Today, I decided it was about time I did a favourites blog post! I didn't realise how long it'd actually been since I last did one, so I checked and apparently I haven't posted one since June 2014! Nearly a year and a half, oops!
These have always been one of my favourite type of blog posts to do, as I always really enjoy watching monthly favourite videos on YouTube - I find it interesting to see what other people are liking, and very occasionally I've actually gone out to get something that looks good, or I've downloaded an app or some music or something, so it's always pretty good for that! I like the ones that cover more than just one genre - for example, I like people who include beauty, stationery, music, candles, etc, rather than just something like a clothing favourites (although sometimes I quite like makeup collections, haha!)
I decided that I’d make this into a yearly favourites post for 2015, rather than just a December favourites, as I didn’t really have specific favourites in December and it’s been so long since I did a favourites post that I’ve probably got quite a lot to talk about now!
DISCLAIMER - EVERYTHING I TALK ABOUT IN THIS BLOG WAS EITHER BOUGHT BY MYSELF OR LENT TO ME - I WAS NOT SENT ANYTHING BY ANY OF THE COMPANIES MENTIONED IN THIS POST. I AM NOT BEING PAID TO WRITE ABOUT ANYTHING FEATURED IN THIS BLOG POST, AND ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN.
So, without further ado, let's get started!
* BEAUTY *
URBAN DECAY NAKED SMOKY PALETTE
I'd always lusted over the Naked palettes, but I don't really wear nude colours and warmer shades on my eyes - I prefer either colour or darker colours - so when I heard that Urban Decay were bringing out a palette for smoky eyes, I was thrilled! I treated myself to it as a slightly early birthday present, and I'm so glad that I did! There's so many beautiful shades inside - some more matte, some more shimmery - and the packaging is beautiful too! (the actual palette itself is designed to look smoky, which is a lovely touch) Also included in the box is a little card showing you a few different smoky eye looks, and how to achieve them, which is very handy if you're not sure how to go about creating a smoky eye! They're really pigmented, so a little goes a long way - definitely one of my new favourite things!
ESSIE BIKINI SO TEENY NAIL POLISH
My nails are fairly thin, so I find that nail polish chips off really quickly – I think I get around a day or two with no chips, if I’m lucky – and it’s really irritating! However, I tried this last year, and it’s amazing! It’s such a gorgeous cornflower blue shade with some subtle shimmer running through it, and with 2 coats and a topcoat, I found it lasted me nearly a week with minimal chipping! I actually liked it so much that I actually got some other colours to try!
* FOOD AND DRINK *
HOT MULLED APPLE DRINKS - STARBUCKS
These are just amazing! I was a bit wary of trying them at first, as I'm usually a hot chocolate girl in winter (side note - if you like hot chocolate, the almond and honey hot chocolate from there is SO GOOD, it tastes like marzipan but it’s oh so sickly if you have too much!) but I decided to take the plunge to try something new. I'm really glad I did, as these are now one of my favourite things! They remind me a little bit of a freshly baked apple pie, and they put a stick of cinnamon inside the cup, along with some dried apple, which I like - give it a try if you haven't already!
GINGERBREAD GREEN TEA
I've been trying out a few different kinds of tea lately, as I'm getting bored of only drinking normal tea. Previously, I've tried fruity green teas (which I found still tasted too bitter for my liking, even with honey) and normal green tea, as well as various fruit teas. I was in Tesco recently, and I spotted gingerbread green tea, as well as salted caramel. I love both of these things, so I decided to grab a box of each to try them!
The salted caramel one was slightly disappointing to me, as I was expecting it to be a bit sweeter and more caramelly, not so overpowering with the green tea. However, the gingerbread one exceeded my expectations!
For starters, they smell delicious! You can kind of smell it through the packaging anyway, then when you add the water it smells so tasty! It tastes like a slightly sweeter ginger green tea, which I quite liked - my only complaint is that it got really strong towards the bottom of my mug, so it caught in my throat a little bit and made me cough! I'd still recommend it though, as it tastes really good and may convert me into drinking it more!
I love sushi. The majority of my friends don’t like sushi, which means that I don’t really eat it very much when I’m out with friends (apart from Jen, who likes it as much as I do so we always grab it when we meet up!) but it’s definitely my go-to happy food. I don’t know what it is about it that I like so much, I just really like it and I recommend that more people should give it a go because you don’t know what you’re missing if you’ve never tried it!
* GAMES/GAMING *
ANIMAL CROSSING - HAPPY HOME DESIGNER
I actually did a fairly in-depth blog post about this at the beginning of Blogtober, so I won't go into it too much here, but I really like this game.
It's a spin-off of the Animal Crossing series, and the aim of the game is pretty much to decorate various animal's houses! If you've played the games in the main series before, you'll know that you cannot do very much to an animal's house - you can never change their exterior (which never bothered me that much because most of them have pretty nice ones anyway) and it's really hard to get them to change things in the inside of their homes - also, a thing that annoyed me a little bit about New Leaf is that they removed the feature when you could change their wallpaper and flooring, so most of them had terrible ones you couldn't change!
So, whether you're like me and you've been frustrated at never being able to do what you wanted to villagers houses in your town, or you just enjoy interior design and cute animals, this game would be perfect for you! You can eventually use play coins on your 3ds to unlock some lessons in decorating, which will include being able to hang lights from the ceiling (something else you can't do in main series games) and being able to choose a floor plan (another new feature). There will be some kind of theme in place - whether they want something like a cafe in their house, or a winter wonderland - and there will be at least one item you have to use, but otherwise you can just let your imagination run wild!
Okay, so this game popped up a LOT in Blogtober (oops) but it definitely deserved all the attention I gave it, I promise!
Not only does it have a beautiful soundtrack (which I'm listening to as I'm typing this blog post, incidentally) which fits perfectly with the game, but the cut scenes are amazing - they could practically be a film.
Truthfully, I wasn't expecting to like this game at all. My brother bought it when it came out, and he was always going on about it and telling me how good it was. I'd never even heard of it - the first I heard about it is when Shulk was in Super Smash Bros for the 3ds and Wii U and my brother had to explain who he was because I had no idea - and it took me a while to decide I wanted to play it, as I was also playing through a couple of my own games at the time (I think it might have been Fire Emblem Awakening, actually - also an amazing game). However, one day I picked it up, and I loved it!
There's some people who say it's boring, or that nothing happens - that is crazy, as there's actually quite a lot that happens in the first hour or so of gameplay. In fact, the beginning of the game has a lot of backstory, which explains a lot for when you start playing, and within around an hour of playing, unless you spend AGES exploring, you should have found some interesting quests, on top of the epic story!
This is one of those games that you expect to pick up for half an hour, then you go to save and you've somehow ended up playing for hours (this happened to me a lot, so I managed to somehow get into the habit of saving regularly, as such a lot happens) and it gets so gripping that you don't really want to put it down because you just want to keep going until you reach the next part.
Plus, no spoilers, but the whole game, from beginning to end, is beautiful. The music is perfect, the scenery is gorgeous, and everything is explained so well throughout. If you have a new 3ds or a Wii U, and you like epic adventure games with amazing stories, I'd definitely recommend buying this!
FIRE EMBLEM AWAKENING
I got my New 3DS this year, and I wanted to treat myself to a new game with it too. After a lot of deliberation, I narrowed my choices down to Kingdom Hearts or this, and my friends who had played Fire Emblem told me to buy this! (I also downloaded the demo from the Nintendo 3DS eShop to try it out to see if I liked the battle system before I bought it).
I’m so glad that I took their advice/tried it out before I bought it, as I loved it pretty much instantly!
People have been known to call it “Shipping – the video game” as you can marry people of the opposite sex in game if you raise your support high enough with them. I was actually unaware of this fact when I started playing – in fact, I only actually noticed when my character married a certain someone (this apparently happens automatically when you reach a certain stage in the game, if your support with him is the highest and neither of you is already married)
I love the battle system on this game, and the graphics, the music, the characters, the story – this instantly shot into my top 5 games list as soon as I started playing it. If you like games with a good story full of plot twists, turn based battles, cool graphics and the ability to ship people and actually marry them off (haha) this is the game for you!
NINTENDO NEW 3DS - WHITE
My old coral pink 3DS has been pretty messed up for a while now – it’s survived a few drops since I got it, plus general daily wear and tear – and the right shoulder button hasn’t actually worked for a long time now, which is a hindrance for games like Super Smash Bros, where you need to be using it. It also meant that I couldn’t take screenshots in games like Animal Crossing New Leaf – which was fairly irritating to me too.
When I saw that Nintendo were releasing the New 3DS in February, it was a no brainer that I was going to try and get one – I really wanted/needed a fully functioning console, plus I really liked the idea of being able to change the cover plates! (You couldn’t do this with previous models)
It comes in black or white, and as my old phone/iPod were white, I went for that so my gadgets would match! (The irony of this is that I upgraded my phone about a month ago, and my new phone matches my old 3DS!) and I could also get a free set of cover plates, as I pre-ordered a bundle, so I chose the black ones with gold stars! (There weren’t many options available at release)
I’ve loved it ever since I got it – it’s so nice to have a console that works properly, is slightly faster than my old one and that I can change to match my mood (I also now have some cardboard effect Kirby cover plates, the greyish white ones that came on the console, the starry ones and some Animal Crossing ones)
CHROM CHARA FORME FIGURE
I’ve wanted one of these ever since I played through Awakening and first saw one on eBay, but they were always based in the US/Asia and they were always at least £60, not including postage, which is a lot more than I was willing to pay. One day, however, I was browsing eBay late at night (I do this a lot when I can’t sleep and I probably need to stop) and I found a UK based one for a lot less! So, even though I couldn’t really afford it, I bought it, as it was a pretty good deal in the long run and who knows if, or when, another person in the UK was going to be selling one?
He’s a cute little figure – bigger than an amiibo, but smaller than a proper statue or action figure – and he’s like an adorable, scowling version of my favourite Fire Emblem male, and I’m very happy to have been able to add him to my collection!
* OTHER *
IPHONE 6S - ROSE GOLD
I got to upgrade my phone last year, in between my birthday and Christmas. I, like many other people, had my heart set on the rose gold iPhone 6s, and luckily I managed to get one!
The camera on this is a lot better than the one on my old phone (I used to have a while iPhone 5c) and I like the fact Apple moved the lock button from the top to the right side of the phone – I find it a lot easier to lock my phone when I’m holding it now, as it’s a more convenient spot! I also like how much thinner and longer it is than the 5c – I feel like it fits in my hands a lot better and is lighter as well – and it’s nice being able to unlock my phone with my fingerprint too!
I was also given a free phone case when I upgraded, which was lovely of them to do (even though it was grey toned so you couldn’t see the colour of my phone through it) but at the moment, I have a clear deer case on it, so you can see the gorgeous colour!
XENOBLADE CHRONICLES - OST
This is actually something that my brother bought, not me, but he let me borrow it to put onto my iTunes so that I could have it too!
Seriously, I know I've mentioned it SO much, but the soundtrack to this game is beautiful - it's so beautifully written and composed, and you can tell that each track was meticulously planned so that each song fits the story/area of the game perfectly. For example, they have the epic battle music, which changes according to where you are in the story or who you're battling, the music in one area which will change as the game progresses (no spoilers here) and the beautiful, relaxing title song, which sets the scene for the whole game!
It's definitely one of the best gaming soundtracks I own/have ever heard, without a doubt, so I'm really happy that I was introduced to this game and the soundtrack! (some of the track titles would be spoilers if anyone wants to play the game, so if you're planning on playing the game try not to look up the names of songs on the soundtrack!)
There’s probably a lot more things that I’m missing out from this list, but I feel like 12 is probably enough, plus I think this blog is already going to be far too long!
What are some of your favourites from 2015? Let me know!