Are you dreading Christmas?

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Christmas season is definately a time of happiness, a season to be celebrated and enjoyed. When i think about  Christmas i love remembering what it felt like as a child , having amazing lunch with my parents and brothers and sitting at the table for hours chatting and laughing, putting up the christmas tree and the sound of christmas songs on christmas morning as we got ready for church.

Last week i spoke to a dear friend of mine who shared with me her dread and dislike of the holidays. She felt like this season comes along with so much stress and expectations. And refelecting on our conversation  i realise that as so many celebrate the holidays many cant wait for them to end.

Why is it that this season that is meant to be filled with joy, peace, happiness instead brings feelings of sadness and loneliness for others?

May be you lost loved one around the festive season and from that time on christmas and all other holidays make you sad and depressed. Maybe you are a single parent, divorced with kids and as much as you are doing your best for your children, you still feel that holidays will never be the same.Maybe you are dreading buying gifts or you hate receiving gifts !! May be you are dreading  the big family gatherings with relatives that you haven’t spoken to for the past year.

There are so many reasons why this season carries feelings of dread for alot of people. All the planning and organising  towards christmas ,buying and wrapping gifts does get overwhelming. And at the end of it all you just want the new  year to be here already. How do you address dreading the holidays? This year  lets refocus our approach to Christmas. Here are a few pointers that i shared with my friend hopefully these will help bring back the christmas joy and spirit back for you ;Lets get back to the basics..to the simple things.

Let us create time for family experiences. Christmas is not just about getting and giving gifts. Do not go in debt just so you can get a gift for everyone on your long gift lift. How about making or creating a thoughtful gift instead of buying one. That will take some pressure off . A secret Santa exchange is also another fun way to avoid spending so much on gifts. Instead of everyone giving a gift to everyone, simply draw names  and have each person give a single gift to another person. Read here for another frugal gift exchange idea.

Acknowledge anyone that is missing maybe through sharing a story or you can decide as a family before hand how you would like to do it.Maybe making an ornament in their honor and putting it  in the christmas tree.Yes there will be some sadness but the richness of loving memories will bring some warmth into christmas.

Make a donation to a charity or do something for the less fortunate around you.Let this season be an opportunity for you to engage in loving kindness and generosity to others around you.Many people in our communities are suffering with no food, no job,no shelter and the holidays magnify these bad situtations. Look out for these people and offer a helping hand.

Gratitude. Count your blessings and think about the things that you do have other than what you dont have. Yes you might have had the worst year ever but you are still alive , you are healthy,that is reason enough for you to be grateful. Gratitude is reminder that one can always fins areason to be happy.

Do what makes you happy. Break free from all the expectations that people might have of you or that you might have of yourself during this season. You don’t have to decorate with red and green if you dont want  to, or feel pressured to put  up a christmas tree  at the end of the day do what pleases you and what makes you happy. Celebrate this holiday in your own way.

Photo credit.

November favourites.

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There have been quite a few products/items that i have enjoyed using this month. My absolute favourite is my Prada Candy perfume. My husband gave me this perfume as a gift and i  I love love the cosy notes of vanilla and caramel that it has.  To be honest it’s staying power/longevity is quite low so you might need to reapply during the day. Overall it   smells gorgoeus and has a sophisticated feel .If you are someone that loves flowery, sweet smells then this scent is perfect for you. I would also recommend  Daisy by Marc Jacobs, Harajuku G by Gwen Stefani or Silk by Zara.

Crystal Glass nail File – See full post on why i love it here.

Bonne Mere body wash honey- Smells devine and is very gentle on my skin.

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Perlier moisturising cream. I bought this in a local beauty supply shop here in Italy but you can buy it here. It is really moisturising and what i love the most about it is after application you dont have that sticky feeling that some creams have. It smells really fresh and subtle.

I Provenzali Balsamo al Karite( Shea butter conditioner ) This is an all natural product that is  perfect for my natural hair. Helps with detangling, co-washing. Love the slip and the moisture that it gives my hair. It leaves my hair soft, shiny and manageable.I bought it from a local herbal shop but you can also get it here.

Boots Reviving Foot Spray.- This really helps to cool and refresh my feet  and i love that it contains witchhazel,mint and cyress. It smells great and  has a calming effect that relaxes and makes my feet feel really good.

Vaseline.What can i say about vaseline.There are so many uses for it. I am finding it really useful now in the colder months , its a great skin protector.  I use it if my skin is feeling especially dry or irritated.I use it to moisturise my cuticles,my lips.

Scented Candles from Ikea. I love trips to ikea and i never  leave without buying candles.These  tindra candles are such a treat. I love that i can re use the jars for tealights  or to hold my makeup brushes.

My house slippers managed to get on my fave’s list.They are warm, soft,  comfortable and perfect for cold winter evenings.

Every morning I use a lip scrub to prep my lips for the day ahead and follow with vaseline before applying my lipgloss. I love the victoria secret beauty rush juicy berry lip gloss . It tastes, looks, and feels amazing on my lips and has a great smell to it. Sleek glossed lip gloss is amazing because i can even wear it  without any other make up and still  have a glamorous look .Both these glosses come in small packaging therefore quite handy to bring along in your bag. I will definately repurchase both these products in the future.

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When i got to Italy earlier this year , i was really concerned about finding the right makeup for my wedding day. After lots of trips to the mall i finally found my perfect match at sephora. And this is what i have continued to use.

Makeup forever high definition primer  , i have this in No4 Caramel, Mat velvet + foundation  , i have this in cafe absolutely love the flawless finish that it gives.I bought both of these products from Sephora.As much as i love my makeup forever foundation i also use my Mac matchmaster once in a while. Mac matchmaster foundation in No 8.5 , Kiko full coverage concealer ,i have this in No 7 Cacao.

Make up forever Aqua smoky lash mascara . No smearing,no flaking, gives you lots of definition without clumping. What more can you need from a mascara…

Lancome Hypnose doll lash mascara .The brush is easy to use. The numerous  bristles allow for great application. I also wore this for my wedding day , it lasted me the whole day and i loved how full and long my lashes looked.

What items/Products have you enjoyed using in November?

Crystal Glass Nail File: What took me so long..

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 I  have always used an emery board but i recently bought a glass file and thought i would share with you guys why i love it so much.There are different opinions on how important it is to use a glass file but i would like to say that after using it for just a few weeks i have noticed that my nails have improved alot. I did abit of research and found out that it is important to look at the grit level when purchasing a nail file.A file’s surface is called its “grit”, which tells us how fine or coarse the file is and thus how rough it will be on your nails. The smaller the number, the rougher the file will be, and vice versa. The higher the grit number the finer the surface of the nail file.

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The crystal/glass type of file simply has a higher grit level than most emery boards and therefore it’s easier on your natural nails.  It is permanently etched and hence does not easily wear out. It may seem expensive initially  as comapred to the price of an emery board but if looked after well the glass file can last you years hence cost effective in the long run. Given the  delicate nature of a glass file it  needs to be stored properly to avoid cracking or breaking.

To clean the file run it under some water . It can also be  cleaned with an antiseptic solution of rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.sanitized and disinfected.

I bought mine from Kiko make up Milano  but  you can buy one from sephora,Amazon,Ebay .Prices are from 3.99 euros for a small one to about 40 euros for a decorated set of three

Do you have an emery board or a glass file? Which do you prefer?

Let’s Get Pom Pom Pretty

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I love pom poms . There is something about those little fuzzy balls of  colour   that  makes me happy.They are super easy to make  and add alot of fun ,whimsy, and childlike charm  to any craft project or home decoration.Here are some of my favourite pom pom finds:

DIY pom pom bookmark

Via Pinterest

SOURCE: Lovely Mobile Hangings from Marsha Golemac ,Pastel bobby pin set via Nest Pretty Things, Sweater via shinythoughts, Balloons via Design Improvised, Pottery Barn Pillows, Bookmarks via Design  mom

Pom pom necklaces

Pom Pom Pendant Necklaces Via Vamoose.com

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Necklaces Via Small Good Things

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If you are looking to add alittle whimsy to your wadrobe ,why not add a pair of pom pom heels/wedges. You can also create faux pom pom shoe clips and add to a pair of shoes that you already own.

Pom Poms are an  excellent decorative item, tissue paper poms poms can be creatively used to add so much fun and an extra dose of pizzazz to your  party and home spaces.

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 Follow this  link for full tutorial on using a folk to make your own pom poms, here  using a clover pom pom maker  and  this one using cardboard.

Which of these is your favourite use of Pom Poms and would you wear Pom Pom shoes ?

Homemade Bath And Beauty Christmas Gift Ideas.

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Homemade bath and beauty christmas gift ideas  can make perfect gifts this christmas. There are so many free bath and beauty recipes out there it can make your head spin. I managed to round up some that I thought might be easy and fun to make.  I think any of these would make an awesome homemade gift.

How to make Bath Snowballs~ Great holiday gift idea!tvs6212.jpghomemade sugar scrub rosemary mint and printable card

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Quick Bread In a Jar

Pamper Yourself Jars

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SOURCE : Bath Bombs via One Good Thing, Bath Snow Balls via Martha Stewart, Bath Salts via Martha Stewart, Rosemary mint sugar scrub, Chocolate Chip Oatmeal  Quick BreadPamper Yourself Gift Set via Plum Adorable, Spa In A Jar via So Shelli Blog, Homemade Sugar Scrub via Maybe Matilda,  Honey brown sugar scrub from A Pumpkin and aPrincess, Coconut and Rose Body Scrub via Craft Berry Juice

Happy Crafting.

Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas For Him.

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I think alot of ladies can agree with me when i say it is hard to find the perfect gift for the men in our lives. Now that  christmas is almost here i have made a round up of homemade christmas gift ideas that will warm your dad, brother or husband’s heart ; Simply because you made it with love and the thought will count more than anything in the world.   These are all unique and beautiful gifts that you can make with items which you probably already have in the house hence making it cost effective. So lets get started.

DIY Monogrammed mug via designmom

Monogrammed Mug via DesignMom

Eye Glasses Case

Roll Up Tool Organiser

You Are Loved Plate

Lego Cuff Links

Mustache Mug Via The Tortoise and the Hare

Just Because I Love You Book

30 Dates for 20 Dollars 

Skinny tie DIY

Skinny Tie

Iphone Case Cross Stitch via Purl Bee

Rosemary Mint Shaving Cream

Personalized Cork Coasters

Personalised Coasters via Martha Stewart

Home is Wherever I’m With You via Dating Divas

Christmas Chai

Chai Tea Via Easy Peasy Organic

Fleece Lined Throw

Choo Choo Train Shirt via Repeat Crafter Me

Music CD Via Mormon Mama on a Mission

Diy cord organiser

David's Homemade Nutella

Home made Nutella

Stamped Initial Cuff Links

Hooked on You via The Dating Divas

Travel Map via Design Sponge

Share in the comments below if you have any other christmas gift ideas for men. Which of these was your favourite?.

Happy Crafting.

20+ Beauty Sins You Might Be Committing

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For the past couple of months i have slowly shifted my skin care routine  from chemical products to more natural homemade products. I am no skin expert but i have realised that the best way to achieve healthy looking skin is to keep away from things that might damage my skin. For a long time i didnt know that the habits i was taking as trivial and small  were actually sabotaging the good health of my skin.
So here is my list of things that i wish i heard realised earlier,  hopefully you will put them to good use sooner than i did.
Buying products that are marketed as natural but are not. Many a times we are  blinded  by packaging and we buy products believing they are safe and non toxic simply because the label says so. But this is far from the truth. Carefully read labels and ingredients and avoid spending lots of money on “natural” products only to be disappointed.
Not drinking enough water on a daily basis. Yes  many of us would rather have a soda, anything but water. Big mistake! Our bodies are made up of 70% water and every cell in our body needs water . If you give your body the water it needs it definately pays you back with glowing  skin.
Oil and your skin are friends. Its often thought that applying oil on your skin leads to breakouts especially  if  you have oily skin. What happens is that applying drying cleansers and astringents products to our skin triggers the sebaceous glands to produce more oil and hence keeping our skins oily. Simply dab some oil on your face , this will dissolve the dirt and old oil and replace it with clean oil.
Expensive doesn’t always mean the best. I remember being in university and trying to save up money to be able to buy a certain expensive beauty cream that i had seen in a shop or that my friends were talking about. Only to buy it and realise that it wasnt all it was hyped up to be, sometimes even leaving my skin irritated.
Cellphones can affect our skin health. How ? Spending alot of time speaking on the phone can cause break outs on the chin and jaw area. If you notice the side of your face where you normally break out its probably the side where you hold your phone. Wipe you phone with antibacterial wipes regularly.
Rubbing eyes regularly. I am  guilty of doing this especially back in school after long hours of studying . This with time damages the thin skin around your eyes and can also lead to dark circles.
Washing your body and hair with really hot water. Your body and  hair dont get cleaner just because you wash them with hot water.  Very hot water drys out our skin and hair causing it to look unhealthy. Rather use warm water and pat dry .
Having no control when it comes to what we put in our bodies. I love chocolate, cheese, and everything else that my can cause my skin to break out. So i try to limit my intake of these products. The biggest change we can do for our skin is watch what we eat.
Not wearing sunscreen. As a rule of thumb, everyone needs to wear sunscreen regardless of skin tone. Apply moisturiser to  protect your skin from external elements like wind, air condition, strong heating.
Not Exercising. – Exercise will slow down and reverse the effects of aging, stress that cause are bound to affect the youthful glow that our skin has. Even a couple of squats everyday is a step in the right direction.
Missing out on your beauty sleep – Am sure you have all noticed the times you dont get your beauty sleep it shows on your face the next day. That is simply because your skin goes into repair mode when you sleep. Get seven to eight hours of beauty sleep tonight and you will see a difference.Picking  pimples. Growing up it was really hard for me to resist the urge to pick and press my pimples. I hated them and and i always wanted my skin spotless and pimple free, so i pressed them .Big Mistake. This caused alot of the spots and blemishes some of  which i am currently still trying to get rid of.Not sleeping on a satin pillowcase. This is not only harmful to your skin but also your hair. Satin pillows help to prevent wrinkles, hair loss and also split ends. They are really smooth so your hair doesnt easily get tangled. You should seriously consider getting yourself a satin pillow especially if you have curly,dry or damaged hair. It will make a difference.

Ladies make up does have a shelf life. Yes many of us are guilty of keeping our lipsticks, glosses and mascara for far too long. So then instead of enhancing our beauty becomes a breeding ground for bacteria that can cause irritations and breakouts. Follow below guidelines for make up shelf life:

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Sleeping with make up on – The skin cells regenerate and rejuvenate in the night as you sleep. So when your skin pores are clogged and suffocated with makeup the skin has no chance to breathe and regenerate itself.

Always holding hair in a tight ponytail – This puts alot of stress on the strands of your hair especially around the hairline causing it the hair to break.

When did you last wash your makeup brushes and sponges ? – It is important to clean , oil and condition your make up brushes inorder to get rid of oil, bacteria, dirt and old makeup that can clog pores and cause acne.

Washing your face before your hair – This causes the pores along the hairline to clog and can lead to acne especially if you have a sensitive skin.

Facials – Not only does this set you back a couple of euros but also if its not done well can cause your skin to break out. Make sure the the aesthetician you visit for facials is well trained so they can use the right products for your skin type .

Wearing too much or too little moisturizer clogs the pores and prevents the skin from breathing. Too much of anything is never good but at the same time do not under moisturise . Find a balance depending on your skin type and moisturise accordingly.

Switching routine/products without giving them a chance to work. Sometimes especially with acne breakouts you want your skin to clear so bad that you are ready to try anything and everything. It is important to choose a skin care routine or product that suits you and to stick to it for atleast a month inorder to know if its working or not.

Using harsh products to clean the face – Bar soaps may contain products that strip your delicate skin of the natural oils  l leaving it dry and flaky. Instead use a gentle cleanser that will not damage youe skin.

Removing eyelash extensions – You know those days when your eye lash extensions have stayed on too long and are now starting to grow out. If you do  attempt to pluck them off  be really careful as they are attached close to your natural eyelashes and you might end up losing your lashes in the process. Been there done that. Alternatively go to a professional to have this done.

Biting nails – I dont even remember when i started this habit , i was probably around 12 years. Its been so hard to break but finally my nails are growing out and am not biting them anymore. Not only do you introduce germs into your mouth but also have  short unsightly nails, torn cuticles and sometimes even infections .

Licking biting and chewing lips causes  chapped lips that are dry and sometimes even painful. Keep lips moisturised and avoid repeatedly licking them.

What beauty sins are you guilty of  commiting ? Please let me know in the comments below.