Christmas Pamper

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The Christmas rush seems to have arrived so quickly and very soon there will be plenty of socialising, and visiting relatives or friends to cram into your busy lives. With this in mind I have put together a quick pamper guide to help you feel refreshed and ready to P-A-R-T-Y.

Plan your outfit in advance. I always start the deliberations about my outfit choices a week or so before the event. Even if I haven't nailed down my one choice, I have a rough idea of what I'm going to be wearing. This timely planning also allows you time to think about if you need anything new, or if you can jazz up an outfit from your wardrobe with some new accessories and shoes. I have been doing this a lot lately; try wearing a similar outfit with a different necklace, earnings and accessories. This will not only save you money, but if you have worn it before, you won't need to worry about what goes with your top, or if you have a bag to match.
Start getting your outfit ready early or the night before. I try to plan how long I have to get ready and whether or not I am short on time. If I am going out straight after work, I will paint my nails or wash my hair in the morning. This then gives you longer to re-do your make up or will give you time to have a longer shower. In essence, you spend less time rushing around. If you have time to have a bath before, have one! I would try to avoid lavender as this can make you too sleepy, so maybe something with a little zing; like lemon or other citrus flavours. If you don't have time to have a bath but still fancy a pamper, try a shower cream. These can provide moisture to your skin and they prevent the need to apply all-over body moisturiser when you are dry.

I always apply a face mask before a special event as this helps brighten my skin and brings some life back into it. I have been using the Anatomicals face masks which only take 5-10 minutes to apply, so even if you are in a rush you can squeeze a quick face mask in. Using a mask before heading out makes me feel fresher and provides me with a nice healthy glow. (Well I think so anyway!).
My favourite mask is the Charcoal Mask. This is good for oily spot-prone skin and I think if you are over indulging at Christmas it can help prevent break outs, which I'm sure nobody wants. The Chocolate Mask, is perfect if you are a little stressed due to rushing around and need to take 10 minutes out for yourself. The sachets are really handy if you are on the go and a packet does provide a liberal amount of product for your whole face.

On top of all this? Have a cup of tea whilst you are getting ready! Herbal is great if you are a fan, so something that contains camomile or peppermint to help you de-stress whilst you are getting ready will be a big help. I find this allows me to slow down as I am stopping to sip my tea and not frantically rushing around.
What other steps to do you take to have a mini pamper before getting ready?

*Samples were provided by Anatomicals but the opinions and words are my own.

Of Kith and Kin - Sheffield Crucible

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I was invited along to the production of Kith and Kin at the Crucible Theatre Studio in Sheffield and I jumped at the chance. I had been to the theatre only a handful of times and loved the experience on each occasion. The immersion of the theatre leaves me with a warm feeling. I always come out feeling rather sophisticated and wishing that I went more often, to take in more culture in this medium and definitely more of Sheffield Theatres' great productions.

Of Kith and Kin is a black comedy, with a slightly dark and insightful edge to the story line... it is a co production between Sheffield Theatres and London's Bush Theatre. I won't go into too much detail regarding the story line as I am conscious about giving too much away, and nobody likes spoilers these days! The play is centred around a married gay couple, Daniel and Oliver, in the process of having a baby through a surrogate, Priya, who also happens to be a good friend to them both. The play focuses on the dynamics of the couple's relationship, and how past and present societal perceptions of families and same sex marriage can have a great effect, not always positive, even if on the outside it seems that hard-won rights signal a move closer to equality. I felt this storyline was up to date with the changing patterns of modern families and households, yet the influence of a child on a relationship is a story with echoes coming from well in the past. It was a refreshing contemporary take on it all.

Every part of the production had been thought about in detail, from the video games being played on the television, the music, and Daniel and Oliver's relationship with Priya the surrogate mother of their child. This all allowed me to relate this to society today.
The production is being shown at the Studio in the Crucible. I felt this was a perfect setting for this, as it is a more intimate feeling setting, where you as the audience really feel in touch with the characters' emotions throughout. The play then moves to the Bush Theatre in London on October 18th for a run taking the show well into November. 

Easy Frosé Recipe


Unless you've been living under a rock, and not checked Twitter or Instagram lately, you will have seen Frosé. It is basically frozen Rosé wine, made into a cocktail with splash of vodka and some strawberry syrup. I have seen a few recipes but I have put together my own simple recpie for you try out.

Depending on how many people you are making this for, and now boozy you want it, you can aways add more or less vodka... depending on what kind of occasion you are looking for. I think with my recipe it is fairly boozy but not in a paint thinner kind of way, just so you can taste the flavours and not feel like you are drinking an overly sweet smoothie.

I am not the world's biggest rose fan, as I am more of white or red drinker, but this combination does work really well together and I think it's perfect for a summers day, letting you sit back and pretend that you are on a hot sunny beach somewhere exotic.

First things first, you'll need to get a bottle of rose. I used a Blossom Hill one, you don't need to splash out on a £10-15 bottle as you are going to be adding things to it, so you won't be able to notice the more subtle tastes of a better quality bottle anyway.

Tip the rose into a plastic tub and leave in the freezer for at least 8 hours, I did this overnight but it needs to be at least 8 so it starts to crystallise. It won't freeze completely as it contains alcohol but will almost look like boozy slush puppies when you are done.

Then its time to make the syrup! I chopped into small pieces a handful of strawberries and covered them with around 100g of sugar. I then put this on a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Be careful not to have the heat too high as the sugar will burn and you will need to start over again. Once this has turned into a pink liquid with a syrup texture, leave it to cool down. Ideally put into the fridge until your guests arrive or until you make your drink. If you are impatient, you could cool this down by placing the pan in cold water with ice cubes. Don't add water to the syrup as this will dilute the sugar and won't taste as sweet.

Once the syrup is cooled down pour it into a sieve and push the syrup through with a wooden spoon. This is to stop any pips getting into your drink, otherwise it will be a lumpy smoothie texture and won't be very nice when you come to drink it.

Finally combine the syrup and two to three shots of vodka with the frozen rose in a food processor or blender. This only takes a few seconds as you are only looking to mix the ingredients together, so be careful not over do it as it could go really watery.

Once your cocktail has been mixed, add it to your favourite cocktail glass and a strawberry to garnish. Then the only thing to do is to sit back and enjoy.
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