Friday, 18 December 2015

10 Festive Life Loves This Week – Blogmas 09

1 Going to meet my sister for dinner and drinks, and finding that as a surprise she had invited my parents, who I have been missing SO MUCH this month! She’s the most thoughtful little sister in the world and we had such a lovely evening and I feel so much happier now!
2 The cashier in Pret who gave an old, blind woman in a Santa hat her lunch on the house. I nearly cried because it was so lovely.
3 The old man marching band playing Christmas tunes outside Leadenhall Market on Monday lunchtime. Sometimes I’m so proud to be British it makes my heart melt a bit.
4 Crush ‘Fat Burner’ smoothies – I drank one and that makes up for the 3497 Quality Streets I ate directly afterwards, right?!
5 Caroline Hirons blog – I can’t believe I’ve never read it before, the woman is a skincare genius!
6 Primark Disney pyjamas. They’re pink, they have Disney princesses on them, and my husband made that face of alarm he always makes when I come home with ANOTHER pair of pyjamas – what’s not to love?!
7 Our annual trip to Birmingham to see Ian’s family. Last year I was ill and couldn’t enjoy it properly but this year I drank a bottle of wine, ate two huge plates of buffet food and then slept like a baby in our big cosy bed – happy days. 

8 Glittery nail polish – the only time of year when it doesn’t make you look a bit like a 12 year old who got a nail set from Claire’s Accessories. (Do you remember those? A glittery nail polish, a nail file and a lip gloss that tasted like plastic, all in a little purse? I loved them!)
9 A GBK naked burger with sweetcorn, coleslaw and sweet potato fries. Like, so much good food, AND it’s not terrible for you (err, right?!)
10 Just all the warm, happy Christmas feels – the music, the lights, the never ending chocolate…I just wish it would last a bit longer!  


Thursday, 17 December 2015

Christmas at Lush - Blogmas 08

I love Lush all year round, but at Christmas the sight of those little paper bags with their white-on-black scrawl and the inescapable, indescribable Lush scent makes my heart skip a beat a little faster. Their festive treats are just so pretty and wonderful smelling, and really, on a cosy December evening, is there really anything you want more than a warm, beautifully scented, moisturising bath, followed by Christmas pyjamas, a hot chocolate and Elf on TV?


Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Hotel Chocolat Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate - Blogmas 07

Is there anything more festive than a really, really good mug of hot chocolate?

I’ve professed my love for a good takeaway hot chocolate before – my preference being the Costa Black Forest hot choc – but sometimes, you know, you just don’t want to leave the house – maybe it’s raining, or you’re watching a film. And so, quietly, I’ve been on the hunt for the best hot chocolate you can knock up in your own kitchen with the help of a festive mug, a can of whipped cream and some milk. Don’t get too excited, but I think I’ve found it.


Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Fear of missing out, or burnt out? – Blogmas 06

Okay, well, I genuinely meant to post something every single day in December, but the best laid plans and all that! This isn’t a scheduled post and it’s a bit rambly and pointless, so apologies if you get bored!

I basically spent this weekend and the last two days between my bed of pain and my sofa of sickness. I’ve watched several documentaries (the BBC ‘Storyville’ series is truly excellent), caught up on Masterchef, picked all my nail varnish off and re done it again, and had more than one bath a day. And finally I’m starting to feel a bit human again.


Thursday, 3 December 2015

A Cosy Brunch in Manchester - Blogmas 05

A couple of years ago now, my best friend from university – my bridesmaid, my partner in crime and my drinking buddy – got up, got married, got a cat, had a beautiful baby girl, bought a house and moved to Manchester (not necessarily in that order).  I miss her, like, all the time, and spending time with her over my wedding just reinforced that, so I made sure we arranged a weekend when we could go up and visit!


10 Things I’ve Been Loving This Week (Festive Edition!) – Blogmas 04

Oh, it’s just been one of those lovely weeks, hasn’t it? I adore December, I love this time of year, and in particular this year when I’m so happy it’s started to border on a bit sickening (soz). Before you start throwing up, here are the things I’ve been enjoying on this happy, festive week!

1. Spending far too much money in the Black Friday/Cyber Monday/any-excuse-to-drag-in-new-customers sales, whilst curled up on the sofa with my laptop and a glass of wine. One Christmas present for my friends and family, then one for me…and so on. Seems fair, right? 

2. Putting the tree up, then turning the sparkly lights on, lighting all the candles, and feeling like the cosiest person in the world!

3. Staying in every evening this week, eating healthily, having hot baths and generally hibernating like the grandma I am.

4. Masterchef. I know it’s always the same, but I don’t care, it’s the best thing on TV, like, ever (although Michel Roux is my babe and it’s not the same without him, but Marcus tries hard).

5. Watching everybody’s Vlogmases and never running out of Youtube videos to watch while I’m getting ready/in the bath!

6. Scream Queens. Best. Show. Ever. I hope they never stop making it (but WHO is the red devil? WHO?) and I’ve had to order so much fake fur to quell my craving to look like a Chanel.

7. Making Christmas pudding chocolate cake pops, which taste incredible even if my loving husband asked casually ‘Oh, are these little frogs?’ Poor puddings!

8. A really slow week at work – isn’t it nice when things slow down occasionally, you can clear your inbox and get stuff done and just feel productive without going crazy? (And you can get home early. Bonus).

9. Barry M Sunset nail paint in Can’t Get You Out Of My Red. I am loving brick red nail polish at the moment. So festive and so sassy.

10. Wensleydale cheese with cranberries. I had never tried this until this year and now I am IN LOVE. Why did I not know of this wonder of the world? I’m not sure my diet is so happy about this, but hey ho!

What have you been loving this week? 

20 thoughts everyone who works in an office has every Christmas - Blogmas 03

Okay, so, confession – I totally got the idea for this blog post from the ever hilarious Hannah Gale, whose ’28 thoughts every 20-something girlhas over the Christmas season’ made me quietly snorting into my Starbucks hot chocolate this morning. And as I was sitting at my desk (MULTI-TASKING if my manager is reading this) it occurred to me that there are a lot of really office-worker-specific things that happen EVERY YEAR WITHOUT FAIL and I wanted to write about them to see if, well, you lot do them too. But obvs also go and read Hannah’s post because it is excellent. And do all of this at work because it’s Christmas so nobody’s doing any real work, right?!



Wednesday, 2 December 2015

GBK Christmas Burger (aka Bah Humburger!) - Blogmas 02

I love burgers. Really – pink meat, glistening cheese, a delicious assortment of toppings all sandwiched between bread and accessorised with deep fried potato – what’s not to love? In fact, one of the only thing I like as much as burgers is a good excuse to eat them – and trying out the new Christmas burger at GBK, combined with a bit of a hangover, gave me the perfect excuse!

GBK Bah Hamburger hipster blog

I (obviously) ordered the new burger, amusingly named ‘Bah Hamburger’ – beef, smoked cheese, crispy bacon, Ebenezer pickle, crispy onions and mayo. I have to admit, it doesn’t sound really particularly festive – but surprisingly, it did taste it! The beef was soft and juicy, and the pickle kind of tastes like cranberries, giving it a really nice flavour without being overly sweet.  And it’s not bad to look at, either. 


There’s a really good deal at GBK at the moment where you can get a burger, fries and a drink for £14.95. I was so tempted by the Christmas milkshake but I’ve ordered the milkshakes before at GBK and literally never managed to finish one, so I went with a diet coke and sides of sweet potato fries and sweetcorn, my one true love. Oh, and free monkey nuts, obviously! 

The fries were perfectly cooked – some crispy, some soft, the best combo – and served with baconnaise. Bacon mixed with mayonnaise. Possibly the best invention since a spiralizer, if a little less good for you – who knows? It’s like…calcium and protein. Right?!

All I can say it was one of those Friday lunchtimes that are good for the soul! Have you tried out GBK’s Christmas offerings yet? What’s your favourite Christmas burger?  

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

I'm Doing Blogmas! - Blogmas 01

Yep, you read that right. I've really been enjoying blogging and creating content since I returned from my wedding in September and so I've set myself a challenge to blog every day until Christmas - that's 24 blog posts, including today. Most of them, I have to admit, will be Christmas related - maybe not all, but we'll see! 


Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Tanya Burr, Glamour magazine, my wedding & the pressures of social media

I picked up Glamour magazine yesterday, partly I admit because I finally found one with the free Clinique red lipstick (it’s a total dream, BTW) but also because I’m a big fan of Tanya Burr and I really wanted to read her interview. I flicked straight to it on the tube, pretty much expecting it to be like her videos – frothy, sweet, girly, not very deep. I have to say, I really didn’t expect it to make me think.

Glamour Tanya Burr

In the article, Tanya clearly comes across as more adult – it’s a deliberate decision, I think, emphasised by the mature, seductive photography – and it’s apparent that she’s at a crossroads with her career. I can see how for a Youtuber with a young following it is quite difficult to know how to ‘grow up’ – presumably, Tanya doesn’t want – and can’t- spend the rest of her life baking cheerily in Christmas pyjamas, but that’s what her viewers crave. I thought that was really interesting, but what really got me thinking was her discussion around her decision to stop ‘vlogging’ so much – videoing her daily life and putting it on the internet – particularly in relation to her marriage.

Monday, 23 November 2015

10 tips for making yourself feel pretty and pampered when you’re broke!

When I’m feeling rubbish about myself, there’s one surefire solution – a splurge in Boots or, even better, at a high end make up counter. Some posh moisturiser here, a deep clay mask there, a shiny new lipstick in pretty packaging and a bubble bath that smells like everything good in the world, all topped off with booking a holiday to the Maldives (what? A girl can dream) and suddenly my dreary day feels shiny again. But what about when it’s the end of the month and your bank account is feeling more Primark than Prada? I’ve got a couple of top tips to get you feeling glamorous, pampered and above all, happy, all without breaking the bank. 


Friday, 20 November 2015

Another 10 Ways To Sneakily Celebrate Christmas Early

One of my most popular posts of all time is this one, 10 ways to sneakily celebrate Christmas now! It seems like it isn’t only me who starts feeling festive the second the Halloween pumpkins come down, or wants to deck the halls as soon as the fireworks have stopped ringing in my ears. Sadly, we’re still surrounded by Scrooges who moan about how it’s only November, stop singing Mariah, GET THAT TINSEL OFF YOUR HEAD.

As that post is now two years old, I’ve had a little bit longer to come up with EVEN MORE ways to sneak around these holiday Grinches and start feeling the Christmas spirit, like, now. So without further ado…hide this list from your partner/mum/friends, and start rocking around the imaginary Christmas tree!


Thursday, 19 November 2015

Debenhams Christmas Make Up - #FoundIt

Until last week, I would never have considered Debenhams as the place to go for high end make up. I’ve always wound up buying it online and paying shipping costs, or searching out tiny boutiques in London!  

Debenham's #foundit

Earlier this week, I attended a Debenham’s Christmas Party at Mahiki where Debenhams were promoting part of their #Foundit campaign, which aims to demonstrate the number of Christmas present crises that can be solved by a quick trip to Debenhams!


Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Cosy Yorkshire Escape To The Country!

 This weekend was spent escaping the London rat race in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside.

York Country Cottage Pear Tree Cottage York


Monday, 16 November 2015

10 things I’ve been loving this week

It’s been a good week! Firstly because I’ve only been at work for four days – I’m off to York today for a lovely cosy weekend with my husband and his family (still find it so foreign saying husband! When did I get so old?) and secondly because I’ve had lots of lovely things going on! Top ten little pieces of happiness this week:

My new blog layout! I’d been planning on updating my blog layout for ages, but was a bit worried about how to order one, where to get it from and so on. In the end, I went with pipdig – they had amazing reviews and all their templates looked stunning, so I felt like I was in good hands. They installed the whole thing for me within a day and I absolutely love it! I feel like it’s given my blog a new lease of life, it looks so shiny and pretty but still really simple – it’s exactly what I wanted!

2.       Going to a blogger event with Debenham’s on Tuesday night (post coming soon) and finding a Mary Lou Manizer highlighter compact in the goodie bag. Glowy skin dreams.

3.       A perfectly cold glass of white wine at Mahiki with my sister at the aforementioned event – if only every bar knew how to make wine taste so lovely!

4.       Winning a the November Birbox in collaboration with Skinny Dip via Jennie May’s gorgeous sailboat blog. I’ve followed Jennie for ages because I absolutely adore it – she takes the most beautiful photos and her articles are always really interesting and honest. I love Skinny Dip and so I’m so excited to receive this!

5.       Free Snow Ball Dough Balls at Pizza Express on a random Thursday lunchtime – what a treat. I want to go back and have a full on Christmas meal there because some of the pizza options and starters looked epic! (This photo is actually from a previous years' Snow Ball Dough Balls because I didn't take a photo this time - but that just proves how much I love them, doesn't it?)

6.       Fajitas with my sister and her fiancé, with another glass of wine (or three) OBVS.

7.       Ogling Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner in the early photos from the Victoria’s Secrets Fashion Show, and running a PB on the treadmill because I will look like that asap…

8.       ….then eating a spontaneous Nandos because YOLO and hey, I don’t have to parade about in my underwear anytime soon, thank god.

9.       Secretly listening to Christmas music on my iPod and smiling on the train because everyone around me is in commuter hell and I’m in a happy festive grotto amongst the elves (in my mind).

10.   All the Christmas drinks coming back – Costa Black Foresthot chocolate, get in my mouth. Well, that sounds dodgy. Anyway!

What have you been enjoying this week? What do you think of my new blog layout?  
© Cat Cruse. All rights reserved.