Thursday, 31 December 2015

WTF Happened in 2015?

With the end of the year comes a lot of reminiscing - things that we loved, things we wish we'd have done different, things we laughed at, things we cried at, and everything in between. 2015 saw the birth of another baby royal, a general election, so much of Europe opening it's arms and homes to immigrants and a fantastic Rugby World Cup held in our own country. What a year!
But also, one shouldn't forget all the downright STUPID stuff that had us talking, speculating and obsessing . And there are a lot of them...


Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Flaunt Your Haunt - Why I Love Cardiff*

It's no secret that I am a pretty passionate, patriotic Welsh gal. I love Wales and everything about it - the language, the culture, the towns and cities (and never shut up about it) so obviously, when Travelodge asked me to "flaunt my haunt" for their new campaign, I couldn't wait to write about my city of Cardiff. Again. Any excuse, y'know...

Welsh Croeso Pub Sign

Cardiff Gorsedd Gardens flowers

Sunday, 27 December 2015

My DecemBeard #Bubblebeard*

We've all heard of "Stoptober" and "Movember" and this is the month of DecemBeard, which is a campaign with special significance to me. DecemBeard encourages men to ditch their shaving routine throughout the month of December and a grow a beard with the aim of raising both money and awareness for bowel cancer.

Now, for those of us who can't grow a beard (thank goodness, is all I have to say about that), Bathstore is challenging us to create a bubble beard. In my mind, anything that can help those suffering from such an awful disease while having a bit of fun playing with bubbles is a no brainer!


Tuesday, 22 December 2015

How to get in the Christmas Spirit

The lead up to Christmas can be a stressful period. For a lot of people, work at this time is super busy, Christmas shopping can lead to panic and bank accounts take a bit of a dent, and for lots of us lowly students we have a lot of exams to revise for in January! So this December, more than any I can ever remember, has been very stressful and I’ve been pretty miserable if I’m honest.
I had my first panic attack since I was 16 last week and it was such a low point and I just feel so overwhelmed and stressed about everything. Which is not what Christmas is meant to be. (Thank you very much university and retail job – WHY DO YOU HATE HAPPINESS?)

From what I’ve seen on twitter, I’m not the only one lacking in Christmas cheer and festive excitement this year. So, in light of all this anxiety and stress stunting my usual crazy super Christmas excitement – I thought I’d share some ways to get us all feeling a bit more cheery!


Friday, 18 December 2015

Top 10 Under £10 | Cruelty Free Beauty

We all love a high end treat but drugstore make up is where my heart lies. When you pay £35 for a foundation or blusher you expect it to be close to perfection (I certainly do - hence my reluctance to splash out too often).

I find searching the shelves in Superdrug and finding an amazing product for a couple of quid just so addictive. Throw in being limited to a handful of cruelty free brands accessible on the UK highstreet and you have a real challenge!

There are so many gems cruelty free gems that you can snap up for next to nothing, so I thought I'd share my top ten with you. (In no particular order).

Soap & Glory Brow Archery // £9
Just wow. I have tried so many drugstore brow products, some great and some... Let's not even talk about those guys, but this is my number one. 4EVA BBZ. The twist up pencil means no snapping (yay) and it's super fine with a great formula and a fabulous spooly. If you're looking for a new brow product, put this on your list.

Soap & Glory Brow Archery and Supercat Liner

Soap & Glory Supercat Eyeliner Pen // £6
A more recent discovery of mine. Bitches got to have dem wings ya know. This felt pen type eyeliner gives a super black, precise line and is still as black as "inky" as the day I bought it. I can't see myself ever buying another eyeliner pen. This is the one.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Bakerdays Letterbox Cake* & GIVEAWAY

So when BakerDays got in touch and asked if I would like to review a Letterbox cake* from their Christmas selection, let's just say I was more than a little keen...

Letterbox cake tin from Bakerdays

For those of you who don't know, a Letterbox cake is a little cake that fits perfectly through a letterbox meaning that they can be delivered as a surprise little treat. Any friend who would order a cake to be delivered to your house is a good friend. There are so many designs available and loads of them can be personalised with your own words and pictures - perfect for a really personal touch, especially at Christmas.

There were so many pretty, festive options but as soon as I saw it, I knew... A Star Wars cake! The reference was a teeny bit lost on me but Martin obviously appreciated the wit as he was excitedly (read: annoyingly) quoting it for the next few hours. Thanks, BakerDays! See below for the face of a man very happy with his new cake.

Martin opening his Star Wars cake

When the cake arrived, very quickly, I might add, I wasn't sure what had come through the letterbox. The little parcel certainly didn't look like it could house a delicious cake, but I need not have doubted as that is exactly what it was! The cake was enclosed in an adorable little tin, about the size of a small plate which itself was in a box with a card and a Christmas cracker! I wondered how I was going to get the cake out of the shallow tin without stabbing my clumsy fingers into the cake but these guys are kind of geniuses - there is a little tab to lift the cake out sans finger holes.

Now, on to the exciting bit. The cake really was beautiful, not just to look at. Of course being a "letterbox" cake you shouldn't expect a layer of jam and cream in the middle, but it wasn't dry or boring like I was worried about. I chose vanilla sponge cake obv, but for the more chocolatey souls among us, you can choose a chocolate chip sponge cake. Amazingly, for a small extra charge you can even make your cake gluten or dairy free!

Star Wars Christmas Letterbox Cake

The giveaway (UK/Ireland Only) -
I know you'll all be desperate to get your hands on one now, so I've got you covered. BakerDays have super kindly offered to send a cake to one of my readers so if you want a chance at winning one yourself all you have to do is follow me on twitter and retweet my pinned tweet (you'll know it when you see it). Easy peasy - so get to it, the giveaway will close Boxing day (26th Decemmber) 2015.


You can also check out BakerDays at their Facebook or Twitter pages!

Do you love this idea as much as I do?
Will you be purchasing one this Christmas?


Friday, 11 December 2015

Beauty Advice for my Teenage Self

While I was in work the other day a bunch of girls came into the shop and started swatching the lipsticks and the palettes and seemed to know exactly what they were doing. They all had on eyeliner flicks on fleek, perfect contours and some Kylie Jenner-esque liplining going on (MAC Diva was a definite favourite). 

When I got chatting to them I found out that they were thirteen. THIRTEEN!!! And had only just been their birthday. 

I nearly died. I suddenly felt ancient, like the fucking crypt keeper. And just a little bit ugly... I was most definitely not looking like that at 13 (or now, just saying).

Then I got thinking about how none of the girls in this generation seem to go through that ugly, awkward phase. You know, with the pictures they’ll look back on in 20 years and cringe SO MUCH. Mine are currently lost in the Bebo abyss and can bloody well stay there thank you very much.

Beauty advice is so accessible these days in a way that it wasn’t when I was a wee tween, so if I could go back and give myself a couple of snippets of beauty advice I definitely would. Here are some of the things I wish I had someone to tell me...


Tuesday, 8 December 2015

My Christmas Routine

If you're a regular reader of A Cup of T you may have noticed that I have abandoned blogmas. I felt that I was churning out a lot of posts for the sake of it, and in trying to keep up with daily posting my quality suffered. So, I'm back to posting twice a week (three times if I'm feeling naughty and slack off from my uni work...).

For today, I wanted to talk you through my Christmas Day routine! My  routine starts on Christmas Eve. It’s going to be a bit different this year because I’m working in Cardiff (sad face) AND Martin is staying with my family! I’m SO excited! It's lovely to spend time with my family this time of year,  as I've been living away for the last few years and I do miss them a lot sometimes (read about that here)

Christmas tree

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Festive Top Fives | Blogmas #5

 It's day five of blogmas so doesn't it seem fitting to share some festive fives with you all, especially as Christmas is getting closer and closer (scarily so!).
Martin has been giving me little "challenges" as part of my advent calendar - I do the challenge (name my top christmas films/songs etc) and I get a ferrero rocher.  Win win.
What a cutie patootie he is!

SO. I thought it would be nice to share what I've been getting up to :-)


Friday, 4 December 2015

An Autumn Walk | Blogmas #4

This is the last mention of autumn for me. It was over in a blink! HAVE YOU NOT FELT HOW COLD IT IS? I am literally wrapped in a thousand layers right now and I am still freezing my arse off.

Before this biting winter set in, we were having a fairly mild (but very wet) November, and Martin and I were rather partial to an autumn stroll. Cardiff is, in my opinion, possibly the single most underrated city in Britain. And just outside such a wonderful city is a fairy tale castle nestled in the hillside. I bloody love a castle.

Martin and I trekked (and that is an understatement, it was HELL of a walk) through the lovely villages of Taffs Well and Tongwynlais up to the castle. Walking through quaint, pretty villages is one of my number one favourite things. The little independent shops and cafes you sometimes stumble across are just TOO MUCH. Everything was just so damn pretty on this particular day, and of course, we stopped for afternoon tea and scones on our way back in this little cutie which was just divine.

I got very snap-happy during the walk and thought I'd share some of my favourite shots with you, let me know what you think!

Colourful, rustic flower cans

Autumn leaves on a bench

Autumn tree sky shot

Leafy autumn path

Castell Coch in Autumn

Between the trees

Welcome to Castle Coch

Castle Coch at Autumn

Forest Walks

I'm going to miss this weather and all these colours,  I really do love autumn. But I'm ready to move on to the winter, snowy walks with hot chocolates and ice skating. Bliss.



Thursday, 3 December 2015

Holly Jolly Christmas Tag | Blogmas #3

Who doesn't love a good Christmas tag?
The lovely Emma from An Accidental Author has created her own, and tagged me. I think they're a nice way to ease into blogmas and mingle with other bloggers! So, here we go.


Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Highstreet Christmas Party Dresses | Blogmas #2

Party season is fast approaching. Which can be both a blessing and a curse.
Bank balances take a hit, schedules become full and you are just absolutely bloody knackered 24/7.
BUT think of the sparkly new dresses you can wear! It is the perfect excuse to treat yourself to one key, wearable dress that will see you through all the parties and events you'll be attending. These are some of my highstreet faves.


Tuesday, 1 December 2015

December Goals | Blogmas #1


Okay. Chill.
I've decided, for some unbeknownst reason (as if I'm not already stressed and overworked AF) I have decided to take part in Blogmas. Yay. So keep your eyes peeled for some super festive shit comin' at ya.

I thought I'd kick things off with a little "goals" post. Because what else is the first day of a new month for?! I've been so down, under the weather and stressed recently I think I need some goals that will add a bit of happiness and sparkle to all areas of my life. :-)

  1. Stop doing half-arsed uni work late into the night when I should be relaxing - I'm not producing anything good and it takes away from quality time I could be spending with Martin.
  2. Try and stick to my new COLOUR CODED (yes, that's right. Colour coded) study/life timetable I made.
  3. Finish my damn Christmas Shopping!! It's all fun and games until people get batteries and toilet seat covers on Christmas day. Friends fans, you know what I'm talking about.
  4. Man up and tell my manager that I need need need less to work less hours if I want to keep my sanity and maintain even a reasonably good standard of uni work.
  5. Get to 1000 twitter followers by the end of the year. (Follow me here, if you would like to help a sad, overworked little elf meet her goals).
  6. Keep up my daily posting on Instagram and try to keep up with blogmas, but don't resort to posting a load of crap. Ain't nobody got time for dat.
  7. Bake again. It is my biggest creative outlet, my main love and I've been completely neglecting it.
  8. When I get my first pay from the new job, treat myself to some lovely, pretty, new make up.
  9. Keep being kind and helpful and sharing the love to whomever I can. Always.
  10. CLEAN OUR ROOM. I'm sorry, Martin. If you're reading this (which you should be...), order will be restored soon. I PROMISE.
Pretty achievable goals I would say!
I feel better already having got them down on paper screen.
Keep up with my goals and my attemp at Blogmas by following me on Bloglovin!

Do you have any goals for yourself? 
Are you doing blogmas this year? 

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