The Sunday Post: Things That Made Me Happy This Week #26

What made me happy this week...

- I started the week off with my other half and we had a lovely little evening that involved some very good food and a few too many espresso regrets.

- I had an amazing blog week and published the best post I've written to date which received a very overwhelming response for my little old blog (you can read it here if you haven't already). I've spent a lot of worthwhile time this week getting social and writing posts and my motivation is at an all time high!

- My other half scored an invitation to the taster weekend at the new Filmore & Union branch that's opened in my town and we got to sample some seriously yummy and healthy food whilst feeling like a bit of a VIP  (not really, but a gal can dream...). Also the way the place is decorated is serious goals and I'll be back for more house inspiration if not for all the healthy cakes and juices!

- Our wedding is finally coming together! We've pretty much settled on a reception venue that suits us, I think I've found THE dress and I've booked my hen do. 6 months to go people!

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 my posts!

Always, Alice x

Fashion: Missguided New-In Wishlist

So while I was ill last week, I somehow found myself perusing the Missguided website (as well as many others, lets be honest...) and I am loving ERRRRRYTHANG. I've been a massive fan of Missguided for a long while now and while I wouldn't wear everything on the website, I really love their stuff as a whole and how inexpensive it is while still maintaining a really fab quality!
I was looking through the New In section and have put together a lil wishlist of things I currently need in my life and may be ordering in the verrrrrry near future...

As you can tell from my picks, I'm a massive lover of simple, muted colours and am so not ready to jump into the pastel hues of S/S, nor am I anywhere near ready to stop wearing jumpers. I really love the neckline on the grey ribbed jumper as it's similar to something I picked up in New Look recently and I find it's really flattering on me! I really like Missguided's collection of comfy t-shirts as well especially the cross strap back one which looks like it's super soft and would see me through so many outfits! I think either that or the grey boyfriend tee would look fab paired with the 70's vibe denim skirt or the GORGEOUS deep burgundy cigarette trousers. I'm always on the lookout for a good pair of trousers as they flatter my short legs better than jeans, and these look perfect!

The grey silky pjs are very Victoria Secret-esque but at a fraction of the price while still looking just as luxurious and sexy and I think they even do them in pink if you're wanting to recreate the VS look without spending a small fortune! Hands down my favourite piece from the entire wishlist though is the faux suede biker jacket in such a lovely taupe-grey shade. I've wanted something like this for so long and at such a steal (£40!) I'm hoping it makes it's way into my life very soon! They also do the same jacket in an array of gorgeous colours, and I've been particularly taken by the mustard yellow version which is so quirky and I love it!

What do you think to Missguided? What's your favourite online store?
Let me know in the comments below and don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to keep up to date with all my posts! 

Always, Alice x

Life: Why I Cancelled My Wedding...

It's something every little girl dreams of, right? A fancy wedding with your perfect man by your side and all of your friends and family watching on. Not to mention the fancy dress, the flowers, the food...need I go on?

I thought this was what I wanted too. Oh, how wrong I was.

Nath asked me to marry him almost 2 years ago and when we became engaged, I wasn't even thinking about planning a wedding. I'd thought about it a million times before that, and got totally sucked in by wedding fever when his sister got married the year before but I imagined us having a long engagement and getting married a few years later when the time was right and we were a little older and had more money to put behind it.
Then out of nowhere came the conversation I didn't think I'd have. And then started the wedding planning.

Within a month or two we had successfully pinned down a ceremony venue, reception venue, caterer and photographer. I'd made a start on my save the date cards and, speaking of pinning things down - Pinterest had become my new best friend.
I knew I never wanted a big wedding. I have a tiny family compared to some and only a few close friends whom I'd really want to share it with but I always imagined the extravagant details. I'd make everything by hand, and the place would be full of bunting and candles and would be beautiful.

But as we started planning, life got in the way. We moved into our first home together, we both started focusing a lot more on our jobs and earning money to fund said house, and the wedding seemed to fall by the wayside. Then came the start of 2016 and with only 8 and a half months to go until the big day, we were both far from excited.

So we cancelled it.

We cancelled the photographer. We cancelled the caterer. We cancelled the reception venue. I cancelled my dreams of having a fancy hand-beaded dress all the way from Australia (Anna Campbell, I'm looking at you babe...) and we started again.

The truth is, weddings are bloody EXPENSIVE. And when you're 23 and earning near enough minimum wage with a house to pay for, ain't no gal got £10,000 to drop on one day. Call me pessimistic but that's all it really is isn't it. ONE DAY! Of course, it's the most special and amazing day of your life but the sensible soul in me could never forgive myself if we spent our entire savings on one day that was over in the blink of an eye.

We still had our little slot at the register office though and while we contemplated cancelling that too and waiting a few years, the both of us got a bit emosh and decided that there was no time like the present and that we would get married in August no if, ands or buts. But do it simple and relaxed and our way. Not the way we thought we 'should' do it.
We're swapping our caterer for a meal with our nearest and dearest in one of our favourite local restaurants. We've swapped our fancy reception venue for a relaxed and fun summer garden party at the in-laws, We've swapped our photographer for a load of iPhone and camera shots taken by our guests. And I've swapped what I thought was my £1500 dream Anna Campbell dress for my actual DREAM dress that is costing me a mere £250 - but don't be disheartened, it's absolutely beautiful.

The year is absolutely whizzing past and I can't believe it's almost March already and even though we still have a lot of things to check off in the way of wedding planning, we are both feeling so much happier about not spending a small fortune but actually having the day that we want - not what we think we should want - instead. What really matters after all is that we are making a commitment to each other that day and celebrating the start of the rest of our lives together.

Always, Alice x

Beauty: February Birchbox + First Impressions

Another month, another Birchbox delivery and this one I was VERY excited to receive after seeing on their Instagram page that there would be a full size make-up brush from Spectrum included in every box. And did I mention that it's pink and blue and super cute?! A dream right there, and I can imagine the use I'm going to get out of this as a pretty blog photo prop, nevermind for it's actual use as a finishing brush - perfect for alllllll the contour. I've used it a little since it arrived and I'm seriously impressed.
I didn't think anything could rival my beloved Zoeva brushes and while they still reign superior, the Spectrum offering works a treat and it's so super soft! At only £7.99 for this one and £39.99 for the full set, they're easy on the old purse strings too. I'll definitely be adding more to my collection very soon!

To use with my new Spectrum brush, was also a mini sample of the Fratboy blush from theBalm cosmetics. While the sample size of this was a little disappointing, the product itself is lovely. I always struggle to find a blush that stays put but having used this once before a 9 hour shift at work, I can confirm that the staying power is decent enough. It's a lovely rosy pink colour that is perfect for my skintone, and although it's a little on the pricey side at £15.50, I'd be interested in picking up the full-size version!

Two products that don't really stand out for me this month are the Number 4 Lumiere d'Hiver Super Comb Prep & Protect and the Derm Eyes Make-up Remover Wipe. While the Prep & Protect spray has a long and elaborate name, and it works fine as a detangler - that's basically all it is. I don't really have knotty hair anyway so don't have a need for this in my day to day haircare routine but I'm sure it would help those with hair that is more prone to tangles and knots! 
The make-up wipe doesn't do a lot for me either and although it's a pretty good makeup remover and does what it says on the tin, it's still just a make-up wipe. It beats the likes of Simple and Garnier but given that the full price pack is £9.50 for only 12 wipes, I don't think it's something I'll be purchasing in a hurry.

On to the real stars of the show though, firstly in the Korres Milk Proteins 3-In-1 Cleanser. It's everything I love about a cleanser - gentle, effective and nourishing - and it's been a lovely new addition to my evening cleansing routine. It removes makeup pretty well too (although I'm loyal to my Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish for now) and leaves my skin feeling CLEAN which isn't something I get from a single product very often. The sample size of this is pretty good too and since a little goes a long way, it'll take me a long time to get through the tube before I contemplate buying the real thing!
Lastly is something pretty exciting. Birchbox have recently launched their own makeup line LOC (Love Of Colour) so inside every box this month is one of their own brand One & Done Shadow Sticks - mine in the colour Champagne Problems. True to it's name, the colour is a gorrrrrrgeous champagne gold shimmery shadow and it applies like a dream. I haven't used it properly on my lids yet but having swatched it a few times I can tell you that the pigmentation and colour payoff is FANTASTIC. It also lasts all bloody day. Like seriously you're gonna be scrubbing this off yourself at the end of the day but luckily for me, I like my makeup to have a bit of oomph and staying power. As far as I can see there is only one other colour available on the Birchbox website which at only £8 each is a complete steal. I would like to see more colours in the range though and I'm excited to try more from LOC in future boxes!

What do you think of this month's Birchbox?
Let me know in the comments below and don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to keep up to date with my posts!

Always, Alice x

The Sunday Post: Things That Made Me Happy This Week #25

What made me happy this week...

- The beginning of the week was a very productive one and I've been feeling so happy with myself that I'm managing to get shit done with time to spare. I've been feeling a little under the weather towards the end of the week which has hindered my productivity but I'm definitely down with the whole tidy house tidy mind mantra.

- I've started yoga again and I forgot how much I loved it! I've been doing yoga each day with the help of Yoga With Adriene and her new Yoga Camp series and I'm really enjoying feeling healthier and doing it before bed has meant I've been sleeping better too!

- I reached 600 blog followers! At the beginning of the year I set myself a few little goals, one being to reach 600 followers by March and I'm so happy that I've passed this. It really humbles me that there are so many lovely people who read my blog and I'm excited to take it onwards and upwards...

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

Always, Alice x

Beauty: My First Sephora Haul

It finally happened. I've been umm-ing and ahh-ing for bloody ages on whether to make my very first Sephora order and late one recent Sunday I took the plunge and spent some dolla,

Firstly, I've never been so impressed with a delivery time! Like I said, I ordered pretty late on a Sunday evening and my beautiful package arrived early Thursday morning which, given it came all the way from the US is a pretty quick turnaround! But enough of the boring stuff and onto the good stuff!

Every blogger and their Nan seems to have one of the Sephora Cream Lip Stains and with no visits planned to America planned anytime soon, I needed to get my hands on one. Obviously me being me I went for a classic red (shock!) in the colour 'Always Red' and I've been using it non-stop since! For $14 (around £9.50), they're such great value for money and the payoff is incredible, especially if you're in for a long night! As with any liquid lipsticks, they come with the price of being super drying on the lips and by the end of the night the texture becomes a little unpleasant but it's a small price to pay for the amazing colour!

The real star of the show though is the new Tartlette In Bloom palette from Tarte. I've been wanting to try out Tarte products for SO LONG and finally I made my first purchase and kickstarted my collection. Not gonna lie though, I was totally swayed by the packaging.


The gorgeous watercolour design on the front of the palette is the perfect addition to my dressing table and makeup stash and what's inside is just as beautiful. Much like the original Tartelette palette, there's 12 gorgeous Amazonian Clay eyeshadow shades and the range of colours is right up my street. This time round though there's a mix of mega pigmented matte shades and buttery shimmery ones all of which make for the most amazing shadow combinations of which I am having endless fun playing around with! In addition, there's a massive mirror which makes the palette perfect for travel purposes.

In my little package, I also received some of Sephora's famous samples! I can't wait to try out the Ren Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial and the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream and hopefully add the full size versions to my basket in my next haul!

Have you bought anything from Sephora? Any recommendations?
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 my posts!

Always, Alice x

Life: Mother's Day Gift Inspirations

I was recently asked to put together an idea for Mother's Day gift by the lovely gals over at Cotton Traders and it got me thinking about what to actually get that special lady in my life for the big day.

Since I know my mum will probably be the first person to read this (cutie), I'm not going to give anything away as to what I'm ACTUALLY going to get her but more give you lot help with your own gifts!
I'm the sentimental type and tend to do things on a budget, which isn't as bad as it sounds! I think there's a lot to be said about something homemade or thoughtful that maybe only costs a couple of pounds or maybe costs nothing at all.

And nothing says 'I love you' better than a big, gorgeous bunch of flowers! A great choice if you're on a budget but want to let that special lady in your life know just how much you appreciate her, and it's easily something you can personalise too. Plus they make any room look cosy and inviting and is guaranteed to be something every Mum would love to receive on Mother's Day...
You could go as big or as small as you want with this, but I'm sure she'll appreciate it no matter what and since the average bunch of flowers last at least a week, it's the gift that keeps on giving!

If flowers aren't your thing, you could also take her out for a lovely little lunch in her favourite cafe, send her off for a facial or go get your nails done together. Maybe you could bake her your version of her favourite cake, or even just run her a candle-lit bath and offer to clean the house for the day while she puts her feet up!
Mums (and Grandma's too!) often work tirelessly to provide for all of their loved ones without a second thought for themselves so give something back to the woman who gave you life this Mother's Day and make her day!

What ideas do you have for Mother's Day*?
Let me know in the comments below and don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to keep up to date with my posts and be sure to check out what ideas the other lovely bloggers have for thoughtful Mother's Day gifts over on the Cotton Traders website!

Always, Alice x

*Don't forget Mother's Day is on March 6th this year!

Beauty: If You Like Pina Coladas...

You might be wondering what pina colada's have to do with shampoo. No, I haven't gone nuts (yet) but when I finally got my hands on the OGX Cocount Water shampoo and conditioner (both £6.99 from Boots), the first thing I thought when I got a whiff was COCKTAILS! Without even trying what was inside, I was in love instantly with the sweet pineappl-y coconut smelling goodness. Oooft.

I've actually used both a few times since and while I'm not normally one to give into massively hyped products, I'm totally jumping on the bandwagon with this one. The shampoo lathers up like a dream and the conditioner makes my hair feel silky soft and nourished right from the get-go.
I've found my hair stays a lot cleaner for longer in comparison to my old Herbal Essences favourite, which is a godsend when you work unsociable hours!
The gorgeous pina colada-esque scent lingers too (according to my other half) and my normally dry and limp hair has been looking noticeably shinier and in much better condition - WINNER!
The coconut water collection is an all-rounder that can be used on all hair types so it's understandable why it's been raved about so much lately and since the world seems to be going crazy for anything containing coconut water and coconut oil, I can see why!

I'm not all that keen on the consistency of the shampoo though - it's a horrible jelly type thing that is a nightmare to get out of the bottle without pouring the majority down your leg - but it's a small price to pay for something so good!
I'll be sad when this runs out but I'll be repurchasing for sure, and I'm interested to know what your favourite OGX products are if you've tried them!

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

January Favourites

I can't quite believe we've said goodbye to January already. Seriously, was it not just yesterday that I was tucking into my Christmas dinner and spending a small fortune in the Boxing Day sales?!
Nonetheless, I've accumulated quite a fair few favourites this last month and I'm excited to share them with you!

Beauty: Since I was on a self-imposed spending ban last month, it's been the perfect time to experiment and fall back in love with some old faves. I rediscovered the Seventeen Define & Conquer contour palette recently and I adore it! I've been pretty loyal to my CT Filmstar Bronze & Glow but decided to go for the cheaper alternative one day and I've been loving it since!
I've only really had one eyeliner love for the past 6 months and it's the Eyeko FAT liquid eyeliner. By sheer luck, I received this in one of my Birchbox subscriptions and have not gone a day without it. It's so easy to apply and I'm not ashamed to say I've got a replacement waiting for me when this badboy runs out...and another gem I found in one of my later Birchboxes last year was the Cowshed Cow Pat hand cream, which, firstly, smells AMAAAAZING. It's so nourishing too and the perfect accompaniment to my bedside table.
Two lipstick loves of mine lately are the Clinique Nude Pop lipstick and of course, Charlotte Tilbury' Matte Revolution Lipstick in Love Liberty. I actually got my hands on the Clinique mini in a Glamour issue and it's been my go-to for everyday wear. When I'm going a bit more glam, I'll reach straight for Love Liberty and haven't worn anything else all January. It's the best formula ever and I rarely have to re-apply which is a god-send!

Fashion: I got these pointed ASOS boots in the Christmas sale and I am in LOVE. They make me feel so grown up and like I have my shit together when I pair them with any outfit and I'll be rocking them til the soles fall off no doubt.

Books: As one of my new years "resolutions", I wanted to get through a book a month. I'm currently reading 'The Girl On The Train' by Paula Hawkins after hearing such good reviews and although rather unsurprisingly I haven't finished it, I'm still loving it so far! I also got my hands on Deliciously Ella's new cookbook the other week and it's changed my eating habits drastically. Better still, I've found a recipe for healthy chocolate....YAAAAAASSSS.

Music: I'm completely and utterly obsessed with Justin Bieber. Sorry not sorry.

Food: Totally in love with The Collective Dairy yoghurts, and Deliciously Ella's truffle recipe! Get on them both if you haven't already...

Blogs and Youtube: My biggest love in January has been Victoria from 'In The Frow'. I've been a massive lover of her blog and Youtube channel for over a year now and she's definitely one of my biggest inspirations! She works so hard and everything she does is flawless - and so is she!

TV & Film: Anyone who knows me will know that I am completely and utterly addicted to Grey's Anatomy and have been for the last 2 months or so and spend way too much time vegetating on the sofa watching it for hours on end. Not ashamed one bit.

What were your favourites in January?
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