I hate Christmas shopping. I never know what to buy for friends & family because generally, we don’t need anything or if we did, we’d buy it ourselves. If you are anything like me, you finally decide to buy one main present after spending hours online & window shopping but then want to buy little things as stocking fillers or try to figure out what to get someone as a Secret Santa at School/Uni/Work. That is when Prezzybox came to the rescue with their collection of Christmas Gifts. I browsed their website and was instantly drawn to the Soldier Egg Cup & Toast Cutter and Tude beams gifts. The big kid in me was ecstatic!

Soldier Egg Cup & Toast Cutter (RRP £6.95)
Who never got the ultimate all time favourite of boiled eggs and soldiers as a kid? When I was young, that was one of my favourite breakfasts I could ever have. I loved dipping the bread into the runny yolk & then fishing out the egg with my little teaspoon. Fastforward to me now being 29, I still love it. I can’t get my mom to make me little soldiers anymore (she’d tell me to get lost & do it myself!) so this is when the Soldier Egg Cup & Toast Cutter made all my childhood memories come alive again, this time even better!

I boiled my eggs for 3 minutes (after the water started boiling) to make them just the way I like them, while they were boiling away, made my toast. Once my eggs were ready, I popped one into the Soldier Egg Cup, put it’s little hat on to keep warm & then cut my toast into little soldier shapes using the cutter. AMAZING. I swear boiled eggs & soldiers tastes so much better when the toast is actually in the shape of soldiers LOL 😀

Tude Beams (RRP £9.95)
Designed with different characters in mind, I was sent LOAF. Makes sense really, I’m a couch potato when I get the chance. Tude Beams are a new way to enjoy mood lighting. When you press the button or even when music is playing, the characters change colours from blue, white, red, green, purple and flashing white strobe lights. You can even set it to just flash the colours instead of the strobe lighting for those with health issues. I love the brightness of the colours the character shows, my favourite being the purple & blue. When music is playing & the lights change sequence, it does feel like they are dancing along. The characters make great gifts for a child as a night light or as an adult to try relax them in a darkened room. I love mine. I will eventually give it to my baby nephew for his bedroom when he is old enough to actually live in his little bedroom because I think kids would get more enjoyment out of it.

I love Prezzybox because they showcase a range of gifts that you generally would never have thought about (or even heard about!), bring out the kid in you all over again & are reasonably priced. If you are looking for something different, even if not for the Christmas season, then take a look at their website.

One of my favourite bloggers Elizabeth over at Bridal Musings is giving her readers the opportunity to win an exclusive prize in association with The Charing Cross Hotel.

Elizabeth says on her blog:

The Charing Cross Hotel is a truly luxurious hotel right in the heart of London. I had the pleasure of visiting the hotel for a blogger’s event recently and I think it would make a fabulous city wedding venue with it’s period features, boutique touches, sweeping staircases, beautiful ballroom and top class catering team.

It’s also the perfect place for an indulgent spot of girly afternoon tea.

Classic Afternoon Tea For Two includes:

~ Selection of sandwiches

~ Assortment of afternoon tea pastries and cakes

~ Freshly baked scones with fruit preserves and clotted Devonshire cream

~ Freshly brewed leaf tea or herbal infusions

To enter, all you need to do is head over to her blog, leave a comment explaining who you’d like to share afternoon tea with and why and then ‘like’ the Bridal Musings Facebook page.

Elizabeth will choose the winner at random and will be announced on the Bridal Musings Facebook page on Sunday 18th December 2011.

So if you are in or around London & would like to be in with a chance of winning a great prize which could be given as a Christmas present, what are you waiting for? DO IT!

I *heart* these girls ever since first spotting them on YouTube last year. So far, they have done 2 videos singing some of the 90’s Greatest R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (with a little Spice Girls thrown in for good measure!). I hope they keep doing more of these 90’s Medleys because addicted is an understatement.

Check them out & sing along! <3

Oh Mateo! I cannot get enough of this guy, if you haven’t already guessed by my previous posts about him.. here & here. He’s done it again covering Rihanna’s “We Found Love” as the first instalment as part of his “Stripped Cover Series”, putting his own twist on it turning the dance track into a smooth soulful r&b hit.

Like what you hear? Mateo’s Love & Stadiums II has been recently released on iTunes featuring “Say It’s So” featuring Alicia Keys. Grab a copy! Complete & utter eargasm <3

My sister in law Lisa gave birth to my little nephew Oliver yesterday morning at 12:44am weighing 5lbs 10.5oz (2.55kg). He is such a little cutie. Adorable to the max! It is the first baby for my brother Andrew & Lisa after they got married last year. He was born via emergency c-section after the baby was in distress but everything is all okay now. Oliver is really tiny though, which you can see from the photos below & of him grabbing my mom’s finger! When I held him, it was like I was carrying a bottle of juice he was that light! Normal sized newborn baby clothes are too big for him so my mom & I had to go out yesterday afternoon to get “tiny” baby clothes that would fit him. Even nappies/diapers are a nightmare to find, he’s a Size 0/1 but hopefully he will start to grow into all the clothes that were bought for him.

He’s going to be so spoilt.

Those of you who follow me on twitter knew of my ongoing saga of trying to find a new digital camera. Thankfully, 3 weeks later, I decided to bite the bullet and purchase a digital camera that I saw from the very start which impressed me. After buying the camera from Currys, I was approached asking if I’d like to review their website for them, so I thought… why not! I am after all a consumer. I buy from that store, I’m a recent buyer & I’m as good as any person to show my experiences on using the website. I purchased the PANASONIC Lumix DMC-FZ45 Hybrid Super Zoom Digital Camera & it’s love at first snap.

I’ve decided to jazz things up a little & made a video post showing a run through of the website from my eyes showcasing the best digital cameras, the cheap cameras, compact digital cameras to the best compact camera with the joys of listening to my voice. I am pretty exhausted after getting up at 5:30am all week, so sorry if I make you fall asleep, it’s not intentional 😀

So in summary, I loved how detailed the website was in regards to the amount of information that is given per camera. I love how you can narrow your searches down quickly & easily, also viewing other cameras that people have viewed alongside the one you are currently viewing giving you other options within the same price range. I had hoped that the website would have shown more photographs of the actual digital cameras, maybe a 360 degree angle video image so you can see how big the camera is, the buttons etc, but so you have a better idea in your head what you will be receiving.

I loved the fact that the reviews given are very well laid out, they are from confirmed buyers of the camera who give open & honest reviews based on their experiences with the camera and give marks on a variety of different aspects. Another feature which is great is being able to ask a buyer how they find the camera, it’s one thing reading all the specs, but being able to ask someone who bought the camera how they find it & put it to use is an amazing feature.

One thing I didn’t like was that I had problems trying to compare different brands of cameras, I may have been doing something wrong but I couldn’t figure out how to compare a Nikon Camera to the Camera I later ended up buying. Maybe a complete n00b, but every time I clicked the little button and then went to another camera, it reset my selection making it impossible for me. That is a feature that I’d like to see improved (or discussed in more detail on how to use if it exists!).

When doing the screen recording & demoing the check out cart, I would have liked to been told when stock is likely to be back in store, a form or something to ask when it would be next in store, sign up on a waiting list for the product or be notified when it is next in stock which websites like Amazon do.

Overall, my experience as a consumer with Currys was great. My camera was shipped on Next Day Delivery & I haven’t regretted my purchase one bit, well…. maybe the fact I haven’t been able to go out & about with it as much as I’d like due to work and crazy weather conditions!

I have this habit of making sure everything I wear is color co-ordinated. I hate wearing clothes that do not match. A pet hate of mine is seeing other people wearing mismatched clothing. I annoy my mother if I see her wearing clothes that for me, do not match. I’m pretty sure I annoy others too! A slight OCD? Possibly!

I was recently looking for something to wear for New Years Eve & came across Steffen Schraut Designs. I fell in love this his entire collection, especially the red & black dresses. I’m not the type of girl who would normally wear dresses, except when going to a wedding, like I did when my brother got married last year and one of my closest friends. I wore a Red, Black & White dress to my friends wedding & fell in love with the design & colours matched together. I haven’t really needed to wear a dress since. I’m not a huge fan of my legs so like hiding behind trousers. But every so often, I spot dresses which could tempt me….

Black Apilado Beaded Sleeve Tunic Dress and Lipstick La Vida Color Block Dress are drop dead gorgeous!

But a dress cannot be truly perfect until you match a great pair of shoes. What shoes? Going with the Red & Black theme… Christian Louboutin of course! In particular, Bibi 140mm. To. Die. For.

Now all that’s left is for me to lose weight so I don’t look like an elephant in a dress.

Heh. I’m on a mission.

Working in IT & Coffee are a natural partnership. I can sit at my desk at work, drink over 6 cups a day then go home and have some more. I crave coffee, I want coffee, I love coffee and I find people who don’t, strange. I was recently sent 250g of Guatemala Finca Santa Clara Genuine Antigua Coffee from Kopi who are a monthly gourmet coffee company & spent an entire evening drinking an obscene amount of coffee within a brink of overdosing, enjoying every last mouthful 😀

Kopi love coffee. Our premium bean habit warms us up, wakes us up and inspires us to shake things up. Too long we’ve put up with one-size-fits-all coffee from supermarkets and only danced around posher brews. Until now.

Kopi are dedicated to bringing you outstanding single-estate coffees from around the world. Beautiful, freshly-roasted brews you won’t find in the usual places – delivered straight to your doorstep, once a month.

We also share our insider knowledge on how to get the best out of your coffee – how to make it, how to enjoy its perkily unique characteristics – and reveal some of the remarkable stories behind each one. All for the price of two grande lattes and a banana muffin.

Guatemala Finca Santa Clara Genuine Antigua Coffee was their October blend which is described as “a lovely full body, filling the mouth with a generous, lingering velvetiness & prized for its pronounced, well balanced chocolatey/spicy acidity”. One thing I love about Kopi is that you can learn all about the coffee you are drinking. The website explains where the coffee originates from, the history behind it, how it is prepared and processed which is something you generally wouldn’t expect to find.

So the tasting began. I got my cafetière, put 4 scoops of freshly grounded coffee beans into it, topped it all up with water & let it settle for a few minutes before pushing the plunger down. I poured a cup, added a tiny bit of milk & waited. The first thing that hit me was the smell of the coffee. It was amazing. One of my favourite things ever is the smell of fresh coffee. I took a sip & as the coffee was described, it was velvety & very very drinkable. I poured over 8 cups of the coffee in the end & kept wanting more. Addicted? Yes. I’ve never tried Guatemalan coffee before and probably would never have if it wasn’t introduced to me by Kopi.

I love the idea of Kopi. What better way of being introduced to a variety of different coffees from all over the world by being sent a surprise 250g package monthly along with a little booklet describing it in detail? Kopi have a team of dedicated “professional coffee gurus” (I so want that job!) who have close relationships with the world’s best coffee regions and farmers. The coffee they select, from over 80 countries worldwide, is not available at your local supermarket so you’ve probably never been introduced to it before, making it extremely special.

Our focus is obsessively on unearthing outstanding original coffees – well-farmed top quality beans that have an amazing aroma, taste and a strong story. They could be from award- winning single estates or simple small co-operative farms – wherever the best beans are at that time of year.

Kopi is a monthly subscription service & subscriptions start at £9 a month for a 250g bag of coffee, you can choose between grounded or beans depending on your preference. Your coffee is posted to you around the 14th of every month, you can cancel your subscription at any time if you are not happy & you can even gift a subscription of coffee to someone, an amazing gift for a coffee addict in your life!

Last night I attended the Press & Blogger Private Screening of 50/50 at Cineworld in Glasgow. Before going to see the movie, I checked out the trailer online and was left wondering whether or not I actually wanted to go see the movie. The trailer didn’t scream WOW to me but after seeing the movie, I’m glad I went. Moral of what I learnt? Never fully judge a movie by it’s trailer.

Inspired by a true story, 50/50 is the story of a young man who turns a devastating illness into a unique opportunity to experience life. Adam’s (Joseph Gordon Levitt) best friend, Kyle (Seth Rogen), uses Adam’s condition to lure girls into sympathy sex, his overbearing mother (Anjelica Huston) loses sight of him in her own fears, his otherwise-occupied girlfriend, Rachael (Bryce Dallas Howard) tries to distract herself with an increasingly frantic social life, and Katherine (Anna Kendrick), the young therapist assigned to his case, struggles to keep up with the needs of her third client ever in an unexpectedly funny movie that reminds us that sometimes laughter really is the best medicine.

Cancer is a complete bitch & this movie certainly makes you think. Written by Will Reiser, Seth Rogen’s real-life close friend, the movie is roughly based on their own experiences and how they handled Reiser’s cancer diagnosis six years ago. The on screen acting between Joseph Gordon Levitt & Seth Rogen is magic. The film tackles the harsh and depressing journey of cancer with scenes that are hard to watch at times, making you think of those in your life who are or have tackled cancer in the past, however it isn’t meant to be depressing. The film is about positivity and humour is mixed into the movie throughout, especially in scenes where Seth Rogen’s character uses his friends illness to try and score girls. A very honest movie which is both touching & hilarious. One of the best movies I have seen for a while. Go check it out. I’m sure you won’t regret it!

50/50 is released on November 25th in the UK

At the start of November, I told my dad about Movember and how they raise money for various cancer charities in the UK & also the world by getting guys to grow a moustache. His response? How do I sign up! That is how awesome he is 😀

A few days later, I got started on his Movember page. He started off by shaving clean & they the growing began! Within a few days, he has already got a few donations but I would really really like him to get more. That is where you guys come in, if you could donate anything, even something small to help him raise money for charity we’d really appreciate it. On his Movember page you’ll see photos of his moustache as it grows along with funny quotes by him. I’d love you guys forever if you could spare any $$ & in return you’d feel good helping to fight cancer!

If you’d like to donate, please click here

Sometimes companies get adverts wrong and then sometimes companies get adverts so spot on they touch your heart, make you think about them & tell everyone about them. Once again, John Lewis have done just that. The advert entitled “For gifts you can’t wait to give” follows one little boy who is impatiently counting down to Christmas. He is seen tapping his fingers, staring out of the window, even trying to cast a spell on a clock to make time go faster, but to no success.

Beautiful. Simply Beautiful!