Tuesday, 16 December 2014

THE XMAS GIFT GUIDE FOR *THAT* SOMEONE WHO DOESN'T HAVE A LABEL YET...

Christmas is great. We all love Christmas. But with great times comes great responsibility, hence why December can be one of the most stressful months of the year. You know at some point there's going to be a family argument, usually on Christmas day. You're overrun with invitations for work, friends and family parties and then you also have to make time for an inevitable visit to Winter Wonderland...and buying presents.

Deciding what to get people for gifts is one of the hardest parts. Deciding whether or not to GET someone a gift can be even harder and let's face it, we've all been there so you know exactly what I'm talking about. I'm talking about when you're not quite 100% single but you're certainly not in a relationship either. When you've met someone who sometimes makes your insides go funny, someone you've been on 5+ dates with on the run up to Christmas or someone who's peen you may or may not have seen.

Although I'm no expert, personally I'd go for the rule of no gift and/or card (excluding sexy humorous cards) unless you've been on more than five dates or 'seeing' each other continually for over 3 months. BUT that's just the timescale I go by. It's really one of those things that depend on how often you talk/see each other, whether or not you see it turning into something more etc.

If you then go onto to decide that you are going to get them a gift, then comes the problem of deciding what to get them. Anything romantic is a no-go and anything sexy is always welcomed but probably a little predictable. Personally I'd just buy some really cute lingerie for myself since they'd benefit from it too, but you also want to kind of impress as well. It's hard finding that balance, without a doubt. So here are some ideas of 'alright' presents for that not-entirely-but-also-kind-of-special someone.

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1. Star Wars Origami, Firebox, £12.99. Because I've never met a guy who doesn't like Star Wars. And guys love challenges like folding paper and stuff.
2. Maybe You Touched Your Genitals hand sanitizer, Firebox, £4.99. Because they probably have - lets face it. And ewww boys are just icky and have cooties and literally do sh*t like touch that area multiple times a day for no particular reason.
3. The Wallet Ninja, Firebox, £9.99. Yeah I don't even know what half this stuff is for but I suppose it's a modern take on a pocket knife and makes a man feel, yknow, manly.

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4. Cards Against Humanity, Amazon, £20.00. It's that game that everyone goes on about and if you buy it for your boy, it's almost guaranteed he'll find you super cool and chill. No one who doesn't already own the game really knows much about it, let alone how to play, but they do know it's absolutely hilarious.
5. Sea Monkeys, Amazon, £10.85. You can literally NEVER go wrong with sea monkeys. They're vintage, fun and its a funny gift. This is usually my go-to safe gift for boys or secret santas when I barely know the person.

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6. Racing Grannies, Iwantoneofthose.com, £4.61. Probably a little offensive but nonetheless a perfect stocking filler, this humorous gift will provide hours of entertainment for guys especially who love challenges and to get competitive with their mates.
7. Smartphone Projector, Iwantoneofthose.com, £22.99. This is one of those things that in hindsight, probably aren't really needed what with all the technology we have nowadays anyway, but is still super cool and awesome. This will definitely earn you brownie points, whether your boy uses it to show off cutesy photos of you (I doubt it) or stupid but 'hilarious' Youtube videos (likely).

Some other ideas I'd suggest would be gig tickets (to their favourite band or a local gig), a console game (just don't ask me what ones are meant to be big this Christmas, best asking a male friend for advice on this one) or if you really, really cannot decide on anything else, just do what I normally do and buy yourself some sexy underwear. You can NEVER go wrong with sexy underwear (as long as they get to see it obvs).

Do you struggle with getting gifts in this vital 'seeing someone' stage? Or do you find the challenge quite exciting? Let me know!

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Wednesday, 10 December 2014

NAILS OF THE WEEK // H&M NAIL POLISH DUO IN GOLD

I'm loving all the stocking fillers H&M have brought out this Christmas and I've particularly been eyeing up some of their gorgeous nail polish duo's. Available in four different colours - red, gold, silver and pink (all but three looking perfect for Christmas), the set includes two mini polishes - one a base coat and one a sequined addition, usually reserved for your ring finger to stand out a little!

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The idea is super cute and with each only costing £2.99, they definitely are perfect as stocking fillers for the girls. I  couldn't help but buy a few for myself though because the colours are absolutely stunning. I chose to go with the gold shades first of all and I can't stop staring at my nails. The colour is just so subtle, feminine and classy - and not to mention effortlessly seasonal without being too over the top.

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I'm really excited to try out the silver and red shades too closer to Christmas, but right now my heart is absolutely set on the look/theme created by this nail polish duo. Being that so many people choose to have plain nails with one 'arty' or 'out there' nail, this little set covers both your needs. Additionally, you can obviously go all plain or all sequined and for such a small price, it's a bargain.

What do you think of the shades? Will you be going for some subtle gold shades this Christmas? Let me know!

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Thursday, 4 December 2014

MY B-LIST HORROR MOVIE CHALLENGE // THE PACT


Yes, this challenge is STILL going. I wonder if I'll ever get around to finishing it?!

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Watched : This afternoon
Essential movie snacks : None
Watched with... : By myself
Score out of 5 : 3/5


Tonight I'm reviewing The Pact, another film that actually wasn't all that bad. The starting is pretty standard, girl returns to childhood home after her mother passes away and freaky stuff starts happening. But, this movie does jump straight into things whilst successfully keeping up the premise of lots of build up and tension etc. After watching it, I'm not 100% sure that I understand the story line or how exactly it fits in with all the weird stuff happening, but nonetheless it was good. What I DID understand was a little bit different from most cliche horror movies.

The acting was standard, not amazingly great but good enough for the length of the movie. The whole movie held my attention throughout and I felt it had an accurate amount of scares. I did jump a few times, and I definitely found myself on the edge of my seat throughout as the tension built up.

The only complaint I had about the film was some of the unanswered questions, for example I still have no idea why the film is called The Pact. 

However I would recommend this! I wouldn't say it would have been worth seeing at the cinema but it's definitely a good film, probably even good enough to watch more than once.

My only notes are -
  • AHHH the giant eye
  • The little girl asking who's behind her on webcam - CREEPY OR WHAT?!
  • Why is she drinking juice to calm her down
  • What's soothing about juice
  • I don't understand
  • SH*T MY F*CKING PANTS
  • That REALLY made me jump

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P.S Check out the Halloween tag for more Halloween related posts and further horror movie reviews of this kind!


Monday, 1 December 2014

REVIEW // COOL RUNNINGS ON ICE WITH PRESS PLAY

Being a bit of a movie buff means that living close to London certainly has it's advantages. Cinema events have become ever so popular in the capital in the past few years from Secret Cinema hosting exciting and interactive showings of old favourites, to ultra posh venues featuring plush sofa seats & beds. What's been especially popular lately is not only the funky and oddball locations that pop up cinema's seem to inhabit, but also the quirky and wacky themes that come along with the showings too.

Last week I decided maybe it was time to stop hoping to attend one of these cool events and actually, yknow, attend one. Cool Runnings on Ice was an immediate first choice - a viewing of a child hood favourite film that takes place on actual ice and boasted bathubs, free glasses of rum and generally an exciting and friendly atmosphere.

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We headed down to Queens Ice and Bowl, amused at people's outfits of choice (we were encouraged to channel our 'retro Caribbean ski wear' wardrobe) and impressed with the venue - an ice skating rink and bowling alley in one - WHO KNEW. It sounded mighty fun and it was.

So it was pretty chilly and I ended up getting a numb bum, but it was really fun watching the movie in a completely different setting to normal. Compared to the fact that I hadn't seen it in donkeysyonks and barely remembered the movie, I was entirely submerged in the film. We received a free glass of rum and some popcorn and for a small fee could also get a blanket to keep us warm and some handwarmers. THE HAND WARMERS WERE STILL HOT THE DAY AFTER. Just saying. The blanket was real thin and did little to keep me warm but I was mightily impressed with the handwarmers.

I have to admit, I was a little disappointed that there were actually no bathtubs on the ice to sit in to watch the movie (I think I totally misread the event details wrong - I know, I know, it would be near impossible to get enough bathtubs for everyone onto an ice skating rink but hey, London has played host to weirder things...) but overall, I really enjoyed my night.

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The only photo I took that night - a 'non bathtub' selfie
It was really so different from just watching a film at home because it was so lovely to see everyone get involved. Everyone cheered and clapped at appropriate parts of the movie and it just made the atmosphere really upbeat and fun. 

The only thing I would say was that it was a tad pricey at about £25 each which only covered entry, a glass of rum and a free packet of popcorn. The blanket & handwarmers were purchased at a small fee. Although I feel this price is worth it for the what the event involved and how different it was, I think it was a lot to pay to watch a movie whilst essentially just sitting on an ice rink. Had the venue been different I probably would have said the price was entirely worth it, simply because I did find it a little hard to enjoy the movie at points because it was so damn cold. However, being that cinema tickets are so expensive these days anyway, it's tough to evaluate. Despite that, I would most certainly attend a Press Play event again, depending on what theme/venue it is.

I would definitely suggest going with a big group of friends and throwing yourself into this type of thing. Press Play definitely put on a fun night and really went all out to re-create the theme of the movie.

Please note, this is in no way a collaborative or sponsored post - I purchased the tickets myself and all words and opinions are my own.

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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

LIFESTYLE // SEASONAL ADVENTURES TO TAKE IN THE SOUTH EAST THIS WINTER

Around about this time last year, I talked about the London Dungeons at Christmas and touched upon some other seasonal things to do in London. Really though, the list is endless and I have no doubt I'll be dedicating another blog post to all the fun Christmas themed things you can do in the city this winter.

However, this blog post is about seasonal things you can do a little more further afield, if you're from the South East/outskirts of London like me. I suppose it's fitting that I'm posting this a little early as s few of these things might require a day booked off work!

I'm quite lucky in that I come from a close knit family and when I was younger we'd always go on random adventures to cool places nearby and a few a little further out. I'll always be ever so grateful to my parents for that and so it means I've visited some really awesome places or attractions over the years! Here are a few that I think are definitely well worth a visit this winter...

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WARWICK CASTLE
Though it's a little further afield, Christmas at Warwick Castle is always a fun affair, especially because there's so much on all year round as it is! Warwick Castle offers typically everything a castle should - beautiful grounds, a rich history and daily shows and talks. It's also home to some attractions such as The Castle Dungeon & The Princess Tower - making it ideal for all the family. However, Christmas is when the castle really outdoes itself. The whole castle gets decked out in Christmas deco and offers a 25ft Christmas tree in the Great Hall. There are plenty of events on over the winter period such as A Very Victorian Christmas Party and the opportunity for kids to meet Santa. Most years they have an ice skating rink in the grounds or an ice skating trail too and let's not forget about how stunning the grounds will look covered in a blanket of pure white snow. You'll have to dress up warm but attractions aside, even just visiting this attraction on a winter day will be visually pleasing and you'll no doubt enjoy exploring the grounds.
Strictly speaking, Warwick castle more so in the Midlands as opposed to the South East but I couldn't miss it out!
Warwick Castle is just under two hours outside of London.

WOBURN SAFARI PARK
A safari park doesn't sound like it'll be much fun during winter - but it is, trust me. For starters, a lot of the safari is explored via car around a specific trail so grab a thermal mug full of tea, put some Christmas music on low and admire the animals in their natural habitat without having to ever step out into the cold. The safari park sets up a very special winter wonderland each year and additionally, usually hosts various different craft or Christmas fairs which is perfect for last minute Christmas gifts. You'd be surprised at how festive a safari can get when Christmas rolls around!
Woburn Safari Park is an hour and fifteen minutes outside of London.
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WADDESDON MANOR
I visited Waddesdon Manor a couple of years ago and to this day still smile at the memory. The manor is home to some stunning grounds that can take almost all day to walk around and you can explore these grounds over winter. The grounds also play host to a lot of Christmas and craft fairs in the colder months and you'll find captivating light trails throughout the gardens and woodland area. There's even a winter trail where you can spot reindeer and stables where you'll find seasonal activities for children such as lantern making or photos with real husky dogs! Finally, the actual manor itself is decorated each Christmas with stunning Christmas trees and twinkling fairy lights. This years theme is is Lights and Legends!
Waddesdon Manor is about an hour and a half outside of London.

HARRY POTTER STUDIO TOUR
You don't have to be a fan of Harry Potter - even if you're not you'll find the whole tour extremely pretty at Christmas. All year round you can explore the set and submerge yourself in the wonderful world of Hogwarts but visit at Christmas and you'll get so much more. The whole place is decorated for Christmas with parts of the tour covered in snow. If you ever remember how the great hall looked
at Christmas in the films, then you'll know this isn't a tour to be missed this winter.
Harry Potter Studio Tour is an hour outside of London.

If none of these take your fancy, how about just jumping in the car and driving to a random town for a fun adventure? More often than not, different places have their own seasonal events from Christmas lights being switched on to carolling and different fairs. And if not, most cities are worth a visit simply just to travel through and gawk at with Christmas lights and decorations. Cambridge, Southend on Sea and even Canterbury have always been known to be festive at winter - perfect to get you into the Christmas spirit.

Is there anywhere you always make sure to go with your family at Christmas? Where else would you recommend in the South East that just HAS to be visited this winter? Let me know!

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