Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Blogmas | Winter Date Ideas | Day 12


I find that Christmas is one of the most romantic periods of the year and intend to make the most out of it with my boyfriend. I love cosying up on the sofa with a Christmas movie or dressing up all festive and hitting the town for dinner and drinks but there are some date ideas I have that I am yet to try. Here is my list below:

|Ice Skating | 

I am yet to go ice-skating with my boyfriend but really want to as he has told me he is awful at it! As cruel as that sounds, we are the type of couple to laugh with one another rather than at one another and constantly take the P out of one another. I had lessons when I was younger so it'd be fun to skate rings around him!

| Christmas Markets | 

I LOVE this idea for a date night. Wrap up warm in your bobble hat, cosy scarf and gloves and take yourselves to your local Christmas Market. You could even travel further afield to one you've not been to before! I love the German Christmas Markets where you can drink German beer, eat frankfurter sausages and tasty sweet treats after.

| Winter Walk | 

I am so looking forward to the (very near) day that we can take Pepper, our puppy, out on a winter walk. There are some beautiful places to visit and explore the countryside and I find this really romantic as it's a chance to be just you two with nobody else around. 

| A Movie Night In | 

Pick up a nice bottle of wine, some cheese and crackers and stick on Love Actually - my idea of a heavenly date night over the Christmas period as it's so cold out! I love snuggling up on the sofa watching a movie with my boyfriend with the Christmas lights twinkling around us. 


| Dinner and Drinks | 

On the other hand, I do love to be wined and dined too. There is such a great atmosphere in restaurants around Christmas with all the Christmas parties, not to mention the festive themed menus! I am looking forward to this kind of date night over the next coming weeks. 

What is your favourite date night over the festive period? 

Love Amber x
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Monday, 11 December 2017

Winter With Dior


I am definitely a Dior girl, always have been and probably always will be. I just LOVE the beauty and cosmetics range and own several perfumes too. My Dior collection is ever-growing but it is on the pricey side so I do have to take it easy! I've picked out some of my current Dior favourites that I have been using a lot over the winter period for you.

| DIORSKIN FOREVER PERFECT MOUSSE | £32 |

This was the first mousse foundation I had tried and I loved the consistency and coverage. The product offers a 'zero pore effect' and it does just that as product absorbs into my skin effortlessly. It blends perfectly on top of my moisturiser and leaves a lovely smooth finish to my skin. I struggle with combination skin and love that this product is non oily so the coverage is great all over and long lasting.

| DIORSKIN FOREVER EXTREME CONTROL POWDER | £40 |

This is my favourite ever face powder. It is so long lasting and I use it every day to compact my make-up in the morning. It's also great for touching up throughout the day and you only need to use a light layer of it rather than cake it on like a lot of face powders.

| DIORSKIN FOREVER UNDERCOVER CONCEALER | £21 |

I chose a shade one shade lighter than my foundation so that I could use this concealer to accentuate my shadowy areas. It's also great for under the eyes and for concealing blemishes which I tend to get more of during the winter months.

| DIORSKIN NUDE AIR GLOW POWDER | £39.50 |

This product is amazing. It gives me a gorgeous healthy glow as it acts as a bit of a bronzer/highlight though it's very light finishing. I am in search of a bit of colour during the winter when I don't tend to see much sun so I would definitely recommend this product.

| DIORIFIC LIPSTCIK - DIORELLA | £29.50 |

This is my favourite pink Dior shade and I always get complimented on this shade as it's so pretty and sophisticated. It is a long-lasting matte finish lipstick and the packaging is a gorgeous metallic gold with an iconic shape.

| ROUGE DIOR - ROUGE ZINNIA | £27.50 |

The perfect red lip for the Christmas period! I absolutely love this colour; it's highly pigmented with a sensual satin effect and I will definitely be wearing it over the Christmas period.

Have you tried Dior products? If so, what are your favourites? 

Love Amber x
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Sunday, 10 December 2017

Blogmas | Your Doggy's Christmas | Day 10


If you are a regular reader of my blog, then you will know that we have recently had a new addition to the family - Pepper the Dachshund puppy! I know most people see their dogs as their fur babies like me and will spoil them this Christmas so I've put together a bit of a Christmas list for dogs for some inspiration.
| Etsy |
Brown Tweed Dog Bow Tie - £5.99
I have a female doggy so this would't quite suit her but I think it's adorable and would suit a male doggy perfectly, especially a dachshund (though I am biased). How smart would he look in this?! 

Christmas Pet Jumpers - £6.49+
I think it's so important to ensure dogs are wrapped up in winter as they are so used to living indoors that of course they are going to feel the cold when they go outside! I'm not a fan of dressing my dog up in constricting accessories and always put my doggy first so something stretchy and comfortable is key. 

Personalised Dog Bowl - £28.60
This is such a cute idea and I would love to buy one of these for my puppy for Christmas. Though at the minute, she has a bad habbit of picking up her water bowl, tipping it everywhere and running around with it so not quite ready to spend money on a nice one until she learns to look after her current one! 

 | Pets At Home |
Wainwright's Christmas Dog Gift Sack - £12.00
Contains: Squeaking Goose Toy, Rope Toy, Duck & Vegetable Biscuit Bones and White Fish & Vegetbale Biscuit Bones. I love the Wainright's dog toy range and have bought my puppy a couple of the toys and a bed from the range which she loves. I know this would go down with my dog!

Pets at Home Christmas Mini Reindeer Flattie Dog Toy - £3.00
I've bought this for my puppy this Christmas and it's currently sat in her Christmas stocking. No dog can ever have too many toys! Especially an excitable puppy that likes to chew toys so the more toys in my house the merrier to distract her from furniture and wires!

Pets at Home Christmas Munchy Candy Canes Dog Treat 2 Pack - £2.50
Candy cane dog treats! How cute! The treats contain rawhide which is a natural treat which provides long-lasting chewing enjoyment for your dog, it is also great for helping to control plaque and tartar build up in the mouth, assisting with your doggy's dental health.

There are so many more things you can buy for your doggy over Christmas. Do you have any surprises up your sleeve for your fur baby this year? 

Love Amber x

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Saturday, 9 December 2017

Blogmas | Stocking Fillers For Her | Day 9


Stocking fillers tend to be part of many people's last minute shopping as the main gifts are bought and it's time to get some little bits and bobs so the receiver has plenty to open on Christmas Day. All of the gifts below I have chosen and are under £15 so would also make great secret santa gifts too! 

| In The Kitchen |


One year my mum bought me a load of little baking bits and bobs and put them in my stocking and I loved this idea! I also think the penguin cocktail shaker is super cute and rose gold - bloggers dream! 

| Indulgences |


Who doesn't have a Terry's Chocolate Orange in their stocking at Christmas? I'd be gutted if I didn't have one in there for sure! I love having a bath on Christmas morning when my parents are preparing dinner so I would love a couple of bath bombs from Lush this year. 

| Beauty Essentials |


Again, another idea from Momma C! She ALWAYS buys my sister and I a load of beauty essentials and stuffs them into our stockings. I LOVE this as it's items I would always use and don't have to worry about buying around Christmas because she does it for me! 

Love Amber x

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Friday, 8 December 2017

Hyggelig Hot Drinks



Nothing quite says 'Hyggelig Christmas' like a hot festive drink. I have put together some of my favourite and easy to make recipes for you to be able to drink too this Christmas. I am always appointed hot drink maker on Christmas day as my Bailey's hot chocolate is to die for. Enjoy!

| Chai Tea Latte |

I absolutely love to use Drink me Chai in my Chai Tea Latte's. It's a powder rather than a tea bag and tastes absolutely amazing both iced and hot. You can even add it to things like porridge or use it as an ingredients for cakes. I reach for this a lot over the festive period and this is how I use it:

Hot Chai Latte
3 teaspoons of powder
200ml hot milk

Iced Chai Latte
4 teaspoons of powder
250ml milk
Whiz with milk frother and serve over ice.

| Orange Hot Chocolate |

Who doesn't love Options hot chocolate? The orange is my favourite over Christmas. Top it with squirty cream and grated orange hot chocolate for the perfect festive drink.

3 teaspoons of powder
200ml hot water
Splash of milk

| Gingerbread Latte |

Gingerbread is one of my favourite things about Christmas and I just love that there is a syrup that you can put in a coffee just like Costa or Starbucks. You could even make your own syrup! The best way to make a latte is with a coffee machine and with the following ingredients:

Double shot of espresso
200ml hot, steamed milk
Splash of gingerbread Monin syrup

| Baileys Hot Chocolate |

I recently shared this recipe on my insta stories as I make this A LOT and make this on Christmas evening when the Christmas dinner has settled and we are chilling from our round of board games.

50ml Baileys
3 teaspoons of your favourite plain hot chocolate powder (I use Cadbury's)
200ml hot milk
Squirty Cream for topping

Have you got any favourite hot drinks you like to drink over the Christmas period? I would love to know so please leave me a comment below. 

Love Amber x


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Thursday, 7 December 2017

Blogmas | Memories of Christmas | Day 7


The Lead Up To Christmas - Getting the Argos catalogue out and circling everything I wanted for Christmas for Santa to buy me. I would sit there for hours, creasing every page with a Barbie on it and then make up a list for Father Christmas. I think this might be why I am so good at making lists...

Christmas Eve - My family like to go out for a meal or to the cinema on Christmas Eve. It's a nice way to get out and spend time together as a family and I always look back on this fondly. As soon as we are back home, there is usually some last minute wrapping to be done! This year will be the first year I spend away from home on Christmas Eve which I am felling rather nostalgic about as we have Pepper, our puppy to think about.

Christmas Morning -  I remember Santa's footprints on the carpet leading to the fireplace (definitely dad's work boot and a bit of talcum powder but a great idea!) and a half eaten carrot and mince pie which I once said smelt like reindeer - somebody must have had bad breath!

Waking everyone up at 5am to open the presents under the tree, then going back to bed for a few hours before stuffing yourself silly on chocolate for breakfast.

One year I got a toy post office which I think was my favourite present ever. I loved writing fake letters to people that didn't exist and counting fake money. The life skills that post office taught me were invaluable clearly!

My mum always fills a Christmas stocking with essentials like make-up wipes, cotton buds and other bits and bobs but she insists on putting in satsumas and the quality streets nobody likes in the bottom too - they go straight back in the fruit bowl/tin so I don't know why she bothers. Though, it wouldn't be Christmas without it!


Christmas Day -  I have a hugeee family which was always fun cramming everyone in to the same room at my grandparents house. We had to line planks of wood over chairs one year, there were that many of us, just so that everyone could squeeze in. When I was very young, the children would be sat on the sofa and ate off the coffee table as there wasn't enough space at the table which I find hilarious looking back on it. It was very humbling and I loved Christmas's like this when I was younger. Unfortunately, things have changed slightly as some family members have moved away or passed on but I will always cherish these memories.

This year I am splitting my time between my family in the day and my boyfriends family in the afternoon/evening. Mum has bought myself, her, my younger sister and dad matching pyjamas for when I visit on Christmas Day with my boyfriend and our puppy, Pepper. I have loved writing this post on my Christmas memories, what fond memories do you have from your younger years? 


Love Amber x

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Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Blogmas | The Well-Being Gift Guide | Day 6


I love reading other people's Blogmas gift guide posts for inspiration so I thought I'd compile my own with a focus on health and well-being. This is such an important factor in life so I think these inexpensive gift ideas would be the perfect gifts to begin new years resolutions and to help take care of a loved one. 

(I have linked each of the following gifts to their original creators so that you can purchase them should you wish.)
This is a new release from The Happiness Planner and I just love the thought behind it. I have bought a fitness fanatic relative the fitness journal for Christmas and know they will love it. Inside the fitness one, you will find columns to measure body measurement, weight, activity/exercise, duration/distance/intensity, and calories burned. The food journal consists of columns for your grocery list and meal plans which I think I may buy myself as I find it really helps to keep a track of what you're eating. 

A simple but thoughtful gift for a loved one this Christmas. Cold feet are the worst so why not gift someone a luxurious, cosy pair of cashmere socks? I absolutely adore comfy bed socks in the winter and think a pair of these would go down very well on Christmas Day. 

I absolutely love this scent for my bedroom. It's a subtle Lavender scent with a hint of vanilla and always makes me feel so relaxed before bedtime. I struggle with sleep so if someone was to buy me this I would be eternally grateful as I burn it like crazy! 

This is such a thoughtful, pretty gift to give someone that is sentimental. I love the idea of looking back each year on what you were doing on that day 1-5 years ago and think it would be a lovely gift. 

I swear by this stuff, it's heavenly and worth every penny! As I mentioned before, I struggle with sleep and find that Lavender scents help to soothe and relax me so when I found a Lavender scented pillow spray I was over the moon! It ensures I have a very peaceful sleep and I think this would make a thoughtful gift for anyone that struggles to sleep or has anxiety difficulties like me. 

My mum bought me this eye mask last Christmas and began an eye-mask addiction as I currently own about 5. I am a crazy light sleeper so comforts like this help to make me have a better nights sleep. When I pop the mask on, everything else is shut out which is great for me as I spend a lot of time looking at screens. 

Do you have any thoughtful health and well-being gift ideas you could add to this? I would love to know so please leave me a comment in the section below. 

Love Amber x

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Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Blogmas | Top 5 Christmas Movies | Day 5


I have read a load of these posts already but I just had to share what my favourite Christmas movies are with you all. There's nothing better than grabbing a bag of popcorn, putting the candles on and snuggling down with a good Christmas movie (or ten) over the month of December. I love hosting a Christmas movie night/day with friends including baileys on ice, yummy snacks and copious amounts of prosecco!

| A Muppet's Christmas Carol | 
This is my absolute favourite Christmas movie! I love the classic tale written by Charles Dickens surrounding Scrooge and love how The Muppet's bring the story to life for everyone including children. The deeper meanings of the tale surrounding the poor highlight how important it is to remember the poor over Christmas and to give where possible.

| Love Actually | 
Such a great movie following several different love stories. The movie has me in tears every year from laughter to sadness and is a real roller-coaster of emotions! Also, have you seen that the young drummer boy and singer reflect the newly engaged Harry and Meghan?! It was meant to be...

| Harry Potter | 
I know HP isn't exactly a 'Christmas Movie' but who doesn't enjoy a HP marathon over Christmas when you've got the time to do it? Not gona lie... mine has started already and I would totally do it again before December 25th.

| Home Alone | 
My favourite Home Alone movie has to be the 2nd one based in New York. It's so funny and I totally wish I was that little kid let loose in New York with my rich parents credit card!

| Elf | 
Will Ferrell was born to play Buddy The Elf! I love his character so much and how he spreads Christmas Cheer and think people do take life too seriously sometimes. For me, Christmas is about happiness, joy and laughter and I can't wait to spend it with my family every year as we see it as super exciting!

What are your favourite movies to watch over the Christmas period? 

Love Amber x
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Monday, 4 December 2017

Blogmas | My Wishlist | Day 4


This year I thought I would be helpful and organised for when people inevitably ask, 'what would you like for Christmas this year?' By all means, I do not at all expect everything on this list as that's quite a lot to ask for! But I've given suggestions to family for a little inspiration and I already know I am getting one or two of the items on the list... which I am over the moon about! I love reading what people would like for Christmas as it gives me ideas for others too.

| Fashion |
Barbour Classic Beadnell Jacket - £199 | Barbour Cashmere Tartan Scarf - £39.95 | Barbour Classic Sylkoil Hood - £28.95Joules Leather Chelsea Boots - £140 | F&F Sausage Dog Pyjamas - £14.00

As I am sure you are aware if you are a reader of my blog or follow me on social media, we have recently got a Dachshund puppy therefore a lot of my fashion wishes revolve around her. I adore Barbour and intend to do a lot more walking in the new year so I've asked for a wax jacket to protect me from the cold, plus they are gorgeous. 

| Beauty & Cosmetics |

I have a little addiction growing for high-end make-up and have a growing Dior collection. I haven't tried any of the Charlotte Tilbury products but I've heard amazing things so anything from CT would be lovely. 
| Food |


I am an absolute foodie and am always on the look out for new cook books and equipment to build on my cooking and baking skills. I LOVE Italian food so I would love to get my hands on pasta making equipment. 

What's on your wishlist? Have you done a wishlist post? If you have, I would love to read it so please leave your link in the comments below for me to check it out! 

Love Amber x
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Sunday, 3 December 2017

Blogmas | The Christmas Tag | Day 3


Though I haven't exactly been tagged in one yet, I REALLY wanted to do a Christmas Tag and can see so many other bloggers doing the same thing. I think it's a great post idea and gives you a right nosey into what other people do over the Christmas period. So here goes...

1. Use one noise to describe how excited you are for Christmas.
YIPEEEEE!

2. Do you open any presents on Christmas Eve?
Neverrrr. My family tend to wake up super early on Christmas Day, open presents, go back to bed for a bit then eat chocolate for breakfast.

3. What holiday traditions are you looking forward to most this year?
Creating new ones! As it's the first Christmas morning I am spending away from my family home with my boyfriend and puppy, I am really looking forward to creating new traditions with them.

4. Is your Christmas tree real or fake?
Fake, though I don't know how long it's going to last with a puppy around... it's been up a whole day... so far so good!

5. What is your favourite Christmas film?
A Muppet's Christmas Carrol. This has been a favourite since I was a child and always brings back fond childhood memories whenever I watch it.

6. What is your favourite Christmas song?
Most definitely Fairytale of New York by The Pogues.

7. What is your favourite thing about christmas?
Family and their reactions to the gifts I've bought them, followed closely by Christmas dinner.

8. When do you start getting excited for Christmas?
This year it was November! I got most of my Christmas shopping and wrapping done early. Eager beaver I know. It was more about the money side of things but this got me super excited!

9. What would be your dream place to visit for the holiday season?
A log cabin with a hot tub in the woods. I once visited a place called Big Bear Mountain and stayed in a cabin just like this in the summer with a Christmas theme. I bet it would be amazing surrounded by fersh snow.

10. Most memorable Holiday moment?
The year when all of my close family were together at my great-grandparents house. There must have been around 20 of us sat at a make shift long-ass dinner table. We had two turkeys and it was the best Christmas ever.

11. Do you make New Years resolutions? Do you stick to them?
I always make New Years Resolutions. Some I have stuck to this year like passing my driving test but the weight related ones seem to go out of the window and I end up gaining more than I started with!

12. You have been granted one Christmas wish…what will it be?
I would absolutely love a white Christmas spent snuggled up indoors with my boyfriend, puppy and family.

I'm not going to bother tagging people in this, if you'd like to answer this Christmas Tag, go ahead! Let me know when you have so I can take a peek in to your Christmas too. 

Love Amber x


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Saturday, 2 December 2017

Hygge Gift Box


I recently put this 'hygge bundle' gift box together for my boyfriend's Brother and Sister-in-Law as they have just had a baby. We added baby clothes, toys and baby essentials to it to make it a bit more relevant but they loved it and found it really thoughtful as we had thought about them in their time of need. I think this bundle makes a great gift all year round, though particularly in autumn/winter and for many occasions like new baby, birthday, Christmas and a get well soon box. 

| WHAT'S INSIDE? |


| Comforting Snacks | 

I opted for popcorn and chocolate for a cosy night in either watching a movie or reading a book. Snacks are essential for cosy hygge feels. You could get creative and make up a sweet bag or bake some cupcakes/cookies to put inside. 

| Hot Drinks |

Nothing says hygge like a hot drink on a cold day. I've put some fruit tea, hot chocolate and caramel monin syrup in this box as you never know what someone might fancy. I personally don't have a preference on hot drink and will drink all sorts from fruit tea to a black americano coffee so I thought having the choice was a good idea. 

| Pamper Items | 

In this box I put in some facemasks, fluffy socks and a Lush bath bomb for a night of pampering. You could add a pretty nail varnish, a nail file, body lotion and other items you think might be useful for a night of self-love. 

| Warming Candles | 

Hygge is all about the candles so make sure you put in a nice scented candle or tealights like I have done. Candles always make me feel cosy and warm throughout the winter months. 

| A Good Book | 

Why not include the infamous hygge book in a hygge gift box?! Or you could include any other book you think the receiver of the gift would enjoy. If they aren't into reading, you could put in a DVD instead.

| Snuggly Blanket | 

This isn't an essential, it's just a touch of luxury to the gift box. I have SO many throws dotted around the house as I really feel the cold and love having one to grab and snuggle up in. I know most people feel the same! 

If you give this a go, I would love to know what you end up putting inside your gift box so let me know in the comments below! 

Love Amber x

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Friday, 1 December 2017

Blogmas | Christmas Bucket List | Day 1


It is officially 25 days until Christmas which means it's now acceptable to put up the decorations, watch Love Actually and get buying gifts for your loved ones (if you haven't started already doing that like I did weeks ago...). I am so excited for Christmas this year as we have a new addition to the family! Pepper is our long-haired dachshund puppy and she is the sweetest little thing. She's only a few months old at the moment and still needs her last jab but I can't wait to take her out on her first walk around Christmas and on Christmas Day. If you are following me on social media then expect to see A LOT of photos of her as she is just the cutest little thing and I must share her with the world. 

To get into the Christmas Spirit, I have composed a bit of a Christmas bucket list for not only myself, but for you to join me if you wish too! 

1. Light some candles for advent. Nothing says 'Christmas is nearly here' more than candles. 

2. Christmas Lights! Head to your local Christmas market, town or village, snap some photos and share them on the gram for everyone to see.

3. Get Baking. Bake some gingerbread cookies, chocolate cookies, anything Christmassy!

4. Make a Hot Chocolate. My favourites are Baileys hot chocolate (which I will be sharing with you on the blog soon!) and Options orange hot chocolate - yum yum.

5. Build a ginger bread house! I've not done this before and can't wait to build my own and decorate it this Christmas.

6. Have a no 'screen time' day. Get writing those Christmas cards or start on your Christmas wrapping, follow this with a nice wintry walk.

7. Eat a mince pie with cream.

8. Go out for dinner at one of your favourite restaurants. December is THE month to indulge yourself.

9. Have a drink with friends. Hit the town or have a cosy night in by the fire, just make sure there are plenty of Christmassy cocktails to be had!

10. Have a pyjama and Christmas movie day. Not gona lie, I've done this a couple of times already towards the end of November but I have saved a few for December.

11. Read a book on Hygge. Hygge feels are at their peak for me over Christmas.

12. Have breakfast for dinner. Who doesn't love pancakes or an English Breakfast for dinner?!

13. Donate to a food bank. A simple, inexpensive and thoughtful thing to do this Christmas.

14. Wrap some presents! (if you haven't already)

15. Post Christmas cards.

16. Throw your own Christmas party with friends and go all out on Christmas themed snacks. I spotted some candy cane flavoured crisps in Tesco the other day...

17. Go ice-skating. I haven't done this in years so this will be fun!

18. Go to a carol service. I have been invited to our local church's carol service by the Mayor as my boyfriend is good friends with him and I am really looking forward to this.

19. Make a Christmas decoration. I've seen so many being made by the other bloggers I follow so I am full of inspiration for this!

20. Buy some new Christmas Pj's and slippers ready for Christmas morning.

21. Make the house smell like Christmas. I can't wait to start burning Christmas candle scents!

22. Do a random act of kindness.

23. Bake a pavlova for Christmas Day. My pavlovas have become a bit of a tradition and are such a nice, light dessert after a big Christmas dinner.

24. Bake a Camembert and share it with friends. This is one of my favourite Christmas snacks.

25. Buy lots of Christmas presents for Pepper!

What's on your bucket list this Christmas to get you in the spirit? Do you think you will be participating in any of my list? 

Love Amber x

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Thursday, 30 November 2017

Photo Diary | Freetown Christiania | Copenhagen


Freetown Christiania is a truly fascinating place. It is a neighbourhood in the heart of Copenhagen and is best known for it's inhabitants unusual way of life. It was established in 1971 by a group of hippies who established their own set of society rules, totally independent of the Danish Government. 



My boyfriend and I visited Copenhagen at the beginning of October. Before we went, we were advised that there were certain areas of Christiania whereby you should not take photos (due to hash dealing) so I have not captured everything Christiania has to offer in these photos due to our own safety! The neighbourhood feels pretty safe when you're there, just totally out of this world. 


What struck me the most when we were there was the amount of graffiti art everywhere, it made the place so colourful and unlike anything I had ever seen before. The picture below features artwork made out of paint and recycled skateboards. 



Christiania is a combination of homemade houses, art galleries, music venues, low cost and organic eateries, and beautiful nature. It is a society within a society, for  instance, you can't buy a house in Christiania. You have to apply for it, and if successful, it is given to you.


The neighbourhood is known to be a green and car-free neighbourhood, with bikes everywhere! Though there are bikes everywhere all across Copenhagen so it wasn't too different to that. 



If you're looking for somewhere full of culture, art and out of this world then I would recommend a visit to Freetown Christiania whilst visiting Copenhagen. There is so much to look at and the place is inspirational from an artists perspective. It offers a look in to a different way of life that is far more liberal than most societies today. 



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Monday, 27 November 2017

REVIEW | Phantom of the Opera | Her Majesty's Theatre


Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera has been casting it's magical spell on audiences in the West End since 1986, leading it to be the longest running show of Her Majesty's Theatre. The plot is about a beautiful soprano, Christine Daaé, who becomes the obsession of a mysterious, musical genius living beneath the Opera Populaire. I love everything about the production from the music to the story, and this was my second time seeing a live performance of it.

In my view, Andrew Lloyd Webber has captured a tragically romantic love story with both powerful and emotive music and lyrics. The music, lyrics, set design, costume and story marry each other perfectly. The production flows seamlessly from scene to scene depicting the Phantom's Layer to the Grand Staircase for Masquerade, this gives the performance a cinematic feel. The current cast and crew deserve much praise for the current show as it was a delight to watch again. I would recommend this show to anyone that enjoyed the film adaptation as it is really brought to life in the West End.

The only drawback I had of the performance was my seat. I was sat in the stalls towards the back on the left-hand side. I would suggest paying the extra money for a central seat, near to the front of the stalls as I felt taken away from the performance slightly and couldn't quite get lost in it like I usually do. I struggled to see the iconic chandelier drop scene and think it would be well worth the money for a slightly better seat. The circle may even be a better option for this performance due to the different levels of the stage being used.

Have you seen a live performance of Phantom of the Opera? What were your thoughts on the performance?


| Where to eat? |

Byron - Haymarket
A very short walk from Her Majesty's Theatre, Byron's offers delicious burgers and shakes to fill up on before or after the show. I was blown away by how much food was served and definitely didn't need any snacks in the theatre! They also offer options for vegetarians.

Steak & Co - Haymarket
Again, just a short walk from the Theatre, Steak & Co is a restaurant chain that has popped up across London, offering you steak on a sizzling hot steak stone for you to cook the steak just how you like it. The food was served extremely quickly and I had the best sweet potato fries I've ever had at this restaurant. 

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Thursday, 23 November 2017

Why I am Doing Blogmas


This year I have decided to participate in Blogmas for the first time ever. The main reason behind it is that I am throwing myself in to my creative work as it is my passion and what I love in life and my blog forms a part of that. I figured, it's now or never when it comes to putting yourself out there and seeking a career in what you love. Don't get me  wrong, I don't think it'll take off overnight and is going to take a lot of hard work a persistence which I why I am being sensible and am on the hunt for a part time job that I will enjoy whilst working on the creative side.

I also blumin' love Christmas. I am so excited for it this year as it's my first year with Stu and we are getting a Dachshund puppy called Pepper next week which makes things all the more exciting. You can read more about her here. We have bought and wrapped most of our Christmas presents already (I know, prepared right?!) and have been super organised this year. Not sure if we will be putting up a Christmas tree this year though as I think Pepper might destroy it or pee up it as dogs do. Means photography might be a little difficult as I won't have a tree... I'm gona have to get creative.

 I am even contemplating YouTube and vlogging for the 476th time but might play around with insta stories first to test the waters! I think what I find scary about it is that my blog isn't a secret from people in my life and when I go to job interviews they always say 'I had a quick look at your blog'. I am sort of afraid how I will come across, whether my life is interesting enough and whether I am interesting enough. I think that this may resonate with some of you so if you have similar thoughts please do let me know.

The other part to my creative work is an illustration business I am currently developing which you can follow on Facebook here. This will offer prints and greeting cards on an Etsy store to begin with. I am in talks with a local printer that I am seeking to help print my illustrations professionally before investing in a printer myself. I am also touching up my final designs to be sent to print, ready for the Christmas period! So please keep me in mind if you are looking to support a developing small business.

I have so many ideas for Blogmas and have already started preparing the content so that it's of decent quality for my readers. I can't wait to get back into blogging on a regular basis and am excited to share this journey with you all. I also want to invest a lot more of my time in supporting other bloggers, commenting on their posts and sharing the blog love as it's so important to support one another. So if you've read this far please leave me a link to your blog and your favourite bloggers out there so I can share the love.

Love Amber x
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Wednesday, 22 November 2017

We Are Getting A Puppy!

We are getting a puppy! On the 28th November, we will be bringing little Pepper, the long-haired Dachshund, back to our humble abode which will turn our two-some into a three-some and I couldn't be more excited! I have dreamt of having a Dachshund for years now and finally my dreams are coming true.

I have decided on a very big decision to go part-time and put my all into my creative work such as my blog and illustration business (currently a work in progress but all will be revealed very soon) which means I will be spending a lot of time at home to take care of a puppy. We met her last week and instantly fell in love with her and are really excited to bring her home next Tuesday.

My parents own two dogs and I was living with them at the time they got both of them so have experienced how dedicated you have to be in training a puppy and the initial costs involved. I thought I would compile a bit of a list just in case you were thinking of getting your own little four-legged friend or just wanted to have a nose at what we've been buying for our pup.

Puppy Essentials

| DOG COLLAR & TAG |
Did you know that it is now a legal requirement for a dog to wear a tag and be micro-chipped? We opted for a Pets at Home 'Find my VIP' tag which doesn't have the puppy's name on or our contact details to avoid her being stolen. It costs around £10.00 per year and was only launched in June apparently but has been a huge success. How it works is you download an app on your phone, enter the unique ID number on the tag which then allocates the tag to your details. If your puppy goes missing then you can send out an alert to VIP members. If your puppy is hurt, Pets at Home pay out instantly so the finder of the dog can go to the vets straight away, saving precious time. The finder just calls the number on the tag which then alerts the owner of the dog. I think it's great and would recommend all dog owners get this as it offers more than a micro-chip!

| INSURANCE |
Dogs are prone to accidents. This is something myself and my family learnt first hand with their Toy Poodle Toby. When he was just months old, he ran into a concrete step in the garden and shattered his front leg. He had to have a few operations and a nut and bolt fitted in his leg which would have been insanely costly if we didn't have pet insurance. (I'm talking £5k plus) We have gone for one that offers Lifetime cover, so if Pepper gets a new illness or injury, she will still be covered. It costs a little extra but is well worth it as unfortunately, there is no NHS for animals and most of us would be distraught if something went wrong and we couldn't afford to pay for it.

| PUPPY HARNESS & LEAD |
As Pepper is on the small side of dog breeds and has an elongated back, giving her the iconic 'sausage' look, we have to think about protecting that. We have bought her a small harness so that when we walk her, we won't be damaging her bone development.

| DOG BED |
We have bought a medium sized bed which I am sure is going to swamp her initially but it's for her to grow into. In my experience, puppies grow very attached to their beds so it's best to start them off in one big enough for them when they are fully grown. We have gone for a bed that's machine washable too so that it shouldn't need replacing for a long time. Make sure you buy a bed big enough for your puppy to stretch out in when they're small and for when they are fully grown.

| FOOD & WATER BOWLS |
We have gone for stainless steel puppy bowls as they don't collect as much bacteria as plastic bowls. We have bought an anti slip mat to sit them on so she doesn't struggle eating/drinking with the bowl moving too much.

| CAGE |
We have a very large cage for Pepper which is to be used throughout her puppy training. Dacshunds are notorious for slow toilet training so we will be keeping her in there whilst she's in training! Ensure you kit it out with lots of toys, a cosy bed, water and a puppy training pad as puppies will not do their business in their beds.

| PUPPY TRAINING PADS |
An absolute essential as this will save your carpet! When puppies are very young, they tend to have accidents when they are being trained to do their business outside, especially over night when you are sleeping. I intend to lay one out in a large cage away from my puppies bed so she can do her business.

| DOG TREATS |
I have been recommended to buy two different types of dog treats, doesn't matter what they are really, though I try to go for something that doesn't contain cereals. One treat should be used for toilet training only to avoid confusion and the other for generic treats for good behaviour.

| TOYS |
Get your puppy a range of toys. We have got Pepper soft toys, balls, squeaky toys, rope toys and a teething bone. Puppies are very active and will want to play a lot so this will ensure she won't eat/destroy the furniture/garden. We have also tied some toys to the side of her cage so that she feels safe and comfortable in there.

| BIODEGRADABLE POOP BAGS |
Pretty self explanatory, and an essential. You will need plenty of these for cleaning up after your pup!

Do you have anything to add to my list of puppy essentials? If you have a dog or are getting one soon I would love to hear about it so please do drop me a comment below.

Love Amber x

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Tuesday, 21 November 2017

What I've Been Reading Lately

I find that autumn is the perfect time to settle down, light some candles and open an enjoyable book in my favourite, snuggly reading nook. Recently, I have been reaching for romantic comedies full of twist and turns which have turned out to be real page turners. In the past, I would not usually have gone for this sort of genre of book as I prefer historical fiction or thrillers; suffice to say, I have been well and truly converted.

Wilde Like Me | Louise Pentland

I LOVE Louise. I think the way she comes across is so fun and down to earth on her popular YouTube channel and across her other social media, so I was really looking forward to reading her book. She has truly written what she knows in her new book Wilde Like Me as it is about a mother and daughter duo that we follow through their day-to-day life journey. The book is great and strikes moments of comedy gold when narrating about contemporary issues such as dating apps. I found the book relatable, funny and am looking forward to reading the second book of the series and would recommend for a light-hearted read.

My Not So Perfect Life | Sophie Kinsella

This book is contemporary, fun and creative. Kinsella has addressed the issue of what lies behind our ‘Not So’ perfect lives that we are all guilty of displaying on our Instagram feeds. It’s easy to admire and long for a person’s life when all you are seeing are the ‘good bits’ as most people don’t tend to share the bad on social media. I really enjoyed the story of the book which is about a graduate marketing student from the country that is attempting to make it in London; she is thrown all sorts of obstacles and has the chance to get her own back on the people that stand in her way. I liked how the book made me take a step back and remind me that nothing in life is perfect.

Miss You | Kate Eberlen

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is cleverly written as we follow two people’s stories – Tess and Gus that are perfect for each other but haven’t quite met one another properly yet. Eberlen addresses so many different issues in this book such as death, grief, autism, marriage, affairs and many more which makes it a meaty read with a very fast pace. I could not put this book down and will be reading more of Eberlen in the future.

Have you read any of these books? What were your thoughts? I’d love to hear about it so leave me a comment below or find me on social media. Also, do you have any recommendations for me to read? I have a few on my bookshelf to read next but I always have my head stuck in a book so I welcome recommendations from any genre. 

Love Amber x
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Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Seven Days of Hygge


For me, hygge is experienced best throughout Autumn and Winter. I love Autumn, it's by far my favourite season all year round. I love wrapping up warm in cosy jumpers and wearing fluffy gloves and hats on a cold sunshine-y days to go exploring. I adore autumnal nights too, surrounded by my friends and family in a room lit by candles with a game going and hot drinks flowing. I make a mean hot chocolate topped with squirty cream, marshmallows and a drizzle of golden syrup - you should try it! So, I've pieced together a bit of a seven day guide to hygge for you to enjoy and experience too. If you're unsure what hygge actually is, then you may find my post on Hygge Essentials useful. 

-MONDAY-

Take yourself away from screens for the evening. Yes, that's right, you heard me! We all get so glued to our phones, laptops and IPads that it's important to ensure we can still survive without them. So, put your laptop away and phone down, (no cheating and checking your Instagram notifications!) now allow yourself to relax with a good book or have fun with a board game with family or friends; my favourites are Cluedo and Cards Against Humanity. Sort yourself out a large glass of wine or hot chocolate and you’ll be ready to unwind.


-TUESDAY-

Today is the day to splurge on yourself a little. Treat yourself and buy something new that is hygee orientated. Some great examples are: a new candle, some cosy cushions or a fluffy throw; you could even try that hot drink you've had your eye on for a while now. I did this recently and tried a Gingerbread Latte - so good!

-WENDESDAY-

Get creative today and paint a picture, bake your heart out, write a letter or start a new scrap book. Get those creative juices flowing! I have recently got in touch with my creative side and have started a little DIY project painting bookmarks and greeting cards to give to my friends and family. This makes me feel very hygge.

-THURSDAY-

Buy yourself some flowers and bring nature inside your home today. Not into flowers? Get yourself a potted plant or a herb for the kitchen that you can look after and watch grow. Rosemary is great for roast dinners and it smells amazing or Mint could be used for Mojitos, you just need to add the rum. 

-FRIDAY-

Organise a movie night with friends or family. Get the snacks in and make sure there is a snuggly blanket for everyone. I love hosting nights like these; chocolate fondue with strawberries and marshmallows always goes down well. 

-SATURDAY-

Be at one with nature today and take a long walk in the woods, along the beach or in a pretty park. Explore somewhere new or go to a place full of fond memories. Wrap up warm and enjoy being outside in the fresh air.


-SUNDAY-

Today, allow yourself a lazy pyjama day. Make sure you have breakfast in for breakfast in bed and snuggle up with a good book or your latest favourites on Netflix or a TV box set. I like buying croissants with butter and strawberry jam for this sort of day paired with some freshly brewed coffee in my cafetiere. Set the mood with some candles and enjoy the flowers you bought earlier in the week.


I hope you enjoyed this post and I'd love to know how you get on with your week of hygge. I absolutely love living my life through the Danish way of life and hope you are now inspired to too. 

Love Amber x
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Saturday, 14 October 2017

Where to eat? | Copenhagen


Warning! This post may make you hungry! Above is pictured a display of Smørrebrød, the famous Danish open sandwich, in Torvehallerne Market. Don't they just look delicious?! Keep reading for more amazing places to eat in Copenhagen.


 Torvehallerne 

Torvehallerne was a short walk away from the Metro Stop Nørreport and one stop over from Forum which was close to where we were staying, so it was very convenient for us. We went here every day for breakfast and had a wonder around to look at the stunning food displays. Think Borough Market except Danish style! Take a look at my recommendations below. 

Grød & Vita Boost

Pictured above, we just had to try Grød whilst we were in Copenhagen. It's tasty, hot porridge served with delicious nutty granola toppings and fresh or stewed apple. I was a huge fan of this and have since tried to replicate it though it's not quite as good in the UK. Grød is the place to go when visiting Torvehallerne and is always very popular with both tourists and locals. Vita Boost is a smoothie bar, which also serves light-bites. The Very Berry Merry Smoothie was my favourite.

Laura's Bakery

Pictured below, we ate at Laura's Bakery the first time we visited Torvehallerne and that experience left us wanting more. We opted for a pain au chocolat (which had also been dipped in chocolate for good measure), a strawberry tart and Greek yoghurt topped with granola and fresh berries. We split it in two and shared everything so that we could try a bit more without getting too full, which was a great idea. The granola was incredible so I bought some, to take home with me. 

Smørrebrød

Pictured below is a classic Danish dish - Smørrebrød. It is essentially an open sandwich on rye bread. On this one, we had a cold chicken salad topped with chorizo. It was very tasty and unlike anything I had ever tried before, so I am glad I experienced it. 

 DØP

Pictured below, the hot dog stand sits by Rundetaarn (The Round Tower). Besides from the traditional Danish smørrebrød, there is nothing as Danish as a hot dog stand. They are everywhere! Everything is organic from the onions to the sauce and it was so incredibly tasty. 



Copenhagen Street Food

Copenhagen Street Food serves up food from all over the world and is situated right on the harbour. It's perfect for hearty meals served with a cold beer or cocktail, which is exactly what we did when we visited.


The food market offers food from Mexico to Korea as well as traditional Danish food and drink. The whole place is incredible with a very Danish, Hyggelig feel to it, as it had a huge fireplace inside and cosy spots to sit, eat and drink. Whilst we were there, we saw people of all ages, cultures and nationalities as they simultaneously caught up and chowed down. 


We opted for the Brazilian option as it looked incredible, I am sure you will agree (pictured above and below). I could not recommend a visit to this place enough! Plus it's not too far from Nyhavn and Christiania - two of my favourite spots to visit in Copenhagen. 



MASH

Pictured above, MASH, which stands for Modern American Steak House, is ideal for a relaxing sit-down meal when you are craving a good-quality steak. It really was the best streak I have EVER tasted. We chose a Uruguayan Rib-eye steak which was one of the cheapest on the menu, but even still, with just 2 steaks, 2 fries, a side of creamed spinach and 2 cokes, the bill came to around £100. This is a quality steak house and they even offer the famous Kobe steaks from Japan. The chain of MASH restaurants originated in Copenhagen and there is now one in London, if you wanted to give it a try closer to home. 

Belgian Waffles

Pictured below, this was a favourite of mine when we took a stroll along the harbour of Nyhavn in the evening. We sat along the harbour and ate our warm Belgian waffles with Daim flavoured ice-cream. I noticed the restaurants didn't really serve any desserts that were quite as decadent as this, so I would recommend visiting an ice cream parlour once you've finished your evening meal. 


Food is such an important part of Danish culture and I am a huge foodie so I really enjoyed experiencing the different sorts of foods and markets the Danes have to offer in Copenhagen. If you have never been to Copenhagen, I highly recommend a visit! Not only for the food, but to experience the sights and sounds too.

I hope you enjoyed my post on the food of Copenhagen and if you have anything to add, I'd love to know so please leave me a comment and I'll get back to you. Any questions, just let me know. 

Love Amber x
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