Saturday 19 December 2015

Christmas Gift Ideas

It’s getting closer and closer to the big day and you may still be searching the net for that perfect gift after being paid for the final time of 2015... Well, let me help you a little bit by showing you a few gifts that will be perfect for her this year. Some very affordable and others a little more deluxe to make her feel special on Christmas Day! 

For the Fake Tan lovers out there, there are some fabulous gift sets available this year and I have two of the best tans you can get - Laurens Way Tan have a gorgeous gift set which includes a Tan Moose and a Pump and Pout lipgloss which has collagen in to help plump up those lips ready to go and kiss under the Mistletoe! You can buy this from Laurens Way online for £22.95 and you also get to choose either a medium or dark tan!

 If you’re more of a Bronze and Go type of gal, the Vita Liberata Party Glow Set includes everything you need to get party ready this christmas with a Tan, Mitt and even bronzing powder with a lovely little kabuki brush too! Vita Liberata are one of my favourite tanning brands so this would be right up there on my Christmas list! You can buy this for £29.50 from Vita Liberate online .

For the bath and body lovers out there, a must from the amazing brand Soap and Glory - this year there’s a cute little trio of their body butters. Get 3 of their top selling body butters; The Righteous Butter, Sugar Crush and The Smoothie. Get this fabulous trio for just £8.00 from Boots - a perfect stocking filler too if you’re buying one of the tanning sets!! 

If you know someone who loves to pamper themselves with long baths then the Aroma Spa collection is the perfect gift. A gorgeous, luxurious gift set including Bath salts, Massaging lotion and Shower Gel means that if ever you need to escape and treat yourself, you can do it from the comfort of your own home. Team up with a face mask and a good book and you’ve got the perfect evening right there. It also comes in a lovely wash bag that can be used again and again. 

Onto the other gifts... Perfect for any age, anyone and even yourself! This Works have a lovely range of candles out at the moment and I managed to pick this one up in TK Maxx a few days ago - there were another 4 scents but this is the most Christmassy of them all. It has a lovely warm scent, perfect for winter and is so soothing. For just £12.99 (RRP £25.00) this is another perfect stocking filler or secret santa gift! 

And for the final addition to this gift collection, the perfect Rose gold watch. Olivia Burton have some absolutely stunning designs and if you know someone who deserves to be treated, get them a beautifully designed OB watch. This one is Rose Gold detailed with a Black strap and is the perfect size. It’s not too chunky and it’s quite feminine but without being too girly - you can buy it for £135.00 on Joshua James and also get 10% off your first order! 

Most of these stores are shipping out until the 22nd so you still have plenty of time to get them ordered or even treat yourself if your presents are bought and wrapped! I know i’ll be buying a few more of these for myself ready for January to help me feel less crappy about the fact i’ll have no money and Christmas is over for another year! 

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me over on Twitter! 

Merry Christmas! 
(I was kindly gifted various items from this post to feature)

Wednesday 2 December 2015

Party Outfits at Highcross Leicester

It’s finally here… the build-up has lasted all year for me, but it’s finally Christmas! I adore this time of year, I’m not sure whether it’s because I have to wait all year for everything to happen in a week - Christmas, birthday and New Year’s celebrations – but I know for a fact that it’s definitely the best time of year for me, weather permitting that is. Exploring the Christmas market and getting caught in traffic full of Christmas shoppers – that’s what it’s all about! So, how much more of an excuse do I need to go and buy a new party outfit for this season’s festivities?

HighcrossLeicester is the perfect place to shop for your party outfit, whether it’s a Christmas party, birthday party or seasonal celebrations, there’s bound to be a shop that will have something for you! The top trends this winter for the perfect party outfit are;

- Classic – think LBD’s and sophistication, a little glitz maybe to make things sparkle or even a jumpsuit, take the tux to the feminine side!
- Romantic – all about velvet and black lace. Think of long sleeves, tights and high necks too, teamed with a glitter eye and dark lip!
- Rock ‘n’ Roll – sequin dresses, chunky boots and lots and lots of eyeliner!
- Minimalist – keeping it simple with slip or shift dresses with cuffs and collars and some cute dolly shoes!
- Disco – the best of them all; glitter, colourful faux fur, big shoes and bigger earrings!
Take a look at the items I’ve gone for according to the recent trends…

Topshop sequin top

I had a slight plan in mind as to where I wanted to go as I used the Highcross PLUS app, available on iTunes or Google Play, to locate shops and find offers before I left and so with New Look, Topshop and Debenhams to be my first stop offs, I made my way there immediately! I love how the shops are open late too, every night of the week they’re open until 8pm which means for people who finish work late, like me, there is still chance to avoid the weekend rush and there’s no queuing for changing rooms either! New Look has some amazing pieces in right now, lots of black lace dresses and lots of glitter and sparkle too! It has a fabulous range of party wear this season, I think possibly the best range out of all the shops I went into – I actually ended up buying 2 dresses from New Look as I couldn’t decide which one I liked more! I went for a romantic-styled, shoulder-padded, purple velvet mini-dress which I plan to pair with some opaque tights and some black heeled boots, and also a gold and black high-necked dress which is slightly rock ‘n’ roll and slightly disco- styled!

With a successful trip to New Look covered, next up was Topshop. With another great range of sequined tops and dresses and also a couple of lovely trouser jumpsuits, I found it difficult to pick something out that I liked just as much as the dresses from New Look. However, I did stumble across some lovely, sparkly jackets and faux fur cover-ups which would go perfectly with any party dress!

topshop sequin coverup

river island shoes

Making my way over to Debenhams, listening to the Christmas songs being played and watching the Christmas lights twinkle around me, I searched through the Highcross PLUS app to see if there were any discounts on food. I had come straight from work and wanted a quick bite to eat – I popped into Patisserie Valerie and used the offer on the app that got me 2 FREE macaroons when I bought my coffee! Yum!!

So, once in Debenhams, I was a little overwhelmed with the amount of outfits they had, in a good way of course. The great thing about Debenhams is that there are loads of brands in the same place, so rather than going in and out of shop after shop, the best items are all there ready and waiting! Every dress or jacket you can imagine was in Debenhams with some lovely evening gowns for a more formal party and some super cute mini dresses for the New Year celebrations that will last all day! Imagine yourself wrapped in a lovely velvet dress with a lavish throw and some gorgeous make-up – get it all in one place too, which means more time to browse and try everything on! I did come across a gorgeous little sequin dress though and I had to have it – a ridiculous reduction in price made it all the more exciting too!!

PLUS app Highcross

With so many gorgeous party pieces around, why not make this year the most stylish holiday season to date? What are you waiting for? But don’t forget to download the Highcross PLUS app, available on iTunes or Google Play, before you go and take advantage of some amazing offers!

Let’s get this party started!

Monday 16 November 2015

Christmas at Highcross Leicester

Hello November! Yes, just a mere 6 weeks until Christmas and I think it's pretty fair to say that although it is the time to be merry, it's also time to think about the presents you have planned on buying already and just haven't got round to doing so. There also comes that line, the line of who do you and don't you buy gifts for; kids, neighbours, teachers... The list goes on and so does the choice of gifts - so I'm here to help narrow down the options available in hope that you will find the perfect present for all those on your list this year with a visit to Highcross in Leicester!

Before you set off, be sure to download the Highcross PLUSapp, available on iTunes or Google Play so you can plan ahead, and take advantage of the amazing offers available to you.

So, for the glamorous gang that we all know and love, how about a bit of accessorizing? Something that will perfect that item that they probably carry around with them everywhere and to make it look all that bit sparkier than usual. Topshop has an amazing range of Skinny Dip phone cases that come in all sorts of designs including some gorgeous glitter cases that are truly enough to please anyone who loves a bit of glitz and glamour. Alongside this, their gift collection has something that will suit anyone who loves to add a bit of luxury to everyday life including 'Hotties' -which are super cute and perfect for ladies when those pesky periods attack or notebooks for the stationery lovers amongst us.
Topshop Highcross Leicester
Skinny Dip phonecase

Now, I'm a massive lover of stocking fillers, the little gifts that we all love that you can buy 2 or 3 of and not break the bank. Whether they are gadget type gifts, gifts that make life just that little bit easier or that enhance something you may already have – with these little picky ideas, you can't go wrong! I think Christmas gift giving can be fun as well as sentimental and Debenhams knows just what to give to those who may be a little harder to buy for... with gadget gifts to suit everyone – office workers, lorry drivers and even new Dads, head into Debenhams to pick up the perfect present that will make everyone's Christmas morning that extra bit special.

Debenhams has a range for absolutely everything and my favourite things this year are definitely the Costa and the sweet sets. We're huge sweet lovers in our house and with the amount to choose from here I was definitely a little overwhelmed by them all. I did, however, love the Happy Jackson selection they had – everything from lunch boxes to tool boxes, the sayings had me chuckling to myself and I'd be pretty happy if I had one of these under the tree this year.

Along with gifts, I always think games are a fabulous thing to buy for those 'hard-to-buy-for' folk on your list! Who doesn't love a good game at Christmas to get everyone involved in around the table?! The selection of board games in Debenhams is amazing and I managed to get 3 different card-based ones in their stocking fillers’ 3 for 2 selection. I can't wait to play these once the Christmas Dinner has been eaten, yum yum!
Debenhams Christmas Gifts

Happy Jackson Debenhams

For all those who love to cosy up for winter *guilty* pyjamas, slippers, boxes of chocolates and candles are the perfect options. Aroma has an incredible range of candles, burners, wax melts, candle gift sets and a handy 'pic’n’mix' type selection of gifts so that you can personalise the scents – sweets for your sweet, sugar for your honey and all that... There are also some lovely gift sets that have pre-selected candles and wax melts in so it's a perfect present for someone who enjoys staying in more than going out. The little wax burners are perfect too if you're not a fan of candles or get bored of the same smell!

If you know someone who's more into collectables and love to add to their collection each time they get a chance to, head to RED5 and check out their POP Heads collection! I know friends - fully grown men may I add - who love these collectables and I do think they're pretty cool. My little brother is quite hard to buy for at the moment but he's also easily pleased so I figured that getting him a POP Head means he can start his own little collection and add to it whenever he wishes!
Yankee Candle Christmas


And last but not least, the ones that are into everything. Games, gadgets, toys and teddies – you got it, the kids! I think children make Christmas so special and so giving them a little bit back each year helps to get you into the festive spirit too! Build-A-Bear has an amazing choice of teddies, dolls and characters ready to personalise and be given as a new member of the family at Christmas time. With a handy 'pay now, pick up later' service too it means that the children can go and pick their cuddly friend up themselves and experience the whole process of making their own teddy and even choosing an outfit for them! Millie absolutely loves it in there and this time, she picked one of the limited edition Peppa Pig teddys! She absolutely loves her but I've told her that she has to be sent up to Santa now ready for Christmas. She's not too convinced as the pig is still stashed behind the sofa! Build-A- Bear also allow you to buy and then pick up later once you've finished shopping (just because the boxes can be a little awkward to carry!)

If you're still really struggling for gift ideas, Highcross in Leicester have a gift card service where you can buy vouchers for shops or for the entire shopping centre and use it within all of the stores. I'm guessing that at least one of the 100+ shops will have something that your awkward relative will want! And they can also track the balance of it via the Highcross PLUS app, available on iTunes or Google Play. The app has lots of offers that can be redeemed within Highcross too – everything from money-off to free meals, so it's definitely worth checking out!

And don’t miss out on any opportunities to treat yourself. The Highcross PLUS app has got loads of little goodies to help you recharge during your Christmas shop like –
Free glass of prosecco at Carluccio’s
- 10% off at Hotel Chocolat
- 2 free macaroons at Patisserie Valerie
John Lewis Highcross

PLUS app highcross

I hope that this has helped in your hunt for Christmas gifts this year, I have a few ticked off my list now however, there are still many, many more that I'm yet to buy (or even look for!)

Happy early Christmas!

Friday 16 October 2015

Fitness Trackers

I think we all need a bit of a boost when it comes to measuring what exercise we do, the extra push to know we’ve nearly reached the 500 calorie mark or to know that we’re 0.1 off running 3 miles. Everyone is different I guess but the aim and target is there. Fitness trackers have definitelyy come into their element this year and there have been so many new ones released that choosing the right one can be quite confusing! 

A lot of Fitness Trackers come with extra, fancy-dancy gadgets that you don’t really need but hell, it’s good to brag about them, right? The NHS tells us that we should strive to get 10,000 steps under our belt every day to consider ourselves sufficiently active*. It seems there’s been a fascination with step-counting for hundreds of years, which has developed into the fitness tracker apps and devices we know and use today. But how far do they actually go in motivating us to get fit?

I actually own a Misfit Shine, a circular watch style fitness tracker that tracks calories burnt and steps took throughout the day and is also waterproof. It also tracks and logs your sleep to let you know how many hours you got and whether it was in peaceful or stirred sleep. I don’t actually wear it at the moment as I need to get a new battery (watch batteries are thing you can never seem to find in shops!) but I loved wearing it and it definitely made me more aware of what exercise I was (or wasn’t) doing. 
The Misfit can be worn a few ways too so if you work in a job where you can’t wear bracelets or bands around your wrist, you can wear it as a necklace, loose in your pocket or as a clamp on you clothing, but make sure it can track your movements else you’ll walk 10 miles and it’ll only track 2! 
Do you use fitness trackers in your daily life? Does it make you do more or less exercise? I’d love to know! Leave your answers below! 
*Sponsored post

Wednesday 7 October 2015

Winter Coats with Highcross, Leicester

Can you believe that we can finally say it’s nearly winter?! It seems like we’ve had no summer whatsoever and that we’ve skipped the hot weather completely, jumping straight into the season of coats! I don’t mind the cold weather to be honest, it gives me a chance to wrap up in hats, scarves and boots and be all cosy - nights with hot chocolate curled under a blanket come straight into my head! But one thing is for sure, you can’t get through the winter months without a decent coat or jacket to keep you warm and of course, on trend.
2015 is the year that we’ll see the faux fur coat make its big come back, military style jackets and coats are all around too, maybe helping you add just something different to your autumn wardrobe. White coats are also pretty big this winter but, of course, having a 2-year-old means that white is a silly, silly idea for me! Along with these, tweed and full-length coats are another two to keep an eye out for as the shops are starting to fill up on the winter essentials, and finally getting rid of the summer clothes that no one actually needed to buy - I guess we can blame the English weather for that!

So, on the prowl for my new winter coat, this year I headed to Highcross in Leicester to see what they had on offer and get my perfect winter coat before all the best ones sold out! I used the Highcross PLUS app (available on iTunes or Google Playto help me with my shopping experience, noting the shops I wanted to visit beforehand and using the map a few times to figure out where they were (I’m still trying to remember where all the shops are even though I’ve been more than 5 times!)

First up, I headed into New Look because as I had parked in the John Lewis side of Highcross, this was the first shop I approached. The brilliant thing about Highcross is that it’s open until 8pm every weeknight so I can pop over after work finishes and browse the shops when there are no queues, no-one trying to squeeze past me and ample room to try things on - a perfect time to go when you’re shopping for a coat! New Look has a brilliant range of coats in at the moment, I saw some military style jackets and coats, some full-length coats and lots of faux fur coats - not just full faux fur but also fur-collared coats which I LOVE! I tried a few on but nothing really stood out until I came across the beauty that I actually ended up buying... 

Debenhams also had an amazing selection of coats - I was pretty overwhelmed actually and came really close to buying a gorgeous blue military style coat but still had my heart set on the one I had seen back in New Look. Within Debenhams, Oasis had a fab range and a gorgeous faux fur gilet - although not quite a winter coat, it was so soft! They also had a lovely ‘Millie Cardigan’ which I couldn’t help but try on due to the name! Like I said, I had my heart set on the coat I’d just tried on back in New Look so I got the Highcross PLUS app out to find out where I could look next to see if I could find another contender.

Topshop, Next and River Island were my next stops, Topshop had some gorgeous faux fur coats in but a lot were jackets, not really winter-proof so off I went to Next and this is where I was a little torn between the coat I had already seen and a new one. A gorgeous grey tweed style coat with a white fur trim – absolutely GORGEOUS! River Island had a great selection but there were a lot of leather jackets rather than coats, they were beautiful but, like Topshop, they weren’t really winter coats. I just couldn’t decide so, I realised that I did the typical ‘Woman-shopping’ thing of walking round for 2 hours and decided to go back to the first shop that I went to in order to get the coat that I had set my eyes on to start with. 

Out of the 100+ shops available in Highcross, I’m pretty certain I went in every single one that sold coats and it was trusty old New Look that pulled through in the end. Take a look at the coat that won out of the 15 that I tried on and let me know what you think! Don’t forget that you can search shops on the Highcross PLUS app and also check out any offers that are current to save yourself some money when you next visit Highcross. (Download here for Apple and here for Android).