Keeping Your Lips and (and Body) Moisturized (and Beautiful!) with Dr. Paw Paw

Last week, I wrote about keeping your body moisturized with a variety of products. Since then, I have been introduced to Dr. Paw Paw (thank you to Dr. Paw Paw for sending these to me), an amazing moisturizer that will see you through winter. Although it isn't cheap (£6.95 per tube), it is incredible for keeping lips nice and soft when they're feeling like chafing during the winter months. The best part? They are also tinted, so you can wear them as a lip stick or a lip gloss. You can also put sheen on your cheeks with Peachy Pink and Ultimate Red shades. The Natural colorless balm can also be used as diaper/nappy cream and to soothe irritated skin. Talk about a multi-functional product!

So far, I think the Peachy Pink is my favorite of the lot, as it is more of a color I'd go for:

The Natural Shade is a clear lip balm and is pretty much invisible on the lips. Now I can give my boyfriend a tube and stop him from stealing mine!

Have you ever tried Dr. Paw Paw? What were your thoughts?

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Redecorating with Cushion Covers

Cushion covers are perhaps the easiest way to give your home a mini revamp. I absolutely adore a well placed cushion cover somewhere on my bed or the couch to add a bit of an update and give the room a touch of my own personality. This is especially great for me since I'm living in rented accommodation, so cushion covers are a great way to really jazz up your living space.

I've picked out my top 8 (oh gosh, dating myself, but remember that on Myspace? And yes, this was as painful as picking my top 8 then!) cushion covers for fall and those that I'd love to use on my bed or couch:

Clockwise from top left:

1. Lace Cushion Cover // H&M

Okay, I cheated a little on this one as I actually have this one on my bed as we speak. It is a perfect neutral for a white couch or to complement white linens, or even a very busy pattern to add some calm. And it's rather classy, if I do say so myself.

2. Jacquard Weave Cushion Cover // H&M

Also another great neutral, but perfect for adding a bit of a funky modern vibe to your home.

3. Vintage Hearts Cushion Cover // Yorkshire Linen

As much as it pains me to say it, Christmas is somewhat around the corner and it's never (gulp) too soon to stock up on some Yule-tide goodies. To truly turn your home into a cosy seasonal escape, grab some festive cushion covers to add to the mix!

4. Fjalljung Cushion Cover // Ikea

With a Scandinavian name that I'd never even attempt to pronounce, this cushion cover is most definitely from Ikea. A sucker for anything vintage, I adore the the burlap sack looking texture (not even being facetious) and what appears to be an illustration from a vintage book about gardening. Another great little neutral for you non-risk takers, or to complement a very busy couch or duvet pattern.

Clockwise from top left:

1. Snabbvinge Cushion Cover // Ikea

This one adds a touch of spring all year around and is a great way to add a touch of something extra to an ordinarily calm pattern. But without too many crazy colors, it can go with a lot of decor types!

2. Patterned Cushion Cover // H&M

H&M Home has a ton of colorful cushion covers, but I gravitated toward this one because I felt like it was the one I would most likely choose. Again, this pattern has a lot going on, so it is a great complement to more neutral tones in the living room or bedroom.

3. Stag Embroidered Cushion Cover // Yorkshire Linen

I absolutely LOVE this cushion cover because it appears much more expensive than it is. At just less than £6, it adds a touch of class without spending a fortune. Not only is this a great touch for blending together either busy patterns or neutrals, but it also comes in red, meaning it can be mixed and matched and is a perfect Christmas (ahhh, I said the C-word again!) accent.

4. A Letter Pillow // Yorkshire Linen

I have no idea why, but I've been dying for one of these for ages. When I found out Yorkshire Linen was selling them for less than £6, I was ecstatic, as the ones I seem to have found elsewhere are all quite expensive. Nevermind that my boyfriend's initials and mine spell LA or AL (when I got initial cards, my boyfriend ask who Al was....), I still think they're absolutely adorable and a great addition to the home of a couple or a small family. Plus, with only two very basic colors, they look fantastic almost anywhere.

Thank you to Yorkshire Linen for sponsoring this post. All opinions are, however, my own. 

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How to Pack Your Toiletries to Fit in a Cabin Bag

Every time I travel on a budget airline, like Ryanair or EasyJet, I typically buy a bag to check. Between my boyfriend and myself, this typically isn't too expensive, but recently, when we went to Ireland, the price had increased to the point that it was the price of taking an actual extra person on the flight with us. Already having paid to sit together, we decided we would skip the check-in and I bit the bullet and packed everything I needed for a three night trip in a tiny little bag. At first, I wasn't sure how I would get everything in. But surprisingly, I did it. And I didn't miss anything!

As many of you know, for several years, only liquids under 100mls are allowed on airplanes (purchased before security) and that each person only has a one litre put all of their things in. While this may be a breeze for men who don't carry much make-up or perfume, it's a but more difficult for us make-up loving ladies. Here are some of the things I fit into my bag:

1. Clean on Me by Soap and Glory 
2. Sheer Blonde Kit with Shampoo, Conditioner and Hairspray (mix and match what to take).
3. Aussie Miracle Dry Shampoo
4.  Simple Kind to Skin Exfoliating Facial Wipes
5. Colgate Pro Gum Health Toothpaste
6. Travel bottles to pack things you can't get in travel size/really expensive items you want to take a tiny bit of.
7. Hand Food by Soap and Glory
8. Ted Baker 10ml perfume--perfect for a couple days away

1. Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation
2. Bare Minerals Prime Time Eyeshadow Primer
3. Rimmel London's Wake Me Up Concealer
4. Falsies Volume Express Mascara by Maybelline 

Extra tips: 
1) Any extras you need you can always purchase after security. Even full sized liquid items are allowed if you've purchased them after security, and you can bring as many as you want on.

2) If you're travelling with a guy or someone who doesn't need as many liquids as you do, put some of your liquids in their bag. As each person is entitled to one litre, this is a great way to get around that.

3) Figure out what the hotel you're going to is going to provide. Most have lotions, shampoo (but no conditioner!) and body wash. Keep that in mind when you're packing, so you may be able to skip those.

4) Skip things like cream blush, cream highlighter and cream eyeshadows, unless you can't live without them. Instead, opt for powder forms of these. The same goes for liquid deodorant--go for a bar instead.

5) Face wipes are a great alternative to bringing liquid make-up remover.

6) Pare down your shower and make-up routine to the minimum. Instead of bringing two mascaras (like many of us do!), just use one...or opt for day time false eyelashes.

You only have one litre. Use it wisely!

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PartyLite UK Halloween Candles Review and Giveaway

I know it's cliche, but I can't believe it's time to start setting up for Halloween! But, PartyLite UK has you covered with these fantastic candles to really jazz up your house, which they very kindly sent me. Taking inspiration from Mexico's Day of the Dead celebration, their votive cases are covered with sugar skulls to make your house truly spooky yet inviting at the same time. The little sugar skulls (the Skeleton Dance Votive Holders) above have votive candles in them that smell absolutely amazing and totally autumnal.

This green guy (the Hocus Pocus Candle) here is a big two wick candle that looks amazing for Halloween!

Interested in winning a gift pack and getting ready for Halloween? PartyLite UK has graciously teamed up with me to offer you a gift pack, which includes the two items listed above, in addition to a color changing candle base (to make your candles extra spooky!), eight deliciously smelling votives and 12 purple and lime green votive candles. This competition will run through October 6 and is open to residents of the UK and Ireland ONLY.

No purchase necessary. Must be 18 to enter, 13 with parents' permission. Winner will have 72 hours to claim prize before it is forfeited. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Top 5 Organizational Tips for University

As someone who has been in higher education for the past 12 years on and off (yes, that means a BA, two MAs and a PhD in progress), people often ask me how I'm able to maintain my workload without going crazy. Because I also have lupus, this often throws a wrench into plans, so I've worked out a list of my top tips for surviving uni, an MA or even a PhD.

1) Plan Ahead
This is my serious top tip. I know a lot of people do things at the last minute, but that can come back and bite you in the ass. Having also been a teacher, there is nothing more frustrating for me when an assignment has been given out months in advance and students are unable to complete it due to a specific circumstance that occurred right before the deadline--which is what I mean by biting you in the ass. You can't help it if you wind up in the hospital or up all night with food poisoning, but if you plan ahead and get the assignment done at a reasonable pace, that kind of thing won't stop you from completing the assignment, only showing up at class.

2) Know Your Limits
This doesn't pertain to alcohol, though if you're starting your freshman/fresher year, that is useful! But it can be tempting to sign up to every club or event that seems interesting or go out with people every night. If you can realistically get your work done whilst doing all of this, then that is fantastic, but if you can't, make your work a priority. After all, you are paying all that money for a degree in the end! This doesn't mean you should shy away from fun activities, just don't overdo it to the point that it becomes your main focus.

3) Set Reasonable Goals 
This kind of goes with the plan ahead tip. Some people leave it until the last minute to write a 5,000 word essay. While I know some people can actually get out good quality work like that, you'll be less stressed and have a more cohesive essay if you set a goal for 500 words a day over 10 days or 1,000 a day over 5 days. This way, you can really check your work and make sure it is up to standard.

4) Reward System!
A reward system is a great way to ensure you get your work done. I like to do something like every 500 words I write on my thesis, I get to eat something special or watch an episode of TV. This doesn't mean that it has to be something big and expensive to reward yourself with, only something that can motivate you to keep going for those few extra minutes.

5) Keep a Planner/Diary 
Don't just rely on your phone for due dates, etc. Putting them both in your phone and a physical place will help you keep better track of things so you don't schedule incorrectly or lose things in the mix.

What are/were your top tips for organization?

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Top 5 Moisturising Products for Winter

Winter is coming (insert Game of Thrones joke), which means it is time for heavy moisturising. I don't know about you, but my skin suffers in the winter, meaning my hands, lips and feet are extremely dry. Here are some of my favorites for keeping my skin hydrated and therefore flake free:

1. The Body Shop's Body Butter 
This is my go-to product for soft arms and legs. The tubs are pretty expensive at £14 a pop, but they last quite a while and are more than worth it. Cocoa butter is my absolute favorite scent, but they stock a wide range of smells, surely to tickle anyone's fancy.

2. Vaseline Lip Therapy with Cocoa Butter
Not a ground breaking product by any means, but it really does the job. In fact, so much so that I keep one by my bed (since I work from home most of the time) to apply and re-apply as needed. My boyfriend has even been guilty of stealing these from me. In the winter, they are fab for keeping frost-bitten lips smooth and come in a variety of "flavors." Some of them, like their Rosy Lips are also tinted, but you have to be careful. Since I'm a fan of smearing the stuff on my lips without regard to where it is going, I've had the Rosy Lips outside of the confines of my lips before and looked like a total idiot.

3. Hand Food by Soap and Glory
This is my all time favorite for keeping my mitts nice and soft. In fact, I love it so much that I even have a travel sized version I carry with me at all times. I have often had trouble with dry hands that become a bit flaky, but this is one of the few products that has actually helped with that.

4. Soap and Glory's Righteous Butter
Although I don't love this one as much as The Body Shop's Body Butter, it is still a good one for your extremities. It is a bit cheaper than The Body Shop's version and only comes in one scent, but some people may find that it works better for them than the Body Shop's version.

5. Scholl's Velvet Smooth Essential Moisture Cream
My feet are often dry, even in the summer. I know that a disgusting thing to admit, but since this blog is all about sharing my life, I am going to share that little tidbit with you and hope that some of you relate. I find that after filing dry skin off of my feet, rubbing this on problem areas and throwing a pair of socks on over night really helps to keep skin smooth and soft.

What are your go-to winter essentials?

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Win Free Tickets to the National Wedding Show in London!

Are you getting married in the near future? Your BFF? Your daughter? Your mother? Your cousin? Then you want to be at The National Wedding Show, the UK's largest wedding show. There will be hundreds of boutiques and vendors about to help you choose the very best for your big day.

Readers of Anna in Wonderland are invited to attend at a reduced concessions rate of 50% off. Simply enter the code NWSPR3 at checkout. But hurry, the offer ends on September 24 and the show runs September 25-27 at London's Olympia.

My readers are also invited to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below to WIN two free tickets for the event on September 25-27 at London's Olympia.  Competition ends September 23, so if you don't win, you will still be able to purchase at a reduced rate. Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Why should you enter? Because of all of these goodies you'll get to see. I'm not even getting married and I'm tempted:

All photos credited to: The Wedding Show

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Trying Out Bra Strap Savers

The lovely Shari at The Strap Saver, sent me some samples to try out, review and demo for you, gentle readers. I don't know about you, but my bra straps are always slipping down. When I'm out somewhere professional, it looks awful to have to reach in there and pull it back up, but then again, feeling it against your upper arm is equally as "painful." Even pulling the strap all the way to the end doesn't always work. And when your bra strap is stretched out from all that time supporting you, it makes it difficult to keep up. Enter The Strap Saver.

This little number has really kept my bra straps up over the past few days and I'm pretty pleased to recommend it to you. The website has a lot of good info on how to use the product, but I'll show you here, just in case you're having trouble or want to see it on:

1. Adjust the bra strap to a little further down than you would usually have it so that you can adjust the strap even further.

2. Pull the adjustable section out and pull it up so that it rests on top of the single part of the strap comfortably. (Is this making ANY sense? God knows.)

3) Hook the wider bit around the looped part and the single bra strap.

4) Hook the top section around the top of the bra and pull down.


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Days Out In Dublin

Here's another image heavy post, so another "Read More" tag is to be used!

The Croke Park Hotel Dublin Review

Last week, Luke and I went away on a little city break to Dublin...which you may know if you're already following me on Snapchat and Twitter. If you're not, WTF are you doing and go follow me pronto! All of my social media links are at the bottom of this page.

Through a special with Hotwire, we stayed at the Croke Park Hotel in Dublin, next to the Gaelic Games Stadium (which includes Gaelic football and hurling), Croke Park. It is located just north of the city centre in the suburb of Drumcondra--though the city centre is within a 20-minute walk and is a part of the prestigious Doyle Collection.

The hotel itself was gorgeous.

When you walk in, you're immediately taken into a whole other place--mainly because the area around the hotel isn't very nice (but I'll get to that in a moment). You feel quite relaxed the moment you step in and are even offered hot towels upon arrival.

Behind the little partitions is a clean and comfortable little sitting area (pardon how weird my make-up looks in this light):

And just behind that is the restaurant. Although we didn't actually physically eat in the restaurant, we did order room service our first night and the food was excellent and reasonably priced (aside from the €5 tray charge, but split between us, that's not so bad).

Our room, a standard for a couple, was fantastic and pretty huge for a European hotel room. If you're an American reading this and aren't aware, in Europe, generally hotel rooms are a lot smaller than those in the US. However, this one was almost as big as a standard hotel room in the USA. And the bathroom was huge.

Excuse the tiny mess by the bed and our things in the bathroom.

Included were coffee and tea making facilities with tons of sugar, tea choices and even some hot cocoa mix. I enjoyed some tea in the bath on my third night, though I have neglected to include photographic evidence of this for obvious reasons.

All in all, our stay there was incredibly pleasant. Would I recommend Croke Park Hotel to anyone visiting Dublin? Well, unfortunately I have to be a bit honest when I say that the locale is the only thing that would put me off from recommending it full force. The area around Croke Park is quite rough and not always very populated. To get to the hotel from the city centre at night, you have to walk by a Mountjoy Square, which doesn't really have much lighting and isn't in the best neighborhood. You'll also have to walk down Parnell Street, which is evidently the second roughest street in all of Ireland (Irish readers please correct me if I'm wrong!).

There really aren't many restaurants or pubs around and you have to get on your hiking boots for 15-20 minute walk to O'Connell Street or Drumcondra Road for anything that isn't located within the hotel itself. If you're touring Dublin and want a cheaper luxury hotel, then yes, I would recommend it as there are buses going into the city frequently (allowing you to skip the walk) and the hotel also provides a free shuttle bus into the city centre (though it is only at certain appointed times early in the morning). For a woman on her own looking to see the sights, I might recommend skipping it just because of the area surrounding it.

But if you're just looking for a romantic getaway and want to remain on the premises (or have a party on site) it is a good bet. Also, if you're there for any kind of Gaelic Games event, it is definitely highly recommended, though the prices will likely increase on those days.

Though, be warned that the view isn't very nice. We were so excited to check into our room and found it so beautiful, only to be disappointed by the fact that outside our window is a wall of graffiti, train tracks, and a river where several people were day drinking (and the falling asleep).

Jones's Road,
Dublin, Ireland
Phone: +353 1 871 4444

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Visiting Trinity College Dublin

You can't go to Dublin without visiting Trinity College, and Luke and I spent an afternoon there. Although I don't normally employ the "Read More" feature, it will be on this one just because it is so incredibly image heavy!

Rosh Hashanah Recipe Round-Up (18 Delicious Recipes!)

L'Shana Tova! (That's Hebrew for "Happy New Year!") Tuesday is the Jewish New Year, one of the holiest days in the Jewish calendar. You can read a little bit about what Rosh Hashanah is here. But you don't have to be Jewish to enjoy the sweet treats the new year brings. Gentile or Jew, these autumnal foods are guaranteed to make your tummy rumble.

 In the Jewish tradition, we eat sweet food and fruits (specifically apples and honey) to represent the sweetness of the new I've picked some of the most amazing treats from around the web that I've either tried or would love to whip up in my own kitchen. Enjoy, and happy 5776 (the year it is in the Jewish Calendar).

Why have I chosen 18 recipes? Read about significance of the number 18 in Judaism here. 

1. Apples, Honey and Goat Cheese Crustini  from What Jew Wanna Eat
2. Sephardic Jeweled Rosh Hashanah Rice from May I Have That Recipe
3. Apple Cider Cups by Gimme Some Oven
4. Pomegranate Salmon Recipe by Taste Book
5. Caramel Apple Cookies by Cooking Classy
6. Apple Butter Challah by Tsiporah Blog

7. Pomegranate Cole Slaw by Busy in Brooklyn
8. Duchesse Sweet Potato Apples by Busy in Brooklyn
9. Apple and Olive Oil Cake by Epicurious
10. Honey Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting by Overtime Cook
11. Apple and Honey Bread Pudding by the Joy of Kosher
12. Pomegranate, Chocolate Chip and Oatmeal Cookies by Play Eat Grow

13. Jewish Apple Cake by Real Life Dinner
14. Cinnamon Oatmeal Pancakes with Apples and Honey by The Food Network
15. Apple and Brie Stuffed French Toast by BS' in the Kitchen
16. Pearled Barley Salad with Apples, Pomegranates and Pine Nuts by Food and Wine
17. Honey Glazed Carrots by Martha Stewart
18. The Perfect Honey Cake by My Bissim

Hungry yet?

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