from ASOS! A steal in the sale for only £10 or so, I've been wearing it non-stop as the days and evenings get cooler - the perfect Autumn accessory!

What have you been loving recently?
Let me know in the comments below and don't forget there's still plenty of time to enter my GIVEAWAY to win some Lush, Benefit and MAC goodies!

Always, Alice x

Product Empties #1

As a beauty product HOARDER, bringing you my first empties post is quite an achievement! I'm finally getting myself in a proper skincare routine and since starting my blog, my makeup collection has quadrupled so it's about time I used up some things and cleared some much needed space on my shelves (so I can go buy more, OBVS)!

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water x2 (£4.99 for 400ml)
My holy grail! I've been using this for the past year and am nearly done with my third bottle - I can't get enough of the stuff. I work late nights so it's a god-send to be able to come home and take my makeup off with just a quick swipe of a cotton pad. I've noticed that pretty much every skincare brand is coming out with their own version too, so once I've finished my current bottle I might be swayed to try a different one but I know the Garnier micellar water will always be a firm favourite.

Garnier Ultimate Blends Argan & Camellia Oil Conditioner (£3.89 for 400ml)
Okay, this one wasn't technically empty but I just didn't get on with it at all and could only manage around 4 uses before I gave up! As it claims to be specifically for dull and dry hair I thought it would work perfectly for me but it just seemed to make the problem worse! I know everyone raves about some of the other Ultimate Blends range and I've had a few other good experiences with those but this just did not do it for me one bit.

Lush Snow Fairy Limited Edition Shower Gel (£6.85 for 250ml)
I know, I know, it's AUGUST, but I'm still working my way through my Lush Christmas stash! I finished this 250ml bottle a month or so ago after a whopping 7 months worth of usage! The Lush shower gels seem quite pricey on first look but you only need to use a tiny bit each time so even the tiny 100ml bottles last ages and the product inside is fab! The scent is my fave too and I'm not embarrassed to say I'm now working my way through another bottle...

Origins GinZing Moisturiser (£24.00 for 50ml)
I LOVE THIS. Not just cos it smells like oranges which is probably the best bloody scent ever but it feels like a dream to apply to my skin and it lasts a lifetime! It's supposed to brighten up the skin and give it a boost which I'm not entirely sure of but it definitely made my skin silky smooth for hours on end. I loved it so much I bought 2 more at the same time. DON'T JUDGE.

Rimmel Lasting Finish Primer (£6.99)
I bought this on a whim as I wanted to see if a primer would actually make a difference to my makeup - and it did! Don't get me wrong, this doesn't work miracles or anything but I noticed that my makeup applied a little more smoothly than usual and lasted a little longer too. Not sure I'll repurchse just yet as I want to see what else is on the market but for a bargain price you can't go wrong!

Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde Mascara in Ultra Black (£9.99)
Simply put, my go-to mascara. I've repurchased this countless times and haven't got bored yet. It makes my lashes look separated and full without being clumpy and with minimal fall out too, WINNER!

Soap & Glory Supercat Liquid Liner in Carbon Black Extreme (£6.00)
Again, another product I'll probably keep buying until they discontinue it! It applies beautifully via the felt tip pen type nib and the pigment is awesome. The only downside is it does dry up quite quickly but I can get a good couple months out of only spending £6 so it's well worth the money.

NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in 'Mont Blanc' (£31.00)
Lastly, blogger's favourite Sheer Glow has been a breath of fresh air into my makeup routine. I was quite reluctant to part with that sort of money on a teeny bottle of foundation but this one lasted me a good 8 months and the quality is fantastic! My natural skin is pretty much translucent and grey at the best of times but this makes me look like a human being again and my skin looking flawless.

What have you used up lately?
Let me know in the comments below and don't forget you can still enter my GIVEAWAY to win some MAC, Benefit and Lush goodies!

Always, Alice x