Santa’s Grotto Edit | Travel Diaries

So I finally actually edited one of my photos from Lapland and I think it’s super cuteeeeee!

So as I said previously I spent this past Christmas in Lapland with extended family from England AND Finland and it was *magical*. My two cousins were the perfect age to enjoy Christmas in Santa’s homeland and I think they had a really great time.

This is a snap I captured after a skidoo ride to santa’s grotto (one of the most amazing experiences) when they were exploring and playing in the snow.

DISCLAIMER: I know it’s not great as it was on my iPhone 6 but y’all can still appreciate right?

To see it in a bit of a better state here’s the link: https://instagram.com/p/BO2k5fmAvC2/

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset

Bad Quality, Good Intentions

 

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Autumn Beauty Checklist: Season Classic

Even though it’s been abnormally warm here in England in the past few days I am SO looking forward to my favourite season (AUTUMN DUH!) gracing the earth. Autumn brings to mind images of crisp leaves, warm snug evenings, warm coffees and of course; a big makeup switch-up! If you need a Autumn makeup 101 look no further than here:

 

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ANTICLOCKWISE FROM BOTTOM LEFT:

Makeup Revolution Ultra Blush Palette – Sugar and SpiceLINK – The arrival of autumn means ditching the bright coral and barbie pink blushers and instead buying up some deep purple, maroon and more dusty shades. This palette is perfect because it covers ALL of your bases from blush to a natural bronze-y shade to a natural highlight.

Makeup Revolution Eyeshadow – Mountains of goldLINK – Warm toned shadows should start to infiltrate your makeup collection as the seasons progress. This particular one is not only amazing on it’s own or blended into a look but it ONLY COSTS £1! Warm browns and dusty roses are also a good bet for autumn.

Rimmel Kate Moss Lipstick – 107LINK – You’ve probably stumbled across this particular item before if you’ve ever been looking at beauty anywhere on the web in the Autumn/Fall Season. It is repped by those such as Zoe Sugg, Lily Melrose and of course Kate Moss. Dark, warm-toned plum/wine vibes; what more do you need?

MUA Brow Define Tinted Mascara – FairLINK – The Autumn makeup switch up calls for an end to the pencilled perfect “instagram” brow and a fluffy more natural wispy look. To get the look for less I love this £2 product. Swipe through your brows for a 1-step look.

 

GCSEs || wish me luck!

Hey Guys, I realised that I had never let you know why I haven’t been posting for the past 2 weeks and wont be for a while!

I am doing my GCSE exams this summer! I have already done 3 exams at this point but am still pricked with nerves and panic.

Apologies for the lack of blog posts, if you are really missing them you can always check up on my Instagram (@gem.co.uk) for some cute OOTDs, flat-lays and recipes.

Also I do have a really exciting recipe post coming soon so STAY TUNED!

Gem xxx

6 new years resolutions that we won’t achieve in 2016

get out of my room

I’m sure over the years you have made many new years resolutions that you have convinced yourself you’ll keep when in reality… it barely lasts through January. I will be listing 6 new years resolutions that we won’t achieve in 2016.

Number 1: Get fit– most likely you’ll end up attempting to go on a run for the first 6 days and spend the rest of the year saying ‘tomorrow’.

tumblr_mbx4miaLTw1rheoddo1_500.gifNumber 2: I won’t leave things till the night before – HA! Good one!

c7386d6d4903000f3178af1e957bcaa9.gifNumber 3: I will keep my room/house tidy – maybe for the first month but by the 15th of January you won’t be able to see the floor once again and will use the excuse ‘organised mess’.

n51325962d989e.gifNumber 4: Spend less time on social media – but who doesn’t want to be updated on Taylor Swift’s daily whereabouts?

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Number 5: Learn something new- I would attempt to keep this…

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My Goals for 2016

New Year, New Me…. Not! I suck at keeping to my “resolutions” for more than a month or three at tops! So this year in an effort to have and amazing 2016 I am posting my “goals” (I’m trying to keep it more general in the hope that I find them easier to stick with ) on the Internet for all you guys to hold me to. So here goes.

  1. Post on my blog once a week, EVERY WEEK! You heard it here first, let’s see how long I can keep to this for…. #DontHoldYourBreath
  2. To stay focused and stop being passive in my life
  3. TO STOP FREAKING PROCRASTINATING FOR GOD’S SAKE.
  4. Eat Healthier, Not Dieting but eating healthier foods instead of snacking on chocolate, rice cakes for example…
  5. To Save up money – because I’m broke AF
  6. Read A book – any books – many books – Waterstones here I come!

 

Et Voila!

 

Simple Hot Winter Drinks

I hope you all had an amazing Christmas time or if you don’t celeberate it that you had a Happy Holiday Time! The weather has been unseasonably mild up to this point but as it has started to get colder I’ve been drinking many of a wide variety of hot drinks from Teas to Mochas to Starbucks.

Today I have collated for you my Top 2 at home hot drinks recipes that are simple, delicous and are perfect for cheering you up on that freezing winter day.


Gingerbread Hot Chocolate

HOT DRINK NUMERO UNO   ~  Healthy Gingerbread Hot Cocoa

Ingredients :

Boiling Water

Milk or Creamer

Cocoa Powder (I used Bournville Cocoa)

Chai Powder or Chai Concentrate (I used the “Drink Me” Skinny Blend Chai Latte Powder)

Sweetner (If needed/wanted)

Steps:

  1. Add 2 teaspoons of Cocoa to your mug and boil the kettle
  2. Add one teaspoon of Chai Latte Powder to the cocoa and mix it through
  3. Add your boiling water half way up the mug and stir to ensure the dry ingredients have dissolved.
  4. Fill the rest of the cup with your milk or creamer.
This drink is so good and a delcious way of cheating the complex pinterest recipes and crazy calories of a pinterest recipe.


HOT DRINK #2   ~  PEPPERMINT MOCHA

Ingredients:

1 Shot Espresso or Small Cup of Strong Coffee

Peppermint Candy Cane

Whipped Cream

Cocoa Powder or Hot Chocolate powder

Milk

Boiling Water

Steps:

  1. Break off a small part of your candy cane and save it for later on.
  2. Put the rest of your candy cane in the bottom of a mug and add a little boiling water to melt it slightly.
  3. Meanwhile prepare you mocha elsewhere as you normally would – for me that’s using 1 teaspoon Galaxy hot chocolate powder, my nespresso machine to make a small cup of strong coffee and a little milk for creaminess all together.
  4. Add you hot mocha to the candy cane mug  (don’t worry if its not fully melted) and stir well.
  5. Top with whipped cream and the rest of your candy cane crushed into chunks or a powder!

 

ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES ~ Book Review

 

This stunning contemporary novel of friendship and careful romance as well as serious themes of mental illness and suicide, has quickly become one of my favourite books of all time. 
The story follows Violet Markey a popular girl at school who’s life crashes to a halt after the death of her sister as she is beginning to lose touch with reality – and Theodore Finch who seems obsessed with the idea of suicide as they begin to change each other’s perceptions of the world.
However don’t be deterred, this is not your typical mushy ‘boy meets girl’ romance, no it’s much more than that. The delicately played narrative of love and loss is heart-rendering and unique in style. I can’t help but compare this to ‘The Fault in Our Stars’, another tragic love story, but whilst TFIOS almost seems trashy in its commercialism and inevitability, ‘All the Bright Places’ does not. That’s right, this book makes ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ (the book that inspired the movie that made $300 million) look trashy.
The story is told in dual-perspective from both of the protagonists which allows the reader to feel very involved in the story and emotionally connected to a point where it can reduce you to tears and break your heart. That’s when you know it is powerful writing.
Violet and Finch are grouped together in a school project after they meet on the ledge of the school bell tower when Violet is about to jump. Together they travel around their state soon forgetting about their project and instead enjoying the company. But reality can’t be forgotten forever and with Finch’s struggle with mental issues and Violet trying to move on from the past, their relationship is fraught with highs and lows.
Without spoiling too much, I can tell you that our star-crossed lovers visit a ball of paint, a back-yard roller-coaster and a tiny mountain, all of which inspire laughter, love and a good dose of wanderlust.
Niven’s writing style in this book is not to be glossed over at all, the characters are shown in so much detail, through straight forward description as well as how they speak and act. There is some beautiful imagery and a number of amazing quotes, try “You are all the colours at once, at full brightness.” Every detail and plot point in this book is well thought-out and delivered with grace, even the website that Violet creates in the book exists in real life with a purpose to help give advice about style, life, pop culture and literature.
After reading the epilogue you can really tell why the writing in the novel is so good, Niven is writing from a personal, emotional place as well as trying to promote people to talk about mental illness and stop it being such a ‘taboo’, secretive thing.
All in all the book has, in my eyes, succeeded in all it set out to achieve and more. If you enjoyed book like ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ or ‘Before I die’, I would definitely recommend this book. Even I you’ve never even picked up a book from this genre I would strongly encourage you to read it. Even if it’s to learn more about mental illness or so you can say you read it before its made into a film.
Whoever you are, whatever your age, I implore to read this book.