Best of 2015: Top Finds and Favourites of the Year

I have been without Internet for two whole months, which has been mildly traumatic to say the least. It has also meant that this poor little blog fell into minor disrepair.

But 2016 is a new year with a new internet connection and plenty of new post ideas!

As my “Monthly Favourites” series lasted a whole of one month in 2015 (the shame), I have decided to do a quick “Yearly Favourites” to catch up and hopefully get back on track with blogging.

Without further ado, here’s what I was loving in Twenty Fifteen:

My Swanky New Toy

I finally did it! After seemingly endless internet research sessions, a whole lot of deliberation, and a hefty dent in the credit card… I am now the proud owner of a Nikon D5500 with a 18-55mm VR Lens Kit.

It’s my very first and very long awaited DSLR. I am in love.

Nikon D5500
My precious…

Though my little Olympus XZ-1 has served me pretty well and I will continue to use it as a lightweight everyday camera, my DSLR will be getting the more serious workout. I have wanted a DSLR for so long not only to advance my blog and food photography, but also my travel and nature photography, something I’ve really started to enjoy.

Cruelty-Free Beauty

Cruelty Free Beauty.jpgWho says you need to test on animals to create amazing beauty products? Not these guys! Some of my favourite cruelty-free beauty finds of last year were from vegan-friendly brands Original Source, YESto and Hurraw! That reminds me; I’m running low on lip balm…

Sweet Scents

So pass me a match and call me basic because in 2015 I became obsessed with pumpkin-scented candles. I have always gone for food-related candles (vanilla being my all-time favourite scent) but there is something uniquely cosy and comforting about the sweet spiciness of pumpkin candles.

Not wanting to spend a fortune on something that you essentially destroy as you use it, I picked up all my candles from my local TK Maxx store. Instead of the extortionate £20+ per candle recommended retail price, I paid around £4-£8 for each depending on the size.

Pumpkin Candle

Some of my top picks came from Pecksniff’s England (pictured); the scents are insanely good, they are strong enough to give my whole room a lovely aroma without being overpowering (and that’s coming from someone who is asthmatic and allergic to all the things) and they last for hours upon hours.

The Season of Red and Gold

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll no doubt already be aware of my autumn obsession. It’s my favourite season and in 2015 I was particularly obsessed with it. During the autumnal period with its sunny but crisp weather, leaves of every shade of red, orange and gold, and the smell of cinnamon and pumpkin spice permeating the air, I was a happy human.

Autumn Collage

I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. 
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Books, Books, Books!

Obviously.

Yes, I am always loving books. But in 2015 I really embraced non-fiction books. I not only added some weight to the cookbook shelf, but I also delved into photography books whilst undertaking my photography course.

Photography Books

My top three:

30-Second Photography: This book clearly but succinctly explains the main elements, tools, historical movements and theories of photography.

Read This if You Want to Take Great Photographs: Each page uses an iconic photograph to explain composition, light, lens types and more

Digital Photography: Complete Course: A complete photography course in book form. There’s 52 modules, each with different projects and pop quizzes.

Top of the Blog

Now for your favourites: here’s a quick recap of the three most-liked posts of the year.

Tanya’s Cafe – Take Two

My readers are rather partial to a bit of vegan food porn! I posted a full review of one of my favourite London cafés back in November 2014 but this quick little photo re-cap from Tanya’s went down a treat. Mmm, cheesecake…

Eco-Friendly & Cruelty-Free Beauty Favourites
I love finding new cruelty-free beauty brands and products to share with my readers, so I’m pleased to know that my readers enjoy it too.

Thug Kitchen Epic Peanut Butter & Banana Muffins
More food porn! This post was a review of the delectable muffins I baked using the hilarious Thug Kitchen cookbook. Hopefully I’ll have some reviews of their latest book “Party Grub” up this year!

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