31/12/2015

NYE Lunch in the Cotswolds.


Ahh 2015 - you've been a good one! Finishing school with good A levels, travelling to gorgeous places and having some truly wonderful experiences. Of course with the highs there have been a few lows which I'm not going to go into today. With 2016 right around the corner, I'm praying for a equally successful year and I'm particularly excited to see the directions in which my blog is taken. Starting Life According to Lily was 100% one of my best decisions of the year - I'm so glad I bit the bullet! 

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This year to celebrate NYE my family and I headed to a gorgeous hotel in the Cotswolds for lunch. For once the sun was shining and the champagne flowing - naturally I wanted to share a few pictures with you guys all taken with my new 50mm f 1.8 lens.




To start we were led into the bright airy restaurant with lovely views of the grounds. We'd already ordered food whilst treated with lovely canap├ęs and champagne so we were free to relax. It was very quiet (as I imagine most people would be going for dinner later) so the service was very fast and attentive.


To start my mum and sister both had a salmon mousse, complete with beetroot flavoured foam balls. One of the things I would say about this restaurant is that the food is presented with such care and attention to detail. All of the dishes were so beautiful - they almost looked too good to eat!


As opposed to the mousse - my dad and I had the crispy egg and mushroom. A perfectly poached egg, battered in light breadcrumbs, with salty mushrooms and cream... Er perfection?!



For the main course we all had the same thing: Sea bass with fresh green vegetables and a delectable sauce. The only thing this was missing was a carb of some sort... It definitely had me reaching for the bread basket a couple of times! 


I didn't have desert but my sister and mum both indulged in a gorgeous raspberry parfait which if I still had any appetite I would definitely have enjoyed. All in all the food was lovely and we're definitely considering coming back next year!




Outfit wise I'm wearing my new black Ugg boots which are so warm and lovely. My skirt and jacket are from River Island, my top is Oasis and my necklace is from Michael Kors. 

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Okay I hope you guys enjoyed this post and have a lovely New Years Eve! All the best for 2016 my lovelies! 

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28/12/2015

Book Review: Winter by Marissa Meyer


So today I'm back with another book review, and quite possibly this is one of my favourite books of 2015. 'Winter' by Marissa Meyer is the fourth and final book in the absolutely fabulous Lunar Chronicles quartet. I'm not going to talk too much about them in general today but if you haven't heard of these books, each one is a futuristic, scifi retelling of a fairytale. For example the first book Cinder is loosely based on Cinderella, the second book Scarlet is based on Little Red Riding Hood, the third Cress is based on Rapunzel and the last one Winter is based on Snow White.

These books are all amazing and series wise I'd give them a 4.9 stars! Winter was definitely my favourite, closely followed by Cress, then Scarlet, then Cinder. But all of them were brilliant in their own right and I would highly recommend for anyone looking for romance, action, drama and just a darn good plot!

Now onto the spoilers!

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I think the easiest way to talk about this book will be to go through it couple by couple, and since we're reading Winter, let's start with Jacin and Winter.

As our newest member of the awesome squad I wasn't sure exactly how well I would take to her, but I will say she won me over in the end! She was so kind hearted and seemed to just want the best for everyone. That scene where Jacin ripped the flower crown off her head was crazy - as if Levanna would see that as a threat to her crown.

And of course we can't not talk about the whole 'Jacin you must kill Winter' situation. Personally I thought it was like Voldemort and Snape all over again because come on, there was no way Jacin could actually kill Winter. Which proves that Levanna has no clue about love or that she's just become so twisted and warped that she honestly believed he would. Oh course Jacin didn't though he did kill Ryu (who I'd formed an attachment with) which I wasn't all too impressed with.

And did anyone else feel a bit like Jacin didn't really connect with the group when they all got reunited. Like everyone seemed to have a little job and Jacin was sort of... there?! I don't know, I just didn't like him as much as Thorne and Kai. Like in the scene where Cinder's cyber parts stopped working and Thorne made a comment like 'Er at least I held the flashlight, Jacin didn't do anything!' And I felt like their were many moments like that throughout the whole book, where unless Winter was in direct danger, he just chose to take a back seat. 

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Okay so next up there's Scarlet and Wolf, and as much as I loved these two Wolf wasn't really in this book a whole lot. I don't know, I just felt like as soon as he and Cinder got captured, he was barely in it!

Of course there was the whole aspect of him getting mutated into a proper wolf-man thing, which I do have to say made me cringe a lot. When they described him waking up with ravenous hunger etc I was a little concerned for Scarlet's safety. But he did seem to humanise a bit over the rest of the book so maybe him and Scarlet will be okay after all?!

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Okay so now let's discuss my absolute favourite couple: Cress and Thorne. When he first got his sight back at the beginning it was so funny watching Cress have a literal existential crisis that he could see her! Bless her soul she was so self conscious for the most part of the book right up until that perfect make out scene. Seriously well played Marissa Meyer! I totally didn't clock that the lunar girl who manipulated him was wearing a glamour of Cress until Thorne told her. Cue major swooning from both myself and Cress. I have to say that was my favourite part of the entire book because they were just so passionate and cute and omg. 

In fact the major theme that ran through their storyline was the idea that neither of them felt good enough for the other. Cress was always worried that he found other girls (e.g. Iko) more attractive than her which definitely stemmed from her lack of self confidence. And Thorne was just worried that his criminal ways were a bad influence on her and that as soon as the war was over she would be off with someone else. 

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And lastly, Cinder and Kai. I think I have a crush on Kai that's almost as strong as my one on Thorne. Watching Kai have to marry Levanna was just awful because I could really tell how much it was breaking his heart. This woman is a monster, he knows she wants to take over his country, murdering him in the process but there's nothing he could do about it. When he went at her with that fork... ahhh so close!! It was so frustrating! 

So after Levanna was killed and Cinder became queen I'm so glad she decided to turn Lunar into a republic. Because at the end of the day she's 16 years old and has no real clue about running a country. It also means she's free to return to earth... To Kai!! I mean y'all. There was talk of a wedding am I right?!

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Okay so that's my thoughts! Let me know any good book recommendations down below and I'll talk to you all soon! 


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26/12/2015

What I Got For Christmas 2015


Good morning everyone, hope you're all having a lovely boxing day! Today I wanted to share a few things with you that I received yesterday as I'm obsessed with reading these sorts of posts! I haven't included everything because I know I'll be featuring the clothes for example in a fashion post really soon and didn't want to bombard you guys. Obviously I'm not trying to brag I just thought you guys would like to see! 


The first thing I received from my wonderful parents were these absolutely stunning Ugg boots. I saw these a little while back on the Selfridges website and fell in love. They're so gorgeous and easy to walk in, they look perfect with skirts or trousers and I can see me getting a whole lot of use outta these bad boys! If I'm not mistaken they come in a tan brown colour as well which is equally lovely.


Up next: the camera lens of dreams! I mentioned in my christmas wish list post that I want to get more into fashion photography this year and after doing a little research, this seemed to be the lens everyone had. It's a 50mm f 1.8 which is wide-angle, creating that perfect blurred background us bloggers crave so much! Again thank you so much to my parents - you're amazing! 


From my sister I got two things, the first of which being a beautiful box of chocolates from Hotel Chocolat that I haven't photographed because... well, we started to eat them yesterday! However she also got me this non edible gift as well: a tripod! I'm super excited about this as I'm hoping it'll really help with my photography. I was actually so surprised she thought to get me this, but I love it so much!


Of course I had to get some books! If you want to know the synopsis of these I included them in my Christmas Wish List post. I'm really excited to get some more reading done in the New Year!



From my aunt who works in beauty I got this gorgeous box of Clarins goodies. There's so much amazing stuff in here ranging from eye creams to mascara to lip gloss! I absolutely cannot wait to try these out! She also got me three mini OPI nail polishes which will be just perfect for travelling - something I hope to do a lot of in the coming year.



From my uncle I received these lovely Body Shop bath products, including a shower gel, body sorbet and a loofa. They're all strawberry smelling and so lovely!  


The last things I wanted to show you were kind of a joke present from my parents. They basically went to Halfords and got all the car related accessories you could imagine. My main goal for 2016 is to pass my driving test and since I already have a car, they reckoned I'd be needing some things to go alongside it... including car shampoo no less! As funny as it was this is genuinely a great present and will come in super handy! 

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So there we have it! I've had an absolutely fabulous christmas this year and am looking forward to seeing what the new year has in store! 

I hope you guys enjoyed reading this post and doing forget to leave a comment below telling me what your favourite gift this year was!




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25/12/2015

Celebrate Christmas 2015 With Me




Hello everyone, hope you're all having a lovely christmas! Today I thought I'd share a few quick snaps from my day! Tomorrow, I'm going to post a proper What I Got For Christmas but hopefully until then this will suffice! 





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20/12/2015

The Perfect Christmas Party Makeup Look


It's officially party season what with Christmas and New Years right around the corner, and whilst I'm not exactly a wild, party girl, I enjoy going out for a glamorous meal as much as the next person. So for todays post I've compiled some of my favourite products to make a gorgeous makeup look - perfect for any christmas night out.

For me, winter makeup looks are all about the sparkly eyes and stunning red lips. Nothing screams christmas more than a bronze / gold eye paired with warm, buttery burgundies. And of course long, fluttery lashes pull the whole thing together.


First up, I'm loving highlighting concealers at the moment. This one by Chanel is perfect for adding touches of light under the eyes whilst simultaneously covering all dark circles. Whilst it isn't the most budget friendly it oozes luxury and quality.


Next up, my main base. First off let me just apologise for how disgusting and gross this powder looks, I even have a new one in the drawer that I could have photographed. This powder is perfection in a pot but I'm not going to talk too much about this as I constantly do. Just know that it gives the perfect coverage whilst maintaining a natural no-makeup look.


For blush, of course I'm going to be using my new Chanel in the shade 060 Innocence. This gives a gorgeous pink glow to your cheeks without being overpowering. The little brush that comes with it is really good quality as well, unfortunately the wrong shape to apply blush but I think it could work nicely as a travel sized contour brush.


Next up the eyes. Ahhh my Naked palette, we've had some fabulous times together. Overall I think the Naked 2 is my favourite but the lovely warm shades of brown and gold in this are perfect for winter time. If you haven't tried any of the Naked palettes I would highly recommend them as lovely high-end everyday colours.



For my look I'm first of all using my personal favourite shade Half Baked as an allover base colour. It's the most stunning, sparkly gold that literally seems to leave flecks of actual gold dust on my eyelids.


I'm then working Virgin into the inner corners and along my lash line to create the perfect highlight. My experience is if you use a light colour above your upper lash line, it makes your eyes look larger and your lashes longer.


Lastly, for the crease colour I'm using Hustle, a delightful aubergine, brown colour. Purples make lovely alternatives to browns and greys as crease colours as they're warmer and less intense. If you're not looking for a super smoky eye then this is right up your ally.



For eyeliner I'm doing a traditional cat eye flick with my absolute favourite Charlotte Tilbury eyeliner. This is so perfect for creating precise wings and literally stays in place for days.



My all time favourite mascara is the Volume De Chanel. Whilst the brush takes a little getting used to, my lashes have never looked so long and full. I accidentally bought the waterproof one but nonetheless it's still brilliant.


And lastly the lips. Nothing screams Christmas like a lovely red lip, and none are more fabulous than MAC See-Sheer. This lipstick is sadly coming to the end of its life but I will be repurchasing my third one of these as it's my all time favourite colour! With a buttery and moisturising texture and perfect pigmentation - you literally cannot go wrong! 

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Okay so that's it, I hope you guys enjoyed this post, I'll be back soon with some more festive goodness!


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19/12/2015

Decorating my house for Christmas - Part 2











So my house is finally at a level of festiveness deemed appropriate for the second half of this post. I'm so excited to share these photos with you guys as I'm obsessed with how cute and christmassy my house is looking! If you've got any questions about where my decorations are from, leave a comment or tweet me @livinglikelili and I'll get back to you! (Shameless plug, but I'm trying to reach 300 followers on Twitter by Christmas Day and I'm only 8 away! Please please give me a follow, I follow back all bloggers <3) 

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With only a week until the big day (cue excited shrieking) my next few posts will all be christmas related and I'll be snapping away on Christmas Day to show y'all how we celebrate christmas. 

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I hope you're having a wonderful festive season, I'll see you tomorrow with some more brand new content!


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