101 in 1001 XXXIII

There is now exactly one year to complete my goals. By some happy coincidence, I completed my original series exactly 1001 days before December 31st 2017. It pleases me so much that it ends on the last day of the year. Since I've only got 365 days left, I need to start taking stock of what I've got left to complete and find out ways to squeeze them in during 2017. Still, that's getting a bit ahead of myself. Let's look at what I achieved in December.

#16 Visit Germany
Hamburg Weihnachtsmarkts
In my last update, I mentioned that I was going to Germany at the end of November. Ami and I visited Hamburg, and I also squeezed in a little trip to Munich before Christmas.

Salzburg in Winter

On our last day in Salzburg, we decided to walk across the Mönchsberg mountain from one side of the city to the other. It curves around the old town from the lift near the modern art museum to the Hohensalzburg fortress where you can catch the funicular, so you can walk across the top of the mountain without actually doing any of the hiking up or down. Bonus! Mönchsberg Terrace


Salzburg Christmas Markets

I'm starting to feel like all I've done this year is visit Christmas markets! Just before Christmas, we returned to Salzburg and when we weren't climbing mountains, we popped along to the markets. Now, I know I'm hugely biased but I mean it when I say Salzburg's Christmas markets are my favourite. Despite the small size of the city, they're much larger than others I've visited, and they're held in peaceful, pretty courtyards. Just perfect!
Salzburg Christmas tree


Untersberg Mountain in Winter

Remember that time I climbed a literal mountain (kind of)? Well, I only went and did it again (kind of). Having experienced the Untersberg in summer, I was keen to see what it was like at the end of the year. Unfortunately, every day we were in Salzburg was super cloudy and foggy but I figured it would still be a fun experience to climb into the clouds. In fact, in some ways, it was even better!
Standing on top of the world


Munich Christmas Markets

Because I evidently hadn't had enough of Christmas markets, what with Winchester and Hamburg, I also visited Munich to experience Weihnachten the Bavarian way. Since I was ill on the first day, I spent most of it napping so we had to squeeze as many markets in our second day as possible. Thankfully, Munich is really easy to get around and most of the locations were within walking distance from each other. Munich Marienplatz Christmas Market


OOTD // Winter Pastels

Honestly, Salzburg is the most photogenic city I've ever been to. Absolutely every corner has another pretty spot that's perfect for outfit photos. The hardest thing about travelling alone in summer was that I found all these lovely locations but had nobody to take the photos! I kept a note of them all and then started to tick some off when I returned with Rich this month. This location was the exception, as we'd already made use of it during our first trip for this outfit post. It's just such a pretty, peaceful courtyard that I couldn't resist returning! Plus size winter pastels outfit


Winchester Christmas Market

Yeah, ok. It might be a little late to write about Christmas markets now but I never got round to it and I don't want to waste all the time I spent editing photos. Just pretend Christmas hasn't happened yet. Christmas market mulled wine


A Very Copper Christmas

Earlier this week, I talked about looking for a little Christmas tree- Kevin- for my office. After failing to get one at the Christmas tree farm, we found one in Wilkinsons. Poor thing was very undernourished having sat in a shopping centre for days on end but at least he was cheap and came complete with the perfectly-sized bucket. Since my office is copper and white, it was obviously the only option for my Christmas tree colour scheme.
Copper Christmas tree decorations


OOTD // Christmas Tree Farm

Last year I visited a Christmas tree farm to pick up a little tree named Kevin. It was a lot of fun and I loved having my own mini tree in the house so this time around I decided to return and get one for my office.  Plus size Christmas outfit
Cardigan: Vintage
Top: Primark (similar here)
Skirt: Topshop (similar here)
Leggings: Evans
Boots: Missguided


My Christmas List

Just over a week until Christmas and I couldn't be more excited! It's been difficult to feel festive this year with the huge weight of uni assignments on my shoulders but now they're all handed in and I'm ready to party! Unfortunately, I haven't had time to decorate the tree so I might be waking up to a pile of presents underneath a pretty bare Christmas tree this year. Shall I just pretend it's a fashion statement? Less is more and all that. Speaking of presents, I've put together a little list of the things I'm hoping to find beneath my minimalist (ahem) tree this year.
Christmas list 2016


Christmas Nails // China Glaze Innocence

It's that time of year again, when I have my annual glittery nails. It's funny because my mum gets glittery, outlandish patterns all the time and I will only permit glitz in December. It's like I'm the mum and she's the daughter! This year, I wanted something subtle and delicate, so I went for pale pink nails and a little snowflake design.
China Glaze Innocence Swatch Christmas Nails


Christmas Wishlist

Christmas is less than two weeks away, so I think it's high time we start cracking out the novelty jumpers! I've had a look around the internet to find my favourite festive knitwear and accessories.
Best Christmas jumpers 2016
Rudolph jumper // Really really want jumper // Coca Cola Christmas jumper // Christmas dog jumper // Christmas cat jumper
Holly jumper // Merry Woofmas jumper // Mince pies before guys jumper // Miffy Christmas jumper // Disney Christmas jumper
Baah humbug jumper // Yoda Christmas jumper // Bright 80s cardigan // Sonic the Hedgehog Christmas jumper // Jurassic Park Christmas jumper


OOTD // Stripy Jumper

While we were in Hamburg visiting the Christmas market, we thought it would be a cute place to take outfit photos. It was... and it was also pretty busy. Somehow Ami managed to get a bunch of photos without people in the background (although there were also lots of photos with people walking through the shot. We may have tried to get some of them on purpose to showcase our #bloggerproblems) Plus size horizontal stripes
Jumper: Simply Be
Skirt: Primark (similar here)
Leggings: Evans
Boots: Skechers (similar here)
Coat: ASOS (similar here)
Scarf: Primark (similar here)


Hamburg Miniatur Wunderland

Let me tell you a little story: Back in 2010, my brother Jamie posted a link on my Facebook profile saying "My life ambition is to visit here". The link was to Miniatur Wunderland- the largest model railway in the world. It was a half-ironic post as he finds the mundane hilarious (I once bought him a book called The Untold History of the Potato. He loved it!) When Ami and I booked our trip to Hamburg, I had a quick look on Trip Advisor and, well, you see where this is going. The number one attraction was Miniatur Wunderland! I managed to convince Ami to come along with me but neither of us were expecting much. As it turns out, we had a surprisingly good time!
Miniatur Wunderland Review


Hamburg Christmas Markets

After the success of our trip to Amsterdam, Ami and I decided it was time we had another mini break. Since Christmas was coming up, we couldn't think of a much better idea than heading to Germany for the markets. There was no particular reason why we chose Hamburg- it looked pretty and flights were cheap, which is good enough for me! While we were in Hamburg, we visited two Christmas markets- the main one at the Rathaus and Santa Pauli erotic market.
Giant nutcracker Christmas decoration


Review // Lush Oxford Street Christmas Exclusives

Last year, I was disappointed to not get any Christmas exclusives from Oxford Street (I'm not even sure if they released any), so I was very excited when I visited this year and found out they had a small selection. Especially since one of them is the most amazing shower gel ever known to man.
Lush 2016 Oxford Street Christmas Exclusives

OOTD // 90s art teacher

How fabulously ugly is this jumper? I feel like a 90s art teacher in it and I'm totally down with that aesthetic. Ami took these photos for me in Hamburg and it was absolutely bloody freezing! The sacrifices I make for the blog! 90s vintage jumper plus size
Jumper: Sainsbury's
Skirt: New Look
Leggings: Evans
Boots: Skechers (similar here)
Coat: ASOS (similar here)


Review // Lush Kitchen Christmas

Want to know a secret? I bought these products last Christmas and by the time I got round to writing the review, it was closer to Easter than Christmas. By which I mean, literally a week before Easter... Being the forward-thinking blogger I am, I kept the post in my drafts in case the Kitchen restocked these products for 2016 and guess what? They are! I've already seen a couple of these pop up this year. Woohoo! This is why you should never delete your drafts, kids!
Lush Kitchen Christmas 2015 2016


University Catch Up

When I first told Twitter that I'd been accepted onto my master's in Death, Religion and Culture, I got a fair few tweets asking me to share details about my course. Initially I intended to do monthly updates but it turns out that master's study is intense. Who knew, huh? Not only that but some of the concepts I've been learning are really complex and I thought going into fairly detailed ins and outs might be a bit heavy. Having said that, I do still want to share some of what's been going on so here's a (not very) brief outline.
Death Master's Degree

December Wishlist

It's 1st December and I've cracked out the Bublé. Christmas is on its way! Having that said that, I'm going to reign in the festive feels for my December wishlist. Mainly because I'm going to have a full-on tacky Christmas extravaganza of a wishlist later on!
Caped red dress // Green trench coat // Gold sequin dress
Gold star earrings // Green velvet dress // Red velvet shoes 

If you ask me, December should be all about velvet and sequins in red, green or gold. Ooh it's feeling festive!

Affiliate links have been used in this post
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It's been a long ol' time since I've posted a Friday Favourites... a whole month in fact. November was so busy that I've barely had time to breathe, let alone read posts so I've got a whole load of catching up to do!
Berlin Brandenburg at night
Gemma's written a great post about what to do in Berlin on a budget.

Alternative advent calendar with Book Your Lifestyle

As we all know, chocolate advent calendars just don't cut it anymore. I'm not entirely sure when that happened because as a kid I wasn't even allowed a chocolate one and had to make do with a glittery nativity scene with an illustration of a donkey or something behind each window. It was truly thrilling stuff. Anyway, at some point in the twenty intervening years, chocolate calendars came and went, and now it's all about the quirky and unusual. This is where Book Your Lifestyle comes in with their #Glitzmas2016 beauty advent calendar.
Book Your Lifestyle Beauty Advent Calendar


101 in 1001 XXXII

Well, this month has been pretty jampacked! Two holidays, a theatre trip, and a superhuman amount of studying (even if I do say so myself!). My goals are coming along very nicely! 

#15 Visit Sweden
Stockholm Church
After years of saying "One day I'll go to Stockholm", I finally did it! It was very snowy but a lot of fun! Read all about it here: Part one & part two


November Reading Wrap Up

I miss writing book reviews. I loved them so much but the problem was a) they took forever to write and b) nobody ever read them. It just got easier to stop. Of course, I include the books I've read in my 101 in 1001 reviews each month but I feel like I want to start talking more about them, rather than just "here's a photo of some books". Because of this, I've decided to create monthly reading wrap up posts where I can share what I thought about each book without going into a full, in-depth individual review.
Forensics Hitman Anders


OOTD // Lovedrobe Spotty Dress

I'm looking pretty smart this week, right? If you didn't know I was a work-shirking student, this could almost be a winter office look. Lovedrobe very kindly sent me this cute beige and black dress, and this grey coat is the perfect accompaniment. Plus size grey coat
Dress: Lovedrobe
Coat: ASOS (similar here)
Leggings: Evans
Boots: Primark (similar here)


Review // Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

When Myles was tiny, he really loved Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. We'd watch it together constantly and sing the songs but with little tweaks to make them relevant to us. So when Dick van Dyke sings "Someone to care for, to be there for, I have you two", I would swap you too for Myles and he would sing Becky. It was cute and cheesy and we both loved it. Of course, now Myles is a big lumbering 17 year old so when I jokingly suggested we go to see the touring theatre show, I was pretty taken back that he was up for it! So it was that we found ourselves sitting in a theatre on a Sunday afternoon surrounded by children and singing classic tunes from a 1960s musical.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Tour Review


How I increased my affiliate link clicks and transactions

I've been using affiliate links for a while now but never really had much success. That is, until I actually started putting some effort into them and I saw a huge improvement. In October, my clicks increased by 500%, my transactions increased by 375% and my commission jumped up by a huge 700%. Don't get me wrong- I'm hardly making a fortune but it's still amazing what a massive difference has been made just by putting the effort in.
Increasing affiliate clicks transactions and commission


Review // Lush Buttered Brazils Lip Balm

Remember when I went to Austria and bought Honey Trap lip balm from Lush? Well, I did it again. Not go to Austria and buy Honey Trap lip balm, you understand, but go to Sweden and buy Buttered Brazils lip balm. They're the perfect item to buy when you're travelling with hand luggage only since they're so tiny. Besides, you can always do with a new lip balm, right? One for the living room, one for the bedroom, one for the spare room, one for the shed...
Lush Buttered Brazils Lip Balm Review


New hair, new me // Hair styling at Rush Reading

Let me start by getting straight to the point: I know nothing about hair. It stems from my youth and being completely disillusioned with my curly hair. I literally wore my hair in the same style for five years (tied back, loose bun) because I felt like there was just nothing I could do with it. Then, when I got bored, I just got it all chopped off, as you'll see in my early, terrible Lookbook posts. Eventually, I realised I could tame it by taking the straighteners to it but even then I just wore it down or in a ponytail. Because of this, I was very excited when I was invited to visit Rush Reading for a cut and blowdry... and also a little nervous. Did I mention this was my first trip to a hair salon in about 20 years? It's fair to say I had little to no idea of what to expect! Rush Hair Salon Reading


OOTD // Green Tartan

I wanted to call this post Silver and Cold but a) grey isn't really silver and b) emo lyrics as post titles is a bit passé, isn't it? This is the second of my Stockholm outfit posts, which I thought was taken along the banks of Gamla Stan. We just crossed a load of bridges and walked around down little side roads. Turns out I was way off- we were on the other side of the water, next to City Hall. What do I know, eh? Plus size winter outfit
Golddigga Jacket: Sports Direct
Jumper: Primark (similar here)
Skirt: New Look
Leggings: Primark and Simply Be
Shoes: Skechers
Mittens: Primark (similar here)


Underwhelming Cities

No matter where I travel, I'm always super excited to explore a new city and sample everything it has to offer. Unfortunately, not every city has lived up to my expectations. Whether it's because they're less exciting than I expected, lack a certain something or are simply just too cool for me, here are four cities that left me feeling underwhelmed.
Underwhelming European Cities


Review // Lush Black Pearl Shower Gel

When I read the description of Lush's Black Pearl Shower Gel in the Kitchen, it sounded perfect for me. Lavender and chamomile? Yes please! Just what I need to chill out before bedtime! 
Lush Black Pearl Shower Gel Review


72 Hours in Stockholm pt II

On our second day in Stockholm, we decided to head back to the island of Gamla Stan and have a general little mooch about. Whereas I'm normally a go-go-go kind of traveller, wanting to squeeze in as much as possible, Rich likes to take things at a gentler pace. I thought it was only fair that we had at least one more relaxing holiday for his sake! Stockholm Waterfront


72 Hours in Stockholm pt I

As I mentioned in my last post, Rich and I spent a few days in Stockholm last week. We landed on the snowiest November day in forever so it was a lot of fun!
Stockholm Church


OOTD // Stockholm Snow

Well, we certainly got our money's worth when we visited Stockholm, arriving on the snowiest November day in 111 years! I normally hate snow but luckily I'd prepared for the -6c temperatures by buying out the entirety of Primark's knitwear department. Plus size winter outfit
Golddigga Jacket: Sports Direct
Jumper: Primark (similar here)
Gloves: Primark (similar here)
Skirt: Primark (similar here)
Leggings: Primark and Simply Be
Boots: Skechers


How I applied for my master's degree

Ever since I was accepted onto my master's degree (Death, Religion and Culture at the University of WInchester, if you're new here), I've been meaning to write a little series about studying and now that I've settled in, it seems like the perfect opportunity! Let's start at the very beginning, as they say, and talk about how I applied. A lot of this will be relevant to anybody hoping to study for a postgraduate course so it should be useful, whatever you're studying.
Applying for master's degree tips


Nails // OPI Berlin There Done That

I toyed with the idea of getting black glittery nails but after two consecutive dark nails- first OPI Cosmo with a Twist and then China Glaze Liquid Leather- I thought I'd lighten it up a bit and go for a grey. There's also the fact that I'm off to Sweden and I've packed lots of muted colours so I'd ideally like my nails to fit within that colour scheme. Surveying the racks of polish, this one caught my eye as it's not one I've seen before- OPI Berlin There Done That.
OPI Berlin There Done That Swatch


Review // Bare Minerals Prime Time Foundation Primer

Months ago, when I was looking for a suitable primer for my dry skin, one of the recommendations- aside from Smashbox and Laura Mercier- was Bare Minerals Prime Time. I asked Twitter to vote on which one I should get and Bare Minerals came out bottom so I forgot about it and moved on. Since I've tried both of the others, and wasn't particularly overwhelmed by either, I decided to give this one a shot. Turns out, it's the best of the lot!
Bare Minerals Prime Time Foundation Primer Review


10 Instagram accounts you must follow

We all have a love-hate relationship with Instagram, right? I know I certainly do so I thought it would be nice to spread some love and share my ten favourite Instagram accounts. With a couple of exceptions, these accounts all have fewer than 10k followers so they're perfect if, like me, you prefer to follow those who aren't Instagram megastars with millions of followers (though they're all megastars in my eyes!) In alphabetical order, because I'm not down with that MySpace top 8 malarkey, here we go:
Best blogger Instagram accounts


OOTD // Festive Styling With La Redoute

Oh my gosh, only 6 weeks until Christmas! I'm trying to resist getting excited until December starts but it's so difficult when I bloomin' love the festive season so much. It's especially hard considering I'm going to three European Christmas markets this year- Hamburg, Munich and Salzburg (and my traditional trip to Winchester, of course!). With this in mind, it was perfect timing when La Redoute got in touch asking me to create a cosy outfit that's ideal for visiting Christmas markets.   Plus size red winter coat
Swing coat- La Redoute
Faux fur collar- La Redoute
Dress- La Redoute
Bag- Michael Kors
Leggings- Simply Be
Boots- Missguided (similar here)


November Wishlist // Winter Warmers

With Halloween well and truly over, it truly feels like winter is on its way. Time to think about keeping as warm as possible!

Grey skater coat (plus size) // Grey bobble hat // Star patch cardigan (petite / plus size) // Grey rib tights (plus size) //Teddy bear blanket
Star print pyjamas // "Over it" sweatshirt // Faux fur cardigan // Winter candle

Affiliate links have been used in this post

Bloglovin' // Twitter // Instagram


Review // Chicago

I bloody love the film Chicago. When I was about 15, my friend Amanda was really into it so I'd watch it at hers a lot and her enthusiasm rubbed off. I bought the soundtrack and everything. Once I put All That Jazz on and performed a funky dance number for a then 4-year-old Myles. I got fully in the zone, jazz hands and everything, and it was only once I'd finished that my stepdad decided to announce his presence. Yep, he'd been standing in the doorway watching the whole thing. Mortified. Anyway, the point is- I really like Chicago and ever since I first watched it, I've wanted to see the theatre show. Last month the Chicago tour swung into Woking so I took my chance and booked a ticket.
Chicago UK Tour Review


Review // Primark PS Super Matte Liquid Lipstick

Initially, I was going to post this review as part of my Halloween week but somehow the time passed and I never got round to it. Instead, I'll post it now but I am fully aware that this lipstick looks freakin' horrendous on me!
Primark Super Matte Liquid Lipstick Review


101 in 1001 XXXI

October has not been the most productive of months. Actually, that's not strictly true. It's been incredibly productive but, unfortunately, not many of the things I've been doing have been on my list. 

#56 Watch 50 new-to-me films 24/50
Er ist wieder da
I watched Look Who's Back, based on the satirical novel of the same name which I reviewed here. At first, it was hysterically funny (at least, it is if you have a very dark sense of humour) but the mood very gradually changes until a chillingly prophetic closing scene which will stay with me for a very, very long time. Everybody should watch it and reflect on our current society.

#61 See 5 shows 7/5
Chicago UK Tour Review
After years of wanting to see it, I finally booked tickets for Chicago. I have a review going live in a couple of days so look out for that. I'm really impressed with how many shows I've seen- I have another three planned so my total will be in double digits by the end of my 1001 days!


Thorpe Park Fright Night 2016

As is now my Halloween custom, I travelled up to Thorpe Park for my third Fright Night (2014 and 2015 here). This year, Marie was at a convention, and we'd been to Alton Towers Scarefest anyway, so I took Myles along with me instead. Thorpe Park Stealth



Halloween WDW
Carrie's photos from Walt Disney World Halloween are so exciting because I will be there at the same time next year!


Halloween OOTD // Ghost Dress

I have a real issue: I can't stop buying Halloween-themed clothes! In fact, I keep having awesome ideas for new Halloween outfits but I don't have enough time (or money, let's be honest!) to carry them all out. I guess I'll just have to leave some until next year. One of them is an absolute banger, believe me! Anyway, I saw this ghost dress on Boohoo and I had to have it despite my already sizeable Halloween wardrobe. Yes, it's got to the point where I have an actual Halloween wardrobe. Someone stage an intervention!
Boohoo Ghost Dress Halloween
Ghost dress: Boohoo
Tights: ASOS
Boots: Missguided (similar here)


Alton Towers Scarefest

For the past couple of years, Marie and I have gone to Thorpe Park's Fright Night for Halloween (see here and here). This Halloween, we decided to level up and visit Alton Towers for their Scarefest instead. Since Alton Towers is a three hour drive away, we thought we'd go all fancy and turn it into a short break with an overnight stay at the Alton Towers Hotel. As well as being able to take our time and make full use of our visit, we also got the benefit of free entry on our second day and free Fastrack tickets for both. Scarefest pumpkin mascot

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