Designed by | Gooyaabi

You may have seen on my previous post, that my Mum got me a Santa Claus Jewel Candle for Christmas, so I just wanted to share with you how amazing the surprise was inside. Just to recap, the price of the scented Jewel candle was £25 and inside every one is a jewel worth £10-£250. The candles are handmade and when you burn the candle there is a little foil parcel hidden in the wax which contains the jewel.

My candle was the Santa Claus (Ring) Classic Edition which smelled sweet but not too overbearing like some scented candles can be. The idea was to smell like a stocking filled to the brim with candy to keep the Christmas memories burning even after Christmas has come to an end.

My jewel was near the top of the wax so only took about 10 hours burning time before it was revealed and boy was it amazing! My ring was 925 Sterling Silver with a black stone and diamonds around it. By law, Jewel Candle aren't allowed to share the value of each ring but if you go to a jewellers they can value it for you. I'm quite happy keeping mine a secret as to me it's priceless anyway (but it does look super expensive!) I've seen very similar ones on Wowcher on sale for £299 so I can remain hopeful that I might have just secured myself a little treasure.

I would recommend a Jewel Candle as a gift for any lady in your life! As far as I am aware the rings and earrings are all quite feminine but that's not to exclude any men that would enjoy this product. A Jewel Candle will be a permanent fixture on any of my future wish lists as both the jewel and the journey to retrieving it are exciting and it will be a new adventure every time.

Top marks Mum and Jewel Candle 10/10.

2014 has been a jam packed year. Selfies took the world by storm shortly followed by the ALS ice bucket challenge. Renee Zellweger set the rumour mill alight with the biggest celebrity transformation of the year and if you weren't feeling old already, 2014 was the 20th anniversary of Friends and the 10 year anniversary of Mean Girls. 

It's been a huge year and with 2015 right around the corner it was about time that I reflect on my top 10 highlights of 2014.

 The moment that cinched the number one slot

10. Halloween
9. SheWearsSeashells
8. Amsterdam
7. Mum's Visa Approved
6. Winter Wonderland
5. We Are Festival
4. Berlin
3. Anniversary
2. Family
1. My 23rd Birthday. 

10. Halloween

We don't usually make a fuss of halloween but I do love choosing a fancy dress costume and dressing up. This year I was a skeleton and went out in Manchester with some friends. A brilliant night but I'm not sure I can top this costume next year?

9. She Wears Seashells 

I started this blog a while ago and as life took over it sort of dwindled away. I've always loved writing and studied Media at university in a hope that I could make writing a career. I love blogging because you can choose when you write, what you write and you can interact with other people based on your content. I'm so happy I started blogging again because it allows me to connect with other bloggers and be inspired by their writing, in turn this keeps me motivated to write. 

8. Valentine's Day in Amsterdam

February saw our first holiday of the year by returning to the first place we ever travelled together, Amsterdam. In our first visit we did all of the touristy things so this time we went for nice meals, went to the zoo, visited the cat sanctuary and just lived as a local would. It was a nice holiday to look forward to during the January blues and a really special Valentine's Day. 

7. Mum’s Visa Being approved for America

Number 7 is a bittersweet moment for 2014, my little mom is moving to Texas, USA! Her visa has been granted and she's setting off to follow her dreams in Spring. We are all so happy for her being so brave and finally focusing on herself and her happiness but we are going to miss her terribly. Luckily, my two favourite boys and I will be embarking on our own adventure over to Texas for her wedding in 2015. 

6. Winter Wonderland

Last month we went to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. I've already blogged the details but this has secured spot number six because of how magical the atmosphere was which made life really begin to look a lot like Christmas. Winter Wonderland, I'll see you next year. 

5. We Are Festival 

Every year since I was 17 I have spent the Summer camping in a muddy field and waiting for my favourite musicians to arrive. I've been to Leeds Festival, Creamfields and Parklife so this year I wanted to venture further afield and headed to We Are Festival. I got to see some of my favourite DJ's such as Amine Edge, Ricardo Villalobos, MK, Solomon, Sven Väth and more. If we can fit it into our schedules we are 100% going back again in 2015. 

4. Berlin 

For Alex's 24th Birthday we went to Berlin, Germany. It was a super busy and very cultural trip, we visited historic sights and took the alternative tour of the graffiti and gentrification of Berlin. Berlin is absolutely massive and we only really had time to visit the East side so I would love to go back in the future and explore a little more.

3. Anniversary 

For our two year anniversary we went to Rhodes, Greece for a week. It was so nice to get away for some September sun and just spend some time together away from the hustle and bustle of Manchester. Rhodes was the first place I travelled abroad when I was little so it brought back loads of memories; the water park, the golden sandy beaches, the mini golf and Rhodes old town markets. It was the most relaxing week of the year so hopefully we can go back in 2015. 

2. Family

This year I have had more time to spend with my family because I no longer have to work on weekends (wahoo!) We have been out for fancy meals, girly spa days and out for afternoon tea. We've celebrated bonfire night, birthdays, Halloween, Christmas and Boxing Day and I've enjoyed every second. Thank you all for being so incredible, roll on 2015! 

1. My 23rd Birthday

The number one spot was without a doubt my birthday where Alex treated me with a trip to London. Over three days we climbed over the 02 arena, had breakfast at Duck and Waffle, met up with friends for burgers at Hache in Camden and went to Harry Potter Studios in Watford. Not only was this number one for 2014 but this was one of my favourite birthdays EVER! 

That's my top ten moments for 2014 so now I want to challenge all readers to blog or just think about yours too. It's a really nice way to focus on the positives and remember what a brilliant year 2014 was. After having looked at my top ten moments now I can make a list of some goals for 2015 based on what I enjoyed this year.

Once you have done your 2014 Highlights link them in the comments below so I can take some inspiration for my 2015 goals.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to your comments,

Em x

Merry Christmas to all of you, my lovely readers and subscribers. I hope that your Christmas day was as magical as mine and your feast as delicious.

Some of my favourite bloggers posts are hauls and room tours so I have combined the two so you can have a peek into Christmas with She Wears Seashells. I am extremely fortunate to have a wonderful family and friends who I am able to spend Christmas with which is what makes the atmosphere so magical. This year I was well and truly spoiled by my loved ones and I wanted to share a selection of my gifts with you, as everyone loves a good haul, don't they?

If anyone has any Christmas haul's to share, post the link in the comments below for inspiration on what to spend my Christmas cash on. 

1. 365 Handwritten Notes in a jar, one for every day of the year.

I'm quite emotional most of the year but this present brought me to floods of tears on Christmas morning. My boyfriend wrote 365 messages on different coloured card and folded them up inside a jar so I could open one a day, for a year. This is the most thoughtful gift and I am so grateful for the time and effort that went into this. This is in my all time favourite gifts and I feel so lucky that someone would spend so much time making this. Top marks to you, Alex! The gift that money can't buy. 

Christmas shopping is stressful enough without the impending doom of the busy high-street and last minute dash around the empty shelves. This year I uncharacteristically left most of my shopping until the weekend before Christmas and was faced with hundreds of shoppers who seemed to have lost all of their manners amongst their hefty pile of receipts. Below is a SOS guide of stocking fillers to grand gesture gifts which you can order online and still get delivered to your door in time for Christmas Day. 

A few weeks ago I decided that I was going to make festive goodie bags for my friends as a cost-effective way to tackle the ever-growing Christmas list. I sourced cute, thoughtful, quirky and tasty goodies to be spread amongst the gift bags and ensure that each of my friends received a Christmas surprise. This got me thinking that it isn't the price of the presents but the thought and effort that goes into the surprise and selection of the gift that counts. I managed to get quite thrifty and improve my bartering skills over the past few weeks, so I wanted to challenge you lot to do the same. How many stocking fillers can you buy for just £10?

The title of the challenge does suggest that quantity is the definitive measure of success but I opted for quality gifts, so it depends which ever you prefer. I chose items which I would love to receive in my stocking.

It's December! Which means it's finally acceptable to play Christmas songs, decorate your house, wrap presents and just bask in the festive atmosphere brewing across the globe. I absolutely LOVE the build up to Christmas. We have a lot of family traditions in the few weeks leading up to the big day, which signal that Christmas is near. This year, a new tradition was integrated into the normal routine, which is something that will be staying for years to come. I visited Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, for the first time.

If you caught my recent post about the Manchester Christmas Markets then you can only imagine how excited I was to head down to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. Using this guide, you can make the most of your trip to Winter Wonderland, which will make your Christmas magical.

Whilst Christmas focuses primarily on gifts for others, sometimes you have to give in and treat yourself to a little something. For my first beauty post, I am sharing with you an amazing Max Factor offer which I picked up today at Boots. You can treat yourself to £80* worth of Max Factor products for less than 50% of the price.

The foundation which I use on a regular basis is Max Factor: Miracle Touch Liquid Illusion Foundation in Warm Almond 45. The creamy texture is perfect for my skin which can be quite dry, it comes with a little sponge which is concealed in the lid and a twist open circle container. Usually, I pick up 3 of these at Boots as they are part of the 3 for 2 offer which is on throughout the year. I went to pick up one today but noticed if you spend over £15 then you are eligible for a free gift worth £31. Each Miracle Touch is £12.99 (11.5g) so I bought two of these for £25.98.