Friday, 30 December 2011

A New Start

We all know the cliché new years resolutions that everyone keeps up for about  a week then drops but I thought I'd share mine anyway. Thankfully some of mine have been made into blog challenges so that should have some motivation. 2011 has been an odd year with many ups and downs but I do not wish to look back with any regrets, only to look forward to the year ahead with an open heart and mind. So, here are my resolutions!

1 Accept myself for being me. If you read my Yule Magic gift it was to let people know that they deserve to give themselves a chance. I had a habit of letting people get to me with nasty remarks but it's not me that needs to change, it's them.

2 Be healthy. I don't want to lose loads of weight and be a size zero, I'm happy with my curves. For me health is about feeling good mentally, physically and spiritually. Since my chronic cough, my immune system has been shot to pieces and I pick up everything, but I try not to let that get in my way. After suffering with a back injury for 3 or 4 years I really want to devote myself to strengthening my core muscles which will not only help me tone up, but prevent further injury.

4 Focus more on school. The last point ties in with this one in that my not so great health has an impact on my school performance. I still try to go to school as much as I can but sometimes it's not possible and I fall behind. This is an important year for school work and can determine whether or not I get to do the course at university that I want to.

3 Explore my path as a Pagan. Although I've officially been practising for over a year, I often have so much other stuff preoccupying my mind that my spiritual practice gets pushed into the background. Poor health and school work seem to be the main things that diminish my practice, although I say a prayer everyday I want to do more than that and explore other practises and traditions.

4 Plant a veg patch and herb garden. I love gardening as it gets me closer to nature. We grew lots of food at our old house and I loved it so it's definitely something I want to do again.

5 Get more involved in the craft. As my knowledge of herblore increases I want to make my own incense, oils, tinctures and beauty products so that they are personal to me.

6 Exercise more. I guess this is associated to the being more healthy one but again time and injury are the main components as to why I don't exercise enough. As the strength of my back improves I want to go back to horse riding and start yoga again as I love doing it.

At the moment those are my main goals for the coming year, I may add to those or give myself goals for each month but those are the long term ones for the year. What are your resolutions for 2012? I'd love to know :)

Friday, 23 December 2011

A Year To Read

One of my resolution for the coming year is to make more time to read, so in light of this I've joined another reading challenge for 2012.

As fantasy books make up the majority of my collection I thought this was a suitable challenge to join as I need to get reading them! I'm opting for the Elf Level of 10 books but hopefully I'll get reading more than that. I hope you join in and challenge yourselves to read as much as you can next year :)

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Yule Magic 2011

My magical gift to you all is one I think everyone would like to hear every once in a while; and it is the gift of knowing you deserve a chance. All too often we are quick to tell ourselves that we don't deserve something or we aren't good enough.

Quite often the only person setting us back in life or not letting go off the past is ourselves, so every solstice I like to perform a little ritual to give myself a break. I write down all the things I want to let go of and the things I want to let happen in my life on little bits of paper. The things that I want rid of such as fears, regrets and bad habits, I put in fire and burn them to be cleansed and renewed. Those that I want to prosper such as good health, happiness and personal goals, I bury in the ground so that they can grow within the earth and grow on a energetical level on the physical plain.

We all deserve to give ourselves another chance, to wipe the slate clean, forgive ourselves for something we've done wrong so that we can grow and live our lives to the fullest. Have a blessed Winter Solstice! xx

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Amarya Beauty Box Dec 2011

Ahh the heating is broke, a classic sign that winter is well and truly here, (we've even had a little snow!) however this little box arrived in the post and brightened my day :)

 The paper seemed to be lighter this time and there were no foam pieces which I found out for having such a heavy item in the box. (All my tissue was ripped underneath so I won't be able to use it for other people's presents :( )

Firstly I just have to say how much I love the packaging of the first product. REN have teamed up with de Gournay to create this gorgeous artwork on their 2011 Christmas Gift Sets!

REN Neroli Duo Gift Set - £28.00 full sized sample
"A zesty, invigorating, uplifting duo of Neroli and Grapefruit Body Wash and Body Cream presented in a beautiful box with de Gourney design. Great for a morning pick me up!" Firstly this is almost triple the price of the box so immediately you are getting your moneys worth. I had a little smell and try of the moisturiser and I have to say I'm liking it. I can't wait to get using these to perk me up on these dark mornings.

Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Cream - £14.95 full size 50ml, 10g sample.
"This gentle cleansing cream will offer a deep cleanse without upsetting the delicate acid mantle of the skin. Press this cream gently in to damp skin after removing make-up." As someone with skin that tends to be very dry I can't use make up remover or wipes as it sucks they are both extra drying so cleansing cream it is. I'm looking forward to trying this one out.

Acorelle Eau De Parfum - £29.99 full size 50ml, 1.5ml sample.
"The World's first certified organic perfumes made with essential oils and natural extracts based on the principles of aromatherapy. Nine Eau de Parfums to choose from." I got the Wheat Almond Eau de Parfum, "revitalizes your senses thanks to the combination of bitter almond essential oil, palmarosa essential oil and essence of orange." I had a little spritz and the fragrance isn't for me. Perfume is a really personal thing so you either like a scent or you don't. It's quite a similar in smell to Marks & Spencer's White Peach and Almond Hand & Nail Cream. Personally, I prefer the cream.

I was going to do a "star of last month" bit at the end of each Amarya Beauty Box but I had a really hard time choosing what I loved the most. Maybe I'll have one next time :)

Monday, 12 December 2011


As you might have noticed I haven't put up my post for The Witches Yuletide Ball that was on Saturday. I haven't been very well for the past few weeks so haven't been in the mood to decorate or bake, (I couldn't eat all weekend)  however it is my school Winter Ball on Wednesday so I will put some pictures up of it as my post.

Sorry if you were looking forward to the post, I will try and have the Yuletide Blessings post up on the correct date. Hannah xx

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

2012 Pagan Reading Challenge & Get Off Your Broom Witchy Fitness Challenge

So, I've just signed up for two blog events over at The Domestic Pagan. Both start in January and last the whole year through so I will have many updates (hopefully) on both of these.

The first I have joined in the 2012 Pagan Reading Challenge. It is designed to get us all motivated to read more about the craft, nature and paganism in general. The challenge includes any fiction books also related to this topic, so anything about witches, magic and the paranormal counts.

I have decided to opt for the realistic Beginner Read of 11-15 books at present as next year is going to be pretty heavy on school work from January to June but I may advance on or reduce this number as the year goes on. There's so many books on this path that I want to read but don't have the time so I'm hoping this will motivate me to get reading! Hopefully I'll make a start on a Book of Shadows next year too.

My next motivational challenge is the 2012 Get Off Your Broom Witchy Fitness Challenge. I've wanted to get into shape so bad the past couple of years but illness and other obligations just haven't made it possible. I'm not really worried about losing lots of weight but I do want to tone up, eat better and feel as healthy as I can (despite the random illnesses I get.) When you feel good about yourself it really boosts your confidence and an event like this will hopefully give everyone the determination and focus to achieve their goals. Check ins will be every Sunday so expect some health related posts in the coming year!

I hope your December is getting off to a magical start! Hannah xx

Monday, 5 December 2011

Yuletide Cupcakery! 2011

Happy December! I've been in a Yuletide mood today, singing carols at choir, snow this morning and of course baking for this cupcakery! I decided to make gingerbread cupcakes, well, because I love gingerbread :) I was initially going to try my hand at eggnog cupcakes but couldn't find the recipe book :( hopefully I'll find it before Saturday's blog party. Anyway, here's the recipe!


For the frosting
  • 200 g butter, at room temperature
  • 50 g soft brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 200 g icing sugar
  • pinch ground cinnamon


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas 4.

2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

3. Sift the flour together with the spices.

4. Gradually mix the eggs into the creamed butter and sugar alternating with the flour to stop the mix from curdling. Finally, stir through the milk.

5. Place 12 paper cupcake cases into a muffin tin and divide the mixture between them.

6. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

7. For the frosting: while the cupcakes are cooking place 50 grams of the butter in a pan with the brown sugar and cook over a low heat until melted. Add 2 tablespoons of the milk and stir to form a thick glossy toffee sauce. Leave to one side to cool to room temperature.

8. In a large mixing bowl beat the butter until smooth, then start to sift in the icing sugar, stirring regularly. Add the toffee sauce and stir until thoroughly incorporated. Add a splash more of milk if the mixture seems too thick - the frosting should be light and creamy.

9. Put the frosting in a piping bag and pipe onto the cupcakes. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon before serving. 


Sunday, 4 December 2011

MAC & Illmasqua Haul

My mother and I found ourselves in Debenhams yet again after picking up my formal dress so decided to treat ourselves during their Big Gift Event Sale, so here's what I got.

I've been really getting into MAC & Illamasqua lately, I'm loving the products I have so far and I've converted my mummy to MAC when before she didn't see what was so great about them... she was easily turned!

Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation - 03
"Inspired by the cult Asian market Beauty Balm creams, Skin Base Foundation is a brand new, refined formula unlike anything on the UK market. Easily blendable, it effortlessly creates a perfect complexion, and like the entire Illamasqua foundation range, is undetectable in a professional HD environment. Suitable for all skin types, it smoothes, softens and conditions your skin whilst providing natural, buildable coverage."

I've been looking a new liquid foundation for ages, but find it difficult to get one to match my skin tone exactly or one that is moisturising enough. I wanted to try this out because of the great hype and reviews surrounding it and I saw why it has gotten this attention when the lady at the counter put it on me; it's flawless skin in a bottle! The woman also informed me as to why my skin is so dry and it is because I exfoliate too much (any scrub that recommends using it every day don't do it! It takes around 8 days for healthy skin to surface so if you scrub all the top skin off everyday there's no moisture left in the deeper layers that are coming to the surface.) This shade is the lightest for colourings with yellow undertones.

Illamasqua Powder Blush - Katie
"Illuminate, radiate, make your face come alive with the colour and drama of Illamasqua Powder Blusher. Colour-intense and highly pigmented, use it to shade, brighten, enhance and define the shape of your face. Be bold, be daring, be the centre of attention."

The lady at the counter also used this on me as both a blush and a contour which had amazing results for such a light and natural colour. Katie is described as a soft candy pink with a matt finish.

Illamasqua Highlighter Brush
"Illuminate your alter ego. Use the Illamasqua Highlighter Brush to apply Illuminator to anywhere you’d like to draw attention. Wonderfully versatile, this brush can also be used to buff Illamasqua Light or Rich Liquid Foundation onto the face, to create a polished look."

Since the cover of my elf stipple brush melted into the bristles I've been on the lookout for a new buffing brush. I prefer using this kind of brush than a regular foundation brush as it provides a more natural and buildable coverage. It is particularly good with both the skin base foundation and for applying blush.

MAC Mineralize Eye Shadow - Shimmermint
Another part of the Glitter & Ice collection. I fell in love with this shade but managed to miss it the other week when I was there. A beautiful pale green melange. Not more else I can say, frosty, glittery, like having snowflakes on your eyelids!

MAC Eye Shadow in Patina & Satin Taupe
Two gorgeous shades I've had my eye on for a while, Patina is a taupe brown with golden pearl and Satin Taupe is a taupe with silver shimmer.

MAC Eye Shadow in Mystery & Twinks
I forgot to include these in my last haul post as that is when I got them but had them straight into my pallet so forgot about them. Mystery is a muted plum-brown which is perfect alone for my eyebrows at night or mixed with Espresso for the day. Twinks is a gorgeous deep plum with pearl.

My current MAC eyeshadow collection; Top Row L-R: Blanc Type, Vanilla, Dazzlelight, Girlie; Middle Row L-R: Wedge, Patina, Era, Folie; Bottom Row L-R: Espresso, Mystery, Woodwinked, Satin Taupe, Twinks
MAC Lustre Lipstick - Viva Glam V
MAC Lustre Lipstick - Viva Glam V
 I was looking for a really moisturising lipstick that was quite natural but still had some colour and the lady at the counter came up with this beauty, a neutral pink with pearl. Is it just me or do these smell amazingggg! Better still, all funds from the Viva Glam range go towards Aids Awareness & by getting this, along with the next product, the money has given someone a home for two nights and eight meals.

MAC Lipglass - Viva Glam VI
MAC Lipglass - Viva Glam VI

MAC Lipglass - Viva Glam VI
I'm usually not a fan of lipgloss, (I'm a lipstick girl for life!) but I couldn't resist this warm plum with pearl after trying it on over the lipstick; they're a match made in lip combo heaven!

Friday, 2 December 2011

Current Loves

I've found myself day dreaming lately about lovely thing so thought I'd share. (All images from we heart it)

sparkly shoes!
lovely liv
cute kittens
& again
& again!
jeffrey campbell lita boots
winter jumpers
warming drinks
to die for nails
norse mythology (I might be going to a camp in Norway in the summer!)
what kind of Mjölnir pendant I want
cute hairstyles
big rings

& again
women of the past
& of course, snow!
Have a wonderful weekend! xx