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Friday, 28 November 2014

DIY Christmas Decorations with Yankee Candle!

To celebrate the release of two new Christmas candle ranges this year, Yankee Candle got me involved in some DIY decorations. The how-to guides will be shared on their social media networks in December and I can confirm they're a lot of fun to do so if you're craftier than I am, have those candy canes at the ready!

So... my attempts at the angel wing decoration ending up looking like something you definitely wouldn't want to hang anywhere at Christmas, or well, any time of the year really. (I kept thinking that if the feathers were blue it would have looked like an ex-parrot - bonus points if you recognise that comedy sketch reference!) It's not the fault of the instructions, I just have a special knack for making things look really bad! I think my school art teacher used to despair whenever I walked into class because she knew she would have to try and be nice about whatever mess I was about to create. So no one was more surprised than me when my candy cane star came out looking pretty similar to the picture, apart from all mounds of tape I had to use because I couldn't find any glue. It was super easy though and looks very sweet, although it took all of my will-power to not start eating any of them.

Until last week I (for some unknown reason) had no idea that I absolutely love sweet candle scents. I've been avoiding them for years thinking they'll just make me feel hungry or give me a headache, but they're SO good. I feel like a whole new world of candles has been opened up to me. Angel's Wings is a combination of spun sugar, delicate flower petals and vanilla. It's sweet but with a hint of freshness. Candy Cane Lane is a mixture of peppermint, sweet cookies and vanilla icing. It sounds like it would be way too much, but the peppermint cuts through the sugary sweetness and it's divine.

I haven't had one of the large Yankee Candle jars before and I'm going to get myself one as a Christmas treat. Now I just have to decide which scent to choose.

Do you have a favourite Yankee Candle scent?

- xo

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Thursday, 27 November 2014

Products I like but wouldn't repurchase

Pixi Glow Tonic
The countless rave reviews I had read talked me into this purchase and I don't regret it because I'm glad I gave it a try, but it's not as incredible as I had hoped. It's probably my fault for expecting too much but I think it's just okay. Maybe it'll be one of those products I miss when I don't have it though, so we'll see!

Illamasqua Blushes
The colours in the range are undeniably beautiful, Tweak is one of my all time favourite blush shades, but they've really increased in price pretty quickly and although I think they're still worth the money, I think I'd rather invest £22 in a NARS blush or spend a little less on a Stila Convertible Colour.

Maybelline The Eraser Eye
When I first purchased this I absolutely loved it. I still like it, but I don't love it. I wish we had the pink brightener version here, but I suppose I generally prefer being able to use one concealer on both dark circles and redness on my face. What can I say? I'm pretty lazy with make up these days!

Beauty Blender
I can't really explain why because they pretty much do the exact same job but I much prefer the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion sponge. I think it's got something to do with the flat side of the RT sponge because I've got a pretty big face and it makes blending much faster. It's also considerably cheaper which is a bonus! 

Are there any products you like but wouldn't repurchase?

- xo

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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Ted Baker Royally Relaxed Bubble Bath | Christmas Gift Guide

Ted Baker Royally Relaxed Bubble Bath* (£12)

The first thing that struck me was how nice the bottle is, I know it's only a bottle of bubble bath, but it's certainly a very nice bottle of bubble bath. It's a weighty glass bottle with a very sweet, simple house illustration on the front and a rose gold lid embossed with Ted Baker's initials. The house illustration is only a sticker, but it still looks very cute. There's also a really good stopper in the top, ensuring that too much product doesn't run out uncontrollably.

A good glug gives lots of thick, white bubbles that don't disappear instantly and a delicate, somewhat unusual floral scent. I was expecting it to give quite an intense rose scent for some reason, but it's actually much more subtle and relaxing. There's 500ml in there and I don't know exactly how many, but I think it will provide a heck of a lot of bubble baths. Lovely!

Well done Ted Baker, I'm very impressed again.

- xo

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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

A Winter White Christmas

Designer Christmas Decorations*

When I accept things to review I always ask myself 'if I saw this on a website, would I buy it?' and if the answer to that is no, I very politely decline. This set of baubles is the only exception to that rule I've ever made because I was so curious as to what four ninety-nine pound baubles would look & feel like.

White glass ornaments have been hand-decorated with Swarovski elements & silver glitter. They're undeniably beautiful and I have no doubt they'll look beautiful on our tree where they will undoubtedly have pride of place. They have a very sophisticated aura about them and having them sat in their own satin lined box waiting to be put on the tree somehow makes me feel more grown up that I probably actually am.

Christmas isn't about material objects or expensive decorations but I have to say, if I walked past these in the shop and was in a position where I could comfortably afford to buy them, I would, because having a few special things is more than okay. Now whenever I look at these I'm reminded of my space here, how thankful I am for it, and how much joy it has brought me over the last 5 years. And that's pretty special to me. 

- xo

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Monday, 24 November 2014

Relax & a Giveaway | £40 National Book Token

How do you relax and de-stress after a busy day? Predictably for me there's nothing better than escaping into a good book and being offered a book token is always an absolute dream. This is what I chose to spend my £40 voucher* on and stay tuned to the end of the post where I'll be giving away another £40 gift card! 

The Murders in the Rue Morgue and Other Tales by Edgar Allan Poe* | £4.87
The Penguin English Library collection is beautiful and I couldn't resist adding another to my bookshelf. Poe is on my very long list of writers to explore and I'll be saving this collection of short stories to start on a rainy evening.
"Horror, madness, violence and the dark forces hidden in humanity abound in this collection of Poe's brilliant tales, including - among others - the bloody, brutal and baffling murder of a mother and daughter in Paris in 'The Murders in the Rue Morgue', the creeping insanity of 'The Tell-Tale Heart', the Gothic nightmare of 'The Masque of the Red Death', and the terrible doom of 'The Fall of the House of Usher'."

The Rehearsal by Eleanor Catton* | £7.51
I read The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton a few months ago and it's easily my favourite book I've read this year. There's still time for something to overtake it but I don't think that will happen. The Rehearsal was Catton's first novel and I'm looking forward to immersing myself in her talent all over again because I think she is a formidable young writer.
"A high school sex scandal jolts a group of teenage girls into a new awareness of their own potency. The sudden publicity seems to turn every act into a performance and every space into a stage. But when the local drama college decides to turn the scandal into a show, the real world and the world of the theatre are forced to meet, and soon the boundaries between private and public begin to dissolve..."
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel* | £10.47
Like The Rehearsal, I picked out Station Eleven for very similar reasons. I read Last Night in Montreal by St. John Mandel last month and was captivated from beginning to end by her beautiful writing. From reading the synopsis this wouldn't necessarily be the kind of book I would gravitate towards usually, but I've been hearing a lot of really good things and I get the feeling it will transcend its genre wonderfully.
"Day One: The Georgia Flu explodes over the surface of the earth like a neutron bomb. News reports put the mortality rate at over 99%. Week Two: Civilisation has crumbled. Year Twenty: A band of actors and musicians called the Traveling Symphony move through their territories performing concerts and Shakespeare to the settlements that have grown up there. Twenty years after the pandemic, life feels relatively safe. But now a new danger looms, and it threatens the hopeful world every survivor has tried to rebuild. 

Moving backwards and forwards in time, from the glittering years just before the collapse to the strange and altered world that exists twenty years after, Station Eleven charts the unexpected twists of fate that connect six people: celebrated actor Arthur Leander; Jeevan, a bystander warned about the flu just in time; Arthur's first wife, Miranda; Arthur's oldest friend, Clark; Kirsten, an actress with the Traveling Symphony; and the mysterious and self-proclaimed 'prophet'."
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell* | £12.99
Longlisted for the Booker Prize, The Bone Clocks is a book I've been hearing a lot about for a little while now. Even after reading the synopsis I don't really have any idea what it's about and I get the feeling that not knowing any of the details is the best way to approach it.
"One drowsy summer's day in 1984, teenage runaway Holly Sykes encounters a strange woman who offers a small kindness in exchange for 'asylum'. Decades will pass before Holly understands exactly what sort of asylum the woman was seeking...

The Bone Clocks follows the twists and turns of Holly's life from a scarred adolescence in Gravesend to old age on Ireland's Atlantic coast as Europe's oil supply dries up - a life not so far out of the ordinary, yet punctuated by flashes of precognition, visits from people who emerge from thin air and brief lapses in the laws of reality. For Holly Sykes - daughter, sister, mother, guardian - is also an unwitting player in a murderous feud played out in the shadows and margins of our world, and may prove to be its decisive weapon."

Golden Snitch* | £4.49
Lastly I spotted a Golden Snitch and although it won't technically help me to relax it looks fabulous on my desk and you know, I feel like my desk is now significantly improved with such a magical new addition.  


Stress Free Print have very kindly allowed me to host a giveaway for a £40 National Book Token gift card. You can spend your gift card in many Bookshops in the UK including Waterstones, Foyles & WH Smith or online at hive.co.uk where a percentage of your order will go to help your local bookshop! (I'm sorry that it's a UK only giveaway, if you're an international reader I'll be holding a couple more giveaways in December.)

How to enter: (extra entries given for each option i.e. completing all of the below steps will earn you 5 entries)  

In your comment please include the following, deleting options that are not applicable:
  • Your Bloglovin' Name OR other way you're subscribed to sailorjennie.com: 
  • I've followed Stress Free Print on Facebook.
  • Your Facebook Name:
  • Your Twitter Name:
  • I've followed @StressFreePrint on Twitter.
  • URL of Tweet:
  • How do you like to de-stress?
  • A way of contacting you if you haven't included your Twitter Name:

Entries are open until midnight GMT on December 5th 2014.

Good Luck!

- xo

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Terms & conditions: 
UK entries only. If you're underage please ask permission because I will need your address if you were to win. Prize kindly provided by Stress Free Print & will be sent by them. There will be one winner, chosen at random from all qualifying entries, and will be notified directly by myself either via Twitter or Email approximately 48 hours after the closing date. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours I will choose another winner.