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Friday, December 02, 2016
Shock horror, I totally didn't have time to post yesterday to officially be part of the Blogmas hype. I did plan to do Blogmas but then I realised I have a 3 year old & a 3 week old that I am spending all day everyday trying to juggle, being a parent of two is SO new for me and it's safe to say I am absolutely exhausted. So why am I being mad enough to pressure myself to post every single day of December, when without Blogmas I already have minus 10 hours in a day? I'm not.
I have loads of posts coming up in December just not 25, you will probably get 5, but they will be an amazing 5 posts without a doubt.

Today's post is all about how to be super organised this Christmas and 10 ways you can achieve it. If you are reading this and you haven't bought a single Christmas present, i'm not going to lie, you're not really rocking this organised Christmas malarky, considering in realistic terms you have 3 weeks left to buy and wrap all your presents, no pressure. Don't fear though, this post will give you useful tips that will make your Christmas a little less stressful, even if you're that crazy person who does all of their shopping on Christmas Eve afternoon *shudders*.

List making is the basic tool and skill adopted by all people who are super organised. It simplifies what needs to be done and instead of letting everything float around in your brain it allows you to see in front of you what's done, what's left and what you have probably forgotten in the whirlwind that is December and the festive season. 
I like to make three lists and label them FOOD, PRESENTS & CHRISTMAS MISCELLANEOUS. I cook every single Christmas now because I am a total control freak and can't handle the thought of someone getting my Christmas dinner wrong!
So I have a list for all the FOOD shops I need to do in the lead up and the dates I need to buy certain things to ensure they don't go out of date/make sure I get them in good time before it's sold out. I look for deals and will spontaneously buy things like soft drinks and alcohol throughout Nov/Dec depending on what deals are on each week. 
I then have a list for PRESENTS, in which I write down every person who I will be buying for and a rough idea of what I am getting for them. 
My last list is CHRISTMAS MISCELLANEOUS which is basically a list of everything we need that people usually forget, so batteries (imperative if you have kids), christmas wrapping paper, ribbon, gift tags, sellotape, napkins and much more. 

I do a mixture of online shopping and in store shopping, usually I only buy online if I am getting a deal. I shop in store if I am buying something full price. Despite doing my shopping like this, I like to know what I am getting everyone, so I usually do some research and get some inspiration online before I purchase or go out and buy it. This is a great way to get organised because if you have an idea in your head what you are buying for people early on you're not scouring the busy shops for inspiration whilst being elbowed and fighting someone for the last product on the shelf.

Christmas brings chaos and if you're lucky enough to receive lots for Christmas or you have children you will know that it's hard to find the space to keep it all. Ever since I had my daughter every year has been about dreading the storage situation and now I have had my son it's his first Christmas and we know that everyone is going to go OTT, so this year we have to be savvy about storage.
My plan is to have a clear out, all of Harper's toys that she has grown out of or doesn't like anymore are being given away to those who are less fortunate than us. There are so many ways you can give back and in turn get back some storage space. So make this weekend the one where you have a clear out and consequently you could make somebody else's Christmas special.

With the millions of photo's that you will inevitably be in, as much as we would rather stay in our Christmas PJ's all day long, it's not exactly tres chic is it?
Take advantage of this week to find your Christmas outfit so many brands are still offering great discounts in the shadows of Black Friday. You will also need to give yourself plenty of time to send it back and find an alternative so sort it out before you have to look back on 2016 Christmas photo's and see yourself looking like a scruff in your reindeer onesie.

If you are hosting Christmas Day or Boxing Day it is so important to be organised. I have hosted Christmas for the last three years now and the first Christmas I went in total unprepared and not knowing what to expect. I hosted Christmas Day with my family and then Boxing Day with my fiance's family and it was hell on earth. I didn't get to watch the kids open their presents and I ended up getting so smashed from stress drinking & over indulging on white wine that I was hungover by lunch and asleep by 4pm. Being organised comes with experience when it comes to hosting. Some essential tips on how you can prepare for what's to come are as follows...
- Contact each of your guests asking what they will eat, what they won't eat and if you're doing a starter give at least three options, this way you can work out how much you need of everything and make sure that you don't serve up the wrong food.
-  Make sure you have a snack table that guests can indulge in throughout the day, especially if they're going to be at your house for the long haul.
- Ask everyone to bring a bottle, in my opinion, it's not your job to provide alcohol. I always buy a few bottles of white for myself and guests who want to drink it with me and I buy all the soft drinks for non drinkers and children, but i'm not going to be buying crates of beer or whisky, no bring it yourself if you want it. Make sure this is clear, text/ring around maybe a week in advance to ensure that is clear.
- Do not start drinking until midday, as hard as it is not to crack open a bottle at 11am, if you're too smashed to stand before the turkey is cooked, you've fucked it.
- Plan and work out the timings of each item of food that needs to be cooked/prepared, so that you can give yourself the time to enjoy the day as well. For example, I usually chop all the veg and prepare anything that can be at 7am whilst I am cooking breakfast.

That is all for my 5 top tips on being super organised this Christmas, are you hosting Christmas this year? Or are you wise enough to leave it to somebody else? Leave me a comment below letting me know your Christmas plans this year, and make sure you are following me on Twitter and Instagram if you want to see more from me. 


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Monday, November 21, 2016

Keeping your skin in good condition during the winter months can be extremely difficult in the UK, especially with the most unpredictable weather you could ever imagine.
I mean it's definitely something that needs to be regimental and consistent but it doesn't have to be a chore and with the right products it can be easier than you think to keep on top of your winter skincare.
Today's post is a review on all the products I have been using to keep my skin on top form so far this winter, from hand creams to face masks, I've got you covered.


This hand & nail cream is the most delicious smelling formula I have ever used and I do love myself a hand cream. It smells like apricots and orange, which is a scent I wouldn't usually go for. Hand cream is SO important during the winter months, your hands and nails can take a real battering from the cold weather so make sure you always carry a hand & nail cream around with you in your handbag. The other hand cream I really recommend is the Vaseline collection especially the Vaseline Intensive Care Hand & Nail Cream.

Caudalie Hand & Nail Cream, Caudalie £12.00


It's no secret that the Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream collection is a favourite amongst every beauty blogger, but I had to mention the daily moisturiser because I swear by it. It's so rich and gives such a thick luxurious finish that you really feel like you're giving your skin a treat every single time you apply it.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Intensive Daily Moisturizer, Boots £30.00


L'Oreal Pure Clay masks are another beauty blogger favourite, but are quite new on the scene. My favourite of the four different masks is the glow mask. This mask gives you around 10 - 15 applications, which I think is amazing for the price and quality. The glow mask in particular has beads in it so doubles up as a scrub as well as a mask. I leave it on for around 10 minutes and usually try to use it once a week! It's great for getting rid of dry skin, especially around my nose which always seems to suffer the most during winter.

L'Oreal Pure Clay Glow Mask, Boots £7.99


This Caudalie Glycolic Peel Mask is an absolute dream if you have really dried out and dull skin caused by the winter weather. It's cream based and you apply all over your face and leave for 10 minutes. It's unlike any other 'peel' mask I have ever used and although you can feel it drying onto your skin, to touch it's still super moist and feels so silky. I really recommend the whole Caudalie range but this mask in particular is my favourite.

Caudalie Glycolic Peel 75ml, Caudalie £22.00


Another Elizabeth Arden fave for me is the eight hour cream lip balm, I don't know anybody else who uses this but I absolutely swear by it when my lips are feeling cracked or dry. I wear a lot of matte lipsticks and creams which are universally known for being super drying. The eight hour formula has been formed into a lip balm stick that is easier to apply and spread than the original eight hour cream. It's a very intense formula that I find cures my chapped lips completely within 2 applications over 2 days. A great way to prevent chapped or cracked lips is to apply this lip balm every night before bed and sleep in it, you will really notice the difference.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Lip Protectant Stick, Boots £20.00

That's all for my winter skincare saviours, I hope you have enjoyed this post & have taken some skin inspiration from this & I would love for you to let me know in the comments what your winter skincare saviours are, either that or come find me on twitter @3beksbabe.