Wednesday, 28 November 2012

My Ultimate Top 10 Christmas Films Ever!!

I have composed a list of my top 10 Xmas films. Most of them I watch all the time at this time of year. They are great to stick on while doing lots of festive duties like decorating, wrapping presents etc.

Ho Ho Ho Here we go...


1.The Santa Clause (1994)


Ahhh Tim Allen! What a man, what a Santa! This is a Xmas must watch movie. It is very family friendly and has lots of magic and immagination in it. Really fun.

Perfect for: Watching on Xmas morning.


2.Four Christmases (2008)


I have seen this so many times and it never gets boring. It even saved me from boredom as I watched it on my laptop after getting stuck on the M1 for 3 hours in snow last Xmas.

It has some great actors in it from Mary Steenburgen to Robert Duvall. The leads; Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon are fantastic comedy actors and are so funny.  This really is a must watch if you haven't seen it yet.

Perfect for: Watching by yourself on a cold winter night.


3. Elf (2003)




This film is super special. It is suitable for all the family from babies to grand parents. There is something in it for everyone. It is very funny and sweet at the same time. Sure to be a Christmas Classic. I have watched this so many times and it is another one that doesn't get boring.



Perfect for: Watching with the whole family after dinner on Xmas Day

4.Home alone 2 (1992)



This is just a Christmas classic and had to be in here. I love it. Who doesn't? Macully Culkin is adorable.  Of all the Home Alone films, this is definitely my favourite. I think because it is set in New York and I simply adore Xmas in New York!

Perfect for: Watching while you wrap your presents

5. National Lampoons Christmas Vacation (1989)





OMG this is amazing.  I watch this with my mum on Xmas eve and we always chuckle at poor old Clark. It has the lights, the music, the Xmas cheer.  Perhaps more suitable for the adults but I am sure the children would enjoy it too.


Perfect for: Watching to get in to the Xmas spirit.

6.Miracle on 34th Street (1994)


This is a film I have been watching for years.  A very cheesy Xmas film.  It is great! The little girl in it is so cute and it has all the qualities a festive film needs: Romance, love, warmth, snow, music, decorations.

Perfect for: Watching with the girls on a night in with a bottle of wine.


7. Santa Claus the Movie (1985)




I remember one Xmas eve when I was 4, I was watching this on tv when the delivery men came with our new tv and I wouldn't let them set up the new tv until it had finished... I watched it every Xmas eve for years. It really is a classic!


Perfect for: watching with your young neices, nephews, kids.



8.It's a Wonderful Life (1946)


believe it or not, being as festive as I am, I only watched this for the first time about a month ago.  It really is a great film. For those who aren't keen on black & white you really don't notice it after a while.  A must watch for any Xmas lovers.  And it also has a great message.

Perfect for: Watching with the whole family on Xmas Eve.


9. Bad Santa (2003)

This one is very funny. Definitely just for the adults though. A great film with great acting. Not your average Christmas film although it does have the music and decorations featured in it there is also a lot of swearing and alcohol consumption.


Perfect for: Watching with your adult brothers/sisters.



10. The Polar Express (2004)


Such a cute film! I love this. Very magical. Has a lovely story and message.



Perfect for: Watching with the whole family on Boxing day.


Lots and love with festive kisses, Ashly xxx

Saturday, 24 November 2012

REVIEW - FAMOUS DAVE'S FAKE TAN MOUSSE - yes or no?

Another day another fake tanner. Now this one I was excited about as I had been eager to try it for quite a while.

Famous Dave's Fake Tan Mousse has been talked about a lot in magazines and the views have been favourable. So lets see what it is really like...

The bottle is nothing exciting. A little bit like St Tropez packaging.

Famous Dave's
So lets take a look at the claims...

Famous Dave's Claims (we will come back to these later)

  • Creates a golden tan without the need for age-robbing sun or tanning bed exposure
  • Dries to the touch almost immediately as it is applied to the skin
  • Gives you an instant, streak-free and non-sticky tan that can last up to 7 days
  • This professional tanning formula is developed using a blend of natural ingredients and antioxidants
  • Compliments your existing tan by deepening and evening out your skin tones
  • Contains a guide colour to ensure even application
  • Paraben-free
  • Not tested on animals; no animal-derived ingredients
  • Can be used all year round to give the most natural looking tan you will ever have from a bottle!

The application
  

After bathing and exfoliating, I was ready to apply. I applied using this glove I got previously. When using a mit I tend to wear gloves underneath as I find that tanner can go through the mit and get my hands all stained.

Before Applying

The guide colour is absolutely gross. A horrible green... this is not looking good so far!



It gets worse when the green is applied to my skin, I am not impressed with this look at all.  No chance of going out the house after applying.

Straight after applying (notice the green top right)

There deffinitely is a smell, quite sweet. Not too much fake tan like or chemically though.

So I began applying starting with my face and working my way down to my feet as I usually do. I applied some moisturiser to my hands as I find this stops the tanner from developing too darkly on my hands.

My first impression was that on my face it looked green, pale and awful. I didn't think it would be dark enough when it developed as there really wasn't much of a tan colour at all.

The mitt is the only way to go when applying this one, I tried it with just the gloves and it didn't blend in at all.

It was quite sticky 10 minutes later as I got dressed for bed. Although the green was begining to fade and a very light brown was developing, things are looking up!
8 hours later...

Lets see how it did 

I woke up in the morning expecting not to look brown but I actually did. In fact it was a good job I added the moisturiser to my hands first as they would have been way too dark. After showering I am still pleased with the colour (in other words it didn't all run off). It is a lovely golden brown. However, It is not very even at all. My chest is a totally different colour to my arms, not great!


Final result

Day 2 and it just doesn't look great. Will see how it fares after another day or 2.
Day 4 well this is the total limit for Dave's it is begining to flake off and really not looking good especially on my hands, very dry and almost scally.  Not great!


Day 7 I haven't reapplied and it is looking bad. My legs are pretty cracked and scally... yuk feel like puking.



After 7 days


So lets review the claims
 

  • Creates a golden tan without the need for age-robbing sun or tanning bed exposure - Does create a golden (ish) tan 
  • Dries to the touch almost immediately as it is applied to the skin - 30 minutes later and still sticky!

  • Gives you an instant, streak-free and non-sticky tan that can last up to 7 days - very ambiguous! that 'can' last 'up to 7 days'. This definitely did not last 7 days!!

  • This professional tanning formula is developed using a blend of natural ingredients and antioxidants - no comment

  • Compliments your existing tan by deepening and evening out your skin tones - there was nothing even about my skin tone after applying thats for sure.

  • Contains a guide colour to ensure even application - A gross green one
  • Paraben-free - well this is a positive
  • Not tested on animals; no animal-derived ingredients - very impressed with this one.

  • Can be used all year round to give the most natural looking tan you will ever have from a bottle! - well I don't agree that it is the most natural ever from a bottle

Summary  


before left - After right

Overall I am not very impressed. Although I like the colour and that it doesn't all run off after showering.


I just don't think it is worth all the hassle for 2-3 good days of tan.
And the nail in the coffin is that it cracks and is difficult to buff off... this always puts me off using a tan again and needless to say I will not be buying another bottle!

4/10


Will you be trying this tanner? Have you tried Famous Dave's and had a different result?

Don't forget you can follow me on

Thursday, 22 November 2012

A little girls freedom to choose... What do you think?

I wanted to share something Jada Pinkett Smith posted on her facebook wall, which I found so incredibly touching...


Willow Smith & Jada Pinkett Smih
Urgh so gorgeous!


**A letter to a friend...

This subject is old but I have never answered it in its entirety. And even with this post it will remain incomplete.

The question why I would LET Willow cut her hair. First the LET must be challenged. This is a world where women,girls are constantly reminded that they don't belong to themselves; that their bodies are not their own, nor their power or self determination. I made a promise to endow my little girl with the power to always know that her body, spirit and her mind are HER domain. Willow cut her hair because her beauty, her value, her worth is not measured by the length of her hair. It's also a statement that claims that even little girls have the RIGHT to own themselves and should not be a slave to even their mother's deepest insecurities, hopes and desires. Even little girls should not be a slave to the preconceived ideas of what a culture believes a little girl should be. More to come. Another day.

J
**


When I read this I cried. I felt so strongly that this is right. 
That We should be empowering young girls to believe that their body and minds belong to themselves.

That they are powerful and precious, that they have value and are special no matter what colour their hair.

In a world where women are a slave to looking perfect, where girls as young as 6 or 7 have eating disorders. We need to challenge the views set upon these little girls and us by society or perhaps even their mothers in some instances.

Then maybe just maybe we as women will allow our unique qualities to shine. We wont be afraid of what everyone thinks of us and indeed we wont be trying to please others at the expense of ourselves.

Maybe the world will be a more creative place?

Just an amazing statement from Jada and I salute her!

What do you all think, is she right? Should we allow our little girls the freedom to make their own choices?

Do you stop yourself from cutting your hair/doing what you want to do for fear of what others will think?

Much love and happiness Ashly xxx




Thursday, 15 November 2012

My Top Tips to Navigating a Discount Shop & Getting the Best Bargains!!

I love discount shops from TK Maxx and the pound store to Outlet Centres like Christian Dior and Burberry. When discussing this with friends there is always and overwhelming moan of I can't be bothered, I can never find anything...

So I decided to do this blog to give an insight in to how I get the most out of 'outlet and bargain' shopping...

★ Time

Make sure you have pleeeenty of time. Don't expect to go in there for 5 minutes, get the best stuff and be out. Most of the time it is busy so allow for extra time to navigate around other shoppers. If I go there when I am in a hurry I just get annoyed. I like to browse and have a really good search. So park your car somewhere you don't have to worry about rushing back to it.


 Travel Light

Don't take too much stuff in to the shop with you. Carry the bare minimum. If possible only your phone and your bank card, put them somewhere safe like in a zip trouser pocket.  A jacket isn't a good idea.. where will you put it if you need to try anything on? It may get too hot if it is busy so dress light too! The lighter the better.

 Budget

Stick to a budget. If I don't have one I get carried away very easily and end up spending too much then it's not really a bargain. So if I have something in mind like Xmas decoration for example I will give myself a £30 budget. Or if I am going in for a couple of sets of underwear I will say £40. 

 Have a list

It is so easy to waste money when bargain shopping. Just because something is reduced or has a red sticker you pick it up, buy it then realise you don't need it at all. So make a list on paper, your phone or even just in your head.  What is it that you need? Try to be specific. If you need shoes what type; black heels, flat boots? And stick to only looking for what you need.

So with all this in mind I popped out to TK Maxx this evening...

My List
1.Something Christmassy I can put out in my home now (a candle or wreath?)- £12
2.Moisturising face cream - £8

Total Budget
£20

An hour later here is what I came out with:


Moisturiser, fake tan, Xmas dish towels

Famous Dave's Tanner

Skin Lab Lift & Firm Daily Moisturiser

Looks lovely and creamy

How cute are these?

How do you think they look?


Results
2 x Christmas themed dish towels - £3.99
Famous Dave's fake tanner        - £5 (rrp £27.99)
Skin Lab Moisturiser             - £4 (rrp £12)
TOTAL £12.99
Savings  £30.99

I am really pleased with everything I bought. Ok I didn't quite stick to my list but I have wanted to try Famous Dave's tanner for a while and at £5 I couldn't resist.

How do you think I did? Let me know your top bargain shopping tips!!

Lots of Love Ashly xxx


Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The Celebrity Secret to being Healthy, Skinny, Happy!

I recently read a very interesting post by Retro-Chick here and it really got me thinking.

Why are we all so obsessed with other peoples issues and flaws(in this case their body weight) instead of accepting our own?

Me
I have been thin my whole life. My mother is very thin, her mum is the same way. Yet I have struggled most of my teenage/adult life with others commenting negativity about my appearance.

"What do you eat" "you can't be that slim naturally" "your boobs must be fake" "you are too slim" "you need to eat more".... and the list goes on. All of these comments really upset me and made me think that there was in fact something wrong with the way I looked. Maybe I shouldn't look this way?

It was like they thought I had some huge secret and just wasn't telling... I didn't!

In my experience the people who commented on my appearance seemed to think it was ok to do so because I was slim, yet they wouldn't be saying "you are too fat", "you need to eat less" if it was the other way around. Maybe they wouldn't want to know the secret to being over weight?

I, like any woman, have struggled with who I am and the way I look which includes issues with my weight. Most of these have been linked to how I feel inside and not to do with wanting to be thinner. In fact I have always struggled to put on weight.


But there is a bigger issue here for me...

Because of the way I look people assume I am happy. There have been so many times in my life when I have felt completely the opposite but because of my appearance people struggle to accept that. I have been crying out for help and support yet it has gone unnoticed.

I have gone the other way and stopped wearing make up, stopped doing my hair and wearing nice clothes. Just for people to see how I really felt inside.  I realise this is the wrong thing to do. But when I am unhappy I feel like a fraud all dressed up. And I just want to hide and for nobody to notice me.

Now I find it easier to ask for help when I feel down but even when I am at my lowest, I still feel this huge pressure to pretend my life is perfect when I know it is not. So Why?

The secret
I think part of the problem is the image that celebrities promote about this 'secret'.  This huge 'secret' to health, success, beauty, youth and happiness. Something that makes them special and different, almost like they are super natural...

It keeps a divide between them and the rest of the world.

So do you want to know what this huge secret is?

Drum roll...

The secret is... 

there is no secret!

How annoying is it when you read about a celebrity who was 2 stone heavier last year protesting they eat what they want and haven't been on a diet. You are like 'ok whats their secret?'. But of course it is rubbish. In fact if they told the truth don't you think we would all be a little clearer on reality? Instead we believe that there is some massive secret to being slim or being healthy and because we don't know what it is we aren't as special or as great as them.

Let me tell you something; most celebrities have an abundance of help from chefs to make up artists, dieticians, yoga teachers, beauticians, agents, pr and the list goes on. There is probably more effort put in to their 'image' as there is to their actual work. All to give off this impression of perfection. I don't blame them or anybody else. This is the machine that has been created, it keeps the money coming in, it creates this divide between the 'celebrity world' and the rest of us. Making them appear different, special. And don't we all want to be seen as special?

There seems to be this huge fear that if we all knew that Celebs and movie stars are just the same as you and me, maybe we wouldn't be so interested in their lives. The industry goes to huge lengths to keep 'this secret'.

God forbid we find out that our favourite Hollywood hottie is not perfect!

Imagine that... there are people paid millions of pounds to hide the celebrities flaws; their affairs, their gambling addiction, their drink driving convictions, their father in prison, their eating disorder, their diet, their 6th toe, What ever it may be.

But the truth is we are all the same. None of us are perfect, we are all flawed! No matter how much money is spent concealing them, they are there and always will be..

Our flaws are what make us real, are what make us interesting and are what make us, us!

So lets embrace our flaws. Lets sing from the roof top about our spots, our love handles, our obsessions, our secrets, our hopes, our dreams, our truth!

Maybe if we do this we won't feel so much pressure and stress to appear perfect...

I know it isn't easy, in fact it is surprisingly difficult to just admit... I am flawed! But there it is people... the truth and do you know what? I feel so much better for saying it :-)

Love and happiness

Ashly xxxxxx

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

My Latest Buys - Thigh High boots, make up, clothes!!

I wanted to tell you all what I have been buying recently.  I am trying to not buy anything else this month as I am saving for a new car but I have treated myself to a few new things... :-)

Make up

I was looking for a lovely deep plum or purple lipstick and spent some time in boots trying out lots. My hand was literally covered by the time I had finished. In the end I found the perfect shade by L'oreal.  It has a slight sparkle - perfect for this time of year!

I was so sick of wearing the same shades of eyeshadow and was desperate to get some new winter textures and colours. I have always loved Bourjois eyeshadow since I first started buying make up and they just happen to have a whole host of gorgeous colours. I decided on 6 and I love them!

Only 5 here as I missed one out!

I love the glitter in the purple. It is still a deep colour, unlike a lot of glittery eyeshadows, and the glitter is quite subtle.  The green is amazing, I wear it as liner and it stays put all day. Such a beautiful shade.

They are also fab because they have a mirror in the lid so perfect for quick touch ups!

And they are buy 1 get 2nd half price in Superdrug!

Clothes and Shoes

I have been looking for a flat pair of over the knee boots. I think they look fab with coated jeans, really flattering.

But I came across these absolutely amazing Camilla Skovguard boots and fell in love with them. They are not flat but wedges so they are still quite casual.

I think the shade is also quite casual yet classic. The suede is just divine.

I simply adore them and they are quite comfortable.








I was also desperate for some new jumpers. I always think I have loads so I don't tend to buy them when I see them but I actually didn't have many that I could comfortably wear under leather jackets.

So I picked up these beauties...


Deep Green Polo Neck, Crimson asymmetric zip back jumper, burgundy v-neck
I love the colours. Lovely deep shades. Much like the eyeshadows actually... I am seeing a theme here which is good, at least I will match.  I got them in larger sizes (12-14) as I like them to be quite over sized.  Wearing them with skinny jeans looks fab!


Current Elliott Combat | Mother Black Glimmer | J Brand Maverick Wine

I also got some new trousers to add to my winter wardrobe. Of course I had to get a pair of the coated glimmer jeans by Mother. I have had my eye on these for a few months and am delighted to finally have them.  These give quite a lot so I got them in a smaller size than usual and they have stretched quite a bit already.

Another pair of trousers I have picked up this month are the delightful Maverick's in vintage wine by J Brand. These jeans are huge with celebs and I can see why, they are lovely. Again the colour is a deep rich winter tone which I adore. I like the fit of the Maverick and think they are really flattering. They are quite short in length for me but I wear boots over the top so you can't tell and they are soooo comfortable.

I also got the Current Elliot Combat trousers which are super comfortable and a nice length. They come up really big so I got a size 24. I have worn them twice and they haven't given much and really kept their tight stretch. They look great with little leopard print ballet flats and a cream knitted jumper. So cosy and autumnal!!

For next month I have my eye on some new fur, a Simeon Farrar Tartan Shawl and some more coated jeans.


Friday, 9 November 2012

My top 5 tips on getting throught a break up!

Breaking up can be one of the hardest times in our lives.  It is something that most of us have been through and it can be tough... very tough!!

There can be times when you may feel scared, sad, angry, and lonely - Especially if you were use to being with somebody most of the time.

So I have composed a little list of tips which have helped me through tough times... And perhaps maybe will help you too :-)

5. Space
You need space to yourself to process what has happened.  Some people need a little some people need a lot. Make sure those around you are respecting your need for space. Sometimes friends or family can get annoyed if they are use to seeing you at certain times or on certain days and suddenly you don't want to go or don't want to talk.  But try not to worry about pleasing other people at this time. It is very important that when you need space you take it. Hopefully those around you will respect your choices and support you but not everybody will understand what is going on with you. Remember people aren't mind readers so getting annoyed at your sister/mum/bff because you are upset and they aren't there for you maybe a little hint to let them know you are feeling down will do the trick.

Going for a walk in a quiet spot is a great way to get space and reflect. Try turning off your phone for 15 minutes, take that time to yourself to just be present and at peace. Or even try yoga (this has been a life saver for me).


4. Support
It is very helpful to have a good support system around you. This can be a very tough time for you and it can be difficult to get through it all on your own.  Whether it be friends, family, a councellor. Having somebody to talk to can help you process your thoughts and feelings.  Even a short text to let somebody know you are feeling down can make you feel less alone and more supported.


3. Stay Away
Perhaps try to keep away from stalking your ex on facebook. Looking at photos, seeing what they are up to, who they are hanging out with could be detrimental to you.  I can't think of a time when a friend has told me about doing this and felt good or happy about it.  Best to stay away and concentrate on yourself and what you are up to rather than somebody else.


2. Listen and be kind
Listen to yourself. What are your body and emotions telling you. Do you need space, do you need a good girly night in, a massage? It can be difficult to work out what you need at certain times but if you are suddenly feeling angry or sad over what appears small stop for a moment, take some deep breaths and ask yourself what is going on with me, what is it that I need?  It could be something as simple as a manicure or to sit with a book for 20 minutes and zone out. But be kind to yourself, give yourself a break now and again. Treat yourself to a massage or a facial.  Every girl likes to be pampered and now, especially, you deserve it!


1. Time and Patience
Ultimately as the saying goes time is a healer. I believe this is thoroughly true. While the memories and feelings may remain, they can change and the pain you once felt upon reflection may seem completely different 6 months to a year later.  Allow yourself this time to heal. It can take a long time so be patient with yourself. It is a process. I know it can be frustrating feeling all these wild emotions but things will get easier. It can be up and down and may be a long road but you can get through it, millions of ladies all over the world are too feeling the effects of a break up so lets all get together and give ourselves and each other the love and support we need!!

All opinions are my own based on my own experiences. I am not an expert, I am not a psychologist just a girl who has been through heart break.

If you feel very bad or like you can't cope perhaps seek help from your doctor or see any of the links below

Much Love and happiness, Ashly x

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

In love with Muubaa - Style Fabulous!

There is an amazing leather brand rising to the top based right here in London.... MUUBAA! And I am in Love... 

The beautiful shades of taupe, grey, Cyan, the cherry reds... just delightful, warm and wonderful!

But it is not only the colours that I love. The fit and style of the jackets is unsurpassable. They are stylish, sexy and Chic.

Just admire the looks they have created below:
 

Sooo Luxurious!!!


As we all know layering is in this season, so these jackets are perfect to create an amazing layered outfit. Add furs to complete the look! 

My Muubaa Jackets 

Jacket: Muubaa Cortez Biker in Dark Clouds | Scarf: Beck Sondergaard



Jacket: Muubaa | Cardigan: Minnie Rose | Jumper: Primark

I have a few I am selling on my ebay page as well as some Mubbaa Bags and Muubaa Leather trousers so check them out if you want to grab some Muubaa at a discount!!





Lots of Love Ashly xxx