24 Before 24: Final Roundup

Sunday 31 January 2016

If you've been around here a while then you will know the drill with these lists, but if not here's a quick explanation. Every year, around my birthday I make a list of things I would like to accomplish before I hit the next year older. As I am turning 24 on Tuesday last year I made a list of 24 things I wanted to do before I reached 24. So let's see how I got on...
  1. Get halfway to my goal weight by Tim's Birthday - FAIL - This one unfortunately never happened, due to problems with my mental health.
  2. Become a Qualified Make Up Artist - SUCCESS - In February last year I did a Film, TV and Theatre makeup course, and completed it, as such I am in fact a qualified make up artist.
  3. Finally get my career on track - FAIL - I still am 100% undecided with what I want to do with my life. Shortly after becoming qualified I did work on a Benefit counter, but it was still retail which is not what I want to do, so I am working on it.
  4. Become a 'Yes' person - FAIL - There are plenty of opportunities that I said yes to that I never would have before, such as being a make up assistant at Goodwood revival, but I still feel like I never truly let go and took everything that came my way.
  5. Beat my time on the Race for Life 5k - FAIL - This one is a fail because I never entered the Race for Life last year... Something I am definitely remedying this year!
  6. Read 25 books - FAIL - I think at the final count I had read 15... Which is still really good going for me. This years goal is another 25, we'll see how I get on...
  7. Reboot my Youtube Channel - SUCCESS - I did reboot my channel and at it's height I was posting once a week. Unfortunately due to the aforementioned mental health issues this did not last, but this year is the one.
  8. Visit Three New Places in the UK - FAIL - I successfully visited two new places off of my own back and loved them both. We went to Brighton last summer, and had a magical day. Then for our anniversary we went to Windsor, and spent some time at the castle, such a beautiful place.
  9. Complete all the Games I own before buying new ones - FAIL - I've bought so many new games this year... That's because there are just too many good games being released and I don't want to miss out, but I really must finish the ones I already own!
  10. Buy a house - FAIL - Tim and I are still uncertain with what we are doing about moving out of his parents, but hopefully we will have our own place soon, whether it is renting or buying.
  11. Become Crafty - FAIL - I did buy some crafty bits and pieces, Tim and I even made our own Christmas cards for our closest family!
  12. Exercise at least TWICE a week - FAIL - Tim and I have been exercising more in the past year but have failed to make it a regular thing.
  13. Go Sober - SUCCESS - I have been sober for an entire year, off of the back of a really bad drunken experience and terrible hangover I had last year. Still I am super proud of myself.
  14. Take up a Sport - FAIL - I still haven't chosen a sport/found a local women's team I am keen on joining.
  15. Do something for the Make a Wish Foundation - FAIL- This one really upsets me because whenever I think of charity my mind drifts to the Make a Wish foundation.
  16. Keep Dating - SUCCESS - Tim and I continued to 'date' each other, even if that only meant weekly cinema trips using our 2 for 1 meerkat movies tickets.
  17. Write something - FAIL - Other than my blog, I haven't written anything else, but I really want to!
  18. Make a Short Horror Film - FAIL - I have plenty ideas, but I really feel like my health knocked me on my ass a bit last year.
  19. Be more Social - SUCCESS - I met lots of new people last year when I joined some local Meetup groups, I want to do more of that this year!
  20. Create an app - FAIL - Tim and I keep on about making an app together, I'm good at ideas, and he's good at all the technical coding stuff, maybe this year.
  21. Learn Spanish - SUCCESS(ish) - I have been learning Spanish on and off using my iPhone App 'Duolingo' and according to that I am 30% fluent in Spanish.
  22. Start a Scrapbook/photo album - FAIL - I just don't take enough photos at the moment.
  23. Spend more time with Maizey - SUCCESS - I definitely spent a good chunk of my time in the past year driving out to my mums to see my little moo. Whenever I go I make sure I give her lots of attention and cuddles to show her how much I love her.
  24. Blog as often as I can - SUCCESS - I averaged about 10 posts a month last year, which I definitely think is pretty good going, there were only three months with below 10 posts
There you have it, I have managed 8/24 of my goals, which may not sound like much, but to even have completed any of these considering how bad my health was last year, I consider it a real success.

My 25 before 25 goals will be up within the next week so do keep your eyes peeled for those. Also let me know in the comments one thing that you would love to do before your next birthday!
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3 Year Blogiversary and Giveaway

Friday 29 January 2016

Time really does fly, if you'd have told me when I was at university that I would start a blog that I would continue to write for three years, I'd have laughed you out of the room. I had written blog before, in fact I started my first blog when I was around thirteen and it was honestly a load of self-absorbed rubbish. It wasn't until I was at university that I really started blogging properly, I've probably told this story a million times so I won't get properly into it. 

These past three years have been some of the best and also hardest of my life, and I have loved every second of sharing it with all of you. Don't worry, this isn't the end, I intend to carry on blogging until I am old and grey, or until I run out of things to say, and I don't see that happening any time soon. 

So in honour of three years on Alyssiarose, I thought I would share some of my top three's from the past three years.

Top Three Songs:
  • Fallout Boy - The Pheonix
  • Macklemore - Thrift Shop
  • Ed Sheeran - Thinking Out Loud

Top Three Films:
  • Inside Out - Hands down one of the best animated movies I have seen in a long time.
  • Jurassic World - Amazing. Just amazing, and so respectful of the original movies, plus Chris Pratt is just a legend.
  • 21 Jump Street - Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill together is just hilarious. Even better is that Johnny Depp is in this movie!

Top Three Makeup Brands:
  • Makeup Revolution - Best value for money
  • Bourjous - Favourite Lipsticks
  • Urban Decay - Most amazing eyeshadow palette's

Top Three Restaurants:
  • Las Iguana's (Latin American) - Their Tapas are amazing, and Tim and I always end up there when we are nearby.
  • Coals Bar and Grill in Basingstoke - They do great cocktails and also amazing food that's spicy, but not so spicy I can't eat it, because I am a wimp.
  • Gourmet Burger Kitchen - My absolute favourite burger restaurant, in existence, ever.

Top Three Places I Have Visited:
  • Bristol - I first visited Bristol when doing training for a job I had just out of university, and I fell in love with it. Since then I have visited numerous times. I've even thought of moving to Bristol that's how much I love it.
  • Brighton - This is somewhere I never thought about going, up until I learned that some of my favourite Youtubers live there. After watching some of their vlogs I thought it looked like a really cool place, so Tim and I went there last summer. It is an amazing place, again yet another place that I have thought about moving to.
  • Cardiff - I only ever go to Cardiff when I am going to a concert, so I never spend a great deal of time there, but I love the shopping centre right near the arena, it's massive, and has so many different shops that I feel like I could spend a lifetime there. I'm actually going to Cardiff this weekend for my birthday with Tim, so I'll get a chance to see a lot more of it.

Now onto the Giveaway! Seeing as this is my third year doing this, I thought I would pick Three winners instead of just one. So three lucky readers are going to win a NYX Liquid Suede Lipstick of their choice. To enter just follow the instructions on the widget below.

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Wishlist Wednesday: Birthday Wishlist

Wednesday 27 January 2016

I can't believe that it is my birthday next week, I've barely stopped to think about it at all, but I keep getting questions from everyone about what I would like. So I thought I would put together a little wishlist to make things much easier!

1. NYX Liquid Suede's: £6.50
4. Kindle eReader: £59.99
5. Ring Light: £55.68
6. RODE Microphone: £51.00

There's just a few things that I am hoping to receive for my birthday, but we'll have to see what the great birthday fairies bring me!
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Meet Hollie

Wednesday 20 January 2016

In November some of our family friends announced that they had some Collie puppies. My mum was adamant that she wasn't going to get one of them, despite Collie's being one of her favourite breeds of dog. We already had a lovely (if a little dopey) collie called Annie, who is getting a little bit old now. Fast forward a few weeks and mum is all set to get one of the puppies, and I'll be honest I wasn't best thrilled at first. I was really worried about how Annie and my dog Maizey who lives with mum, would react to having another dog around. In the end it didn't matter what I thought because mum really wanted this specific puppy, so I just got on board with it.

Needless to say I am glad that she did get her, because she's such a cutie. Mum decided to call her Hollie, because we got her around the holiday season. She actually went to pick her up on the 10th of January, and I was looking after all the other animals that weekend, so as soon as they got home I got lots of cuddles! The first thing I noticed about her is that she is so fluffy... I honestly don't remember Annie being that fluffy when we first got her. She's also full of character, she'll play with toys all by herself, or bark at you if she wants you to play with you. She's also already pretty well trained, I believe we've only had a few little accidents, if she wants to go to the loo, she'll go to the back door and whine until you let her out.

As for how the other dogs are getting on with her? It's a work in progress... She obviously immediately gravitated towards Annie, what with her looking like her mother and all her siblings. Annie wasn't so keen on Hollie, and growls when she gets near her, this is a lot to do with fear. Annie has always been afraid of everything, including her own shadows... However mum has since sent me photos of them laying side by side, only when Annie is asleep though! As for Maizey, I think progress is a little slower. Maizey will growl at her if she comes near, will happily walk past her, but she will growl if Hollie runs towards her. A lot of it has to do with that Annie and Maizey were never really well socialised with other dogs, but it's still only a few weeks so I am sure it will turn out fine.

Do you have any pets, let me know in the comments what kind!
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Nyx Haul #1

Thursday 14 January 2016

Highlight + Contour Stick (Universal) / Jumbo Eye Pencil (Milk) / Soft Matte Lip Cream (Antwerp and Ibiza)

Way back in November I saw a post on Facebook alerting me to the fact that NYX makeup is now sold in Boots. I wasn't aware until that point, and I have had my eye on NYX for a long time. I personally watch a fair amount of American Beauty Vloggers, and as such became aware of NYX through their 'Face Awards' that they do every year. During these 'Face Awards' beauty vloggers create makeup looks based around a certain brief, and if they are lucky enough to get through the first few rounds then they start receiving products from the sponsors to assist them with their looks. With the whole competition being run by NYX it is no surprise that they send the beauty vloggers a tonne of stuff for them to play around with. It was whilst watching a participant unbox their NYX goodies that I realised how decent and affordable the brand was, and in that moment I knew I had to have some. Anyway flash forward to November, and as soon as I saw that Boots now stock NYX I made an order. Unfortunately Boots didn't have one of the items I wanted instock so I ended up ordering from Feel Unique.

The first product on my wishlist was one of the NYX contour sticks. I have been trying to get into contouring for the longest time now, and I've been looking at a tonne of cream contour palettes. Then I came across this, and thought rather than carrying around a palette in my makeup bag, having this one little stick for both Highlighting and contouring would be so useful, and at £10 it was budget friendly. Seeing as none of my local stores have a stand for NYX, I couldn't go in and swatch the colours to decide which to go for. It comes in four colours, light, medium, dark, and universal. I honestly had no idea which would suit me, so I decided to go for universal, which as the colour name suggests, should suit most skin types. I haven't gotten around to using this yet, but when swatching it did feel very creamy and also blended very well.

Another product that was high up on the list was the Jumbo eye pencil in Milk. I personally think it's so difficult to find a decent and true white eye pencil, so when I saw a Youtuber using this, I knew I had to have it. I have seen this little pencil used in so many different ways on Youtube, but one of the ways I am most interested in testing, is using this as a base for bright eyeshadow. When swatching this was another really creamy product and glided onto my skin, something which is very desirable for pencils that are used on the eye, as you don't want to press so hard it feels like your eyeball might explode... At £5 this is another budget friendly purchase, and one I can't wait to use alongside my Urban Decay Electric Palette...

Last but not least I decided to try some of their soft matte lip creams. My all time favourite lip products are the Bourjous Rouge Edition Velvet liquid lipsticks. They are so easy to apply, and last really well on the lips. I have seen a lot of people post that NYX soft matte lip creams are some of the best matte liquid lipsticks for their price range, so I knew that these had to be on the order. Unfortunately I somehow managed to pick the two colours that look the most similar... *facepalm* Originally I had wanted to but Ibiza and Transylvania, but the latter was out of stock, so I went for Antwerp, not really realising how similar the two were... Ibiza is a slightly darker pink out of the two, but overall they are fairly similar. I can't mark NYX down for this though because this was my own stupid mistake. These again glided on really nicely, and felt very similar to my favourite Bourjous versions, they also have a really lovely vanilla scent. At £5.50 each, I definitely think these are worth an investment if you like matte liquid lipsticks. I can't comment on how they last yet as again I have not had the chance to give them a go.

So there you have it, my first NYX purchases, I'm sure of many. Do you own any NYX makeup, if so what is your favourite product of theirs?
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Kiko Dazzling Highlighter

Monday 11 January 2016

A few months back I went to an event at The Oracle in Reading and one of the stores we got to visit for the event was Kiko. If you want to read more of what we got up to then please read that post here. At the time of the event I didn't have a lot of money, but there were so many products that I wanted to buy, and I knew I couldn't leave empty handed to I chose one product to take away with me.

That product was the Dazzling Highlighter in Bright Rose from the Cosmic Starlets collection, which I believe was their 2015 Christmas collection. At the time I purchased the highlighter it cost me £6.90, which I personally don't think is that much for such a pretty product. Although these highlighters were put into the January sale, on the website they are not currently available but you still may be able to get your paws on one of these if you pop into your local Kiko store, no guarantee's though as they seem to have been really popular.

I must report that my highlighter is actually broken... I kept it to where on Christmas day, and I opened it on Christmas morning and the product literally fell out of the stick, which I was not best pleased about. I did try and take this back to exchange when I went to Kiko in January, but they had already sold out by that time. So instead of getting a refund I decided I liked the product enough to forgive them and keep it, it was only £6.90. The above swatch really doesn't do the colour justice, it's a lovely pale pink colour, and is so shimmery. The formula itself is really creamy and you don't have to press to hard to make the product glide onto your face. It also blends really nicely, which I would love to have gotten a picture of, but I was worried my camera wouldn't pick it up, seeing as it had problems with the swatch!

I really wish I had written about this product at the time I bought it, to give you all a chance to go and buy it, because it really is beautiful, and is definitely my favourite highlighter that I own.

Let me know in the comments what your favourite highlighter is, I'd love some more recommendations to try!
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Friday Favourites #19

Friday 8 January 2016

This week the internet has brought me a lot of joy, and a lot of funny and cute videos, so of course I just have to share them with all of you!

This video has been everywhere in internetland this week, and if you haven't seen this video, where have you been! This little Raccoon was so happy to be given candyfloss, that didn't last very long though. Watch the video to find out why! Another story was released later in the week to show that the raccoon did get his sweet in the end, so all is well in the world.

Another video making the rounds this week showed what is probably the sorest loser ever to grace Come Dine With Me, Peter Marsh. I don't want to give away too much but you can watch the video here.

Buzzfeed reminded us all of this hilarious Tumblr screenshot, including one of the best Harry Potter related Youtube comments ever... If you don't understand this then you are such a muggle!

Today I came across this heart-warming video about a blind pug who has found his perfect home with a county judge. This little guy is seriously cute and I am so happy for him, he clearly adores his new owner. Watch the video all about him here.

The final video I share with you has to be my favourite thing I have ever seen come out of American Reality TV... This clip is from Lip Sync Battle, and it shows Channing Tatum's wife Jenna Dewan Tatum lip syncing as Channing from Magic Mike XXL... Her moves are ridiculously good, and you everyone is in fits of giggles... I can't watch this without laughing...

So that's what I have enjoyed on the internet this week, what's been your favourite?

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Wishlist Wednesday: Youtuber Merch

Wednesday 6 January 2016

So I didn't really ask for anything but money for Christmas because I really couldn't figure out anything that I wanted, and then when it came to writing this wishlist post I realised something. There is so much Youtuber merch that I want to buy that I really should have asked for some for Christmas... Thankfully my birthday is only a month away so I won't have long to wait to get some of these!

Having now looked over everything I have selected I realised that I picked all 'Let's Play' Youtubers. I will admit they are my most watched channels at the moment, and 'Let's Play' Youtubers are definitely my favourite Youtubers at the moment. Stacyplays and iBallisticsquid are quite recent editions to my watch list, as I have recently become a little bit obsessed with Minecraft! I am hoping soon to get my own PC so I can even try and do some of my own Minecraft Let's Plays, but we'll have to see...

Who are your favourite Youtubers at the moment?
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Sum Up Sunday: Christmas 2015

Sunday 3 January 2016

It's been two whole months since I wrote a Sum Up Sunday post, but what better time to restart then New Years? So I thought in my first post back this year I should probably cover what I got up to in the Christmas period.

To kick off my Christmas, Tim and I visited Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park for the first time ever, and it really got me in the mood for Christmas! We went to the Magical Ice Kingdom, which was full of beautiful ice sculptures, then to the Ice Bar which resulted in me having a very wet bottom, and ended our visit by going to the Circus! If you want to read more about our trip then I wrote about it on the blog here.

To get further into the Christmas Spirit Tim and bought some new bed sheets from Primark, which have reindeer on them, so that every time we went to sleep we could dream of Christmas... Cheesy right? Last Christmas was also the first that I made Christmas cake for my family and they turned out really well. The one above features a rather famous snowman from a certain Disney film, do you recognise him?

Christmas day itself was spent with my family, and was spent doing music quiz's, playing games, and eating way too much food. At one point we even decided to have a Mario Kart tournament, but that didn't last very long because my family have the attention span of a bowl of goldfish...

Then Boxing Day was spent with Tim's family, and this year was extra special as there are now three children in our life that we get to share Christmas with. It was so fun watching them open their presents. For two of them it was their first Christmas and they are still far too young to really know what is going on. My nephew Connor was far more interested in the bows that I put on the gifts than the gifts themselves, hilarious. My eldest niece Olivia was so infatuated with Connor, she kept cuddling him and watching him crawl around, it was so cute. Honestly my best boxing day ever, and it will only get better each year as they begin to understand Christmas and present giving...

Finally came New Years which Tim and I spent watching Harry Potter, and having a quiet night in. Even so we didn't end up going to bed until 3am and didn't get up until 1pm the next day! Something I haven't done since living at Uni. Considering that we had wasted most of the day we decided to head out to my mums to visit the dogs, and ended up having a new years day roast at my mum's. The highlight of my new years day had to be giving my dog Maizey her new bed. Normally she's a bit funny about getting new things, but she jumped straight into her new bed, and made me super happy! She's such a sweetheart honestly, I hate the fact that I only get to see her every few weeks...

Let me know in the comments what your favourite moment from your Christmas was!

Currently I'm:
Reading: The Christmas Cookie Club by Ann Pearlman
Listening To: 00's Music
Playing: Star Stable, and trying to complete all the Christmas quests
Feeling: Excited for the new year ahead
Looking Forward To: A fresh start
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Blog Resolutions 2016!

Friday 1 January 2016

Happy 2016 Everyone! New Years is always one of my favourite times of the year, because it's full of anticipation of a new year, and a new life. I'm a big fan of the whole 'new year, new me' idea, and whilst I know it can be ironic that a lot of us give up our resolutions only a mere few months in. However for me this time of year always gives me the little kick up the bum that I need to start making some changes in my life, so why not just go with it. At this time last year I wrote out my Blog Resolutions for 2015, so let's see what they were and how I got on...

1. Take More/Better Photos: I wouldn't say that I particularly see this one as a success. In 2015 I traded in my old DSLR for an upgraded one and then didn't really use it to it's full advantage. I have used it to film Youtube videos, but when it came to taking photos for the blog I resorted to using my iPhone, and I don't really have a good excuse. I even bought an 'idiots guide' book for my camera so that I can learn to use it more successfully, but haven't even picked that up...

2. Blog at least 10 Times a Month: I would call this goal a success. Honestly I didn't really think about it too much, I just posted whenever I had ideas, and tried to make sure that I didn't leave the blog for long periods of time. As it turned out there were only THREE months when I posted under 10 times. So 75% of the time I was on target, which is great for me because I never normally blog enough, this year seems to have been the exception though!

3. Start Posting a Youtube Video a Week: For part of the year I had this going really strong, and then life got in the way, and I stopped posting Youtube videos altogether, this is something that I really hope to remedy in 2016.

4. Network More: This is another of the goals that needed a bit more work. I'd still say it was an improvement on 2014 as I definitely went to more blogger events, shared my content more and commented on my content. I still think my networking skills have a lot of room to grow though.

5. Reach 250 Followers by the end of 2015: I am more than pleased to announced that I have smashed this goal, and as it stands I have 328 followers on bloglovin' which is a whole 78 more than my target! This is something that I honestly wasn't monitoring at all, so it came as a shock to me when I looked back on these goals that I had managed to do it. Very, VERY pleased with this one.

Overall a mixed bag, pretty much as there always is with me when I write goal posts, and yet I still keep writing them... So onto 2016's Blog Goals!

1. Reach 500 Bloglovin Followers: Seeing as I smashed my last target I am hoping that this one will be just as simple.

2. Write a baking post once a week: Some of my most popular posts of 2015 were my baking ones, people clearly like reading them, and I like making them, so it makes sense to make a better feature of them for this year.

3. Actually Learn to use my camera, and use it for 90% of Blog Photos: Exceptions to this rule are going to be things like selfies, which are so much easier to take on my phone, but for anything I plan to blog about, I should use my camera.

4. Read and engage with more bloggers: This is very similar to my networking goal of last year, except I particularly want to engage with other bloggers content, maybe even find and join some link-ups.

5. Blog at least 15 Times a Month: Seeing as I managed the 10 times a month goal last year I thought I would up it to 15 posts a month, that's pretty much every other day, so I shouldn't have a problem with it, as long as I stick to my features and blogging schedule.

6. Youtube, Youtube, YOUTUBE: I've said this a million times before but Youtube is something that I have always wanted to do since I was a teenager. I got so close to keeping up with it last year, and I don't want to let that slip away so 2016 shall be known as the year of Youtube!

There it is then, my first goals list of 2016, and it's sure to not be the last, keep an eye out for my 25 before 25 goals post that will be going up just after my birthday in February! Let me know in the comments what your goals for 2016 are?
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