Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy New Year 2012!

...and may it be even better than 2011!

I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and had a wonderful evening last night; however you decided to see the New Year in. I thought I'd start with a quick review of Christmas and Birthday celebrations - I meant to do this yesterday and somehow managed to do nothing but lounge around and watch movies all day. In my last post I showed you some beautiful Mulberry gifts I received (and bought!) and thought I'd share with you some of the other things I received, many of which will have dedicated posts to them in the future. It was my birthday a week or so before Christmas, so the pressie stash does seem quite big, but I thought it far easier to do a combined Birthday/Xmas one instead of separately. Apologies in advance for the bad photo quality, iPhones aren't great in low lighting...

With my Birthday and Christmas being so close together, I get fed up of people always asking me what I want, so I end up creating a big list of 'lusts' back in October, and it's ongoing until December. That way, I put the boyfriend in charge and he can share with people what I want. I have a habit of always buying all the things I need so I start noting down stuff that isn't what I would justify as essential - and trust me, I can justify most of my beauty/clothing/shoe collection as 'essential'!

I got a few of the usual - chocolate, mugs, socks, slippers, filofax inserts, DVDs - and some other odd bits and pieces that aren't pictured. But I wanted to detail my favourites and the ones I'm really excited about to share with you all!

Not pictured above are the following two: A big Clinique 3-Step kit and a cute Penguin art print to add to my collection. These were both courtesy of my fabulous boyfriend! He knows I religiously use Clinique's Facial Soap for Oily Skin and Dramatically Different Moisturising Gel as well as the Clarifying Lotion No3, and I dropped massive hints that I was running out of the wash, so I was very pleased to open up this on Christmas Day. It contains the larger sizes of all three, plus travel sizes and a silvery mesh style toiletry bag.
The Art print is by a local Norfolk artist called James Buttifant; I saw his stall in a Norwich Shopping Mall once and fell in love with the cute Penguin love designs. This one is called 'lifted' and it's a limited print of 250. I already own a few other prints of his and lust to own an original painting one day. Check out his facebook page or website, he has some really lovely prints for sale. I guess it's become somewhat of a tradition, for the boyf. to buy me one each year! Bless!

I think I actually let out a squeal of excitement when I opened this one, I've been lusting after Biba's make up bags for ages and I completely fell in love with this leopard print design. My wonderful Mum picked this up from House of Fraser for me, unfortunately, it's not available anymore (as I would have also bought the larger size in the Sale) but I am torn with actually using it - I just know it will get covered with a leaking foundation or something similar!
After reading Laura's post at Liparazzi I was very interested in a new tool to curl my hair - the Enrapture stylers. The results looked fabulous in Laura's hair and there's only so far I can go with my GHDs.

So my Sister and my Mum treated me to not only the heated rollers, but also the totem styler! I can't wait to try these out so stay posted for a 'before and after post' at some point this month (I hope!).
A friend, who works in a salon, got me the Bed Head Colour Goddess Duo - a perfect choice as I get my hair dyed every 6-12 weeks and it always fades really badly. I'm naturally a dull ashy brunette so my hairdresser perks it up to a richer brunette shade every so often. I've put it down to me not using the right products on my hair so I'm hunting for the best colour holding Shampoo and Conditioner right now.
Also, the little envelope is a voucher for a salon called Thai Wellbeing in Norwich. I like to go there for a massage treat every so often so vouchers are always gladly received!

The next two little beauties are to add to my ever expanding Links of London Sweetie Bracelet. My best friend from uni bought me the 'Big Spender' credit card charm - she knows me so well! I had to laugh when I opened it up, it is so very me! And my Mum treated me to the 'Rainbow Zebra' - I just think it is so cute! I think I actually need to buy some new charm links now, as I have no room left, so it's a good opportunity to go and get my bracelet re-strung - highly recommended if you own a Sweetie Bracelet.
As always, I expected some make up goodies and I was very pleased with this little group! In between Shellac applications I do like to wear normal polish sometimes - as I have so many and it's nice to be able to easily chop and change - so my Sister treated me to the Nails Inc. Glitterati collection, three glitter polishes in gold, purple and silver. Watch out for a post about them on my sister blog, brushupandpolishup, at some time in the future.

My Mum picked up on a big hint when this Stila palette went live on BuyaPowa - a site which I blogged about recently here. I saw Holly's review of the Stila Dream in Full Color Palette on her Yummy Mummy Beauty Blog and instantly wanted one, but realistically it was way too big for me to use that often. So when I saw a mini version of it, the Daydream palette, I fell in love and directed my Mum straight to the BuyaPowa site where it dropped to the lowest price of £7! Bargain! Also in the picture are three little Clinique eye treats which the boyfriend chose all by himself!!?! And they are all products I like and would use - High Impact Mascara in Brightening Black (ltd ed.), Quickliner for Eyes Intense in Frosty Charcoal (ltd ed.) and Lid Smoothie in Bit O'Honey. Keep posted for a review soon.

Now it wouldn't be right if there wasn't some sort of bejewelled gift under the tree this year and I wasn't disappointed to find four instantly wearable treats! I've already mentioned the two Mulberry pieces in my last post but I also received an Orelia bracelet from my cousin and a Cath Kidston Star necklace from the boyf - the "Oooo, that's pretty!" in House of Fraser last month obviously didn't go unnoticed!! I am seriously obsessed with Orelia jewellery and it's available in many boutiques nationwide, as well as and their own website. I am in the process of planning a post dedicated to Orelia and some of their beautiful pieces that I have picked up over the last year or so.

And last but not least, are two great knits that I was given from Topshop. The one on the left is a big slubby style grey knit with a black fluffy paw print detail to the front (again, boyf chose this himself!?! I love it!). And on the right, is a fine knit blue fitted jumper that has black lace panels at the shoulders, which my Sister searched high and low for, for me. Hopefully I'll get to do an OOTD soon, with some of my latest Topshop garments.

So in all, Birthday and Christmas 2011 were very fruitful! I am so lucky to have such generous friends and family, and the most thoughtful boyfriend, who, despite his worries, always gets me the most amazing gifts!

What gifts surprised you the most this year? If you could have had only one of your presents this Christmas, which one would it have been?


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