Photo credit: Hazel (Twitter: @fleur_charms)
Saturday 29th October. The day finally arrived. I'd been looking forward to it since I got the email to say that I had a space at the event.

I'll admit to a small panic attack while getting ready as nothing seemed to be going right and I was tempted to hide myself away and not leave the house. But I managed to pull myself together and head out to meet Karen (Jinksy Beauty) and Sam (Sams Life Adventures) in Telford to travel to the event together.

We arrived a little too early so had ourselves a sneaky drink in the bar before heading upstairs to the room where the event was being held.

I had so much fun looking at the different products out on display, entering the various different competitions - my favourite being the design a pumpkin colouring competition - and creating my own fragrance ( I named mine Simply Nikki). Yes you read right. I created my own perfume (and it actually smelled really nice)! This was courtesy of The Perfume Studio London who showed us how the celebs do it when they are creating their signature smell! The representative at the event was Ben, and he was super friendly and took his time explaining it all to us (and taking our picture for their Twitter!) before whipping up a small sample of our fragrances to take home with us. I've had loads of compliments on my fragrance so far!

Another table had loads of products from dr. Botanicals. Their products are all vegan friendly and paraben free - and they smell amazing too! I'm really looking forward to trying out some of their products!

Ashton & Kirsty did such an amazing job pulling everything together for the day and I cannot give them enough credit for everything they did. So much thought went into every tiny detail. I believe it was Kirsty who put together the music playlist, and it was epic! (If you're reading this Kirsty, please send the list of songs on the playlist! I need it for my car!)

And then there's the goody bags. Oh. My. God. I don't even know where to start! They were incredible! There are some pictures below of just a few things that were included but there was so much in there I really didn't know where to start!

Thank you so much to Kirsty and Ashton for organising everything, you guys really are amazing! And a huge thank you to all the brands that got involved and help provide us with some exciting goodies!

Five Favourite Friday - Baked Goods

Are you going to miss Bake Off? I'm going to miss Bake Off. This weeks topic is baked goods, in honour of Bake Off ending!

Here goes!

5. Bakewell Tart. Even if I do remove the cherry off the top... Don't ask.

4. Meringue. It's very hard to be more specific on this one. I absolutely adore meringue.

3. Ciabatta. I love bread in general but ciabatta is good for use with everything - especially garlic bread....

2. Pork Pies. Who doesn't love a pork pie?

1. Macaroons. Little tiny bites of pure heaven. If you've never tried one, go and try one this weekend. You won't regret it I promise!

And that's my top 5 baked goods!! What's on your list?

And don't forget to head over to Broken Thoughts for Tim's top 5!

My Bucket List: Places + Win a VIP weekend in Paris!!!

I've had an idea. I don't have a bucket list but I hear people talking about theirs all the time. So... I thought I'd start a bucket list of my own, and share it with you!

I'm starting with places. These are cities, towns, states etc that I would love to visit - including whether I have already ticked them off or not!

Edinburgh. Let's start close to home with the Capitol of Scotland. I've never been but have been told it's absolutely beautiful and that everyone is super friendly. Definitely one of the top entries on my list.

London. Again staying close to home, this time the Capitol of England. This is one I can check off my list. I've been quite a few times for various reasons. The most memorable for me being for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012 and then again later that year for the Olympics.

Paris. A bit cliché? I agree. But I've never been and I think it's definitely something everyone should have on their list and be able to check off. Maybe one day I'll take my son and we'll see the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower.

Reykjavik. Iceland's Capitol. Although it's really cold, there is one HUGE reason I want to go to Iceland - the Aurora Borealis. I've not been but I really hope one day I can check this off my list.

Melbourne. We're going a bit further afield for this one. And yes, I have been. I was very lucky to be given an opportunity to go when I had been with my partner for just one year. He has family out there and I was invited to go and stay with them for 3 weeks. It's a beautiful city and I can not wait to go back with our son.

Florida. Firstly, yes I have been. Secondly, the reason? It's simple really. Disney World. 'Nuff said.

Hawaii. One of the place I not only want to visit (I haven't as yet) but would love to move to. Everything I've seen about Hawaii looks simply stunning and I would hop on a plane tomorrow if the opportunity arose.

Italy. I haven't been to Italy so can't check this one off. There are several places in Italy I'd love to go to, all very popular touristy places - Rome, Naples, San Marino, Florence, Milan, Venice... You get the idea.

Vatican City. I was going to include this under Italy but as it's classed as it's own country I have given it it's own entry.

And there you have it. The places I want to visit, and some that I have already been lucky enough to.

One of the places on my list was Paris, and I have been lucky enough to have been given the opportunity to offer you the chance to win a VIP weekend away in Paris including one night in a 4* hotel, a gourmet dinner for two and £250 spending money! Eeek! All you have to do is click the link below and follow the instructions to enter! (I have already told my partner he HAS to enter!)
Good luck!!

Five Favourite Friday....On Saturday!

This week, it's my turn to decide what the topic is. And after a lot of thought and deliberation, Tim actually gave me the idea for this weeks topic! We are going to do our top 5 Emoji's!! My list won't be the 5 I use most, it is what it says on the tin - my favourite ones. Even if I don't use them all that much!

So here goes - my favourite five emoji's!

5. Santa - Christmas is quite possibly my favourite time of year. Mistletoe, Christmas dinner, holly, decorations, lights and of course... SANTA! Even more so last year and this year (and every year from now on!) because of my little boy. When it comes to the emoji, I really love the new iOS10 Santa!
4. Monkey - My favourite animal so of course it had to be included!
3. Geek/Nerd - Because it's just so cute! I'm not too sure about it being referred to as being a geek or nerd though...
2. Lion - Again, it's cute. I mean come one... how cute is this lion???
1. World - This has probably been my favourite since the day I started using emoji's. I find it's extremely underused and it really should be used more often!
I do have an honourable mention this week and it's for the Zodiac emoji's. I love these, especially the sign for Leo!

And that's it! What do you think? What are your favourite emoji's?

Read Tim's post over on Broken Thoughts and don't forget to let us know what you would like to see our top 5 of next!


So I've been completely MIA over the last week or so. Almost 2 weeks ago (Sunday 9th October) I came down with this sickness bug that's been making the rounds. It was pretty horrific but I did eventually recover. Then I had a maths exam to prep for as well as some work for my NVQ to complete. All in all its been a jam packed couple of weeks - so much so that I've neglected my blog a little bit. I even missed #FiveFavouriteFriday last week (you can read my partners post here). But we've both been caught getting behind this week so we will be doing Five Favourite Friday on a Saturday so be sure to look out for our posts later!

The last few days have been spent planning. Planning new content and getting some posts started. My aim is to have some posts ready to go for when days and weeks like this happen again - so there's always something for you guys to read! I have already planned a couple of exciting posts - one for the #bloggerhalloweenparty and a Christmas gift guide. 

I'm looking forward to the rest of this year and the start of 2017!! So follow me on Bloglovin and never miss a post! 

Oh yeah, I'm back!!

Guest Post ~ Where I live: Philippines

Hi! I hope you’re all okay by the time you read this. ☺

I’m Layla, from the Philippines, living in Quezon City, which is a city within Manila, the capital city. I saw Nikki’s post on the Girl Gang Facebook group wall about guest posting, and I think that this is a wonderful opportunity to talk about the city I live in.

Quezon City is one of the cities that make up Metro Manila. This city is named after its founder, Manuel L. Quezon, who is the second President of the Philippines. Founded around 1938 and 1939, the city arose from its humble beginnings as a huge parcel of land from a landowning family. Now, Quezon City booms with a population of 2.9 million people, and is the home of many government offices (including the one I work in), and universities and schools, and various other establishments.
Having grown up in this city, I can only marvel at how fast it has been growing. Back then, it was a treat to go to this little general store where you can buy needles and pincushions to Milky Way chocolate and Planters Cheese Balls (I miss them loads!). Now, I can go, hop into the public transport that would take me into one of the shopping malls in the city to buy anything that I need or want—which may range from a new cookie cutter, to new stationery (sorry I can’t resist), or even that new peach illuminator (or maybe I’ll give that Nyx rose gold illuminator a try).
Oops, I ramble!
There are plenty of reasons why I love my home city. One is that because it’s near my place of work (I really couldn’t be thankful enough that I work near my home). Also, there’s lots to see and do.  If you are one for really good food, Quezon City has them in abundance—there are streets and streets of good restaurants in a community called Teachers’ Village and nearby areas—selling good ramen, delectable cupcakes, and the most unique food. Crispy sinigang, anyone?
Want to go somewhere you can burn off all the food you’ve just eaten? The University of the Philippines Diliman compound has more than enough space for people who want to keep fit, whether it’s playing football in the famous Sunken Garden, or throwing Frisbees. It’s also the ideal place for people who want to practice for marathons, and you can meet new friends with people who are doing the same thing!
For fashion lovers, you can shop to your hearts’ content, as there are plenty of shopping malls in Quezon City—it’s peppered with them. There’s a huge selection of choices ranging from local favourites to…even Dorothy Perkins (I kid you not). Beauty lovers will also love this shopping mall called Trinoma as it has the well-known stores like Benefit, The Body Shop (they sell the niftiest lip and cheek stain—sorry, Benefit), Mac, and various others.
And finally, the reason why I love the city I live in? Simply because it’s home. It’s where my roots are. It’s the city I know I belong to, even after travelling elsewhere.
Please let us be friends elsewhere! ☺ My Instagram is http://instagram.com/fiveby10eighty3. Apologies in advance, because I’ve set it to private, as I have been followed by half-naked girls, for God only knows why. Filtering that is hard work! :p I also have Twitter—https://twitter.com/noammunition, and I’m there a lot! ☺ My Snapchat is the same as my Instagram (fiveby10eighty3). It would be cool if you would visit my blog—but no pressure! ☺ It’s http://straightontillfriday.inspirelight.net.
Thanks muchly, Nikki, for letting me write for you, and for being patient. ☺ I am so sorry for the delay! ☹
Hope everyone’s enjoyed reading this post! x

Five Favourite Friday - Albums

My turn to choose this week, and I've gone for Albums.... Why oh why did I choose albums? There are so many great albums out there that I could listen to again and again! We agreed not to opt for any compilation albums, in case that topic comes up in future!

What's done is done, so here are my top 5 Albums!

5. Jack Johnson - In Between Dreams. It was actually my better half that introduced me to both the artist and this particular album. I love this album for easy listening. And it also contains 'our song'. Not the song 'Our Song' by Elton John. I mean mine and Tim's song (see video above).

4. Amy Winehouse - Back to Black. I love Amy. She's awesome. Her music is epically good. I always find myself singing so loud when one of her songs come on. Although she only released 2 albums before her death in 2011, this is my favourite. And my favourite song from the album is in the video above.

3. Michael Jackson - History: Past, Present and Future Book 1. I know. I know. We said no compilations. But I am making an exception for this one. We had the album on play in our house when I was growing up all. the. time. We also owned the VHS (yes you read right - VHS) of the album too, which was all the music videos for the songs on the album! Once again, see above for my favourite song on the album!

2. Kelly Clarkson - Breakaway. I. Love. Her. She's absolutely amazing and I would give ANYTHING to see her live. This album was the soundtrack for 2004 through to 2006 for me. During this time, no other artist existed. No song could beat Breakaway, Since U Been Gone and Walk Away... Not for me anyway.

1. Green Day - 21st Century Breakdown/American Idiot. I concede. I can't decide between these 2 albums! If I had a gun to my head I'd probably go for 21st Century Breakdown. But both of these albums by my all time favourite band (who I have seen twice now, and I would have been looking to go a third time if I had been able to get tickets for their upcoming Revolution Radio tour *sad face*) are simply amazing. I can listen to both from start to finish without skipping a single track. I love them all.

And there you have it. My top 5 albums. Don't forget to pop on over to Broken Thoughts to see Tim's top 5.

So, what do you think? What would be on your top 5?

The Keep Smiling Project

I've not been following this project for that long, but since I started suffering with PPD and anxiety I have been trying to find different places with support groups etc. and one of the things I came across was The Keep Smiling Project on Leonie's blog, Miss Leonie Wilson.

I got in contact via Twitter and I am so excited to announce that I am now officially part of their team! I feel very strongly about mental health, how other people perceive mental health issues and supporting those who are suffering.

Please go and take a look at their Twitter, give them a follow and join in with the weekly chats on a Sunday afternoon at 6pm (BST). This weeks chat is hosted by Leonie (@missleoniew) and the topic is 'Tips for my younger self'.

See you there!

The Versatile Blogger Award

I want to say a huge thank you to Sam from Sams Life Adventures for nominating me to participate in The Versatile Blogger Awards! I had no idea what this was when Sam tweeted me but I have had a read of her post and had look through the posts with the hashtag and I'm now a little more clued up!

So here's the rules:

Thank the person who nominated you - check!
Share the link to their blog - check!
Reveal 7 facts about yourself - check! (See below)
Nominate 10-15 other bloggers - check! (Also, see below)

Now that the formalities are out of the way, here are 7 facts about me!

1. I have only ever had 2 pets in my entire life. My mum and dad always refused to get me a pet as a child, so my grandparents got me my first pet - a Russian hamster called Pepsi. His life was very short as my parents kept him in the garage and to this day I'm still not convinced he was actually dead when they buried him, I'm sure he was just hibernating. Anyway, I now have a black cat called Munchkin. He's the cutest, fluffiness thing and he's very very loving.

2. I support a team in pretty much every sport going. Football - Shrewsbury Town and Arsenal. Rugby - Harlequins and England. American Football - Dallas Cowboys. Formula 1 - Lewis Hamilton. You get the gist!

3. Along the sporting lines - I HATE cricket. With a passion. I don't understand it and I find it incredibly dull! I can see why so much alcohol is consumed at cricketing events!

4. I have an 18 month old son. He is my entire world and is the most amazing child a parent could wish for.

5. It's probably already well known but I love Disney - almost as much as I love my son! And I am almost 100% I'm a Disney princess and no one has told me yet. My day will come...

6. I'm really really untidy! If you came into my house you might mistake it for a war zone - a clean war zone, but a war zone nonetheless!

7. I am a fully qualified level 7 football referee (soccer, if you're in the USA)

So there you have it. 7 facts about me. Now for my nominations! 

I nominate:

Jemma from Dorkface
Tim from Broken Thoughts
Daniella from Famous in Japan
Kirsty from Kirsty Leanne
Karen from Jinksy Beauty
Olivia from Olivia Cheryl
Emma from The Pin Picker
Lauren from Lauren Catherine

I'm really looking forward to readin some more posts by The Versatile Blogger Award nominees! I hope you've enjoyed reading post and have learned something you didn't know about me!

#fmsphotoaday - Blue

A tiny bit of blue sky on our afternoon walk. I love the vivid colours in this picture. Our son really enjoyed looking at all the colours of the leaves and listening to the birds. You can't beat a Sunday afternoon stroll!