Life: Reflecting on 2016

I can't even believe that I'm typing this but with 2017 just a sleep away, I thought I'd take a minute to reflect back on the year and all of it's ups and downs and start 2017 with a fresh start and clear mind.
I'm that walking cliché that takes each New Year as 'new year, new me' and in 2016 it was my mission to make that a reality!

Fashion: James Bay Called, He Wants His Hat Back

I don't know why but everytime I put on this hat, I just want to belt out 'Hold Back The River' at the top of my lungs for everyone to hear in homage of my bae! (poor attempt at a pun, soz)

It's Christmaaaaaaas!


I can't actually believe I just typed those words but the big day is here and I hope you're all having the most festive and happy day so far and are gearing up for your Christmas dinner later!

As for me, I'm spending most of the day at work serving other people their Christmas lunch but I'm looking forward to getting home in my cosy pjs with a Christmas film and my own pigs in blankets to feast on. It's also my first Christmas as a married woman which I am so excited about and I'm pretty sure today is going to be just as amazing as the rest of them. It's also another year that I'm in charge of the Christmas dinner (only for 2 of us mind), and I don't think it gets anymore festive or adult as that!

I hope you've all been spoilt rotten and are having a lovely time with your loved ones, and I just wanted to take this little slice of your day to say Merry Christmas and thank you for sticking with Always, Alice in 2016!

Have a lovely Christmas guys and roll on New Year!

Always, Alice x

A Few Festive Favourites

If there was ever an excuse to talk about Christmas (again...) on my blog, then here it is!
I haven't done a favourites post in a while because I haven't really had any bloody time to try anything new out or really love anything worth talking about, but obviously as soon as December rolled around, I went into full on Christmas mode and I have some festive inspired favourites that I want to share with you!

Beauty: The 'Leave It Until Last Minute' Beauty Gift Guide

If you're anything like me, you'll be well aware that it's less than a week before Christmas and you still haven't bought a single effing present and are probably cursing yourself that you've left it to last minute AS USUAL. I was scouring the internet looking for gifts for my gal pals and female loved ones and thought I'd put together a last minute beauty gift guide to help you guys find something for your best girls that will still arrive in time for Christmas! There's a bit of something on there for everyone with lots of different budgets and I've tried to find products that everyone would love to receive - and would arrive in time for the big day!

Beauty: The December Birchbox + First Impressions

Another month, another Birchbox parcel made it's way to my doorstep. I used to post about these every single month without fail, but recently I've kind of fallen out of love with Birchbox and I hate to say it but the boxes haven't been the best. Until the December one turned up and it was probably the best one I've ever received!

Firstly, the packaging is bloody gorgeous! It came wrapped in a gorgeous candy striped box which I uploaded a cheeky snap of on my Instagram and the actual Birchbox itself is equally as pretty - as are the contents inside!

Life: The Christmas Films You NEED To Watch

If you haven't watched a Christmas film, have you even celebrated Christmas though?

There's absolutely nothing I love more during winter than getting cosy on the sofa next to my twinkling Christmas tree and watching a feel good Christmas film with a steaming hot chocolate and with that in mind, I've teamed up with Panasonic to give you a run down on my all-time favourite Christmas films that would pair so well with the release of their new Viera 4K UHD tv!

Beauty: A Lil' Christmas Lush Haul

It was always going to happen wasn't it?

Truth be told, I haven't actually bought anything from Lush in MONTHS so obviously I was well overdue a visit and a the little treats I brought home with me were definitely well deserved.

Fashion: Christmas Jumpers Galore!

I'm not even going to try and hide the fact that the thing I love most about Christmas is buying a tacky jumper. It's become somewhat of a tradition on Christmas Day to wear one at work and then afterwards to scoff down my turkey, and what's not to love about looking a total prat with your nearest and dearest?!

Life: Hello December


Is this even actually happening? (Although I'm definitely not complaining because I've just decorated my Christmas tree and my house is pretty much Santa's Grotto right now)

You guys seemed to love my Hello November post last month so I thought I'd make it a regular thing where I make a make a load of goals and attempt to stick to them and look back at the last month's list and see how I got on!

Fashion: Another Striped Jumper

Jumper - New Look / Jeans - New Look (similar)

I definitely did not need another striped jumper in my collection but after walking past this absolute beauty in New Look pretty much every day for the last couple of weeks, I decided I could make an exception and brought this home with me.

Life: Making Christmas Memorable With Yankee Candle

I don't know about you but the thing I love most about Christmas is probably decorating my house and having ALL the Christmas candles burning until every room smells like Santa's grotto. I'm a sucker for anything that looks, tastes and smells festive so when I was contacted by the lovely Kriselle at Debenhams asking if I wanted a little hamper of Christmas goodies from Yankee Candle, my heart little skipped a beat and obviously I said yes and practically ran to get the Christmas decorations out of the loft in anticipation.

Beauty: Two From Jo Malone

As soon as I set foot into a Jo Malone store for the first time, I fell head over heels in love and I knew it wouldn't be the last time. Everything about the place, the packaging and the scents SCREAMED luxury and I needed to get myself a piece of the action.
A good hour later and after sampling probably the entire scent range at least ten times, I was £86 poorer and had bagged myself a little bit of luxury to take home. I instantly felt sassy and sophisticated all at the same time and I marched out of there with my cream bag in tow.

Beauty: The Only Matte Lipsticks You'll Need This Autumn

If there's one thing I love more than coffee and Christmas, it's a good matte lipstick. So imagine how bloody over the moon I was when a little package with the new Rimmel Only 1 Matte Lipstick range landed on my doorstep - OHMAGAD!

Life: Hello November


Did I ACTUALLY just type that word?

Srsly can this year just slow down already because I swear I heard jingle bells ringing and the whispers of new years resolutions in the air.

Despite me wishing that time would just slow the F down, I can't help but completely and utterly adore this time of year and there's something to be said about the first day of every month and the fresh start that comes with it.
That being said, I thought up some lil goals and wishes for November and thought I'd share them with you!

Health & Beauty: Changing Your Sleep Persona With Holland & Barrett

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love my sleep. Like I literally can't function unless I've had at least 9 hours - and even then I need a million coffees to get me going in a morning - so the recent early starts at work (I'm talking 4am guysssssss...) have been a STRUGGLE. 

It seems as though the babes over at Holland & Barrett read my mind and knew I needed help getting my arse out of bed in a morning, and also jumping into bed earlier on a night to prepare myself for the day ahead and get the best nights sleep possible!
As part of their What Is Your Sleep Persona campaign, they sent me a whole bag full of goodies to help calm my mind and relax before bed to inspire me to be more of an early riser rather than "The Biggest Snoozer".

Beauty: #ScandaleyesReloaded

If I were to define my signature make-up look, it would definitely be long, bold lashes and a fabulous feline flick of eyeliner - so when I received a package of the new Rimmel Scandaleyes Reloaded products in the post, I knew they'd be right up my street.

Along with the two new Scandaleyes Reloaded mascaras (one black, one extreme black), I've also been trying two of the liquid eyeliners from the original Scandaleyes collection. I've always been a fan of Rimmel products but weirdly enough I've never tried any eye products - except maybe a grubby kohl liner back in my embarrassing emo days - so I was excited to see if they were any good and if the mascaras would replace my beloved Maybelline Lash Sensational as top dog in my makeup bag. 

Fashion: Topshop A/W Wishlist

Since being a responsible adult with bills and rent to pay, I don't think I've dared to set foot into Topshop for fear of wanting to buy ERRRRYTHANG. But at the weekend, a brand spanking new store opened in my little town so I decided to give the website a little browse so I could scout out some pieces that I really love and can perhaps treat myself to (apparently putting my spending ban on hold...)

The Sunday Post: Things That Made Me Happy This Week #30

What made me happy this week...

- I've had a really healthy week diet and fitness wise and I feel as though this time I actually might stick at it! I find it easier to actually drag my fat arse out of bed and into the gym in a morning and eating healthy is a lot easier this time around. Finger crossed, I'll be toned and gorgeous in no time!

Life: Honeymooning In Brighton...

So since it's officially Autumn now and it's actually started to get slightly cooler (she says wearing 3 layers, cosy socks and still shivering...), I thought a good way to warm myself up would be to take a look at our honeymoon photos from Brighton.

If you've never been to Brighton, let me tell you now that it bloody amazing. It's like a completely different world down there and everyone and everything is so cute and quirky and THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH WORDS.

Recent Favourites

I haven't done a favourites post for quite a while so I thought I'd share with you all what I've been loving recently! The last few months have been CRAZY busy so I haven't discovered a great deal of new things, but there's a small selection of beauties that I just can't live without at the minute.

After having my wedding makeup done by my lovely friend Eve, I have been totally obsessed with brows. I've always spent ages preening mine to perfection everyday anyway with various different tools, but after she used the Anastasia Dip Brow on me, my brows were on fleek and my life was changed. Since I was too god damn impatient to wait the delivery time for ABH, I went straight out and bought the Benefit Ka-Brow alternative (£18.50) and I probably love it more! Now my brows are my ultimate pride and joy and it's my favourite part of my makeup routine. I can't recommend Ka-Brow enough to everyone who will listen and I daresay I love it more than Dip Brow...

Next on my love list is the L'Oreal Nude Magique Cushion foundation (£14.99). I put off buying this for ages because to be looks weird. I always shy away from hyped products too until I know if they're really worth the purchase but I finally took the plunge and bought this and I won't be looking back! I'm used to more full coverage foundations but to use something lighter is actually a godsend. It never looks like I'm actually wearing anything which I love but my skin looks flawless. The only downside to this is that after using it for a month, the product inside is nearly all gone, which for a relatively expensive foundation compared to other high street offerings is a little bit disappointing. I'll still be repurchasing though and now I'm intrigued to try the Lancome version too!

I've rarely been without Barry M's Pink Lemonade Gelly nail polish lately (and that doesn't seem likely to change anytime soon! It's a gorgeous nude pink - but not too baby pink - and it's the perfect colour to throw on when you're in a hurry but still want to look fabulous.

If you read my last post all about my handy heroes from Lush (geddit?!), you'll know how bloody obsessed I am with the Helping Hands hand cream (£7.95) I won't witter on about it but basically it's heaven in a tub and it's my number one essential this autumn when it comes to skincare. If you suffer with dry hands, you need this in your life!

Fragrance wise, I have been absolutely dousing myself in Viktor & Rolf's Bonbon Couture* (from £57). Again, I wrote a cheeky lil' post about it here which gives you the lowdown but I couldn't help but feature it again. I love how sweet but sexy it is and it seems like the perfect scent for the colder months as it's so warming and comforting!

I discovered Nip & Fab skincare about a million years after everyone else, but I've been using barely any other brands on my face these last couple of months. My favourite of them all? The Glycolic Fix Serum (£14.95). I have such rank visible pores but since I've been using this little badboy, they're barely noticeable and my skin feels so much smoother and tighter. My makeup also sits better on my face and doesn't dissolve into nothingness after an hour. WINNER!

Beauty products aside, I've been spending lots of cosy nights on the sofa getting my bookworm on and my favourite read so far is You're The One That I Want by Giovanna Fletcher. It's a cute love story with a bit of a twist and I'm really enjoying it (I'm only halfway through though, so no spoilers please gals!). I'm always on the hunt for book recommendations though, so please pop some in the comments if you think I'd like them!

What have you been loving this month?
Let me know in the comments below, I'd love to know some of your product recommendations, especially those that are perfect for Autumn!

Always, Alice x

The Sunday Post: Things That Made Me Happy This Week #29

I've missed writing these little posts! Since having a break from blogging to focus on my wedding and new job, I've not really taken much time to just appreciate the weeks and days at face value recently so I'm bringing it back!

What made me happy this week:

- I've had lots of exciting emails this week, and the chance to work with some amazing brands and companies and I'm so excited and thankful for it! I'm full of inspiration at the minute as far as my blog goes - now if someone could just give me the inspiration and motivation to get off my arse and into the gym so I can get the bod of my dreams, that would just be fan-bloody-tastic...

- I spent some time with my besties and it was lovely! I've not really seen either of them since the wedding as we've all been so busy starting new jobs and uni etc so it was nice to spend some quality time with them and get a good gossip in.

- I bought a dressing gown. Boring married woman life goals right there, but let me tell you it's like wrapping my body up in a fluffy cloud and I've never been so happy!

- I spent the first half of the week feeling a bit under the weather but it was the perfect chance to have some me-time having Lush baths and wrapped up in bed with coffee and a good book. I'm currently reading You're The One That I Want by Giovanna Fletcher and I'm loving it!

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

Always, Alice x

Beauty: Handy Heroes From Lush

If there's one thing working in a bar has taught me, it's that hand cream is definitely your best friend.

Anyone who spends all day long carrying hot plates, pulling pints and polishing cutlery until their hands are as dry as the Sahara will feel my pain here, so I want to share with you my little hand care heroes from Lush that have made my hands super soft and lovely again!

The first step on the quest to softness is to scrub away all the dead and dry skin and the Salted Coconut hand scrub does just the job. It's a light scrub that can be used sparingly for a quick fix or generously for a proper pamper and intense exfoliation. It's made with natural sea salt and coconut oil so it's really good for your skin and instantly makes them feel super soft and smooth. The smell is a little odd - somewhere in between playdough and the seaside - but it's strangely comforting and I've really been enjoying adding this extra step into my nightly pamper routine.

My favourite Lush product EVER (a bold claim, I know) is the Helping Hands hand cream and let me just tell you that it is worth every penny. It's a deeply nourishing hand cream made from almond, cocoa butter and chamomile that nourishes and restores moisture within minutes and I cannot leave the house without it in the colder months! It was originally created with nurses in mind to restore moisture after all of the hand washing they have to do and you can definitely tell as it works better than any hand cream I've tried before. A little goes a hellllll of a long way too and one little 100g pot lasts me a good few months before I need a new one!

These two little beauties make for the best little hand pamper ever after a long day at work and it's probably my favourite part of my pamper routine at the minute. They work so well together and I've even got my other half using them both before bed so he feels pampered too!

Have you ever tried Salted Coconut or Helping Hands? What are your favourite Lush products?
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

Beauty: Bonbon Couture by Viktor & Rolf

Ever since it's release in 2014, Bonbon EDP by Viktor and Rolf has been one of my most loved and worn fragrances so you would not believe how excited I was to get a surprise package in the post with V&R's latest creation - Bonbon Couture!

What initially drew me to the original Bonbon scent was how bloody sexy it is and Bon Bon Couture goes one step further with the sexiness whilst also adding a hint of sophistication and maturity in comparison to it's sister's super sweet scent.
It's a scent inspired by the glamour and elegance of the brand's Haute Couture fashion pieces and enables the wearer to have a touch of glamour and luxury at home without the couture pricetag. 

It's scent layers mandarin, neroli oil and peach accord with base notes of orange blossom, sambac jasmine and intense caramel for the signature sweet smell. What makes it so different to the original Bonbon scent is less of the sweet notes and instead, Bonbon Couture is a lot more woody and oriental which definitely makes it perfect for a woman who loved the original scent but has perhaps outgrown it slightly and needs something a little more.

It's a scent that invites a lot of interest and compliments from people around, and I cannot help but feel my best when I'm wearing it! It has immense staying power too and even on the longest working days I can still smell a hint of it at the end of the day.

Something I'm glad has stayed relatively the same though is the bottle itself. Like the original Bonbon fragrance in a hot pink bow shaped bottle, the new edition is much of the same just with an almost ombre pink hue to it, which takes pride of place on my dressing table for the world to see!
It's certainly become my scent of the moment and I look forward to it taking me into the colder months which I think suits it best as it's so indulgent and warming!

Viktor & Rolf Bonbon Couture is available exclusively from Selfridges as of today (September 14th 2016).

What is your favourite scent at the moment? Are you a fan of the Bonbon range? 
Let me know in the comments below and follow me on Bloglovin' to keep up to date with more of my posts.

Always, Alice x

So we got MARRIED...

I am a wife.

No, I can't believe it either but I am now a wife and a Mrs and I have a ring on my finger and I can't quite believe it!

You might have noticed things have been a bit quieter on these parts in the last few months but with juggling working ALL the hours at work and planning our wedding I had no time to produce blog content I was proud of and decided to spend the entirety of my spare time planning our wedding instead and make it the day of our dreams.

Cue the STRESS.

Anyone who's married/planning a wedding knows the drill - irrational emotional breakdowns, over ambitious projects and turning into a complete and utter control freak - yet in the end I wouldn't have had it any other way.
Fast forward to the 20th of August 2016 and all the stress and worries melted away and me and my Mr had the most amazing day with our family and friends and I'm excited to share some photos of our big day with you all!

We had a relatively small wedding, which was something we both felt very strongly about. Almost a year ago now we were in the process of planning our wedding and cancelled the whole thing bar the ceremony as it just didn't feel like us - but you can read more about that here. We started again from scratch, booked our favourite restaurant to feed and entertain our close friends and family and started organising an intimate garden party for the evening to dance and get a bit silly!
We had a lovely little ceremony in our local registry office and took everyone off for our wedding breakfast at Ogino's Japanese restaurant which was AMAZING! Everyone was so sceptical about us having Japanese food for our wedding reception and we had a lot of people turn their nose up at the thought of it, but it's our favourite restaurant and it was what we wanted to do! And guess what? Everyone LOVED it!
As for the after party, we had a bit of a last minute stress as the wind kindly decided to blow our marquee to bits that we had spent hours decorating the day before - but we turned it into a blessing and with a shit tonne of fairy lights here and there, a fully stocked bar and a dangerous game of beer pong - it was a bloody amazing night!

I hope you enjoy looking through a few of our photos and sharing the experience with us!
Always, Alice x