WHAT I GOT FOR CHRISTMAS 2015


Hi everyone! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and are now looking forward to welcoming in the New Year. I have had a lovely couple of days with my family and boyfriend and I am now so sad it's all over for another year!


I am really enjoying reading blog posts/watching haul videos on what everyone's got for Christmas this year so I thought I would put together my own before I start putting my gifts away in their new homes. I shouldn't really have to pop a disclaimer in here but it goes without saying that I am in no way bragging about the gifts I've received this year. I am genuinely very grateful for every gift I have received from the special people in my life. I thought I would share with you what I got and if you're nosey like me; you'll be super excited to read this post!




SECRET SANTA AT FARFETCH


A couple of weeks ago, Farfetch had an event on for a few bloggers which involved going around on a bus to see all of the Christmas lights in different places in London. There was also a "Secret Santa" amongst us all in which we was given some credit to buy something from Farfetch for another blogger. Unfortunately, due to a last minute date change, I was unable to go. However, Farfetch still sent out my Secret Santa gift which I have been so excited about opening...


COAST MILANA DRESS



We are only a few days away from Christmas now so if you haven't already got a pretty little Coast dress on your Christmas list; it's not too late to add one! It's no secret that I love the brand since I played dress up at the Coast Oxford St store a few years ago. Remember that? (linked).


I don't have a many special dresses in my wardrobe (or floordrobe/over filled slightly hanging to the right clothes rail) so it was really nice to do my hair and makeup pretty and dress up in the Milano dress* from Coast for a little shoot. (I should mention now that my little sister took these images so thanks, L!)


STAR WARS LEGO AT GEORGE ASDA

To celebrate the launch of the new Star Wars film; the guys over at George at ASDA sent me over some Star Wars themed lego which is the perfect gift for any child or adult who loves lego and Star Wars! HOW COOL!

COLOURED LENSES UK


Coloured contact lenses are something I have never tried before despite being a prescription contact lens wearer. My eyes are green and I genuinely don't mind my eye colour so I have never felt the need to try and change this. However, there's a first time for everything so I decided to try out some blue contact lenses* from Coloured Lenses UK.




These blue lenses* are priced at £11.99 for a pair which last for around a month. However, you do need to buy contact lens solution and a case separately if you wish to wear them more than once. 


I found the packaging to the lenses was incredibly difficult to open. This could be seen as a positive though. The lenses themselves are 14.5mm in diameter which is a little smaller than my prescription lenses so they were uncomfortable to begin with. However, after moving them around a few times they soon became a lot more comfortable to wear. 


These blue lenses have 3 tones which make them look a lot more natural but noticeable when being worn. 




I think £11.99 is an okay price for a pair of lenses that can be worn over and over again for a month (or longer, depending on how much you wear them!). They have a wide range of different coloured lenses to choose from and there's also free delivery on orders over £20!


It's a shame that I can't wear these on a day to day basis without glasses as I need a prescription in them so I am looking forward to when coloured prescription lenses are introduced by Coloured Lenses UK.

GREAT NEWS! Being Ashleigh is in the #BLAwards2015 FINALS for Best Lifestyle Blog of The Year! However, to win I need your votes! I would really appreciate if you could vote for me here in the lifestyle category! Let all your pals know too! Do tweet me if you vote for me so I can say thank you! Voting ends 24th December x

FOOD & CINEMA AT THE BREWERY, ROMFORD

A couple of weekends ago, I was invited along to one of my local shopping and leisure centres called The Brewery in Romford, Essex. It's the best place to go if you're looking for an entertainment activity such as the cinema or bowling (and lots of arcades - my favourite!) and food. 


The stretch of The Brewery includes a whole row of different shops including GAP, JD Sports and even a Costa Coffee. Once you reach the inside bit, you'll come across a huge Virgin Active Gym and Sainsbury's. Heading upstairs, you will find a 16 screen Vue Cinema, Namco Bowling Alley and there's even a kid's play centre called Kidspace. There's a wide range of different restaurants to choose from; Pizza Express, Frankie and Benny's, Nandos, McDonalds and Zizzi's. That's enough choice for you if you're having a family meal out or if you are on a date night!


I was invited along specifically to try out the special Christmas menu at Pizza Express. The Christmas menu (running until 4th January) is a two course meal consisting of a starter, romana pizza main and a glass of presecco. Me and my mum both went for the pork and pancetta croquettes which come with apple and cider sauce. For main, I chose the spiced lamb romana pizza which was so yummy! My mum on the other hand chose the sprout and pancetta romana pizza which has a fried egg in the middle. So random but she said it was really nice as she is a huge brussell sprout fan (yuck!!). 



Being the little piggies that we are, we was also treated to dessert which we couldn't turn down. I mean, would you?!


I went for the snowball dough balls which are a festive spin on their classic dough balls but sprinkled with cinnamon and served with vanilla cream and a chocolate straw. Trust me... so good!  My mum went for the chocolate and orange torte which looked divine! This is a creamy chocolate and orange ganache tart with a biscuit basel served with vanilla ice-cream. 


After being treated to a three course meal, we was then invited along to the huge Vue Cinema upstairs  (you have to go up the escalator above!) which I have visited many times before. We decided to watch The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 film which is so good and has definitely made me fall a little bit in love with Josh Hutcherson. That jaw!! 


I fully recommend visiting The Brewery in Romford if you are around the area and you're looking for a mid-week pick me up or a weekend plan. Having high street shops, restaurants, coffee places and entertainment all in one place makes things much more easier. There is something there for everyone including children too. It's the perfect place to visit if you haven't already!


Disclaimer: This post is in collaboration with The Brewery, Romford. I was invited along to review a restaurant Christmas menu, a film at the cinema and my overall opinion and experience at The Brewery itself. I was not paid to write this post. All opinions and photographs are my own and are not influenced or biased in any way. I fully recommend my experience at The Brewery to anyone. 

GREAT NEWS! Being Ashleigh is in the #BLAwards2015 FINALS for Best Lifestyle Blog of The Year! However, to win I need your votes! I would really appreciate if you could vote for me here in the lifestyle category! Let all your pals know too! Do tweet me if you vote for me so I can say thank you! Voting ends 24th December x

Christmas Gift Guide #9 - Cover-Up iPhone Cases

iPhone cases make great stocking fillers or presents if you're looking for a higher quality case for your loved ones. Cover-Up are a manufacturer of iPhone, tablet and Macbook cases so there's a lot on offer. 



They have a particular collection called the #WoodBack range which sees each iPhone case being hand made from a selection of 11 different woods.

I gifted this particular case to my boyfriend for Christmas and he absolutely loves it. It not only protects the back of his iPhone but it makes your phone look super sleek and minimalistic which is something I love when it comes to personalising my own gadgets!

GREAT NEWS! Being Ashleigh is in the #BLAwards2015 FINALS for Best Lifestyle Blog of The Year! However, to win I need your votes! I would really appreciate if you could vote for me here in the lifestyle category! Let all your pals know too! Do tweet me if you vote for me so I can say thank you! Voting ends 24th December x

Christmas Gift Guide #8 - Santa Claus: The Book of Secrets



Hands up if you have a child in your life who you have no idea what to buy for. I know both my hands are up and waving!  I have a few kids in my family that I always end up buying chocolate and toys for but they get the same sorts of things from everyone else.




Well, here's an idea on what to buy for that child in your life who has just about everything already; Santa Claus: The book of secrets*. Or maybe you know an adult like me who just loves the magic of Christmas. There is something SO magical about it. From the actual traditional and special looking cover, to the typical book smell (you know what I mean?) and then there's the gorgeous illustrations by the author himself; Russell Ince. 




This is a magical Christmas book for all the family. Get cosy in a Christmas jumper and fluffy socks, sit back with a mug of hot cocoa and listen to the stories and history of Christmas. Learn about the traditions of Christmas and the secrets of Santa's elves, reindeer, toys, the North Pole and how the man himself manages to fly around the world in just 24 hours...




Written and illustrated by Russell Ince, this book is guaranteed to give a child extra more magic this Christmas. It's something that I will be putting away for my own children one day as it's just so special.


The book is available at Make The Most Of and you can choose between a soft back book priced at £11.99 or pay that little extra for a hardback version for £18.99. Spread some magic this Christmas!


GREAT NEWS! Being Ashleigh is in the #BLAwards2015 FINALS for Best Lifestyle Blog of The Year! However, to win I need your votes! I would really appreciate if you could vote for me here in the lifestyle category! Let all your pals know too! Do tweet me if you vote for me so I can say thank you! Voting ends 24th December x

Christmas Gift Guide #7 - The Hot Drinks Lover



Do you have a tea or coffee lover in your life? Maybe you're like me and much prefer hot chocolate?! Even if you have a person in your life who prefers cold drinks, the Husk Breaktime Beakers* from OLPRO are the perfect stocking filler this year. Not only are they only £5.99, but they come in six different colours too!




Firstly, what is Husk?


Husk tableware from OLPRO is made from the shells that rice comes in... called Husk! This means these cups are biodegradable and doesn't contain any harmful chemicals. 


The Husk Breaktime Beakers can have cold drinks (up to -30) or hot drinks (up to 120 degrees celcius) in them which is perfect for any coffee or cold drink lover on the go! They are freezer and microwave safe (up to three minutes) and are 1.27 times harder than glass.



The Husk Beakers are available from the OLPRO website alongside other tableware and outdoor leisure products.



Why not pick up some personalised coffee for the person you're gifting the beaker to...


Hope & Glory have a wide range of different Christmas gifts for ultimate coffee lovers including instant and cafetiere coffee.  I was sent a couple of packets of the personalised label Christmas coffee* which has a limited edition blend of roasted chestnuts and Christmas fruitcake. Yum!




GREAT NEWS! Being Ashleigh is in the #BLAwards2015 FINALS for Best Lifestyle Blog of The Year! However, to win I need your votes! I would really appreciate if you could vote for me here in the lifestyle category! Let all your pals know too! Do tweet me if you vote for me so I can say thank you! Voting ends 24th December x

Christmas Gift Guide #6 - The Bluebeards Revenge & GIVEAWAY! (closed)



Another gift for him in my guides this year is a fantastic brand you may remember Josh reviewed a couple of months ago. If not, check out the awesome beard oil review here. This Christmas, they have some great gift sets for men which make it super easy if a guy in your life has a beard and likes to keep it looking fly! 


Here is The Bluebeards Revenge Body Kit* priced at just £24.99. Inside the wash bag is a mini deodorant, a soap (just for blokes!), a face cloth, cooling moisturiser and a beard/hair comb. I have a giveaway included within this post which one reader can win the body kit for a loved one this Christmas (a brand new one obviously!).




The Body Kit is the perfect gift this Christmas for any guy who likes to keep themselves well groomed. From skin care, smelling nice and keeping their beard looking as maintained as possible, the Body Kit has it all.


They also have a whole bunch of other gift sets available including the new Hipster Kit priced at £29.99 and the Scimitar Razor Kit at £59.99.



Want to win one for a guy in your life? Enter my giveaway in the form below! Please make sure you're following my blog on Bloglovin and leave a comment below letting me know who you would love to win this for! There are a couple of extra things you can do to win too!




T&C's:

  • Giveaway ends 15th December so this will only run for 4 days to guarantee delivery for Christmas!
  • The prize will be sent directly from The Bluebeards Revenge.
  • No cash or prize alternative.
  • I will contact the winner and re-select a winner if I don't hear back within 24 hours!
Good luck! x



GREAT NEWS! Being Ashleigh is in the #BLAwards2015 FINALS for Best Lifestyle Blog of The Year! However, to win I need your votes! I would really appreciate if you could vote for me here in the lifestyle category! Let all your pals know too! Do tweet me if you vote for me so I can say thank you! Voting ends 24th December x

Christmas Gift Guide #5 - KitSound & Kitvision Tech


Next up in my Christmas Gift Guides this year are some tech products. Christmas is the perfect time to put down that camera you've wanted for ages or those new speakers that will be a fresh new upgrade to your current ones.

Let me introduce to you... KitSound and Kitvision. Before things get confusing... both brands are separate brands but have very similar names!

This summer when I travelled across Europe, I shot a lot of my videos and photographs using my action camera from another well known brand. However, mine retails at near enough £500 which just isn't in everyone's price range when it comes to shopping for their loved ones at Christmas. However, you can now treat someone special to Kitvision's very own version: The Kitvision Escape HD5W Action Camera which retails at £99.99.



I have recently trialled this out and it's pretty good for the cheaper price! It records in full HD, has 1080p video and captures photos up to 12 megapixels. It also has built in wifi so you can live view your images on iOS or Android devices which connect to the camera. Amazing!



Next, we have something that I know any older person will appreciate: The KitSound Swing Alarm Clock & FM Radio which retails at £36.

It features a quirkily 1920's design in a small but cute size but also has the most amazing audio quality. The radio lets you tune into your favourite FM radio stations and also wake up to the sound of your favourite songs with its handy alarm clock setting. The snooze button is readily available on top of the radio which allows you to lazy around in bed for however long you want to.



The Swing radio can be mains or battery powered so it is easily transportable from home to work and back again. Whether you are cooking something yummy in the kitchen or painting your bedroom with a fresh lick of paint; the Swing radio from KitSound is the perfect partner to have.




Kitvision and KitSound products are available in most high street and online retailers, but also online.


GREAT NEWS! Being Ashleigh is in the #BLAwards2015 FINALS for Best Lifestyle Blog of The Year! However, to win I need your votes! I would really appreciate if you could vote for me here in the lifestyle category! Let all your pals know too! Do tweet me if you vote for me so I can say thank you! Voting ends 24th December x

Christmas Gift Guide #4 - Made With Love Christmas Cards



Have you got your loved ones Christmas cards yet? If not, then why not get some special ones? Made With Love are a fantastic online card company who I have worked with a few times and their products never fail to deliver quality and originality.


(I have an EXCLUSIVE 30% discount code at the bottom of this post for you!)


They have a wide range of different luxury handmade Christmas cards for all your loved ones. They are available in different colours and can be personalised by you (or even your company) making them that extra bit special.




Just look at this personalised knitted Christmas jumper card* I picked out for my sister. I personalised it to say 'Louise... Rocking The Christmas Jumper Since 1996' which she absolutely loved when she opened it! This is just an idea but you can personalise it with any text you like!




The card I chose for my Mum & Dad is a little bit more special as it comes gift wrapped in a really nice box with a bow that is ready to be popped onto the box itself. However, what makes this card* in particular very special is the luxury Swarovski crystal red heart that comes attached to the card itself.




These cards are a little more pricier than your standard cards you can pick up in a shop. However, knowing that they are handmade and very luxurious is something that I would consider when picking out cards for the closest people in my life. 


Made With Love are kindly offering all my blog readers 30% off the website in the run up to Christmas. Use the code BEINGASHLEY30 at the checkout to receive 30% off your purchase. This code will expire on 24/12 but you can shop for your Christmas cards until 19/12 for guaranteed delivery before Christmas! 


GREAT NEWS! Being Ashleigh is in the #BLAwards2015 FINALS for Best Lifestyle Blog of The Year! However, to win I need your votes! I would really appreciate if you could vote for me here in the lifestyle category! Let all your pals know too! Do tweet me if you vote for me so I can say thank you! Voting ends 24th December x

Christmas Gift Guide #3 - Amara: Gentleman's Hardware


One for the guys in your life today! I never ever know what to buy for the likes of my Grandad and Dad. They're so hard to buy for and seem to be those types of guys that already have everything and don't need anything making it super hard for me at this time of year!


Amara have it covered though with their great selection of gift ideas including luxury gifts and designer homeware. I had a browse of a few brands and really loved all of the gift ideas for men from Gentleman's Hardware. They have everything available for any man to feel like the manliest of men. Their selection on Amara include wash bags, hip flasks and there is even a shirt folding board. Perfect  if your guy has trouble doing this himself!



The lunch tin* is made fem aluminium with a minimalistic snap shut lid so sandwiches are kept as fresh as possible! Whether he is on the go at work or on a long road trip, his lunch will be kept safe in his very own lunch box which makes easy for cleaning too! The lunch box is also available in gold and retails at £16.




The "Buff & Shine" kit* is something that appealed to me straight away. It's a perfect gift for any guy who wears shoes every day and needs products to keep their shoes looking as nice as possible. The kit is in a felt case with leather detailing which is a very nice touch. Inside features two brushes for hard and soft firmness options, black and neutral polishes and a cloth to finish the shine off perfectly. The kit retails at £15 and is available from Amara.

Ashleigh x

GREAT NEWS! Being Ashleigh is in the #BLAwards2015 FINALS for Best Lifestyle Blog of The Year! However, to win I need your votes! I would really appreciate if you could vote for me here in the lifestyle category! Let all your pals know too! Do tweet me if you vote for me so I can say thank you! Voting ends 24th December x