Christmas Decorating Tips

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Over the coming days, I'm sure we will see lots of blog posts of everyone's Christmas decorations. Well it is the 1st December on Saturday (what do you mean you haven't started Christmas shopping yet!?!) and for me, that means it is acceptable for the decorations to go up. But before you even think about putting them up there are a few essential maintenance things you need to do first!

So here are my top tips for pre-christmas decorating!
Clean! Yes clean, you lazy madam! Christmas decorations are notorious for harbouring dust, so it's going to be difficult to get a good deep down clean of the next month, so wipe your skirting boards around where your tree is going to go, at least! Ideally do the whole room. Hoover the floor. Dust the tops of mantelpieces/mirrors, basically anywhere thats likely to be festivally adorned. I go that extra mile and shampoo my sofa - I have a dog and I have Christmas cushions and throws.

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Think about things you can put away. You know when you take everything down after Christmas and it all feels a bit empty? Well you can prevent this by putting some things away for the festive period and bringing them back out in the New Year.
For example, if you have a garland over your mantelpiece, put away the things that are usually on there (this is a good time to give them a quick wipe too!) and then when your garland comes down you've got shiny clean ornaments to look at!

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Do you put a wreath on your door? Have you actually looked at your door recently? It's filthy isn't it, from all that road dirt from the winter rain, salt and general grot. Before you hang up your sparkly Christmas wreath to welcome our festive guest, give you doorstep some TLC. Wipe the front of your door down, shake off the door mat (you might want to change it for a more festive one) and give your doorstep a bit of a sweep.
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Right, so you're ready to put your tree up yeah? Think again!

Test your lights. Yes its boring but seriously do it! No one wants the power to go off halfway through the afternoon movie queens speech because you've got dodgy fairy lights! Finally, get an extension cable. I can guarantee that your tree will be in a place where the nearest plug socket is miles away!

Ok, Ok, now you can put the tree up!

Tips for that?

I am firmly in the "tinsel is awesome!" camp. But, and this is a big but, it has got to be decent tinsel! I talking the luxury tinsel, the M&S of tinsel! Good tinsel can make a cheap tree look great, cheap tinsel can make a good tree look, well quite frankly, rubbish!

I match my decorations to my living room. This is because I am a bit anal and I had a whole new tree decorations everything when I moved house last year. This isn't compulsory, go for broke! Put what you want on your tree, after all its your tree. However, it does look generally better if the bigger decorations are at the bottom (i.e the bigger part of the tree) and the smaller ones at the top. I have no idea how you deal with those upside down trees, to me they are just bonkers! Then top off with your choice of topper - star, angel, or dodgy looking Barbie doll!

I hope my pre-Christmas tips have been useful - I'm off to practice what I preach! I can't wait to show you my Christmas decorations up!

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Notice Anything......?

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Do you notice anything different around here? You sure? What if I show you this?

You may remember over the summer I mentioned a couple of times that I was having some new design work on my blog. I have talked about Sarah before but here I'm just going to completely gush!! Not only does Sarah have one of my favourite blogs, Almost Delightful but she is also amazing at design work!! Well, take a look around! How cute are those little illustrations? I'm so made up with my design and Sarah is so lovely, patient and her prices are ridiculously cheap!! Seriously! So many blog designers charge so much but Sarah doesn't at all.


I just wanted to make clear the reason for why the design has taken so long has been due to some personal issues in Sarah's own life, which if you follow her blog you will know about already, but Sarah let me know what was going on which is great, and I was more than happy to wait until Sarah was ready. It actually worked in my favour, as I would get so excited about everything Sarah did, I didn't always sit back and think about it, so this ended up being better, as I contemplated the design more and what I thought worked and didn't.


If you are considering having a paid for blog design I would seriously urge to check out Sarah's Blog Design services. She's really patient and will be completely honest with you as well if you ask her to be. For example, originally I intended to keep my old header but it didn't work with the rest of the design. I chatted with Sarah about it and we created a whole new one. My sweet buttons are still available though so Jessa's beautiful photography hasn't been lost!


What do you think of the new design?


Thrifty Hauling!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Woohoo! Me again! And I've been shopping again! Ok not so much recently, these are from a little while ago. If you follow my blog you will know I am a charity shop addict! It's getting a bit beyond a joke now really, as I seem to be able to justify spending money in a charity shop, even if I don't spend it anywhere else (although to be fair that hasn't stopped me much recently either! Serious spending ban required!)
Anyway, I thought I'd share some of my most recent bargains that I've picked up in some of the chazzas of late.
(Clockwise L-R) I love this cute little dog print top! It's a New Look one, and I'm just getting into the Peter Pan collar thing. I'm a terrible blogger really as I am so behind the fashion times! The Bretton stripe top is also from New Look. I thought this was cute just for chilling out in at weekends over a pair of skinnys. The mustard yellow top is a Topshop on. I haven't actually worn this much as it comes slightly short and looks a bit silly with a cardigan over it.
I saw this little cardigan/jacket hidden in the rails. I think the print might have put some people off, as shoved on a rail between loads of other things it didn't look it's best, but I'm really glad I pulled it out. It was originally from Next, and looks cute over a plain vest - I'm trying to find a mustard coloured vest to wear it over, but I am after a good quality one as you will obviously see it a lot. (I did try it over the Topshop one, but it doesn't really work)
Two more items from next - a forest green tunic top and a dusky pink tie front blouse.
I picked up these two dresses and two other dresses at the same time. The mustard coloured one was my least favourite of them all until I got them home and tried them on and it became my favourite! These are both H&M dresses. The florally one is a little short but is ok over leggings. I'm going to style the mustard one over jeans and riding boots - yes a dress over jeans! How very 90s!! Watch out for an outfit post coming soon. 
What do you think of my finds? Anyone know of any good quality mustard colours vest tops?

Me and My Shadow

Linking up with Magpie Monday! (Thanks Lucy!)

Review - Clarins Lipstick

Sunday, 11 November 2012

I'm not sure I've ever actually done a full review of a single product, but I haven't seen this product really mentioned anywhere else so I wanted to share it with you all.

I've previously talked about my love for Clarins skincare in my two posts here and here, but I have never really bought Clarins make up. Clarins make up is often of quite neutral colouring, aside from their signature red so this colour is quite unusual. I first noticed it on the girl who does my facial and she really raved about it.

The colour is called Papaya, which is an orange/coral colour, and is part of Clarins Jolie Rouge Long Wearing Moisturizing Lipstick range - I have to apologise for how much it is worn down, but I have worn it lots and completely forgot to photograph it first! It retails for around £17, which is more than I would normally spend on a lipstick if I'm honest, but I had bought similar colours in cheaper brands, which I don't feel are anywhere near as good as this one in terms of colour and staying power.

The colour pigmentation payoff is really good. The lipstick is really creamy and moisturising, and normally with a moisturising lipstick you don't usually get very good colour pigmentation, but this is really good. The colour is not as good on the lips as it is in the swatch, but its still a really striking coral colour. It looks pinkish in the picture below, but it stands out really well, if you like to wear bright lip colours.

The colour lasts fairly well, with only a couple of re-applications through the night, as I would expect when drinking and eating. The lipstick has a slight scent to it as well - a slight fruity/floral fragrance. I would say this is probably more of a sumemr colour but it is currently out of stock on the Clarins website.

What do you think of Jolie Rouge Papaya? Has this made you consider buying a Clarin's lipstick? What do you think of  my first full product review?

OOTD - Fair Isle Knit

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Cardigan, Jeans, Shoes - Primark
Body - H&M
Necklace - Internacionale
Hey Lovelies! Quick OOTD post here for you all, featuring the cardigan and shoes from my last post. This cardigan is great from wrapping up in and getting cosy on the sofa! And how cute are the little pumps! The picture makes the H&M body looks see through! I have no idea why as it isn't in real life, but that's slightly awkward!! I've found body's to be a staple in my wardrobe. I think everyone thinks of them as a bit 80s but I like how they generally give a nice smooth line under jeans and skirts, and wear them alot, in various colours!

As you can see I'm getting to grips with my photography - the two middle close up shots came out really well, but the full length ones are a bit blurry still - anyone got any ideas of why that might be??

Anyway just quick one tonight. I have no plans this weekend so hoping to test out some more shots and locations with the camera!
Made With Love By The Dutch Lady Designs