Friday, 30 December 2016

2016 roundup and 2017 goals

Hey guys! I can't believe we are nearly into the new year, this year has flown by! I wanted to do a little round up of 2016 and also talk about my new goals for the new year. 2016 has been a difficult year for many people, and there definitely have been many bad things that have happened. Apart from political problems which have made this year disastrous, such as brexit and Trump getting into power and the many great celebrities that sadly passed away, there have been some bad things in my life. My uncle passed away this year, and my grandad's Alzheimers is getting worse and has been getting worse all year. But there have been some really good things in my life too this year, I finished my first year of university with a 1st, I've had an amazing time on holiday with my boyfriend in the Lakes and I've had a lot of fun at university. I am excited to see what 2017 brings me! My goals last year included finishing first year with a good grade and reading at least 15 books, both of which I did and my annual book round-up will be posted sometime next week!

My first goal for 2017 is to be less pessimistic and well...bitter. If you guys follow me on twitter (which is ellie_smithxo by the way, cheeky promo) you may have noticed I can post a bunch of pessimistic tweets and honestly it has to stop so I definitely want to be less negative in the new year.

Secondly, I really want to throw myself into blogging this year. I've taken it back up a bit more at the end of this year but I know that 2016 has not been my year blogging wise. But I really want to blog more and try and grow my social networks and be more active. I'm going to try really hard and grow my blog.

Thirdly I want to work hard in 2017 with my uni work again because by 2nd year actually counts and I want to do the best I can.

Finally, I want to read as many books as I can. I think I'll set the aim as 15 again but I beat it this year and I'm hoping to beat it by more books next year!

What are your goals? Talk to you in the new year!
Lots of love,
Eleanor x

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

What I got for Christmas 2016

Hey! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and festive period. I am really sad it's over but I'm excited for the new year! I know loads of people have done videos and blogs of these but I love reading and watching them and I wanted to do one this year. I got really lucky this year and I am so grateful for all the presents I got! I hope you enjoy this blog, tell me if you got any of these things too! This is going to be another long post I have to say as I am talking about each gift individually so I would get comfy beforehand!

I got this little travel suitcase which will make my trips from Nottingham to Leeds a lot easier! The second thing is something amazing for me and my boyfriend to go indoor skydiving! It's a red letter thing and I'm so excited!

This gingerbread candle was a little pressie from my boyfriend that I may have *ahem* coerced him into buying, it was £7 from Next and smells amazing! Next to it is a phone case my sister got me! I needed a new one and love this!

This coffee machine was from my boyfriend! It's a Tassimo pod machine, he got me a costa cup too and lots of pods! Can you tell I'm obsessed with costa? He can!

More gifts from Santa now, these warm gloves, a coin purse and card holder with kitties on, and a new curling wand that makes really tight curls, like the Lee Stanford chopstick curler! I've tired it out and I love it!

One of my fave Christmas presents! This bag from Debenhams! I love it I again may have pointed mum in the right direction with this one (by that I mean I handed it to her) but I just adore it.

Some more little stocking fillers, salted caramel vodka, a new shaver, money, a river island gift card, and "the 5 go gluten free" which was from my sister too!

I received the Beano annual (which I do every year!) a new umbrella (one of those which you press a button and it pops out- great fun) a selection box, and £20 vouchers for Vue cinemas and Nandos! Going to be treating my boyfriend to a date night soon I think.

I also got these lovely pjays (they're age 14-15 and they're still too big!) Some amazing Lancome makeup brushes which I just adore and you will have seen already on my Ig! I also got a Dove bath and shower set, and some yummy chewy sweets.

I got these delicious lint chocolates, a new calendar which this year I got fantastic beasts, and the deliciously Ella smoothie and juice book!
By biggest present this year is my new coat from River Island, I am in love with it!

From my boyfriends family I received some lovely things, some shortbread biscuits, a super soft comfy hoodie from Boux Avenue (which I have one now!) and some scented candles! They know me well!

From my boyfriend sister I got these two books, The Girls, and A Monster Calls. I am so excited to read these! I also got £10 WHSmith voucher from his aunt, and a very pretty bracelet from his nana and grandad.

I hope you liked this post!
What did you get for Christmas?
Lots of love,
Eleanor x

Thursday, 22 December 2016

My lead-up to Christmas

Hey guys! I hope you are doing well, I am so ill and full of cold and not feeling good so I decided to break from the uni work that was taking me ages to get through and do a blog post. I wanted to do a different kind of post today a bit more of a chatty personal style one and show you what I've been up to over the last few weeks and the lead up to Christmas day. This post is going to be quite a long one so I would grab a cuppa and have a sit down! I know we have a few more days until Christmas but I'm not going to be doing anything exciting, just uni work and a shift at work and chilling out Christmas eve so I might as well put it up now.

First of all, I actually came home from uni a few weeks ago and we put up the Christmas tree. Every year we buy a real tree, often from St Gemma's charity or from a local Christmas tree place near where we live. I am quite picky about my tree so after discussion myself, my sister, my dad and my boyfriend decided on one. We got it home and got all the Christmas tree decorations out of the loft, my mum is super picky about the decorations, only allowed pink and gold and they all have a special place where they go on the tree every year. Me and my sister take it in turns to put the angel on the top and this year was my turn. This was our finished result.

A few days later me and my boyfriend went to go Christmas shopping. I still needed to buy for my parents and sister and my best friend and he needed some bits and bobs for his family too so we went to the white rose shopping centre in Leeds to do a bit of shopping. I was super happy with the presents I got actually, I know my parents won't read this so I'll show you what I got for my mum and dad.
I got my mum this Bayliss and Harding stuff which was reduced in superdrug down to £10 from £25 I think. I got my dad this bottle of port from M&S for only £8 with was reduced by 50% which I think are two great bargains. The decorations in the White Rose were so pretty too.

However I still hadn't got all my presents sorted for my boyfriend so a few days later I went late night shopping in Leeds centre with my mum and sister and got some last minute presents. Cue more pretty Christmas decorations.
I also picked up a few goodies for myself which you would have seen if you follow me on Instagram.

The lashes and lipstick are from Primark and I needed some more conditioner and my Liz Earle moisturiser.

The next day I went into Haworth with my boyfriend. I love Haworth so much, I love going there around christmas time it's so pretty and it was always a childhood tradition to go and to go on the Santa train! I might be too old now for the Santa train but I love walking around the village.

I had to pay homage to my favourite sweet shop too and we also went for a lovely hot chocolate.

The next day was my best friends party and we went out into Leeds. It was such a lovely night and she loved her presents (I got her makeup-revolution rose gold eye brushes and a Zoella bath fizzer bar.) I thought I'd include a few pictures of the night! I actually wore the Primark lashes that I showed you earlier, I loved them they stayed on all night and I would recommend!

One Tuesday of this week I went up to Sunderland with my family to visit my Grandad and we stayed there over night. On the wednesday we went for a meal with my grandad and dad's side of the family. We had a lovely Christmas 3 course meal at the Italian Farmhouse in Sunderland. It was so delicious. I had a broth to start, cod and couscous for main and an Eton mess for pudding. I would recommend going there it was a lovely lunch and it was only £13 or something for 3 courses.

And that wraps up my Christmas build up! I hope you enjoyed this post and let me know if you enjoy these style posts. I think this will be my last post before Christmas so I hope you have a lovely day and relax and I will be back next week. I think I will do a "what I got for Christmas" post because I love reading those posts and I'll probably do a new years resolutions post as well before new year!
Lots of love,
Eleanor x

Monday, 19 December 2016

Makeup Revolution Luxe Shade Block review and swatch

Hey guys! I'm back today doing another little review of the Shade block's by makeup-revolution. These are super cute little boxes which come with a lipstick, a highlight and a lip amplification gloss. This was my other purchase in the black Friday sale along with their "What are you waiting for?" palette which I reviewed last week so you can see a review of that a few posts ago. As far as I am aware these come in two shades, matte black and rose gold and I got the rose gold one. The boxes cost £6.

Firstly, the box is so pretty I love it. It's such as lovely keepsake box and I just adore the packaging. Those of you who follow me in insta will have already seen this and the excitement it gave me!

I love the lipstick colour, it's such a pretty every day nude. I am not sure what the colour of the lipstick is called, or if you can buy it separately. Some people have said they think the lipstick is Chauffeur from their rose gold range. 

The lip amplification is also very nice. It is very glossy and doesn't last the longest time although does last longer than other lipglosses I've tried.The only thing is that the lipgloss actually comes out very pink and I was hoping for a more mauve shade so just be aware that this gloss is quite a bright pink. 

The mini-strobe balm/ highlight is very pigmented. It's super bright and I think that it is one of the presents in their calendar too. The packaging of this product feels really quite cheap though, it feels as though it is going to break and already the brand name has rubbed off the front of it. My camera unfortunately could not do it justice so I haven't bothered to put a swatch of it in!

Overall I think this would make a lovely gift for a friend or just to treat yourself too! I think it is amazing for the price you pay and I know I am going to get so much use out of it! 

Lots of love,
Eleanor x

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Top 5 autumn/ winter drugstore lipsticks

Hey guys! Don't know if you noticed but I made some headings on my blog so it's easier for you to find posts you're interested in! I have made four main categories that the majority of my posts fit into, beauty, books, little thoughts and mental health. All my mental health awareness march posts will be under the category mental health, and all of my little motivational posts/ self -help posts and rants will be under little thoughts. Not all my posts will be put into a category, many tags, random posts and hauls will not be categorised as I don't make a lot of these types of posts anyway and I did not want to make my blog too cluttered. 

Anyway, today I am showing you my top 5 autumn/ winter lipsticks that I have been and will be wearing over the  Christmas period. All of these are really affordable, under £10. 

5) ELF Lucious Lipstick in Maple Sugar.

I love the name of this its so cute! It is a really lovely sparkly brown colour that appears darker on the lips than on my hand. It is more of a lip gloss texture even though it describes itself as a "liquid lipstick." It's a lovely colour but it doesn't last the longest on my lips.

4) Rimmel Lasting finish lipstick in Sugar Plum.
This is a really cool purpley lipstick which isn't a vampy purple. I love it for autumn it's really different to my other lipsticks.

3) Rimmel Kate Moss Lasting finish lipstick in 01.
A classic dark red colour perfect for Christmas parties!

2) Revlon Super lustrous lipstick in Cherries in the snow.

This is a really nice berry toned pinky lipstick which has definitely been one of my go to lipsticks this time of year. Plus the name is so festive!

1) Makeup Revolution rose gold lipstick in Diamond Life.
My favourite lipstick at the moment! I have been throwing this on nearly every day. It's quite a dark vampy pinky purply colour (it is darker on my lips than on this swatch) I would definitely recommend this, the best part is its only £3! 

Hope you enjoyed this post.
What are your favourite lipsticks for this time of year?
Lots of love,
Eleanor x

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Makeup Revolution "what are you waiting for?" palette swatch and review

Hey! I know it has not been long since I posted but now I'm on my Christmas holidays I have more time on my hands and I want to blog a bit more for these next few weeks while I can! I have two beauty posts to do hopefully this week as I am busy this weekend and maybe another two posts next week as well. Basically a lot more posts than normal. Anyway, I received this eyeshadow pallet a while a go, I bought in the black Friday sales as it was down from £6 to £3 so I couldn't resist! I also got it along with their new "shade block" lipstick box but I'll talk more on that next week and get a review of it up! I really liked makeup revolution as a brand and I have some other eyeshadow palette's. This one is part of their salvation eyeshadow palette range, which all have 12 shimmer eyeshadows and 6 mattes.

I think that their packaging is really nice and sleek too. To be honest with this palette I don't think the shades are anything to be excited about, most of them are all pretty standard cool toned colours. The matte colours I really like which is unlike me as I am normally a shimmer girl. My favourite two colours are the gold and pink on the 2nd line. I like the dark purple on the top too, but the browny colours on the top are all pretty muddy and kinda similar, I'm not their biggest fan. 

This is a swatch of the first row. I couldn't get the 1st shade, the white to show up on my arm much or the 2nd colour in, but they are pretty pigmented. 

The 2nd line shows up so much better and the three first shades I love so much. They're so shimmery I really like them. 

These are the matte colours, they look a bit shimmery as I had been rubbing the shimmery ones off before putting these on my arms! I was worried these would not be pigmented but I think they are, even the white one (it's hard to tell as I'm quite pale.) I love them for crease colours so much.

Overall I do like this palette, it's just that the colours themselves don't really excite me but that is just my preference. I really want to try more of these palettes in the new year.
What do you think of this palette? Have you tried it?
Lots of love,
Eleanor x

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Joosr, a non-fiction book app review

Hey guys! Today I am talking about something really exciting which is an app called Joosr. This is a non-fiction app which cuts down non-fiction books into easy 20 min long books which you access via the app. I'm so excited about this because I think it's such an awesome app. I haven't decided this year if I'm doing a gift guide post but if I do this will definitely be on it. There are so many non-fiction books on the app including self-help books, feminism books, books about health. It's perfect for if you know anyone who would love to read more books but just doesn't have the time, or who wants to get back into reading more or someone who just loves learning new things via reading.

If you are struggling for a Christmas present this year this would be a really cool gift. A subscription costs £42.99 for a year, (or about £3.50 a month) which includes 250 books, plus an extra 5 new books they upload every week with a Christmas subscription. I have already read some cool books using this app and I'm really looking forward to reading more, they're so perfect for 20 min lunch breaks. The only downside is this app is only compatible with apple store, so it's not on android. I think that if you're not sure what to get a friend or relative and you know they love reading, getting them a subscription to this app would be an unusual but thoughtful present.

The layout of the app is really simple and easy to use. You can scroll through book categories, and when you find a book you like you can add it to your bookshelf and then read it later. It's really straightforward which is good if you're buying it for someone who does not understand how to use technology all that much. The different categories of books available is so wide and I think that there is something for everyone. You can also sign up for a 30 day free trial to test the waters so to speak.

You can get the subscription by following the link here.

lots of love,
Eleanor x

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Happily - Sophie Tanner book review

Hey guys! I am back with another book review. This is a book that I was sent to have a read of and I was so intrigued about the plot that I found it difficult to resist. This is a book about a woman who marries herself. Yep, you heard me. The author was so influenced by writing the book that she went ahead and did it to, in real life. You can read all about that here if you're interested. You guys know I love self-love and self-positivity so I thought this book would be right up my street.

This definitely is a really unique plot line which is what drew me to it so much. I actually liked the characters and the main character although there were some plot twists that were rather unbelievable. Furthermore, I thought the book felt a little rushed in places for example when Chloe first comes up with the idea to marry herself it is a drunken idea in the first chapter. If I didn't know already what was going to happen I would have found it surprising that she acted on something which seemed like a funny idea, not something serious so I thought that the actually idea of marrying herself needed a little more thought behind it.

(spoilers, skip this paragraph and go to the next if you don't want any...) As the book develops, Chloe finds herself falling in love with the camera man and at the end, they end up together. I have mixed thoughts on this,  firstly it annoyed me somewhat that a book written to celebrate being single included a love line, and you guys who read my book reviews know how much I hate romance in books at the best of times, especially if written badly. However I think one of the underlying messages of the book was that loving yourself and loving someone else is separate, and I guess the author kind of had to show that being with someone else is okay, and you can love yourself and another.

 I really liked the inclusion of LGBTQ characters and a cross-dressing man which is always nice to see in a book and it was quite a humorous book in places although in other places it seemed a little bit try-hard on the humorous front. The book had some parts that could have been written better and some rather odd phrasing but overall I would recommend this. It's a really short read and it's quite refreshing.  You can get it for 99p on amazon here.

Lots of love,
Eleanor x

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Pick n' melt candle review

Hey guys! I hope you are well. I am feeling so festive now, yesterday we made our house Christmas dinner and listened to Christmas music and swapped presents and honestly I am so ready for Christmas! I was lucky enough to be sent a super exciting Christmas gift set from pick n melt and I wanted to review on them because I think I love this so much and I think you guys will too! these scents I have are super Christmassy and amazing and those of you who know me know I adore my candles. They make such good presents and just generally make your room smell amazing so I am loving these!

Pick n melt is a brand that makes and sells candle melts, these are basically little cubes of candle wax that you melt on top of a tealight. Within the set, given it comes with a special dish kind of thing that you melt the cubes on and there's space for the tealight underneath which is hard to explain but you can probably see it from the picture! 

This brand basically offer subscription service that offer a candle bag that is sent to you every month. You can pick what melts you want each month and they have amazing scents, they look and smell good enough to eat. These include fruity ones such as apple, strawberry or peppermint, floral ones such as lily or vanilla, funky ones such as sticky toffee and tequila and blends such as mango and lime or cinnamon and orange. They come in such an amazing range of smells honestly the list is insane!

In the special limited edition Christmas box that I was sent, it included 16 melts with 8 different scents. I can't even describe how amazing and Christmassy they smell! Feeling so festive with them! As well as this you get the wax warmer. This whole package costs £12 which I think is so worth it. 

If you love candles I would definitely recommend these. They're like no candle's I have had before and the company just seem so lovely and their scent range is so large that I don't think you would ever get bored. This Christmas set would make such a lovely and different present for someone who loves candles! Or just treat yourself this holiday season.

I hope you enjoyed this and I will see you next week!
Lots of love,
Eleanor x