Sunday, 29 December 2013

Christmas Haul 2013 ♡

Hello everybody! I hope you all had a merry Christmas if you celebrate it (I'm not religious but I celebrate it for the commercial side and to treat family members and my friends don't shoot me I'm sorry)and if not, I hope you've been enjoying the time off school or work. Sadly I have mock exams in January so I can't relax too much, I did take Christmas day off though to watch Elf with my family, eat bacon sandwiches, open presents and end the day with burgers and an episode of a TV show of our choice each. My grandparents and one of my half sisters came over on Boxing Day. Anyway, I got some really cool stuff this year and I thought I'd show you what I was given, this isn't to brag but I enjoy seeing what other people got for Christmas and it makes for a more personal post :)

This is what I got in my stocking, opened at 8:45am thanks to my 13 year old brother (I would've woken up early anyway to be honest), I was going to take pictures of all the individual items but I thought that would take ages and bore you to tears. I would be lying if I said I hadn't already eaten the m&m's, I'm a bit scared to eat the Hello Kitty chocolates, they're like malteasers, I don't want to throw the box away so if I do eat them the box will probably be hoarded in my room. I was a bit disappointed to find that the Disney tissues were plain so now I'm scared to open them as well - I really am terrible I know.

This is probably the cutest present I received, not only is it a big hello kitty toy which would be cute enough but it is a microwave heatable thingamabobby too! I hardly ever use them any more but maybe I will now. It's such a lovely addition to my room because of the colours, my room is light pink and white on the ceiling so it matches the colour scheme perfectly :)

Another hello kitty toy! I actually got this in my stocking but I forgot to photograph it with the others and it's cute enough to deserve its own photo, whilst it looks a bit Ke$ha-fied, I think this is cute - I just really like hello kitty.

This is one of my best presents, an Eeyore onesie! This is really cute, I actually made a mental note to buy a Disney onesie in the new year (I had hoped that they would be reduced in the sales) but now I have one so I'll be okay for a while. My Mum said she thought this one was perfect for me, and I quite like it - it's very fluffy and warm and I should think I'll be spending the majority of 2014 in it.

If you've read my favourites posts from a while back, you'll know I really love the simple moisturiser and I have used the toner before but not the cleanser. These products will definitely come in handy, plus it comes with a bag to put the products in and my makeup bags tend to be too small so it's nice to know I can divide up my stuff :)

Usually at Christmas, me and my brother are given jelly belly jelly beans in our stockings and we did get some this year but we've also both been given this which is quite a cute addition for my room. I used to have something similar to this but with gum balls (Lizzie will remember, and she'll probably remember the event that happened with it that turned me off gum for life) but this is much nicer and I hopefully will never be turned off from jelly beans. It does come with a packet of jelly beans as well. You have to put money in though to get the jelly beans though, but I love this I think it will be a cute addition to my room.

I was elated when I saw I had gotten this! I had told my Mum a few times before how much I wanted to try soap and glory and she said she was going to get some for my birthday and she didn't but she got me other stuff so I had forgotten about it, then I get this for Christmas which has several full sized products! It includes Hand Food, Sugar Crush Body Wash, The Righteous Butter Body Butter, Peaches and Clean Deep Purifying Cleanser, Heel Genius, Butter Yourself Moisture Lotion, The Scrub of Your Life Body Buffer, Thick & Fast Super Volume Mascara, and Sexy Mother Pucker XL in Pink Out Loud. Such a nice selection and it also came with some free samples of Super Serum. I like how it came with a proper bag too which I can use for travelling in the future (not that I do a great deal of travel but it's nice to know it's there)

Anyone who knows me knows I am a hell of a DVD junkie, especially with Disney films - I am basically getting all the ones we have on videos which have been watched so many times and me and my Mum are worried they're not going to play any more. I also got a couple of studio Ghibli films which is great, see I love Disney so much that I even go for Disney's company in Japan. I was surprised to get the Little Mermaid because that's been quite expensive and I hadn't seen it in any of the 2 for 1 sales so my Mum specifically said "don't expect the little mermaid for Christmas this year", she didn't say how she got it and to be honest I don't mind. I'm glad I got the Hunger Games too because I never got to watch it in the cinema, I wanted to read the books first but I don't own the books so I might just have to watch the films. I have seen all of the films here except for The Rescuers Down Under, Billy Elliot, The Hunger Games, (not sure about Winnie the Pooh) and Kiki's Delivery Service so I'm looking forward to watching those!

A nice little makeup set from my Mother, called Glamour Gift Box, containing Extreme Length Extend Mascara in Black, High Shine Lip Gloss in Whisper (is whisper a colour now..??), Stay Perfect Eye Shadow in sheer brown, and Stay Precise Felt Tip Eyeliner in Black.These all sound neutral so I'm sure I'll get quite a lot of use out of everything in there, if it were bright coloured things I'd be worried because I've still got huge pallets from when I was about 12 or 13 when I used to wear a lot of eye shadow when given the chance and usually in bright colours and I cringe just remembering it. So I wouldn't want any more bright coloured things that I'd get no use out of.

These presents are only paired because they're what my brother gave me, it may look a little pathetic to you but I really like it because over the past couple of months I have been collecting hello kitty socks (sensing a theme yet?), tatty teddy socks and disney socks so this is just another one to add to the collection and I quite like the money box because it's a cute knick knack.

More DVDs hurray! One of my favourite shows from my childhood (early childhood) but then I found some episodes on youtube and watched them again quite a while ago, and when I saw a box set had been released either last year or this year I knew I wanted it so I put it on my Christmas list. For my birthday I got the Sabrina the Teenage Witch Boxset so I am building up my collection of 90s TV shows.

Would is be Christmas without one of these? I think we all know the answer. I finished these by the end of boxing day, not going to lie. I have no shame.. well actually I have a lot of shame.. moving swiftly onwards.

Another thing I had put on my birthday list and forgotten about! This is such a great gift because it contains so many Ben Folds/Ben Folds Five songs, it's sort of a 'best of' if you will. My Dad has a few Ben Folds piano books already but they have the scores for all of the instruments so they're a bit awkward for me to play from because I'm constantly having to turn the pages, my Dad is so good that he already knows it but this is great because the difficulty is the same, challenging but I'm willing to learn, but the score is just for piano and vocals so I won't have to turn the page as often. If you're interested, I've just started grade 8 piano and I got a merit in my grade 7 - I was pleasantly surprised, I absolutely love having new pieces to play so for a bit of fun on the side of my grade 8 pieces I now have some Ben Folds. If you don't know who he is, youtube him because he is such an amazing artist who doesn't get nearly enough credit.

This is a gift from my half sister which made me smile because, if you've been following me and don't know my name - my name is Bess, she saw this shop in Valencia called Bess and sent me a picture on Whatsapp of it and then she bought something there for me. I actually quite like the necklace as well, also a bit of chocolate is always good :)

I got these books from my grandparents and I've wanted to read the Bell Jar for quite a long time now, I've heard it can be quite triggering so I'm a bit worried about that but I'm still looking forward to reading it :)

More body butters! I really like this set because it's all fruity and I love sweet scents, it has body mists and body butters too which is great because I don't have many sprays so I usually don't smell of anything.

I also got a lava lamp but I keep forgetting to photograph it, and when I remember it it's turned off so it's just a big lump of wax haha sorry about that.

Thanks for reading, I know I wrote loads for each picture pretty much and probably bored you to tears because you just wanted to see the products. Again, I hope you all had a lovely Christmas or enjoyed having some time off to relax.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Recipe // Nigellissima Nutella Cheesecake ♡

Hello there! So me and my friend Ma'suma who doesn't have a blog (yet, I tried persuading her briefly) made a nutella cheesecake when we had a movie day/sleepover and I thought I'd post the recipe and go through the process of making it. This is a Nigella Lawson recipe, and we basically followed the recipe online but in case you want to see the process of making the cheesecake - keep reading.

What you will need:

  • 250g digestive biscuits
  • 75g soft unsalted butter/margerine
  • 400g jar of nutella (and a bit extra so scrapings of an old jar)
  • OPTIONAL - 100g chopped hazelnuts
  • 500g cream cheese (keep at room temperature)
  • 60g icing sugar

1. Break the digestive biscuits up, we did this using a plastic bag and a wooden spoon.

I had a lot of fun smashing the biscuits haha

Once you've finished smashing up the biscuits, it should look like this.
2. Get a tablespoon of nutella. We used the dried up scrapings from a jar I needed using up so we had to melt it. If you have soft nutella, you can skip the melting.

3. Melt the nutella with the butter, don't let the butter turn completely into liquid - you only want to soften the nutella and the butter.

4. Put the digestive biscuit mix in a bowl with the nutella and the butter, and mix it up until it resembles wet sand.

5. Grease the tin.

6. Pour the contents of the bowl into the tin and flatten it, this will form the base of the cheesecake. You will need to leave this in the fridge for about an hour, when an hour has passed just feel it to make sure it's quite hard.

7. When your base has hardened, put your cream cheese into a bowl.

8. This is optional but we thought it was a good idea, mix up your cream cheese with a hand mixer to make it a bit softer and easier to work with.

9. Add the nutella to the bowl.

10. Mix up the cream cheese and nutella with the hand mixer until all the cream cheese is mixed in.

11. Put the contents of the bowl into the tin on top of the base you've already made, try and smooth down the top as much as possible because the cheese cake will harden this way. After you've done that, place the tin in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours. It tasted great after 4 hours, don't get me wrong, but when we tried it again the next day when it was nearing 24 hours it tasted so much better. So if possible, leave it overnight.

12. Take out your cheesecake and do whatever you want with it! You could sprinkle hazelnuts over the top, we didn't do that but we put icing sugar on our slices. We left the actual cheesecake itself alone so whoever was eating it could decide what they wanted with it.

Hope you try this out for yourself, it was so good!
I'm not taking any credit for this recipe, all the credit goes to Nigella Lawson.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Music Monday #2

Hello there! So I've only done one music Monday post before, and I was going to make it a weekly thing for me but I didn't because I usually listen to the same songs for ages and then get into some new songs gradually but it's gotten to the point where I have completely new tracks that I'm listening to :)

1. Boy's Don't Cry - The Cure

This is a 'mainstream' song by The Cure, and I hadn't really listened to them before but I really love this song and I'm ashamed I didn't get into them sooner. The guitar part is reminiscent of The Smiths for me and the song in general sounds a bit like The Smiths (at least I think so) but it's a great song.

2.Wild World - Cat Stevens

I had heard this song ages ago but I've been listening to it basically on repeat at the moment, it reminds me a lot of skins (generation 1 if you don't know but you probably do) and I like watching the skins version too but the Cat Stevens one has a lot more heart, it was at this point I realised my music taste is basically the same as my parents (I'm a cool kid I know)

3. Hard out Here - Lily Allen

A while ago, Isabella and I did a vlog where we were featured singing this song. Lily Allen has made a comeback and I am so happy. She is so satirical and funny and that's why I like the song because it's done ironically, I am looking forward to hear more music from her because I missed her when she left the music scene.

4. Royals - Lorde

Okay another mainstream song, so let the hipsters shoot me. I like Lorde's style, it reminds me a bit of Lana Del Rey and this song is just a bit of fun. Also, my philosophy teacher recommended this song to our class and I don't recall anyone in my philosophy class really paying much attention but then she became really famous, my philosophy teachers are amazing just saying.

5. Howl's Moving Castle Theme

I don't know if it's a bit unorthodox to put in film music in a Music Monday post but I have been listening to this non-stop, and I've printed off the sheet music and I've been learning it on the piano because it's that beautiful. I absolutely love studio ghibli, and this film is so lovely. I'm slowly building up my studio ghibli DVD collection (cough cough Santa) but the music in all of the studio ghibli films is really lovely to be honest.

Thanks for reading, I didn't feel I should mention this but I've also been loving the Harry Potter soundtrack after doing the tours and watching the films :)

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Harry Potter Studios and What I Bought There ♡

Hello there! So I went to the Harry Potter studios in Leavesden on Friday 13th December 2013 (won't be saying 2013 for much longer), and it was absolutely magical (see what I did there), I took some clips and had originally filmed a haul but long story short it wouldn't upload so I've just got the clips put together and I have quite a lot of photos and what I bought - on with the show!

 The Harry Potter bus!
If you want to take the bus to the studios (which I recommend unless you're driving), it's £2 for a return ticket and £1.50 for a single. It picks you up from Watford Junction and comes about every 20 minutes, the journey takes roughly 12 minutes and they play a video on the bus so sit at the front! Me and my friends said right at the back to be together so we couldn't really hear the video but oh well..

These passports come with a child's ticket but all of my friends are adults, we had a really kind tour guide who saw we wanted them so she ran off and came back with a stack just for us! They basically have spaces on each page for you to imprint a pattern which you can find at different locations in the tour, it's just a nice little souvenir to have especially if you don't want to have to spend too much in the gift shop but want to take somethinghome!

Gryffindor Boys Dorm

The Mirror of Erised

Dumbledore's office
Me and Antoinette being Ron and Harry

Me and my boy

Again.. me and my boy
The knight bus, I apologise for the lighting - it was night time. Next time I go, I'm going in the day time just to get better photos but at night it was absolutely beautiful - night and hogwarts in the snow is a great combination.

The wand chooses the wizard Mr Potter! Click over to Isabella's page

When we all got back to Antoinette's, we watched all 8 movies back to back. Well, maybe I should say me and Antoinette watched all 8 movies back to back. Lizzie watched with her eyes closed.. I tried to take a picture of the golden snitch cake pops we had but it was really blurry and I didn't realise until they were gone. We also made cauldron cakes but they were a bit of a fail, and we bought chocolate frog moulds but we didn't use them in the end. We made butter beer too but we didn't follow the recipe and so I had a big blob of butter in mine which was.. great..


Time turner - £8.95
I really wanted one of these, I'm going to acquire a chain for it so I can wear it like a necklace but it's really cute. There are cheaper key rings, but they're still £5 - £10. It's a pricey store, I'll tell you that.
Chocolate Frog x2 - £7.95 each
Some pricey chocolate BUT you do get a wizard/witch card with each chocolate frog, the frogs aren't hollow so it's pure chocolate, and it's huge. The cards are also sort of holographic, I got Salazar Slytherin and Rowena Ravenclaw. Apparently you can only get the house founders which was disappointing, I was hoping I'd get Godric Gryffindor because house pride!
Snape Postcard - 95p
One of the cheaper things in the store, you can buy a pack of 10 for £8.95 but spending nearly a tenner on postcards felt a lot so I just got a postcard of one of my favourite characters. They didn't have one with Draco on, I'm guessing they were sold out or non-existent, otherwise I would've gotten one with Draco on it.
Hedwig backpack - £29.95
A pricey backpack (sorry I'm overusing that word now). I wanted a Hedwig plush toy which from what I read online would be about £22.95, I was prepared for that, but they only had Hedwig puppets and the backpack looked cute so I got that instead. They have plush toys of loads of the animals, like Scabbers, Fawkes, Aragog, random owls, Crookshanks, pygmy puffs..

Harry Potter t-shirt - £15
I'm glad I got a tourist type t-shirt because I don't have any Harry Potter shirts and this has most of the characters on (some were under my skirt such as Draco..) and I wore this to school on the following Tuesday (I wasn't emotionally ready for school on the Monday) and so it sparked conversation with people asking how the tour was, which was nice, I'm still not emotionally ready to upload all the photos to facebook (Facebook isn't ready either as it won't let me do it)

That's everything I bought, hoped you enjoyed the post!