Saturday, 24 December 2016

A Dog's Christmas

This is my little pooch, Buffy. She is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and she is only one. I got her last year in October and I honestly treat her like a child ahah! I love to buy her little jumpers to keep her warm at night and on her walks, and also they just look adorable. I have also done her a little stocking with a few bits and bobs, so I thought I'd show you all her in her little jumpers and the gifts I have gotten her.
I got this jumper last year from Asda. She isn't miserable here she is just eying up the treats I have for her ahaha.

This ADORABLE reindeer jumper is from Pets at Home and I absolutely love it. It's great quality so it keeps her warm at night.
This is the jumper she wears the most and I came across it in Next. She wears this throughout the day and on walks, and because it isn't too thick she doesn't get too hot.
I was looking for a similar bow like this from Pets at Home but, it was always sold out. So my ad found this a B&M Bargains for only a £1!! She has this attached to her collar all the time and it doesn't get in the way or make her uncomfortable.
Moving onto her gifts, these all go in her little stocking apart from her advent calendar she has had throughout advent.
These cute little gingerbread biscuits are from Pets at Home, all of her treats are from there because she absolutely loves them!
I found this when I was browsing through Pets at Home and I'm going to put this in some dog cupcakes I make for here at special occasions.
I also saw this which really made me laugh so I just had to buy it! It's beer for dogs!
Because we have a loyalty card for Pets at Home, because I shop there for Buffy all the time, we were given a little cracker for her.
Lastly, this is her advent calendar and she has been loving this throughout the month! The brand Wainwright's are perfect for dogs as they are natural and don't upset their stomachs. You can get loads of flavors and even treats which Buffy loves too.

Thank you all for reading and I hope you enjoyed my Beyond Christmas series! I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and New Year! 

Lots of love
Kate xx

Friday, 23 December 2016

Merry Christmas Everyone

I have really enjoyed doing this Beyond Christmas series throughout advent. Although at times I thought I wasn't going to be able to do all the posts, I have finished it and I am really proud. 
I'd like to thank you all so much for reading my posts, I hope you have enjoyed my posts and if you would like me to do this next Christmas please let me know. Also, if you have any suggestions on future blog posts then feel free to comment them below.
I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and New year!

Lots of love
Kate xx

Reindeer Shortbread

My mum gifted me some reindeer cookie cutters which inspired me to make these cute (and delicious) shortbread!
You will need:
225g unsalted butter
110g caster sugar
225g plain flour
110g cornflour
Pinch of salt
100g chocolate
Red ball sprinkles
Icing sugar, to dust

Begin by lining two baking trays with baking parchment and preheat your oven to 170℃. Then, cream together the sugar and butter in a large bowl, until light and fluffy. Sift both the flour and cornflour into the bowl and the salt. Mix it all together until a dough is formed, you may need to add a dash of milk if your mixture is too dry. 
When a dough has formed, let it chill and stiffen in the fridge for 30 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a cm thickness and cut out your reindeer and place them on your prepared baking trays. Then bake your shortbread for 20 minutes, until they are gold on the edges. Once baked, let them cool completely before you decorate them.
Moving onto decorating the biscuits, melt your chocolate in a bowl over a bowl of boiling water. Now dip the feet of each reindeer into the chocolate to look like hooves. For the red noses, dab a small amount of chocolate onto the red balls and stick them to the biscuits and lastly, dust some icing sugar over the top to finish. Voila! You now have these yummy and adorable reindeer shortbreads that are perfect for Christmas!

Thank you so much for reading and tag my instagram or facebook page in any pictures of your shortbread. Merry Christmas!

The Christmas Tag

Considering I am feeling incredibly festive, I thought that I would do the Christmas tag so you can learn a little more about me. I hope that you are enjoying my Beyond Christmas series and if you have any suggestions for posts, please comment them below.
Also, I will leave these questions below for any of you to copy and paste easily if you wish to complete the tag yourselves.
1.) What is your favourite Christmas Movie?
My ultimate favourite Christmas film has to be Disney's The Santa Clause. It's become a family tradition that every Christmas Eve we would sit down as a family and watch this film whilst eating mince pies. The film is absolutely hilarious and perfect for the whole family.

2.) Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning?
 All of our presents get opened on Christmas day in my family. We always start the morning off by opening our stockings on my mum and dad's bed, then we go through into the living room and open our gifts from family and friends. We can never wait until after Christmas Dinner!

3.) Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
This is a difficult question because I don't have a specific favourite memory. However, one year my dad surprised myself, my mum and brother with a holiday to Disney Land Florida. I was so happy that I couldn't stop crying!

4.) Favourite festive food?
Although this may seem weird  to the majority of you, my favourite festive food has to be my dad's mushy peas that we have as part of our Christmas dinner. But, apart from that I love the homemade sausage rolls that my mum and I make.

5.) Favourite Christmas Gift?
This is another difficult question, I've always been really lucky and my parents have made sure that I got what was on my list. But, the best presents have always been a surprise, for example the trip to Florida and tickets to my first Justin Bieber concert, I cried I was so happy with these presents!

6.) Favourite Christmas scent?
Apart from my favourite festive candle scents that I recently posted about about, I love the classic warm and spicy Christmas scent. Every year we buy spiced apple and cinnamon room diffusers and potpourri. The smell is really nostalgic for me as that is what my house has always smelt like each Christmas.

7.) Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?
For as long as I remember, me and my mum have always baked mince pies, jam tarts and sausage rolls every Christmas Eve. Also, for the past four years, we have worn matching festive pjs and decorated gingerbread houses. We always sit down as a family too and watch our all time favourite Christmas films, being The Santa Clause and Home Alone 2.

8.) What tops your Christmas tree?
We have our main large Christmas tree in our living room which we decorate with special ornaments that we have collected, usually from Disney! But, to top our tree we have a gold angel that we have owned for all my life. However, on my little tree that I have in my room, I simply top it with a sparkly star from Asda haha.
9.) As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?
Every Christmas list I've ever wrote has always asked for a dog, I never got one until last year when I finally managed to persuade my parents to let us have one!
10.) What is the best part about Christmas for you?
For me, the build up to Christmas is definitely the best. I love buying presents for all my friends and family, baking and going to the Christmas markets. Christmas is such a special and family oriented time of year and so that's probably why I get into the festive spirit earlier each year!

I hope this post got you in the festive spirit and I'd love to know your traditions and favourite things about Christmas, so please comment them below!

Tag questions:
1.) What is your favourite Christmas Movie?
2.) Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning?
3.) Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
4.) Favourite festive food?
5.) Favourite Christmas Gift?
6.) Favourite Christmas scent? 
7.) Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?
8.) What tops your Christmas tree? 
9.) As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?
10.) What is the best part about Christmas for you?

Favourite Winter Lipsticks

 Throughout the winter season, I love wearing darker lipsticks. Here I have made a compilation of my most loved winter lipsticks, including both high end and drugstore brands.
Starting with liquid lipsticks, I am obsessed with the Everlasting Liquid Lipstick from Kat Von D in the shade 'Lolita'. It's a deep chestnut rose shade and it goes beautifully with any makeup look, especially on a daily basis.
The second liquid lipstick that I love is 'Veronica' by Anastasia Beverley Hills. It's a really deep mauvey purple. The formula of these lipsticks are great as they dry matte however they aren't drying at all and they are super long wearing.
Next, I have loved MAC's 'Velvet Teddy' lipstick for years now. It is a deep toned nude which goes with any make up look. This lipstick is perfect if you don't like darker lip shades. It has a matte finish but is really creamy and not drying at all.
Moving onto more affordable lipsticks, Rimmel London's 107 is a classic! This is a berry shade and it isn't too dark. The formula is also lovely and creamy but it can easily wear off so definitely use a lip liner underneath.
My next favourite is Revlon's 'Black Cherry' Super Lustrous lipstick. It is a very deep plum shade so I would only buy this if you really love dark shades.
Lastly, I absolutely love the Matte Coloursensational lipstick in 'Divine Wine' from Maybelline. It's similar to the Revlon lipstick although it has a more red tone and it has a matte finish. I wear this shade all the time and I featured it in my Everyday Festive Make Up.

Thank you for reading and I hope you are enjoying my recent posts. Merry Christmas everyone!

Gingerbread House Decorating

Every Christmas I love to decorate a gingerbread house. I bought a lot from Asda and followed the instructions on how to bake the gingerbread biscuits to build my house.
Make sure that after you have baked your biscuits, you leave them to completely cool before you begin to decorate and put the structure together.
Then with the icing, included in the kit, decorate each panel, this will be a lot easier than decorating them once the house is put together. Otherwise, your house will fall apart!
I decorated the roof panels first,  I piped tiles along each one and it is so simple to do. With holly sprinkles that I found at Asda, I stuck them along the tiles to add a festive touch. Then to make it look as though it had snowed, I sprinkled some white glittery sprinkles (from Asda) all over the panel and it added a finishing Christmassy look!
For the front of the house, I piped a small door and some wavy lines, then stuck a large snowflake at the top (from Asda) and added some small red balls from the holly sprinkles to add more colour.
On the back of the house, I simply stuck some candy canes at each side, piped a window and stuck a little Santa in the window.
Then I cut a larger hole in the piping bag the icing came in, and began to structure together the gingerbread house on a cake board.
To create some Christmas scenery on the board, I piped a little walkway to the front door and used jelly beans as pebbles along it. I then stuck down some little snowmen and trees to finish it off!

Thank you for reading and make sure you comment below pictures of your gingerbread house. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Favourite Festive Eye Shadows

Here are my favourite eye shadows for the party season!
I recently bought this and I  must say that I love it! It's a rose gold foiled shadow that you mix with the primer that comes with. This eye shadow is amazing at adding a pop of shimmer to any eye look. Just be wary though as it can easily transfer and crease so use a good eye shadow base before hand.
Tanya Burr Cosmetics Eye Shimmer Pot: Champagne Sparkle
I got this in the Tanya Burr advent calendar this year but I'm sure you'll be able to find something similar. This glittery pigment is a gorgeous deep gold, I just wear this either all over or just in the center of the lid. It catches the light so beautifully making it perfect for any special occasions!
Tanya Burr Eye Shimmer Pot: Snow Day
Again from her advent calendar, this is a white iridescent glitter which literally looks just like snow! I love to wear this all over the lid, on the inner corners or layered over a winged liner. It is so versatile and looks so pretty when it catches the light.
MAC Glitter: Reigning Riches
This came as part of a gift set that featured in my Beauty Lover's Gift Guide so unfortunately it is now out of stock but I have found a glitter from MAC which is incredibly similar, called Reflects Rust. This is a copper and red glitter which looks gorgeous all over the lid with a smokey eye!
I have loved this pigment for years now because it is so gorgeous and goes with any makeup look at all! It's a gold shade that has a hint of pink running throughout it. The pigmentation is amazing and it blends so easily too. 
This is an incredibly pigmented eye shadow that blends so easily. This shade is a light gold which looks stunning on the inner corners or on the inner half of the lid!
Again another amazing pigmented eye shadow that has a foil sheen to it. High Wire is a silver shade and this is perfect for anyone who prefers more cooler tones rather than the golds and coppers. It looks stunning in the center of the lid with a super dark smokey eye.

Thank you for reading and please comment below your favourite festive eye shadows. Merry Christmas!

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Copper Gift Wrapping Ideas

This year I am going for a copper gift wrapping theme so I thought that I'd share some ideas with you all.
I wrapped all of these presents with copper tissue paper and on this one I wrapped brown string and red and white striped twine around on end of the gift. I also wrapped some of the brown string around one gift and then attached some pine cones that I had from a craft shop. Although these are really simple, they are effective and add a special touch to any gift wrapping.
For this parcel, I wrapped around some spare red ribbon that I had and then stuck a striped label on. I love this and it is so easy to do!
This is a perfect way to use scraps of ribbon. On a tiny present I just sellotaped some left over ribbon across it and then tied some leftover string around. It looks really pretty and just adds a little something to a small gift.
This is the last idea I came up with, it is so easy to do and takes no time at all! Simply wrap around some big sparkly ribbon and tie it in a large bow. It looks so special and effective so it's perfect to add some pizzazz to any present.

Thank you for reading and please comment below any ideas you have for gift wrapping. Merry Christmas!

Friday, 16 December 2016

Christmas Home Touches

At Christmas time we love to decorate our house for the festive season, so I thought I'd share with you a few home touches we do to make our house look more Christmassy. This is our fireplace and every year we place our collected snow globes and ornaments on top of it and hang these two small stockings above. We place some fake foliage around the bottom of the fire place and this year I added some fairy lights to make it look more festive. I think it looks so cute and every time I look at it I smile!
In my room, I have a small Christmas tree that I place at the bottom of my bed. Just by adding a simple Christmas tree it can completely transform a room and give it a festive feel. I've decorated mine with a mixture of cheap baubles just from Asda and special ones that I have been gifted. If you want to see up close my favourite ornaments on this tree then take a look at my Favourite Christmas Tree Ornaments post. 
Just by adding a couple festive cushions to your bed, it can really make your room look Christmassy. Both of these cushions are from Asda but you can find Christmas cushions anywhere this time of year!
Lastly, I added these to my windowsill. The one on the left is a tea light holder in the shape of a house and when the candle is lit it shines through little holes in the house and it looks so cute and lovely. I picked up this candle holder that says Merry Christmas is rose gold from TKMaxx and it goes perfectly with my room. I also have a little copper glitter pine cone on the end which again just adds a festive touch to my room.

Thank you for reading and I hope that you are enjoying my Beyond Christmas series, Merry Christmas!

Gingerbread Hot Chocolate Recipe

This gingerbread hot chocolate tastes like Christmas in a cup and is so easy to make!

You will need:
A microwaveable mug
Your favourite hot chocolate mix
Marshmallows (optional)
Whipped Cream (optional)
Cocoa Powder, to dust

Begin by mixing about 3 - 4 teaspoons of you favourite hot chocolate powder with milk in your mug, until it is fully combined. Then place it into the microwave and heat at one minute intervals until it is completely hot. Then, stir in a tea spoon of the gingerbread syrup and top with whipped cream, marshmallows and dust with cocoa powder. Voila! Your festive drink is ready to enjoy in no time at all.

Thank you all for reading and let me know if you are enjoying my Beyond Christmas series. Also, tag me in any photos of your Christmas bakes from my recipes, Merry Christmas!

Manchester Christmas Markets

Every year me and my family all go to the Christmas markets in Manchester. They have lots of different little stalls that sell anything from decorations to candles. My favourite part of the markets is definitely the food, they have so many different stalls where you can buy hot dogs, pizza or even a Christmas dinner in a huge Yorkshire pudding!
This is the Christmas dinner I had rolled up in a big Yorkshire pudding, it was filled with all the classic components of a classic Christmas dinner: stuffing, roast potatoes, peas, carrots and gravy. You could choose from a selection of meats. including turkey, pulled pork and beef. I opted for the turkey and it was honestly the best turkey I have ever had! I can't remember for the life of me what this stall was called however, it was directly opposite to the main entrance of the Arndale shopping centre.
We then just browsed around the stalls and came across this incredible fudge stall by Laura's Confectionery. There were all sorts of flavours, I chose oreo, salted caramel, peanut butter and just a classic fudge. They are so rich and delicious you have to try then! Also, you can purchase them online from their website here.
There were many of these stalls dotted around the markets which were selling these chocolate domes filled with marshmallow fluff! I had a white chocolate one and it was so lovely and not too sickly sweet.
Lastly, we went to the Highland Lodge and got a drink. They were selling hot chocolate with Bailey's but I just chose to have a normal hot chocolate and it was really nice! The stall was inside a little lodge which we sat in to finish our drinks and it was so cute and festive. 

Overall, I definitely enjoyed visiting the Christmas markets. It put me in the festive spirit and the food was so delicious! I would definitely recommend visiting these markets if you are near Manchester. Thank you for reading and Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Favourite Christmas Tree Ornaments

I have my own Christmas tree in my bedroom which I absolutely love. It is decorated with baubles that have been given to me and that have a special meaning. These are my favourites:
My mum gave this to me and I believe she bought it from Monsoon. It's a little gingerbread house with two gingerbread men stood outside and I think it is the cutest little decoration ever!
Also, my mum gave me this one too. It is a little mouse and at the bottom it says 'not a creature was stirring', a quote from 'Twas the Night Before Christmas'. It is so adorable but I can't remember where it is from so I will let you know when I find out.
It has become a sort of tradition that every year we get a new Pandora tree ornament. This is the first one I got which was from my Auntie and I love it! It's Santa with a little sack that you can put a gift in and his eyes are crystals.
This is another Pandora ornament and I'm unsure about what it is meant to resemble but I think it's gorgeous. You can't see here but on the side it has stars joined together by a braid and it looks so pretty.
Lastly, is another ornament from Pandora and this one is a sleigh. Like the Santa decoration, it also has a pouch that you can put a gift in. I love this one and it goes perfectly with my pink, silver and white theme.

Thank you for reading and please comment below your favourite Christmas ornaments!