Harry Potter Studio Tour!

Harry Potter Studio Tour!

Happy Saturday my lovelies! I hope you’ve all had a fabulous week and have something nice planned for your weekend. As for me, my week has been filled with a horrendous cold that I came down with at the beginning of the week!

With that being said, I did have a very very good day on Thursday. Thursday I went to the Harry Potter Studio Tour! And it was absolutely amazing. I was very lucky that the trip was a birthday present from my boyfriend Matt, and we’d had it booked for well over a month so it’s safe to say I was pretty excited!

I’ve been to the studio tour once before, but that was a long long time ago, and a lot has been added since then; so, for today’s post I figured I’d share the hundreds of photos I took whilst I was there.

*PRE-WARNING* – OVER 100 SPOILERS AHEAD!!

Let’s get into it!

I think my favourite part of the tour was seeing all of the special effects and animatronics, it’s just amazing how creatures and scenery was brought to life! I took one or two videos of some of the effects below for you to check out, Buckbeak looked so so real it was crazy!

Well, that was my trip to Hogwarts! Believe it or not there’s still loads more you haven’t seen, and I could easily go back over and over again. It’s a great day out for the family and for anyone who’s a potterhead like me.

Have you been to the Harry Potter Studio Tour? If so, what was your favourite part? Let me know in the comments!

And with all that said, that’s all for today’s post! Have a great weekend lovelies!

Love,

Victoria Blog Signature
Harry Potter Studio Tour Pin
5 Thoughtful Father’s Day Gifts

5 Thoughtful Father’s Day Gifts

Hello lovelies! How’s everyone’s week been? This week I’ve been busy at work, making a start on some college work, re-jigging my bedroom furniture and sorting out my Dad’s Father’s Day present. Which brings on today’s post! Father’s Day is right around the corner, so I’ve put together a short and snappy list of five thoughtful gift ideas!

Photos with Dad
Here I am with my dad and some other members of family!

I don’t know where I’d be without such a great role model and supportive figure in my life. I’m very lucky that I have a great relationship with my dad and he’s always been there for me. Which is why I always try and find him the perfect meaningful gift on Father’s Day.

So, let’s get straight into it!

Famous Dad Grouse Gift Box
The Famous Grouse Gift Box image found on MoonPig

1 . Personalised favourite drink or glass – If your dad has a favourite drink they don’t buy themselves very often you could buy them a bottle of it and see if you can get it personalised or you could get them a personalised glass or mug, bonus points if you put an inside joke or funny saying on it! You can find the gifts from the image above on moonpig!

Spirit Level Cufflinks
This image of the spirit level cufflinks if from notonthehighstreet.com

2 . Hobby inspired gifts – Get your dad something to do with one of their hobbies! You could get silly golf balls, favourite movie inspired gifts, football memorabilia and other things like that! Just think about what you dad likes to do, and get them something to do with that! You can find these cufflinks from notonthehighstreet here! For my dad’s birthday we went to a Frankenstein inspired escape room which was loads of fun, you can see the time we escaped in in the photos at the start of this post!


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3 . Favourite food/cake homemade – Does your dad have a favourite cake or sweet treat? Why not make it and add a personal touch, it’s even better if you make it a little funny or something to do with their hobby! You could make a dart board cake if your dad’s into that something else! I definitely recommend checking out Oh My Cakery! They’re a great small business with incredible cakes!

Personalised Keepsake Memory Box
The image of this personalised keepsake memory box is from notonthehighstreet.com!

4 . Gift based on past experiences – You know those stories your dad is always talking about, the one’s from when we was younger or did something great. Well why not collect some things from his past and create a memory box or you could let him relive that memory through an experience day if it’s something you can afford. This memory keepsake box can be found on notonthehighstreet!

Pac-Man mini arcade machine
This Pac-Man mini arcade machine image was is from MenKind!

5 . Gadgets – I think nearly all of us love a good gadget, so why not find a gadget to either make your dad’s life easier or something that is just a bit silly but has a little meaning to it. For example; check out this mini Pac-Man arcade machine!

So, that’s just a few thoughtful ideas for gifts you can get your dad or father figure next weekend. And if you’re still stuck for ideas after this, just go with something from the heart, cheesy I know, but after all.. it’s the thought that counts! 

What are you getting your dad for father’s day? And what’re you planning for the day? My dad loves golf, horror movies, playing puzzle games on PlayStation with all of us shouting out the answers.. haha and just generally having a laugh with all of us. I hope you all have a great fathers day next week with those you care about and I’m thinking of all you who may be having a hard day, just know you’re loved and cared about!

Have a great week everyone!

Love,

Victoria Blog Signature

5 Thoughtful Fathers Day Gifts Pin

 

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

It’s just over 2 weeks until Mother’s Day 2019, so I thought it’d be a good time to put together my mother’s day gift guide! Even though I believe that you should show people how much you love and care for them all year round, it’s still nice to have a day to remember any loved ones who are no longer with us and show those who are, how much them mean to us.

I always feel that personal gifts are better, but sometimes it can be hard to find a gift that’s just right. So, lets get into it! (I decided to add links to gifts from notonthehighstreet.com and tk maxx because I personally like those sites for presents!)

normal_bunch-of-biscuit-flowers

1 . Food – Get your mum whatever her favourite treat is, it could be her favourite sweets, chocolate, takeaway or café treat! These cute biscuits can be found here!

normal_mother-and-daughter-bracelet

2 . Jewellery – There’s loads of different pieces that you could get your mum, if your mum is a bracelet wearer, I suggest a simple bracelet which is symbolic of your relationship. Here’s the link to the bracelet pictured above for you to check out!

3 . Make it, or take her out for it. Breakfast – This is a traditional one, but you can’t really go wrong with this one, surprise your mum with breakfast in bed or take her out to a café that she has always wanted to go to or just loves going to!

normal_personalised-stem-vase

4 . Flowers – If you’re mum likes getting flowers, why not buy her a bunch of her favourite kind with a new vase and if she isn’t a fan of getting flowers (or if she isn’t great at keeping them alive..) why not get her something that doesn’t require a load of attention, like succulents and cacti. Find this pretty vase set here!

normal_personalised-solid-copper-photo-print

5 . Personal photograph(s) – Get some of your mums favourite photos printed and framed, or go one step further and use some snaps you took in the past that she hasn’t seen and surprise her with them! If you’re looking for an idea on what to do with some photos, click here to find the copper plate above!

normal_crystal-cut-personalised-gin-glass

6 . Personalised glass or mug – If your mum is a gin and tonic lover, why not grab a pretty glass for her, and get her name or any inside jokes you have on it! Or if your mum is a tea drinker, get her a her own teapot and teacups! You can get the gin glass here!

tk maxx handbag

7 . Handbag – My mum and I often go out shopping together, and from experience she always loves getting a new handbag, especially from Tk Maxx! This cute bag is from Tk Maxx and you can find it here.

8 . Treat your mum to a day doing whatever she wants – If you’re super stuck for ideas you can always ask her what she would like to do! It could be a spa day, relaxed day at home with her every need done for her or simply taking her out for lunch, the choice is theirs!!

normal_put-your-feet-up-book-subscription

9 . Things for your mum’s hobby/hobbies – My mum loves gardening, doing jigsaws, getting a massage, reading a good book and loads more, so why not get your mum something to do with her hobbies? Click here to check out the book subscription gift above!

normal_personalised-mum-s-mini-spa-in-a-bag-survival-kit

10 . Smellies – As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found I enjoy getting smellies more and more, if your mum has a favourite brand for makeup, smellies or candles, you can’t go wrong in picking up some of them! This gift bag can be found here!

Those are just a few ideas for what you can get for your mum, and at the end of the day, it’s the thought that counts. Plus, I’m sure letting your mum know how much she means to you, how much you value her and everything she’s done for you will make her very happy.

If you’re still stuck for ideas, pay attention to what your mum has been liking, loving and needing over the next two weeks and use that to get something she’ll like. And if you’re beyond stuck, just ask her what she’d like to do! I’m sure she’ll be happy to tell you what she’d want to do, and sometimes that will actually allow you to get her exactly what she wants.

So, Happy Mother’s Day for two weeks time!! And thank you so much to all of the mums, granny’s and great grandmas out there for everything you do. Have a great weekend lovelies!!

Love,

Victoria Blog Signature

*all images of gifts were taken from notonthehighstreet.com and tk maxx

Valentines Day Gifts

Valentines Day Gifts

The first month of the year is coming to an end already, and you know what that means.. Valentines Day. Now, I personally think that we should all just show each other how much we love one another year round, but I get that Valentines is a nice way to make someone feel extra special.

I also think that Valentines Day is a day that we can all use as an excuse (even though we don’t need one..) to give ourselves some love, and remind ourselves of how amazing and special we are.

I know that a lot of us search for ‘Valentines gifts for…’ when it comes to finding a Valentines Day gift for our special someone, so I’ve done this gift guide in categories with gifts I would buy for my other half and of course what I would like myself! Both will include unisex, personal, DIY and funny gifts from different price ranges! (*all images taken from the websites linked and do not belong to me)

A lot of these gift ideas are the same for both sexes in my opinion but everyone knows what they like and have a idea of what their friend, partner or special person likes.

Valentines Day ‘Guy’de’ (get it haha):

1 . Personalised Jewellery.

You can get each piece of jewellery here – the letter necklaces, the minimalist bar necklaces and the personalised birthstone bracelet here.

2 . Watch.

You can grab the first, black watch here, the white one here and the rose gold one here!

3 . USB Mix Tape.

This is a DIY one, but you can buy the cassette tape with the memory stick here and the personalised memory stick here! This is one of my favourite ones, because it requires so much thought, ans we all know that it’s the thought that counts!

5 senses

4 . The Five Senses.

This one is personal to who you’re buying for, which is why I love this one!

5 . Makeup Vouchers.

This one doesn’t need a photo, because we all know what gift cards look like! If you have a makeup lover, they will love this.

6 . Memory frame/box/bottle.

You can get the frame here, the bottle here and the memory box here.

7 . Breakfast in bed with a surprise day out.

Here’s a pretty breakfast for the photo for this one, because the day out is personal to the person, pick something they’ll not expect you to have picked that you know they’ll love!

8 . A personal piece of art or an inside joke made into a gift.

You can grab the ‘things I love about you’ piece here, the photo collage here and the wooden planisphere here!

 

Girls Guide to Valentines:

1 . Watch.

The first watch here is more pricey than the others, but you can grab it here, the silver watch here and the pocket watch here!

2 . USB Mix tape.

This is exactly the same as the mix tape from the ‘Guy’de’ so I will just leave the link for the cassette tape and USB here and the personalised memory stick here!

3 . Favourite Sweets Hamper.

You can grab the post box sweets here, the haribo and marshmallow tree here and the wonka inspired chocolate box here!

5 Senses

4 . The Five Senses.

This is the same idea as the one above, but with slightly different items!

5 . A new game, with snacks for a game day/night.

I don’t feel like this one needs a photo, because everyone has different game preferences! It doesn’t even have to be a game night, it could be binge watching your favourite series or movies!

6 . Remember when box – with funny and sweet memories handwritten memories.

Very similar to the other memory box one, but this one is with handwritten memories inside, ideally write as many as you can to fill the box or book or page! You can get the poster here, the box here and the book here.

7 . Wallet keepsakes – a photo of you together or even a cute saying or inside joke you have!

You can get the silver card with a map (it comes in other colours) here, the gold card (also in other colours) here and the photo with tiny letter here! I personally love the tiny love letter and photo one the most, and think its perfect for everyone; including if you’re getting it for yourself, because why not send yourself a reminder of how lovely you are!

8 . Surprise day out.

I won’t include a photo for this gift either purely because it’s very personal to every person! It doesn’t have to be an expensive day out, it could be so simple, why not a surprise picnic at lunch? Or even more romantic, bring blankets and candles and have a candle lit picnic!

Well, those are my ideas for Valentines Day gifts that you can get yourself or that special someone in your life! And although these are categorised, I think that you can get these for anyone in your life. It doesn’t matter if you have that special someone yet or not, you might not want a special someone in your life right now; it’s your choice and Valentines is a great day to show yourself some self love!

I know these are all gifts that cost money, but they also don’t have to! You can always use this gift guide as inspiration for gifts that you can make with things you probably have around the house! (the remember when memories are an easy one to do, along with the mix tape!) If you DIY any of these gifts let me know how it goes in the comments below, I always love reading and replying to them!

So have an amazing weekend and Valentines Day for the 14th my lovelies!

Love,

Victoria Blog Signature

My Christmas Gift Guide

My Christmas Gift Guide

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! And that means shopping is in full swing, and for those of you who aren’t sure what to buy for your family and friends, I’ve put together my own gift guide of presents to give you some ideas!

So, without any further adieu; here’s some gifts that are perfect for the home decorators, foodies, creatives, bookworms, tea, coffee drinkers and makeup lovers!

1 . HA Lettering create gorgeous personalised boards, photo props, room décor and Christmas Baubles! And all of these are for a pretty small price! You can order them here. Board prices vary on the size/personalisation and the baubles are £5 for 3 or 1 for £2! (Limited stock of baubles left so get your orders in!)

2 . Here’s a gift perfect for the book and nostalgia lovers – Quentin Blake illustrations that will make you smile. You can buy these at the London Science Museum and a select few of these gifts can be purchased here! I absolutely love these, they aren’t expensive and I loved seeing Quentin Blakes illustrations in Roald Dahl’s books when I was younger!

Fifty scams

3 . For the conspiracy theorist – fifty outrageous scams and hustles. I found this at TK Maxx and it’s perfect for those who love a good crime show and those who love telling weird and wonderful stories.

Calligraphy pens

4 . Here’s one for the creators! These gorgeous brush pens are great for calligraphy and drawing; you can get these from Arteza on Amazon.

Phone Lens

5 . For the selfie lover and photographers: clip on camera lenses! You can get these from Tesco here!

Candle

6 . Candles are a great gift idea for anyone really, if you know what sort of scents they like, these are an easy yet thoughtful gift! You can find this candle on Amazon by Yankee Candle here.

Help for the heros

7 . If you know a tea or coffee lover then this gift and the next are for them! This Help for the Hero’s mug gift set if great for anyone in the forces and anyone else who loves a hot drink really! You can find it in Tesco stores.

Mug

8 . Here’s a great gift for a horror, creepy critter or tea/coffee lover. I love this one, especially because it’s something I haven’t really seen before! You can find it here on Amazon by Creature Cups.

Glass bowl

8 . For the person who loves home décor. I found this in TK Maxx along with several other gorgeous bowls and plates; perfect for a centre piece or even as somewhere to put your jewellery. You can find it here!

Makeup brushes

9 . For the makeup lovers! This brushes set is perfect for anyone who’s wanting to get into makeup or expand their current set of brushes! This set can be found at Beauty Bay (my favourite shop for brushes and makeup that’re a good price!), you can also find singular brushes, sets, makeup palettes etc. there!

Straighteners

10 . Hair straighteners are a great gift for those who spend hours on their hair; these ones by BaByliss are my mums current favourite, she said they make her hair feel soft and loves that you can see what temperature you’re at. You can get these from Amazon here!

Lips tin

11 . Here’s one for the person that loves all things selfcare! Not only does this contain small items that’re great for a little tlc on the go, but it also comes in a super cute tin! You can get it from Tesco in store or online.

Mr Gentry

12 . For the guy that loves some facial grooming; this trio of products include a shower gel, a shaving gel and an after shaving balm. You can get it from Tesco instore or online!

Beard trimmer

13 . Here’s another one for the guy that loves to keep his facial hair in tip top condition; the beard bib! You can get this from Mo Bro’s, they sell all things facial hair: beard oils, combs, conditioners and more!

Bracelet

14 . I love this one so much! Here’s my favourite item in this gift guide, possibly because I’m a bit of a magpie and love anything sparkly, especially jewellery! And this bracelet by Cote D’Argent is not only gorgeous but also adjustable. You can find bracelets like this one in TK Maxx.

Baby toy

15 . For the little ones who don’t fully realise that Christmas is even a thing yet. I like this toy as it has lot’s of textures, sounds and things a baby can hold onto to chew! You can get this one from Lamaze on Amazon.

Hot sauce

16 . For the foodies! If you’re buying for a foodie, the chances are you’ve got either a general idea of what sort of thing they would like or absolutely zero idea altogether. And that is why I think that a gift like this hot sauce taster set is perfect! You get a choice of 8 sauces all of them unique! You can get this set from Tesco instore.

Lollypops

17 . If you’re needing a little stocking filler for someone with a sweet tooth, these peppermint lollypops are super cute and cheap! You can get them from Tesco instore or online here!

I hope you find this guide useful! Finding the perfect gift for that special someone always makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside (cheesy I know). And seeing their face when they open it is just amazing. Let me know in the comments below what you’re favourite gift is!

Merry Christmas lovely!

Love,

Victoria Blog Signature

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Easy DIY Chocolate Truffles

Easy DIY Chocolate Truffles

I had a long look on the web at loads of different chocolate truffle recipes, and when I came across this one from BBC Good Food, it looked so simple I had to give it a try. And I found this one easy..ish. So here’s the thing, I thought I could get these made after work one day in a few hours, oh boy was I wrong! You definitely need an entire day to make these in my opinion, or maybe I over estimated my chocolatier skills haha. Either way, I’d recommend doing these on a day where you’ve not got much planned. Basically I made all the mistakes possible so you don’t have to.

So here’s what happened when I tried making these. I thought it’d be a good idea to try this using less than 70% cocoa chocolate as its cheaper, 70% cocoa chocolate is pretty expensive!! And I thought that if these go horribly wrong then at least I haven’t wasted a load of money, and good chocolate. Instead of making just dark chocolate truffles, I also tried this recipe with milk and white chocolate, now I know what you’re thinking, milk and white chocolate haven’t got as much cocoa in it as the dark, especially cheap chocolate! But I thought that if there’s any chance of making a few flavours then i’ll just give it a go now so you don’t have to.

Well, what worked? The dark chocolate truffles turned out fairly well considering I’ve never made truffles before, and the milk and white chocolates well.. the were a disaster! On the plus side, I did find that using this recipe but with milk chocolate does create a fairly yummy chocolate sauce, just not truffles. I might have worked if I had picked milk chocolate with more cocoa in it, but never mind!

I will say that I found shaping my truffles hard, I think I left my mix in the fridge a little too long! So I’d certainly call my truffles rustic looking.. You’ll probably have more luck than me!!

Easy DIY Chocolate Truffles

Here’s the recipe –

You will need:
300g good quality chocolate – dark (70% cocoa solids)
300ml double cream
50g unsalted butter

1. Chop the chocolate and tip into a large bowl. Put the cream and butter into a saucepan and heat gently until the butter melts and the cream reaches simmering point. Remove from heat, then pour over the chocolate. Stir the chocolate and cream together until you have a smooth mixture. You can add any flavourings at this point. Cool and chill for at least 4 hrs.

2. To shape the truffles, dip a melon baller or teaspoon in hot water and scoop up balls of the mixture, then drop the truffles onto greaseproof paper. Or lightly coat your hands in flavourless oil (such as sunflower) and roll the truffles between your palms. You could also use a piping bag to pipe rounds onto greaseproof paper.

(Forgot to take photos of this bit! Sorry!)

3. Coat your truffles immediately after shaping. To coat in chocolate, line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Melt 100g milk, dark or white chocolate for 10 truffles. Allow chocolate to cool slightly. With a fork, pick up one truffle at a time and hold over the bowl of melted chocolate. Spoon the chocolate over the truffle until well-coated. Place on the baking tray, then chill.

4.Store in the fridge in an airtight container for 3 days, or freeze for up to a month. Defrost in the fridge overnight. Keep in the fridge until you’re ready to give them.

Here’s what mine looked like! They tasted pretty good even if they did look ‘rustic’ haha!!

Chocolate truffles

These chocolates are great for presents, if you’re better at shaping and covering them than me! They’re good even for events or just as a treat whilst you’re watching a film. I hope you enjoy!! Let me know how yours turn out in the comments below!

Love,

Victoria x Blog Signature

10 Mother’s Day Gifts Mums Actually Want

10 Mother’s Day Gifts Mums Actually Want

When Mother’s Day comes round it always feels like it’s getting earlier each year. Well, it feels like that in my house anyway! All you see in shops are mushy pink and red cards and chocolates. This year I decided to actually ask my mum what she likes getting for Mother’s Day and I thought I’d share some gift ideas I came up with; they’re all budget friendly so if you’re like me and are low on cash, don’t worry! I gave myself the task of all ideas being less than £30 or free.

Why have I decided to do this ideas list? Because all of the card and gift shops have the same stuff in them and they’re never very thoughtful. And when I asked my mum what she wanted she said this to me:

“Creme Eggs.. And I don’t mind what else as long as it’s thoughtful or useful, none of this cheesy crap.”

Haha, I love my mum.

So armed with my mums idea of something useful or thoughtful, and of course some chocolate, I’ve come up with 10 gift ideas you can try this Mother’s Day.

  1. The handmade card and flowers combo.

If you’ve got any funny memories or inside jokes with your mum like I have, then this is a great opportunity to make her laugh and remember good memories. You could add a photo of you both to it and get some flowers for her too, you can’t go wrong with flowers!

cards and flowers photos

  1. You could make coupons of vouchers for jobs you know your mum hates doing.

If your mum is anything like mine, then she probably dreads doing the ironing and washing. So why not give her homemade vouchers that she can use and you do the jobs she hates! Or if you don’t like the voucher idea, then stay up late the day before (if you live at home still) and do all of the jobs before she wakes up in the morning. She’d love the surprise!

 

  1. Wash her car.

Now, this one obviously applies if your mum owns a car. But if she does, with what the weather is constantly throwing at us, I doubt she’s has some time to get her car washed or do it herself. And there’s just something great about that fresh clean car smell!?

 

  1. Cook.

This one’s a classic. If you’ve thought about taking her out for lunch or dinner and then realised that funds are low, why not cook her favourite meal instead of forking out for it a restaurant (get it? Haha I’m too funny..). It’s often a lot cheaper to actually buy all of the ingredients for the meal than it is to have it cooked for you. Also, make sure you wash up after yourself, because the last thing your mum will want to do is tidy up the kitchen!!! Plus you get to keep any yummy leftovers!

 

  1. DIY hamper.

Hampers always goes down well, not only for days like Mother’s Day, but birthdays and Christmas presents. The good thing with hampers is that you can personalise them to whoever it’s for. For a Mother’s Day hamper, why not buy or make some bath bombs, add a few tea lights or pillar candles, some chocolates and a film and you’re good to go! All of it probably comes to about £17? Not bad if I say so myself.

diy gift hamper photos

 

  1. Mum Survival Kit

This one is very similar to the above, but you can add a few joke pressies in here. Get a cheap tote bag or gift bag, add in a bottle of wine or spirits, chocolates, ear plugs, a face mask and other little things like tissues etc.

 

  1. Take her out for lunch or dinner.

This one is the pricier of the bunch, but if you don’t usually have the chance to take her out for a meal, then it’s a nice surprise. And if you’re not an only child, you can always get your siblings to pitch in, that way it doesn’t break the bank too much!

 

  1. Make a photo book.

Photo books or blocks are good for any occasion. If you’ve got loads of family photos then pick out some of your favourites, maybe even some of your mum from when she was little, and create a photo book. You can get some printed for really cheap, I’ve used Tesco printing before and delivery was fast too.

 

  1. Homemade chocolates.

If you love cooking than this is a good one for you. Making chocolates doesn’t take too many ingredients and are pretty simple to make, just make sure you clean up afterwards! They can really impress your mum, especially if she never sees you in the kitchen! (A chocolate truffle recipe post will be here on Sunday!!)diy chocolate truffles collage

 

  1. Magazine Subscription.

Does your mum love putting her feet up with a good cuppa (or glass of wine 😉 ) and sitting down with a magazine? Then why not find out which magazine she loves and get her a years subscription, some cost under £15 for the year, and that way your mum gets a little something every month!

 

And obviously if all else fails, then breakfast in bed is always a good shout, just make sure it’s not too burnt!! I hope this gives you a hand in picking our a good present and all the mums out there have a lovely Mother’s Day (it’s the 11th of March in case you weren’t sure)!!

Love,

Victoria x Blog Signature