Sunday, 30 November 2014

Lifestyle // Macmillan Cancer Support - Welcome to Wonderland

Christmas is all about goodwill and helping those less fortunate than yourselves. This year the lovely folk at Macmillan Cancer Support are inviting people to throw a Wonderland après-ski themed festive fiesta to raise money to help the two million people living in the UK with cancer.

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The idea is that you kick start the Christmas season with an après-ski themed Wonderland party. Party planners are encouraged to set a fundraising target, set a ticket price and start inviting guests to their party of the year and spread some festive cheer.



Of course it doesn't have to be all shots of schnapps in trapper hats, why not have a Christmas movie marathon whilst wearing natty knitwear? Or get your friends together for an evening of festive baking, or getting crafty and decorating your own Christmas stocking? Whatever style of party suits you, gather your friends, raise some money and help make sure that no one faces cancer alone. 

The Wonderland website - www.welcometowonderland.org.uk - has lots of amazing tips to help party hosts plan the perfect party. Here you can find recipe ideas, music playlists, games to play, decorations to hang and costume ideas to make your party the pick of the pistes.

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There are also extra incentives (as if you needed them!!) to encourage party enthusiasts to raise as much money as possible for Macmillan by collecting Piste Points. The more money you raise (and Piste Points you collect) the better the prizes you win, including sunglasses, t-shirts and entry into a mystery prize draw to win a ski-tastic prize. Oohh Bruce Forsyth would be proud!  And the good news is, you can throw your event any time in December which suits you and your friends best. Perfect for busy little elves!


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Every pound raised will be used to help people affected by cancer, giving care, support and advice and making sure that people living with cancer are helped to take back control of their life and feel themselves again. Sounds like a good reason to throw a party to me!

Macmillan Cancer Support do some great work and always put together some fantastic campaigns to help those in need. Christmas is traditionally a time when you get together with friends and family anyway (and let's face it are usually dressed in some form of Nordic knitwear) so why not make this year's Christmas catch up even better by spreading the love a little bit further, donating and helping those who may be struggling with cancer this Christmas?


Are you going to throw a Wonderland party this year?


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Friday, 28 November 2014

Lifestyle // Winter Holiday in Casarabonela, South Spain

How horrid has the weather been recently?! London has been so wet and windy and I've found myself staring longingly at my holiday photos of a gorgeous bright and hot sunny south of Spain, where myself, my boyfriend and 10 of our friends hired a villa at the end of October for some last minute sunshine.

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Our villa was beautiful, and set in the mountains amongst some absolutely stunning scenery. It was really lovely to be somewhere so isolated which is in complete contrast to London (and also meant we could make us much noise as we wanted! Partaaaaayyy!!!) 

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The villa had 3 double bedrooms and a crazily cool double bunkbed loft style room in the main house where the four couples slept, and then two bedrooms with single beds in a smaller second building across a small courtyard where the four single guys slept. We also had a fully decked out kitchen, living room, ginormous conservatory with dining table for 12, a table tennis table, swimming pool and outside barbecue area. MTV Cribs eat your heart out! The only problems were that as water in the area is quite scarce, we only had hot water for three hours a day and had to be sure to be home for "Shower Hours" or the water was at best freezing and at worst, non existent! The water that did flow was also heavily treated with chlorine as it all came from tanks, so was not the kindest to my skin or hair.

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We had a really chilled week, basically spent hanging out around the pool, playing board games (I'm now obsessed with Settlers of Catan) eating far too much meat and drinking far too much beer and red wine! We cooked some amazing meals including a huge paella, chorizo with garlic and white wine, and padron peppers fried in oil and salt. YUM!


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As well as lots of chilling out we also did several walks in the surrounding mountains, including one to the nearest town, Casarabonela, which was an hour and a half's walk away. The scenery was so beautiful, walking through the pine trees and out on the open hills, and the village itself was very pretty too. I loved the gorgeous tile work which was everywhere, and especially the tiled murals showing the name of the town and surrounding the open water fountains.

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We also spent a couple of days at the Ardales lakes where we hired pedalos and relaxed beneath the pine trees. 

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We were really lucky with the weather - despite being the last week of October we had bright sunshine all week and temperatures of about 25C every day. It wasn't quite warm enough to lie out in just a bikini so I spent lots of time with my gorgeous new Kaftan by Seafolly* on, which was kindly given to me by Beach Cafe Swimwear. It kept the breeze at bay and looked really cool! I love the little tassels which surround the edges and the verticle navy ombré which makes it look really chic (when you're not posing like a wally!)

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seafolly-splendour-kaftan

I had such a great time, it was really lovely to be surrounded by 10 of our closest friends for 8 nights and not have to worry about doing anything at all! We all thoroughly relaxed and chilled out, with our only worry being which bottle of wine to try next! Perfect


Have you been on a big group holiday before?


*Thank you very much to the lovely people at Beach Cafe Swimwear for giving me the Seafolly Splendour Kaftan to wear on holiday. All thoughts are honest and my own. For more information please see my Disclaimer Page.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Midweek Manicure // Favourite Festive Nail Polishes

Squeeee, it's less than a month till Christmas now Pickles! And you know what they means... CHRISTMAS THEMED NAILS HURRAH!!! I decided that before we get going with lovely holiday nail art I'd give you a peek at some of my favourite festive polishes.

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red-glitter-nailsModels Own Scarlett Sparkle 
This is one of my all time Christmas crackers. It's red, it's sparkly, it's just perfect!

Nails Inc for In Style Electric Teal
I love a green nail at Christmas time as it's a bit more of a subtle and sophisticated choice than red. This Nails Inc colour is a gorgeous deep blue toned green.

OPI Spark De Triomphe
This is the first OPI nail polish I ever bought and I love how it is just jam packed with pretty glitter particles. It changes from silver to gold depending what light it shines in, making it really versatile.


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Nicole by OPI Kardashian Kolors Hard Kourt Fashionista
This is a really unusual and pretty deep purple / chocolate brown colour. It's lovely at this time of year when dark AW colours can be worn and has a nice richness running trough it making it softer than black.

Barry M Matte Nail Paint Crush
I love this polish! It's a lovely deep red and the matte finish always looks really smart and is a nice contrast with the soft knitwear I usually wear at this time of year.

Ciate Paper Doll
This is literally powdered snow in a polish! So pretty and as with the Barry M matte red, it's nice to have a contrasting nail texture.

Models Own Hed Kandi Ibiza Mix
Despite the fact this polish is part of the Summer Ibiza range it just screams Christmas to me! A clear polish filled with green, silver, gold and pink chunky glitter bits it reminds me so much of Christmas tree decorations! This is really lovely layered over the Nails Inc Electric Teal.


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holiday-nails


What are your favourite festive polishes?


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Sunday, 23 November 2014

InstaLIFE // w/c 16th November 2014

I've had another fun week, with a Bloggers Love event, a trip to the theatre and a weekend away in Bristol for one of my friend's hen do. I've also discovered a couple of London gems, started a new book and fallen in love on the tube...ooohhh!


I am getting so excited for Christmas and couldn't resist downloading Ruth Saberton's latest novel Escape for Christmas. It's the follow up to her Escape for the Summer novel (which I loved and reviewed here) and I'm absolutely loving catching up with the characters as they prepare for Christmas. Only 32 days to go squeeeee!


On Monday I went along to the Bloggers Love Bloggers Love Hub event. I had a really good night and met lots of lovely brands and bloggers. One of my highlights was taking part in a cupcake decorating class with Miss Cupcakes. It was really fun and I got to decorate three cakes including this little EMSYPICKLE one! I'll have a full post up about Bloggers Love Hub very soon so watch this space.


On Tuesday I went to see Shakespeare In Love at the Noel Coward Theatre with my mum and we loved it! Neither of us had seen the film which it is based on and really liked the story. The actors were really energetic and there were several laugh out loud moments so I'd definitely recommend going to see it if you get the chance. I really want to watch the film now too to see how they compare.


Yes, I've had another trip to Primark this week (when don't I say that?!) I've seen a picture on Instagram of an UH-MAZING pair of Olaf print pyjama bottoms which I am dying to get my hands on but just can't seem to find. I did see these cute Little Mermaid sets though. Primark's pyjama game is very strong right now so if you do need some new bed wear I'd definitely give them a visit!


Walking past the British Museum this week I spotted this cute little guy! There are Paddington Bear statues all around London at the moment to celebrate the new Paddington film coming out at the end of the month. I love his marmalade print coat!


I'm a sucker for a skinny iced mocha and couldn't resist popping into the Starbucks opposite the British Museum. The barista who made my drink drew a funny face on my cup and said "It's amazing how something as small as a silly drawing can make somebody smile". He had also done some incredible art on some of the coffee cups which were on display. Look at the owl, amazing!


Look at this little sweetheart! I'm such a dog perve and just can't stop staring when I see a cute pup! I was beyond delighted when this little guy was on my tube home the other night. I thought my heart was going to burst when he fell asleep on his owners lap! Wahhhh I want a dog for Christnas!!!


My friend Tori is getting married next month and this weekend 10 of us went to Bristol for her hen do! We had such a fun time and I laughed so much my tummy feels like I've actually spent two days doing sit ups! The maid of honour had bought each hen a cute little glass charm for us to use during our Champagne tasting session and as a cute little keepsake from the weekend. Eeep I can't wait for the wedding now!


A couple of weeks ago I wrote about my excitement at the John Lewis Christmas ad and this week I'm enjoying the Sainsbury's offering! I love that you can actually buy the classically branded chocolate bar from the advert. Money from each purchase goes to The Royal British Legion so surely that makes it a guilt free treat?!

I hope you've had a good week! Let me know below if you've started to get excited for Christmas already too!





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Friday, 21 November 2014

Beauty // The Perfume Shop Christmas Press Day #TPSisMagical

I am a big perfume fan and always love a good nose in The Perfume Shop to see all the beautiful bottles and have a good spray of my favourite scents, as well as try out the latest releases. A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to attend The Perfume Shop Is Magical - their Christmas launch event. And magical it was!

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When I got to the event the lovely Hannah showed me around all the beautifully displays showcasing the fragrances set to be the biggest hits this winter. Look how pretty they all are!

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Everything looked so gorgeous, laid out on white and mirrored surfaces piled with fake snow and diamond sparkles. Oohh I literally can't wait for Christmas now!!  The Marc Jacobs collection looked particularly stunning, and it's no wonder they're so popular with their pretty, girly packaging! Perfect for lovely ladies of all ages! 

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Everyone needs a bit of Chanel in their lives, especially at Christmas, and The Perfume Shop has got all your needs well and truly covered! With perfumes, lotions and potions of all the key scents for men and women, there really is something for everyone.

chanel-perfume

chanel-perfume

The Perfume Shop also has younger audiences catered for. I know a number of teenage girls (and a fair few adults!) who would LOVE to find One Direction's new You & I fragrance, which comes in a dreamy gift set containing the Eau de Parfum, body lotion and a signed postcard of the boys. Swoon :P 

one-direction-perfume

And how awesome is this Frozen gift set?! Containing a princess tote bag and Eau de Toilette this is literally the biggest bargain ever at only £6.99! I'm sure this will be flying off the shelves (and I hope one whizzes my way!)

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One of my favourite gift sets on offer were The Perfume Shop Vivaboxes. The Vivabox is the ultimate Christmas selection box, and makes the perfect present. There are two Vivaboxes on offer - one for men and one for women, and each one includes 7 fragrance samples and a voucher so the recipient can choose which of the samples they like best and swap it in store for a full size bottle. I think this is such a good idea! Perfumes make the perfect present and Vivabox allows you to treat someone even if you don't know which scent they like. It's also the perfect gift for a perfume novice who isn't quite sure what kind of fragrance they like best. My boyfriend only wears Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male (and always has done) and is reluctant to buy any others in case he doesn't like them. This way he could try out seven new scents without spending a fortune on aftershave, and of course tester sizes are always so handy to have for popping in your bag or taking on holiday with you. I love that the inclusion of the gift voucher also means that the recipient gets a second present later in the year once they've decided which tester they like best. A gift that keeps on giving is my kind of present!

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As well as having a good look at The Perfume Shop's Christmas range, I also got to learn about Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream, Chloe Chloe and Calvin Klein Reveal. These three scents are all absolutely beautiful and have such stunning bottles, it's no wonder they're the top three selling female fragrances.

best-selling-perfume


I had such a great time exploring the magical world of The Perfume Shop and have so many Christmas gift ideas now (as well as several fabulous fragrances for my own wish list!) Thanks for having me guys :D


Will you be giving anyone perfume this Christmas?


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