Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Book Review - Dangerous Waters By Anne Allen

Nothing makes me more happier then snuggling up with a good book and getting lost in the stories, my head dancing with the images the words create.

I recently found a brilliant book by Anne Allen called Dangerous Waters. Anne is originally from Rugby and now lives in Devon, she is very lucky I wish I lived that close to the beach. She has written this book as part of the Guernsey Novel Series. 





There are 6 books in the whole series and this is the first. Each book is based on a different character, but they are connected by something, but I can't tell you what!! You need to go read them, trust me they are good. 

As you may have guessed the book is set in Guernsey and is based around Jeanne, she used to live on the island, but moved away after a family had a horrible boating accident, which left Jeanne with some memory loss. Sadly her grandmother dies and she has to go back to pack up her house and sell her things, which she isn't very happy about because there are too many bad memories for her . 

This is a book of mysteries, which I am not going to give you the answers to. The biggest question I had was what had Jeanne forgotten. 

While at her grandmothers house Jeanne finds things that make her go on a bit of a hunt, and it leads her all the way back to World War II, what did she find, well I can't tell you that, it is all part of the fun, but I loved this book so much. 

Jeanne as a character is amazing, you can really feel her emotion. From the start of the book when she is on the ferry going over to the island you can understand how she is feeling. She isn't able to say her goodbyes to her grandmother, and as someone who was there when my nan passed away I can understand how hard it would be to not say goodbye. 

 I also love the way Anne describes Guernsey. One part talk's about Jeanne driving towards her grandmother house and the way she depicts the views made me close my eyes and see it as if I were there. I have never been to Guernsey but from Anne's words I can tell it is a beautiful place.

I think it is very well written and I really can't wait to get my hands on the next book in the series. I am so thank full I have a copy of this on my kindle because it makes it so much easier to take around. 

Now you know what the book is about how would you like a lovely treat?? Do you fancy a holiday??

You could win a 2 night stay in the Hotel Ziggurat in Guernsey.





You will be treated to return flights to Guernsey, bike hire for you both, the stay at that beautiful hotel, as well as signed copies from Anne Allen of The Guernsey Series and more. 

All you have to do is pop onto this website

https://anneallen.co.uk/win

 and answer a very simple question, What is the capital of Guernsey? So if you fancy diving into the lovely world of Jeanne then give the link and quick click and have a go. Trust me it is worth it. The competition ends on the 30th June so get your skates on. 

If you fancy a read of Anne's books before then head over to her site and have a read. 

https://anneallen.co.uk/the-guernsey-novels

What books are you reading lately? Anything I should add to my reading list? 

See you Soon 
Lots of Love 
Lottie
Xxx

Saturday, 23 June 2018

Wedding Tips For ...

So I want to do a new series on my blog all about tips for while your planning your wedding! From the engagement to the big day!

So if your on the verge of getting engaged or you just have or your just fancy some tips for the future then grab a cuppa and carry on reading.

The one true ring!!!

So there is so much expectation to give that special person the perfect ring in the perfect way! The "tradition" says to spend at least 1 months wage on a ring. Well as a girl who has had 3 engagement rings during my engagement I am here to yell bo***ks!

If you want to propose the be all and end all is NOT the ring, it's the fact you are telling that person you want to spend the rest of your life together.

Paul proposed to me while on holiday in Wales, he did it in our hotel room and he didn't have a ring. Why?? Probably because he didn't realise he was going to do it. He said it felt right to ask, which I love, it made it feel more natural and I am just glad he hadn't spent time thinking over it for weeks.

Everyone is aware of the song "Diamonds are a girl's best friend" and yes they are gorgeous, they are timeless and they are expensive, trust me I work in a jewellers so I see people coming in all the time to get their rings.

Does it have to be expensive??? Or a diamond??? NO!!!!! If your special person doesn't like diamonds then don't get them a rock! My GORGEOUS ring (yes I chose it so I am bias but I think it's beautiful) is silver and isn't a diamond. Does anyone notice?? Nope, people just say how pretty it is, so don't get in a panic if your budget doesn't stretch to a £1,800 18ct white gold diamond ring.


My gorgeous ring. 

Go with your gut!

If you do go to pick a ring out, trust your own gut, it is your best friend. You know that person, you love that person, you see them all the time, look at what they wear, is it yellow gold, white gold, rose gold, silver, big or small. Are they the kind of person who likes big stones or small.

Size!!!!!

Ok let me just put this out there for anyone who walk's into a jeweller store to buy their partner an engagement ring, I say this with love

     ''THEIR RING FINGER IS NOT GOING TO BE THE SAME SIZE AS YOUR PINKY!!!''

Planning to buy the ring is fab, your organised, well done but try and rob a ring off them, bring it with you to the jewellers and they will help you to figure out the right size. This helps you in two ways, first it helps you so you don't need to worry about bringing the ring back to get it resized and second it makes you look so on it with your partner.

The Proposal 

Whether it is planned or just popped out of no where, stay calm. Yes I understand I am currently behind a computer screen and not in your position so it is easy for me to say, but if you just take a deep breath and then do it, it will help you to just focus a little and get out everything you want to say.

Enjoy it 

Lastly no matter how, where or when you do it, whether you have a ring or not, enjoy your proposal. Enjoy being engaged and enjoy your time together, because trust me from there on it can be hard. 

See you all soon
Lots of Love 
Lottie 
Xxx 





Saturday, 16 June 2018

Confessions of a nail biter

Confession is the name nail biting is the game!!!

I have always been a nail biter, call it anxiety, boredom whatever, but I have done it forever. When Paul proposed I did what any bride to be would do and scrolled through Instagram for inspiration. One picture kept coming up, where the bride and groom have a hands picture showing their wedding rings. I looked at my nails and thought oh dear god mine are horrible!!


 Mine and Paul's engagement picture with my nails looking horrible!! (Clearly had to include our fur baby too lol)

I looked into acrylic nails and gel nails and decided to go with gels. They seemed to be a good to help my nails grow and because they went on top of my own nails like a nail varnish, I wouldn't need to worry about my nails being too long if I got acrylics.

Where I live (like anywhere else) there is a lot of nail salons but the one I decided to go to  Little Luxury Salon. There was a lovely girl there who helped me called Eloise, I sat down with her and decided on colours. I was talking about how I wanted to grow my nails and she suggested putting on a gel that would make my nails stronger and then it would help them to grow. All the girls at the salon were lovely, they were very friendly and nice and just so talkative.


My first nails done at Little Luxury Salon, by Eloise. 

I have been back a few times, an loved me nails every time, thanks to the lovely Eloise. Sadly due to money with the wedding I haven't been in a while but honestly getting gel on my nails has helped me to get out of the habit of biting my nails. I have my wedding nails booked the week of the wedding which I am excited about getting done, and I honestly can't wait to go back.

Eloise telling me about the gel to make my nails stronger is probably the best part of my nails, they really made my nails grow so quickly and even when the gel was off they weren't breaking. So hopefully this will be the end of my nail biting... ok maybe not cause I no I still do but not as much as I used to.  


The last time I went to Little Luxury.

100% I would say if you are having trouble biting your nails go to your nearest salon and talk about gel nails, and if you are in Warrington or anywhere close give Little Luxury a call, they really are a great group of girls. 

See you soon 
Lots of Love
Lottie
Xxx

Saturday, 9 June 2018

A Letter To My Mom

Mom,

29 years have passed since you became a new person. I popped up as a huge surprise and from that day you were Mommy. Unlike other mothers you didn't know I was there, you didn't have time to get things ready, no scans to see me growing, no movement in your tummy but I was there a little secret that not even you new about yet.

 Ever since I was born you have been there for me, my rock. You were strong through everything with my biological father not wanting anything to do with me. You were the one teaching me to walk and to talk. You lost sleep, gave up things. You were the person who held my hand when I had operations.

After a few years of it being just me and you, you brought in the man that would fill our lives with joy and make me his daughter. You both have helped me ever since.

Mom you have been the person I have turned to with everything. When I was being bullied, you were the mom who marched up to the school, telling them that I was not going to be put through this. You stood up to everyone you were my hero.

Memories of my childhood flood back while writing this, like me playing out with friends and when dinner was done, you would open your bedroom window and just scream ''Charlotte, dinner!''. After you would yell at me for being naughty, you would always bring me up biscuits and juice to see if I was alright.

I still remember the day I discovered the truth about the tooth fairy, when I ran up after you and saw you put that shiny gold pound coin under my pillow then run over to my window acting like that was the real reason you had gone into my room.

I also remember pushing your buttons like any girl does with her mother. I remember crying to you when things didn't go how I wanted them to. You getting me through the stress of exams and then the river of tears we both had when I finally grew up and moved away to university.

Standing in that car park at uni watching you and dad drive away was so hard to watch, but no matter how hard it was for me I can only imagine how hard it was for you. You carried me my entire life and watching me grow up must be hard. Hoping you have raised me right and brought me up to be my own person.

You have given me the best life ever, you were always there for me, with sheep sheep, dad, you stood strong when I was so scared and you never showed me you were ever scared of what would happen. To me I had the best childhood of my entire life.

Now as a grown women with a house and family of my own, I still call you for the most stupid of things ''Mom how do I get this stain out'' ''Mom what does this letter mean'' ''Mom how do I cook this'' I will always need you and I will always be your little girl.

You make me so proud to have you as my mom. I don't call you half as much as I should and there are so many things I wish I would have listen to properly about like ironing and cooking and washing when I was living with you.

You help me in more ways then I can even begin to say with words and I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for not giving me up, thank you for being both mother and father to me, thank you for always being there for me, thank you for teaching me to be me and thank you for accepting me for who I am. Thank oyu for being distant enough to let me grow and close enough to be my safety net. You are still my rock and I will always love you.




Love you Mommy
Your little girl
xxx

Winters Comfort Food

FOOD!!!!!!!!!!

Yes as a fat girl you can guess I LOVE food and one of the best things about this time of year is the fact that I get to have and make a lot of comfort food. 

I wanted to show you my favourite places to go for comfort food and what I love to eat. 

4. The Dormouse 

A brill little tearooms that is all based on Alice in Wonderland is just 1 reason I love this place but also there soup is to die for. You get a large bowl and you also get a huge piece of bread and butter. I've had two different soups there and both were so nice and make you feel all cozy inside. I know this is all about comfort food but also just to point out they have an amazing cake selection too. 

3. The Walton Arms 

Paul and I have been going to The Walton arms for a while, we love it there because we get to bring Coco along with us. My favourite item on the menu would be there Sunday lunch platter that they do. You get 3 meats and then veg, a Yorkshire pudding and roast potatoes with an unlimited amount of gravy. I don't like pork or beef, I am much more of a poultry person but the meat I tried was so nice, not rubbery or anything which is really nice. 

2. My Mom's Pie 

When I lived at home my mom would make the most amazing pie! It was mince in a sauce with potatoes on top covered in cheese. It tastes just like home, I loved those days when I would come home and smell it as I walked in, I knew it would be a good night. My mom has told Paul the secret ingredient to her pie but he has since forgot it haha. She refuses to tell me. 

1. My Nan's Irish Stew

This is honestly the only thing better then my moms pie, but lets face it nan cooking is always better then mom cooking (sorry mom love you really). Ever since I can remember I have loved my nan's stew. I remember going over and smelling it cooking and then rushing to the table and having it with bread and butter. Before my nan passed away she gave me the recipe including the secret ingredients to it (which she hasn't even told my mom). A few months after she passed away I made her stew and my mom said it was like nanny had come back and made it herself. Which I am very happy about. 

To tell the truth this post has made me so hungry now so I think I may go off now and make me nan's stew just so I can have it and remember her a little more. Plus lets face it with it getting colder all I wanna do is have a bowl of stew and hyphenate haha. 

See you soon 
Lots of Love 
Lottie
Xxx


Review of 'My Perfect Colour'' Foundation

Finding your perfect foundation can be ridiculously hard, you have so many brands with there foundations claiming to be 24 hour, 25 hour, long lasting etc. So Primark has sort of gone one step further by actually calling their new foundation ''My Perfect Colour''.


I had seen videos on youtube with girls like Grace F Victory reviewing the foundation just so I could see the coverage. For me I find it hard to find a shade I am happy with, some people will say my foundation is too pale, but then others I see as too dark. 



I had been using Maybelline Super Stay 24 hour foundation which is a very full coverage foundation but I felt like it had been washing me out so after watching so many reviews, I decided the £2.50 price tag of Primark's foundation was too good to pass up. 



I have tried so many of the cheaper foundation, from Poundland to Collection and I find that they do not have a very good consistency in the formula. I have also tried BB creams and I could not get on with them, so to be honest I did not have high hopes for this. 



I went into my local Primark to pick it up and I noticed they had a good colour range. I went for the colour ''Vanilla'' and I also picked up the mattifying powder which was £2.00. 





I got home and tried it almost immediately. I used my normal primer and colour correctors on my skin. The consistence of the foundation is very watery and I would suggest shaking the bottle before using.I applied it using a damp beauty blender and I found that after applying to my full face it left it feeling very oily, it does take a few minutes for it to settle down and be a bit more matte, but I have to apply the powder to my face as well to get it to the matte that I like it but that is personal taste. 



The coverage is said to be medium, but since I use colour correctors on my skin I do find it does cover a lot more then some foundations, but it is defiantly not full coverage, I would say somewhere in between mid and full. 





Lasting??? That is the big question, as a glasses wearer I find foundations tend to move under my glasses on my nose so I do find that is the first place that the coverage is gone, I also find the end of my nose tends to come through after a couple of hours. I don't think this is due to my application as I apply it the exact same way as I do the rest of my face so I am not sure why this happens. 



Overall I would say for £2.50 this is a pretty decent foundation, I have already repurchased it, but this time I bought 2 bottles, just to last a little longer, and I also am going to try the concealer stick. I normally don't get on with stick concealers but I hear this is meant to be quite creamy so I will give it a go. 



See You Soon 

Lots of Love
Lottie 
Xxx 


Favourite Christmas Movies

Christmas time is a time for the 3 F's Food, Family and Films! I love watching films in the run up to Christmas and I have already started watching a few, but like most people I have got my favourites. So just like I did in October with my Halloween films, I want to show you the films I love watching over and over again for Christmas time. 

1. Love Actually 

Is there anyone who hasn't seen this film???? I loved it long ago and I still love it. I also watched the mini squeal they did for Children in Need this year. Colin is my favourite character and I can quote the whole film. I do watch this film over and over again in the run up to Christmas just because I am that silly person who gets excited when it pops up with the 'Weeks before Christmas'' when it is in that week now. The only time I didn't watch the film was last year, Alan being gone was a little bit raw for me but this year I am all over it. 




2. Santa Claus the Movie

''Its CHRISTMAS all over the world TONIGHT'' 

This reminds me of my childhood it is very 80's and I couldn't love it more. I love that is shows the story of how Santa became Santa. I love his wife, reindeer, elves, magic lollies and Patch!!! This film is just ace I love it. If you haven't seen it I say go and watch it at least once. Also if your a Rocky fan keep your eyes open for Mickey!!!




3. Elf

The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear. Just like Love Actually I could quote this film word for word. I will also have random lines pop into my head every now and again any time of the year which I think is a sing of a good movie. The only part I cant watch is when he is eating bubble gum off the hand rail, even now just thinking of it makes me sick. 




4. Home Alone 

Original but the one in New York is really good too (except seeing Trump!). Just seeing the opening credits just gives me chills thinking its getting close to Christmas. When I was little I liked to think I would have been like Kevin and protecting my house. Looking back now I realise I probably would have cried and called my nan. 




5. Nativity 

MR POPPY IS LIFE!!!!!!!!! I only watched this for the first time last year and I have already watched it way too many times to count. As I said before Mr Poppy is life. I also like that it is set in Coventry, being a brummy girl I love hearing a good Midlands accent. Bob is my favourite kid he just makes me giggle so much, ''I wanna be an inn keeper because they are drunk all the time'' haha! I have watched the 2nd and 3rd one too but I much prefer the original. I have insta storied my favourite part of the film loads of times and it is when Mr Poppy is telling the kids Hollywood is coming to film them. I love watching the kids and it is just an all round funny family Christmas film. 




I do have another favourite Christmas film but I want to wait and tell you about that on Christmas eve, since it is involved in my Christmas Eve Plan. I hope you like a few of my faves, what are yours??? Let me know in the comments. 

See you Soon
Lots of Love 
Lottie 
Xxx




Day 9 - Blogmas

Christmas for Retail Workers.

Christmas is a time for shopping and it is also a time that a lot of retail workers hate yes HATE. I have worked in retail for 8 years, christmas is always the hardest time. 

I used to work in The Disney Store and in the weeks leading up to christmas you would be asked for particular items, most of the time it was things to do with Frozen. In one 9 hour shift I was told 4 times 'You've just ruined my child's Christmas' because we had sold out of an item that the parent wanted. I bit my tongue and said that I was sorry (why I don't know because it wasn't my fault) but in the back of my head all I thought was ' No mate YOU have ruined there christmas because you didn't buy it when you were last here'. 

I understand that my opinion is very one sided because I am a retail worker, but I think that MOST (not all because some people are lovely) but most people think that retail workers are beneath them, and they can be spoken to in any way because we can't say anything back. When did this culture start??? 

Us shop workers give up our days off, lunch hours and time with our families to be in our work place to make sure that the general public have what they need to have a brilliant time with their families. I know that days off  are given up because where I currently work I get 1 day off in the first and second week in December and then none in the week leading up to Christmas. I have spoken to other places and they tell me they are asked to give up their breaks if it is busy for the 'needs of the business'. That is a company thing and I know that is the employer who has made those rules. All I ask from shoppers is to be nice to us. 

The person you could be yelling at that we don't have something in stock could be a single parent of multiple children giving up time with them, to serve you, to earn money to pay for 1 day with their own children. 

So at this festive season, please be nice and kind to everyone, yes it can be stressful, yes it can be hard, but just think we are all people and we all need a bit of love and festive spirit this time of year. 

In the words of Jerry Springer ''Be kind to one another'' 

Don't forget to check out my fellow Blogmas Babes 



Merry Christmas 
Lots of Love 
Lottie
Xxx




Day 10 - Blogmas

Christmas Jumper Shopping

With Christmas Jumper day coming soon I thought a Christmas Jumper post would be a good idea. Me Paul and Coco always have christmas jumpers, Coco had a red one that slightly matched Paul's last year but we are getting her a new one this year. I am going to show you Mens and Womens christmas jumpers today so sit back and enjoy. 

Mens 




I no technically not a jumper but this is Paul's Christmas top this year, isn't it cute, I think this is gonna be good for anyone man cooking this year. Jumpers will make you feel so hot in the kitchen so having a nice t-shirt will keep you cool, but keeping you in the Christmasy mood. 




Oh Christmas Tree Oh Chritmas Tree!!! For the super festive Man there is this very cool christmas tree jumper, I love the colours I am bit blue fan, this looks like a nice soft jumper too which is always good if your gonna have a nice snuggle at the end of a long christmas day. Another good thing IT 
LIGHTS UP!!!!!!! 

Womens


 How SOFT does this jumper look, to me I think its one of those where you can just snuggle up and get all nice and comfy. Perfect for christmas time. 


Reverse Sequin Sparkle Jumper Evans £17.50 (in the sale) 


A bit of sparkle is always a good thing at Christmas, so sequins are very much welcome for my christmas jumper. I cant decided which one I like more, this one or the fluffy one. Normally this jumper is £35 so if you like it, bag a bargain while you still can.

What jumpers will you be wearing this year??? 



Merry Christmas 
Lots of Love
Lottie
Xxx

Day 11 - Blogmas

Bents Christmas

Here in the North West we have a brilliant Home and Garden centre called Bents, every year they have what I think are some of the best christmas displays I have ever seen and they just seem to get bigger each year. You can tell how much care and planning goes into the event, So I thought I would show you how cool it actually is. So grab a cuppa and watch a few of the videos I made while wondering around. 









As you can see the displays are amazing, they must work so hard to get these done. They have a huge christmas tree section, and then the displays that show you how different decorations can be used in there different sections. 





As well as these, they also have a big food and drink section outside, they play all christmas music so you get the feel of a christmas market but you get the bonus of being indoors the whole time so it is a little warmer for you. 

Me and Paul love it there because we can take Coco, they have this cute little dog cafe that sells dog friendly food and drink, so I can have a cake and  Coco can have a cake!! How cool is that. So if you are anywhere near the North West I would say make your way over and see how cool Bents is for yourself. 



Merry Christmas 
Lots of Love 
Lottie 
Xxx

Day 12 - Blogmas

Manchester Christmas Markets 

I have lived in Warrington for nearly 3 years and this years was the first time I was able to go to the Manchester Christmas Markets. I love christmas markets, they really make me feel all christmasy and festive and just all warm and sparkly inside. 

Paul had been before with his family but this was our first time going together. We both wanted to drink so we decided to get the train in, it wasn't too bad but the train was packed even tho it wasn't rush hour. We got the tram from Piccadilly station and got off near Manchester town hall. 

I didn't really know what to expect as being from Birmingham our market is all along one street but Manchester's is broken up into little markets all over. I honest have to say I like that, as the crowds are a lot more spread out and so instead of fighting your way through like in Birmingham you get to see a lot more and have a nicer time. 

First things first was obviously a nice hot drink, Paul got a mulled wine and I got a Baileys Hot Chocolate. 



You pay a deposit of £2.50 for your mugs and if you don't want to keep them you get your money back when you hand in your mugs. Both me and Paul like collection the mugs from different markets we go to so we kept ours. Mine was bigger which I thought was funny as I went for Hot Chocolate.

Next stop was the famous Yorkshire Pudding wraps. I saw these on Facebook and I told Paul that I needed to hunt them down as soon as we got the the market. We found them and stood in line, I think we must have got there at the right time because it wasn't too long before we were at the front, by the time we sat down with our food the line was huge. 



If you have no clue what I am talking about, the wrap is a huge Yorkshire pudding, with stuffing, a choice of either Turkey or Beef, carrots and peas, and topped off with a large scoop of gravy, all wrapped up like a tortilla, and put in foil, it was LUSH!!!! I said to Paul I could have done with some cranberry sauce, they did have some but I forgot to ask them to put it on. It was very expensive £7.50 each, but trust me it is so good it is worth it. 

We ate our food then had a proper good mooch round having a couple more mulled wines and Baileys Hot Chocolates and made our way around the rest of the markets, it was really such a good day, it was cold but we kept warm and like I said before with the market stretched out it broke up the crowd. 

If you get a chance to go do it, you will love it. 



Merry Christmas 
Lots of Love
Lottie 
xxx

Blogmas Review

Blogmas what can I say about Blogmas, it was something I wanted to do and had wanted to do for a while, I loved the idea of writing everyday, my blog helps me to write and get things out and I thought giving myself that time each day will make me so much more calmer over the christmas period. 

I wanted to get people involved and so I asked my friends if they would like to be apart of Blogmas, Jordan and Georgie were amazing and there posts have been so good over December, I have loved reading them. 

I was totally prepared for blogmas, I had each day planned out in my diary, I had drafted a few and was looking forward to writing each day too. The only thing I didn't really take into consideration was work. Working in retail is hard over christmas, I worked non stop from the 16th till 24th December, no days off and mainly working from 830am till about 7pm, getting home all I wanted to do was sleep. 

Looking forward to next year I can be a lot more prepared for what I want to do. I do want to do it again next year I just think instead of writing each day I will begin in write my posts in October or November, then have them all edited and ready to post for December. Then each day I will post it and publicise it, which I can easily do on my breaks. 

I have learnt a lot about blogging in the last 2 weeks, like how much I missed it, how it helps me to relax and how stressed I get when I don't write. 

So for next year I will plan blogmas a lot better, prepare to not write for 2 weeks and try not to get to stressed out if I can't write. 

Thank you to everyone who read our blogs and I hoped you enjoyed them. 

See you Soon 
Lots of Love 
Lottie
Xxx