Christmas in New York

This is long overdue, but here are my pictures from my trip to New York. I had an amazing week with my Mum and I would love to make another visit. Another post will be coming soon containing all of my experiences moments I enjoyed from my trip!

I hope that when the next time I make a visit, I will be able to take my Nikon D3100 and get some better quality pictures.

Charlotte x

Vegan Christmas Dinner.

The Christmas just gone was the first one I have cooked for. Granted, my Dad did cook all of the sides and his main, but I planned and spent time cooking mine and Joe’s main and I think it turned out great!!

I got this recipe from here. I made a couple of tweaks but overall, I did follow a lot of it. It combines everything I love, including sweet potato and pastry so Joe and I were sure to enjoy.


– 2 Medium sweet potatoes.

– Dairy free milk or dairy free Creme Fraiche.

– Vegan butter.

– 1 onion.

– 1 carrot.

– 1 celery stick.

– 3 portobello mushrooms.

– 2 garlic cloves.

– 256g of green lentils.

– 1 litre of stock.

– 1 tbsp of cornstarch.

– Puff pastry.

– Salt.

– Prick holes in the sweet potatoes then bake at 180c for 40 minutes or until they are cooked all the way through.

– Spoon out the flesh of the sweet potato and place into a bowl and mash. Add the salt, Creme Fraiche (I used the Oatly version) and butter. I don’t like to provide measurements for these ingredients as I think it should be added until it gets to the consistency that you like. You then set this aside to cool.

РChop and add the onion, celery and carrot into a large pan and sauté over a medium heat for around 5 minutes. You then add the salt and stir for another minute. Prepare and add the mushrooms to the pan and cook for another 5 minutes or until the mushrooms are cooked all the way through. Add the garlic and the lentils and stir for around 3 minutes. Prepare the vegetable stock and add to the mixture then bring it up to a simmer.

– Once the mixture is simmering, combine the cornstarch and the water to form a paste-like liquid and add that to the stew. You then stir this in for around 2 minutes until a lot of the liquid has been cooked off and it is slightly thicker. Put this mixture to one side and leave to cool.

I prepared up to this point on Christmas Eve as the filling had to be cooled before putting into the pastry anyway so it made for less stress on Christmas Day and it meant I only have to construct the pie and bake it at my Dad’s.

– Roll out the puff pastry (I used Jus-Rol) just enough so then it will fit perfectly around the edges of your loaf tin. Make sure there is enough left over to be able  to put a lid on the pie.

– Grease and line your loaf tin with some parchment paper, this will make removing the pie much simpler.

– You can then line the bottom of the loaf tin with the pastry. Make sure there are no gaps as this will cause some of the filling to spill out.

– Layer the sweet potato mash on the bottom of the pie and then put the stew mixture on the top.

– Add the pastry lid on top and press the edges to make sure it is all stuck together and won’t be coming apart. Make sure you make small slits on the top to let any condensation come out of the pie.

– Bake in an oven at 190c for 30-40 minutes and the pastry should end up being a nice golden brown colour.

– The pie then needs to rest for at least 20 minutes otherwise it will be too hot and due to the filling, it will lose its shape. I only let mine sit for around 10 minutes and it was still absolutely fine though.

I loved this recipe due the to ease of it and how delicious it was once it was made! I will definitely be making this again for another special occasion.

Charlotte x

What I got for Christmas 2016.

This Christmas was amazing, I spent a lot of time with my family and loved catching up with everyone that I don’t get to see very often. I wanted to create this post to not only remember what lovely gifts I got, but to give a huge special thanks to everyone who took the time to think of me over the Christmas period.


These are a selection of the gorgeous things my Mum got for me! She got me a few tea lights in my favourite Yankee Candle scent, Snowflake Cookie. She also got me some Minion salt and pepper shakers as well as an amazing bowl for me to eat soup out of! She got both Joe and I the same one and I am very excited to get to using them. She got me a trusty tin of Vaseline, she gets me one every year so it was only right. She then got me a Tsum Tsum plush that contains a bag for life, cute and practical. She also got me some dairy free caramels that I had been asking for, for ages! Mum got me a wire Gingerbread Man filled with potpourri and a huge set of Real Technique’s brushes. I love this brand of make up tools so this was an amazing gift to receive. My Mum also got me a brand new dressing gown, it is grey and soft and to go with it she got me some furry slippers. I have barely changed out of both of these items since I got them.

My Mum also surprised me with tickets to see Wicked on Broadway when we went to New York. Wicked is one of my favourite musicals of all time so it was amazing to be able to see it when we were in New York.

Ian and Mandy:

Joe’s parents got us a whole range of copper cookware including the one pictured above. It is nice to have a complete set of the same pots and pans, plus they’re copper. I love them and I am so grateful that they managed to get them for us for Christmas! They also treated me to this gorgeous notebook. It has a cute little sausage dog on it and I love it!



My Dad very kindly gave Joe and I some money towards our wedding and as a little treat he also got me the Miss Saigon DVD. I wanted to see this when it came to the cinema so I was very happy to open this up on Christmas Day.


Joe got me this gorgeous lipstick from Too Faced in the shade Clueless. He bought me this as one of my favourite films is Clueless and it is such a me colour, pink and glittery. I love this colour so much and I actually wore it in my New Year’s Day make up look so you can see it on me over there. He also got me a copper wire to go with my iPad as well as a gorgeous velvet travel case for my make-up brushes. I tweeted a few weeks ago saying that I would like Niomi Smart’s cookbook for Christmas due to the amazing Mac and Cheese recipe inside. Joe was thoughtful enough to get it me for Christmas so expect some posts about that on my blog soon! Another thoughtful gift was the tea set Joe got me. Joe and I went to Wagamama’s a long time ago and got some green tea to finish off our meal. Traditionally, green tea is served in small cups with no handles and ever since we had that meal I have been looking for some cups just like it. I did buy some from TK Maxx although soon realised they were actually plant pots so my mini cacti sit in them now. Amazingly, Joe remembered and picked up this little set with a beautiful matching tea pot.

I love everything I received this Christmas and I especially loved the fact that I got to spend so much time with my family around the holidays. Christmas is a really special time of year and I love it!

I also received some lovely gifts that I haven’t managed to grab a picture of; Joe’s brother and his girlfriend got me a really nice DisneyxCath Kidston notebook and pen which I will definitely be using when University rolls around again. My brother and his family printed out a really lovely group shot from his wedding last year. I love this picture and I will definitely be getting it framed. My Grandparents got Joe and I a pair of rose bushes as well as soil, compost and the plant pots to be able to plant them ourselves. My younger brother and my Dad also got me a Baylis and Harding body wash, my brother made sure to check it was cruelty free too which was a nice touch. My cousin got me a Lush gift voucher which came in good use in the Boxing Day sales and another of my cousin’s got me a Candy Mountain bubble bar from Lush as well as a vegan cook book which I cannot wait to start using!

I again would like to thank all of my family for thinking of me over the Christmas period and choosing such thoughtful presents! I have had an amazing Christmas and New Year and I cannot wait to see what the next year will bring.

Charlotte x

The Trafford Centre at Christmas.

Over the Christmas period, I decided to take a shopping trip to The Trafford Centre in Manchester and I thought I take some pictures of the beautiful decorations they had up!

I love going to the Trafford Centre at Christmas because it is so festive and the array of shops makes my Christmas shopping so easy!

Charlotte x

Reflections and Resolutions.

2016 is a strong contender for one of the best years of my life. 2016 is the year that I have felt more content than ever and I truly feel so happy to have the life I do.


Joe and I started the year by visiting my Grandparents, something the whole of my family do every New Year’s Day. Although I have always visited with all of my family, it is even more special now that I do not get to see my older brother and his family so often. It is nice to have a catch up and see all the children. Later in January, Joe and I visited our first wedding fayre. We have not booked anything as of yet, we need to decide on a date before we can prepare anything else, although it was great to see everything laid out in front of us and to get a better idea of what we wanted for our own day.


February was a very exciting month! First of all, Joe and I won “Couple of the Year” at the Slimming World group we go to.

A couple of days later we then bought and collected our official engagement ring. When we first got engaged, we decided to get a cheap ring due to me losing weight and we were both students at the time so money was tight. Collecting our official ring was very exciting. It is a rose gold band with a morganite stone in the middle with two diamonds either side, something a little different but I love pink so it’s perfect.


The next day I went to, my now sister in law, Claire’s hen do in a really gorgeous country house in the midlands. It was quite a long journey from where I came from although it was so worth it, the house was gorgeous, the rooms were amazing and I had the most amazing facial in the evening. It was also great to meet all of Claire’s close friends and family before the wedding as it made for a much more enjoyable day being able to mingle between the families.


For Joe’s birthday, I bought him a turtle feeding experience at Birmingham’s Sea Life Centre. I had chosen this experience so we could make a day out of it and grab some lunch and have a nice trip out, which since living together we don’t often do. We had a great time feeding this gorgeous turtle and learning all out marine conservation and how the other animals in the tank feed also.

We decided to use this experience to celebrate two years since getting together. It crazy how time flies! I have had the most amazing two, nearly three years, with Joe and I am so excited to see what the future brings.

March was the month that my Uncle and my Brother got married, respectively! It was amazing being able to experience this and it made me get so excited for my own wedding.

The end of March also saw both Joe and I become vegan, this is something we spoke about a lot and I always said “I could never cut out cheese, it’s just too good” but then we watched Cowspiracy and from that moment on I decided that was it, I just couldn’t eat dairy anymore. When we got home that night, we threw out everything containing animal products and started fresh. It has been quite a long process and it has taken a long time to find nice alternatives to food I once loved but I feel like I am getting there and I feel much healthier everyday.


These two months were VERY quiet for me. It was the end of my University year so I spent a lot of time preparing for my exams and working hard revising for them and once they were over I was job hunting. It was extremely hard finding a job over this period, and I did not manage to find one all summer. Whilst this meant that I didn’t have a steady income over summer, it also meant that I could get back into blogging and it really gave me the chance to put my all into it and work out exactly where I wanted my blog to go.


June is the home of mine and my Mum’s birthday! At the start of the month, Joe, my Mum, my younger brother and I decided to go and play a local escape the room game. We had never taken part in one before but my brother wanted to do this for his birthday so of course we said yes. It was so much fun and I would definitely go back and do another one! My Mum and I spent years playing these kinds of games on the internet so it was so much fun to play one in real life.

Later in the month, My Mum, My cousin, My sister in law and I completed a 5k mud run. This is something I am very proud of an you can read all about it here. We then spent the day having a small buffet back at my house and ate amazing cake and generally had a lot of fun with the family.

We got our garden renovated in June, this was amazing and just what we needed. Our previous garden was a lot of work to maintain and it was difficult to keep on top of so we got the grass taken out and had it paved over and now Linc has somewhere less muddy to play. We also had a real issue with flooding in our previous garden so we needed appropriate draining putting in to ensure the house didn’t flood over the winter.

I got my first year University results at the end of June and I had gained a first in two out of six of my modules and a 2:1 in the rest! I was very happy with this and it pushed me to work even harder in my second year of University.


In July I rekindled an old friendship with someone from Sixth Form called Anna. We hadn’t seen each other for a couple of years but she had moved near to where I was living and since we had both finished the University year, we decided it was the perfect time to meet up. We spent the hot summer days in my back garden tanning with Linc and it was a lovely start to the summer.

Anna and I decided to join our local gym this summer and it was great. We started off by going swimming then for a couple of months we went to the gym. We ended up going nearly every weekday over July and August although money was a little tight going into September so I decided to stop going. I would love to get back into it but it is quite expensive, so maybe one day soon!


During August I entered a competition to go to a Masterclass with Nyx, Lou Teasdale and Nicola Schuller. They are both very popular make up artists and have worked with so many famous people so I felt like it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. Needless to say, I won a place on this masterclass and went to spend the day talking all things makeup. It was an amazing experience and something I will never forget. I gained some valuable advice and Lou and Nicola were beyond lovely.

It was my Nephew Noah’s first birthday in August and we went down to the midlands to spend the weekend with my Brother and Sister in law to celebrate. We had a lovely weekend with the family and it was great to have another opportunity to get together.


At the start of September, Joe and I decided to take a day trip down to London. I managed to get some tickets in the summer sale for ¬£40 altogether, both ways, so it was a steal. We had a lovely day seeing the sights although I made the mistake of thinking we would want to be there for a full day, we did not, it was way too busy and stressful. Then on top of that our train had been delayed for hours and we ended up having to get a coach most of the way home. Regardless of the fact that we didn’t get home until 3am, it was still a lovely day out and we had a great time.

September was also the month that my Mum got a gorgeous little kitten called Dexter. He is so cute and playful and I love spending time with him.


My favourite month of the year is October! I love Halloween and it was the perfect time to crack out Linc’s Halloween jumper, I think he loved it.

October was the month for testing out vegan shortbread recipes. I found one that was great and I cannot wait to experiment with it more! You can find that recipe here.


For Bonfire Night, Joe, my mum and I were invited to spend the weekend with my brother’s family in the Midlands. We went for the weekend and had an amazing time catching up and seeing their children again. You can read all about my weekend in Shrewsbury here. We also made some sock snowmen to get the kids into the Christmas spirit and they loved it!

Linc’s Birthday was in November so of course I had to dedicate a blog post to him, you can read that here.

I managed to find myself a job in November! I am working part time in a local supermarket and so far so good. It is only a temporary Christmas job although hopefully I will be kept on.


The most wonderful time of the year! I love December and all thing’s Christmas so I was truly in my element this month. Generally, with University, all of my deadlines come in December and of course I did not prepare accordingly. Not only that but I also booked a holiday for around a week in December so I really had no time for anything so unfortunately blogging went on the back burner. I decided to take December off from blogging entirely and just enjoy my time with my family, which I did, although next year I am going to plan a little better to be able to put up content without feeling so overwhelmed by the amount I have to do.

First of all I want to talk about my blogging anniversary. This came up in December which means I have had my blog for a whole year, I cannot say I was very good at posting consistently until June, but I still started it. I am so proud of how far my blog has come in just a year and I am so excited for everything that will come over the next year.

December also gave me the opportunity to meet up with two old friends from High School that I haven’t seen for around 4 years. It was really nice to see them both and I am very excited to spend some more time with them in the New Year.

So to celebrate my 21st and my Mum’s 50th, which both came around this year, we decided to book a trip away to New York. It has always been my Mum’s dream holiday although I was never fussed but I can honestly say it was the single best holiday I have ever been on. It was so much fun and I had a lovely time with my Mum and it has made me desperate to visit again. I could not recommend going to New York enough!

Whilst in New York, my Mum surprised me with tickets to my favourite musical, Wicked. I have seen Wicked so many times so my Mum thought it would only be right to go and see it on Broadway whilst we were there. It was an amazing show with amazing cast and I am so thankful to my Mum that she managed to get the tickets for us.

Then came Christmas Day. I had the most amazing Christmas with all of my family around me and I received some lovely gifts. I also cooked mine and Joe’s main meal on Christmas Day so my Dad didn’t feel so pressured. It turned out amazingly! It was so delicious. A post will be coming up within the next week containing the recipe for my Christmas Day main as well as what I got for Christmas.

Then came Boxing Day. Joe and I decided to venture into town to have a look at the sales and of course I wanted to make the yearly trip to Lush’s half price sale. We got to town and to my surprise, people were queuing to get into Lush! I was shocked but it was so then they kept the store orderly and only had 10-15 people in at a time. We decided not to wait around and went and looked elsewhere first and we both picked up some shoes from Office, we grabbed some lunch then headed back to Lush where we waited in the queue. It was worth it, I managed to get my hands on lots of goodies which with feature on an upcoming Boxing Day Sale Haul post. Over the next couple of days I visited various family members and checked out the sales in various other towns and generally just had an amazing Christmas period with my loved ones.

Finally, Joe and I headed into Manchester town between Christmas and New Year and went to an amazing diner called V Rev. I had the most amazing Mac N Cheese burger with Pizza fries. Whether you are vegan or not, you should definitely check this place out, it is amazing and they have an awesome bakery attached!

Looking back over 2016 as a whole, it has been a whirlwind. It feels like yesterday that it was January yet here we are in a new year. I have had a great year which has seen my confidence improve, I have spent a lot more time with my loved ones and I have made more time to see my friends which I struggle to do. I have also done a lot more things with Joe out of the house which I have loved and now that I have a job, hopefully we can spend some more time doing fun activities.


1) I am becoming increasingly aware of how fast my life is flying by, it makes me want to spend as much time as possible with my friends and family so a goal for this year is to allow that time.

2) Read. I realised last week that in 2016 I did not read one book, it is the first year of my life that I have not read a book so that is going to change in 2017. I have already started on a new book and I need to make some more time for reading and relaxing.

3) Save save save. This year I have felt more stressed about money than I ever have done before. Due to the fact that I was struggling with my mental health I did have to leave my part time job earlier this year but now that I feel like I am getting on top of it a bit more, I am finding going to work easier and I am earning money again so I want to put money away and hopefully by the end of this year I will be out of my overdraft!

4) Spending time with friends and family. I touched on this briefly in my reflections and 2016 has been the year where I have spent an increasing amount of time with my friends and family although I do want that to improve further. I love spending time with my family so why wouldn’t I do it more?

5) Work on myself. Again, 2016 has really been the year that has helped me grow and feel more content as a person. This is the happiest I have been for a long time and I want that to continue into 2017.

6) Make sure I am more consistent with blogging. I have been pretty consistent between June-November although I want my routine with blogging to get better, I do not necessarily want to set a schedule but 3 posts a week is what I am aiming for.


New Year’s Day Makeup.

Make-up used:

Garnier BB cream in light 

Maybelline Fit Me powder in Natural Beige 

Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer in Light

Becca Split Pan in Prosecco Pop and Amaretto 

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in Light

– Morphe Concealer Palette (not in stock anywhere) 

– Buck from Naked 1 Palette for my eyebrows

Essence I Love Stage Eye Base

– Foxy from Naked 2 Palette to set the base

– Zone from Urban Decay’s Gwen Stefani Palette in my crease

– Topshop Glow Dome in Zephyr on the lid (discontinued) 

– Pop from Urban Decay’s Gwen Stefani Palette to set Zephyr

Maybelline Lash Sensational

Essence Lip Liner in Cute Pink

Too Faced La Creme Lipstick in Clueless


Last night Joe and I rang in the New Year by getting an early night. I am not one for staying up late so it was absolutely perfect for me!

First of all I would like to point out the obvious, I have not been posting for around a month and there is only one reason for this, lack of organisation. This is definitely something that I want to work on as one of my resolutions. December is a busy month in general being a student although I also went to New York and started a new job so I just couldn’t manage to find the time to dedicate to my blog. I am going to make a whole post about my New Year Resolutions so keep an eye out for that and I will expand a little more on my lack of organisation in all aspects of my life.

This past year has been the best one I have ever had, I had a lot of wonderful experiences and I feel that I have changed for the better. In the grand scheme of things this year hasn’t been so great, Brexit and Donald Trump to name a couple of issues I would prefer to forget about, although in my personal life I don’t think it could have been much better.
To name a few great things, I finished my first year of University, I ran a 5km mud run, my little Linc turned 2, I went to New York and I have spent a lot of time seeing my family and rebuilding old friendships from High School.

I have also found myself struggling with anxiety over the past couple of years and this year I decided to finally go and see a counciller. I think I have started to take the first steps to working on these issues and in the latter part of this year I have felt the happiest I have in a long time.

I have a few posts coming up in the next few weeks about my trip to New York with my Mum as well as the steals I got in the Boxing Day sales.

I am also so proud of how my blog has come along the past year. My first anniversary came around in December and although I did not start properly blogging until June, I am so proud of my progress and I am beyond excited for what the next year will bring.

I hope all of you guys had an amazing Christmas and New Year and I hope you have an amazing 2017!

Charlotte x