Reflection

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So here we are, we have finally reached the end. As 2015 draws to a close it’s time to join the masses. Not just in wishing everyone a happy new year, but in taking time to reflect on the year past. Slightly cliché I know, however, rather than a ‘new year, new me’ approach I would like to review on what I have learnt in the past 12 months.

2015 has been a learning curve both professionally and personally. A lot of changes have occurred; some good and some bad. One thing that I have learnt is that life can change directions in the blink of an eye.

2016 brings along a new decade for me. As I wave goodbye to 2015, I also bid farewell to my 20s. A decade full of gains, losses, revelations and trials. My 20s have been a rollercoaster of emotions. That being said, the last 10 years have been some of the best years of my life. From travelling, to starting my own business to marrying the love of my life. I look back at my 20s with contentment, knowing that I lived.

As I approach my 30s, I feel a sense of fulfilment. Not to say that I am now enlightened, far from it. However, I feel more comfortable in my own skin. After spending the majority of my adolescence feeling awkward and unsure, I now find myself at peace with the person that I am.

One of the biggest things that I have learnt in the past year is that finding peace within myself meant that I needed to establish my position in life and the direction in which I wish to travel. I have learnt that I am a person who loves to live outside of the box, avoiding repetitive routines. I love to set my own rules and restrictions rather than following the crowd. However, in the past, I have been fearful of failure and the opinions of others. Call it determination, if you will, but this year has taught me that fear and negativity simply had no place in my future and that many changes would have to be made in order to find peace.

The biggest change that I have made this year has been making my own goals and desires my number one priority. My blog is living proof of that. Having dreamt of entering the beauty/blogging world for some time, I finally put my actions into gear. After all, there is no point having a goal if you’re not proactive about it. Although I still consider myself a newbie with much to learn, the journey that is Reena JB-eauty has been nothing short of amazing and I’m glad that I never gave into my initial fears.

I urge all of you out there who have a goal or wish to change something in your lives to remember that action leads to change. If you want to achieve something then you have to get up and make it happen. Keeping a positive and proactive mindset will also help you in your achievements. Making small changes in your lifestyle will help you derive a clear cut path towards your ultimate goal. Clear out any clutter in your life, downsize, get organised, write lists, let go of the non well-wishers and believe in yourself. Above all remember that those you meet along the way will not always share your thoughts and beliefs. That’s what makes us all individuals.

I understand that this is not my most typical of blog posts, but I wanted to spread a little positivity to you all before the new year begins. 2015 has been an incredible year for me, particularly with the launch of this blog and I am eternally grateful for all of the love and support that I have received thus far.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy year ahead. So many memories to be made and adventures in store and I can’t wait to experience them all with you. 2016 is most definitely OUR year. See you on the other side xxx

Christmas Eve Traditions

Well here it is beauties; Christmas has finally bestowed upon us. I hope the month of December has been as magical for you as it has been for me. From Christmas shopping to festive treats, December has been a whirlwind of wonderful memories made.

As we all settle down to our own Christmas Eve traditions I thought I would share with you a few of my own. I must admit that Christmas Eve for me is not the most glamorous. I’m not one to host a party or attend a fabulous soiree, but rather, Christmas Eve is spent exactly how the next three days will be spent – eating far too much, drinking my body weight, passing out on the sofa and snuggling up with my loved ones (perhaps not in that particular order).

So if you’re anything like me and are looking for some Pinterest-worthy inspiration for your Christmas Eve night in then look no further.

Cozy Christmas Socks

Cozy up with a pair of snuggly slipper socks in a wonderful Alpine print. This fleece lined pair will ensure that your toes are kept warm and festive.

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Primark Cozy Slipper Boot £5.00

Cinnamon-Sugar Popcorn

Christmas and cinnamon are a match made in heaven. Mix up a batch of cinnamon-sugar popcorn to snack on during your movie marathon.

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Microwave popcorn or plain ready made popcorn
1 tablespoon salted and 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon caster sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 250 degrees (Gas Mark 2). Place the cooked popcorn into a large mixing bowl and set aside. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in sugar, cinnamon, salt and vanilla extract. Cook until thick and bubbly. Pour mixture over the popcorn and mix until the popcorn is fully coated. Transfer the popcorn onto a large sheet pan and spread evenly. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes and allow to cool completely before serving.

Hot Buttered Rum

Try this tipple for your Christmas Eve treat. It’s perfect for those who love their spiced drinks. Use a stick of cinnamon to stir the drink together and add a special touch for your guests.

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Two parts Dark Rum
1.5 teaspoons brown sugar
1/4 parts unsalted butter (room temperature)
Squeeze fresh orange juice
3/4 parts boiling water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Beat together butter, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg together until well mixed. Combine butter mixture with dark rum in a cafe-style latte mug. Pour boiling water over the top and stir until all contents have been properly dissolved. Squeeze fresh orange juice into the mixture and serve with a stick of cinnamon.

Christmas Dvd Marathon

Christmas DVDs are a must for Christmas Eve. My ultimate favourites are The Muppet Christmas Carol and Happy Feet.

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Milk and Mince Pies For Santa

Yes, at almost 30 years of age I still leave milk and mince pies for Santa. I would like to say that I’m ashamed, but I’m really not.

If you want to stay off the naughty list this year try out the Milk and Cookies bottle (£2.50) from Primark.

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I would like to wish each and every one of you a very happy Christmas. Eat, drink and be merry. xxx

Lush Away Your Mistle-Woes

Can you believe that we’re almost a week away from Christmas?! I can…

It’s fair to say that I’m all crimbo-ed out. Not that my love for Christmas has died (perish the thought). I’m just so overwhelmed with endless gift buying, decorating, celebrations and general Christmas rush that I’m starting to get a bit cream-crackered.

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If there’s anything in this world that I love more than Christmas, it’s a pamper night. At least once a week (if I’m lucky) I switch off, unwind and float away in the blissful aroma of luxurious beauty products. With the madness of Christmas well under way, now is the best time than ever to put your feet up, run a hot bath and treat yourself to some serious R&R.

Lush, like every Christmas, have a beautiful array of festive beauty products. From cinnamon scented soaps to cranberry filled face masks, Lush is the place to go to feed your senses with all things Christmas. This year I have indulged in an assorted collection of what Lush has to offer. In my books, trolling through the shops for an endless list of Christmas presents is reason enough to treat yourself to a little pampering.

Here are the products that I use when I need a little bit of Christmas sparkle in my beauty regime.

Luxury Lush Pud £3.95 each

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If you’re a true Lush-a-holic then you will be no stranger to the ever-famous bath bombs. Containing a mix of essential oils, pleasant fragrances and bright colours, these little fizzies create a wonderful eruption when added to a warm bath. Drop one into the water and watch it explode into a beautiful elixir of luxury. Bath bombs are my favourite way to make bath time fun!

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This luxurious bath bomb takes the form of a Christmas pudding. Rather than a traditional look, the bath bomb consists of an electric pink colour with accents of multi-coloured polka dots. Once added to your bath, the water takes on a magical swirl of bright colours; which is perfect for lifting up anyone’s day.

Considering the colours, the smell is not as over powering as you would initially think. There are strong accents of lavender and ylang ylang; which aids relaxation and relives tension. It’s not the most moisturising bath bomb available, but if you follow with a slather of body cream, it serves as a wonderful treat for your body.

Snow Fairy Shower Gel starting from £3.95/100g

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One of the most wonderful things about a Lush Christmas is the selection of limited edition products are re-emerge every year. This year I knew that I had to get my hands on Snow Fairy, one of the most talked about Lush Christmas products available.

The fluorescent pink bottle contains a sweet candy scented shower gel with added pieces of glitter. This shower gel promises everything that you would imagine upon first look. If you’re not into candyfloss or anything overly sweet then chances are you won’t like this. Snow Fairy is by far an acquired taste as it leaves a lingering scent on your skin through out the day.

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A little goes a very long way as the gel itself is quite thick; which makes it great value for money. I love the moiturising factor as winter calls for products which soothe and treat your skin. I use this shower gel just before a night out as well as a bedtime treat as the flecks of glitter add a perfect amount of sparkle to your skin for all those Christmas parties.

Yog Nog and Snowcake Soaps both starting from £3.50/100g

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Lush soaps have created themselves a reputation that rival their bath bombs. Whenever I step into a Lush store, the first place that I am draw to is the beautiful slabs of brightly coloured ‘designer’ soaps. We all know the waft of perfume you get when walking into a Lush store and majority of the time that’s down to their soaps.

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Yog Nog (right)

Described as a creamy skin drink, Yog Nog is by far my favourite Lush limited edition product. Containing cocoa butter, soya yoghurt and a blend of Christmas themed spices, this product is a far cry from a traditional bar of soap. I’ve yet to come across a bath product that completely eliminates the need for post bathroom moiturising. I have dry skin; which craves for nourishment after a bath or shower. However, this soap is so incredibly moiturising that I don’t need to bother with a body cream after. The smell is slightly spicy, slightly caremelised and slightly musky; which encompases the theme of Chrsitmas beautifully.

Snowcake (left)

Lush describes this soap as a bar of sweet marzipan. Much like Snow Angel, the scent is beautifully sweet. It’s not as offensive as other Lush scents, but leaves a wonderful clean smelling linger on your skin. It’s made with rose, rapeseed and coconut oil; which makes this one of Lush’s most creamiest soap bars available. Rub between your palms to create a luxurious lather; which you can use all over your body.

The Magic Of Christmas £5.95

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Similar to a bath bomb, bubble bars are designed for bath time fun. Crumble or swirl under a running tap to create soft and dreamy bubbles.

The Magic Of Christmas is a re-useable bubble bar packed with a spicy punch. Held together with a stick of cinnamon and garnished with cloves, this bubble bar mimics the smell of Christmas baking. The cloves are said to be an excellent aid for circulation.

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Simply swirl the stick under and running tap and store away for multiple use. For £5.95 you certainly get enough uses out of this product, making it extremely affordable.

I particularly love the glitter accent on the stick; which adds an extra bit of sparkle to your skin.

What’s your favourite way to wind down after the Christmas rush? Comment below!

Christmas Party Makeup Picks

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The party season is in full swing and as Christmas approaches there are an abundance of celebrations to get you into the festive mood.

Christmas calls for creative, fun and glamorous make up looks. If you’re the type of girl who sticks to the same old tinted moituriser and eyeliner all year round then it’s time to shake off your makeup fears and dive head first into the world of glamour.

Christmas is the perfect time of year to experiment with your look. After all, if you want that kiss under the mistletoe then you’ll need to stand out!

For me, the party season is all about long-lasting bases, glitter accents and bold lips. I’m not suggesting full on drag, but adding some excess to your makeup could be so much fun.

I’ve put together a list of makeup items that I reach for when I’m in the mood for dressing up. If you’re looking for some inspiration for your next Christmas party then look no further. *WARNING – blog post contains extreme use of sparkle. Sunglasses are advised.

The Perfect Base

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If you’re looking to party all night then keeping your foundation and concealer in place is essential. The Nars Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder (£26.50) is perfect for prolonging makeup wear. The silky powder is designed with Photochromic technology; which diffuses light. Fine lines and open pores are masked without adding an additional colour to your skin. The formula is weightless and feels very soft to the touch. I add a slight dusting of this to my T-zone to reduce shine and under my eyes to avoid my concealer from creasing.

You can buy the Nars Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder here.

The Perfect Contour

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Even those with near-perfect bone structure need a little contouring in their life. Contouring can transform anyone into a chiseled goddess and let’s be honest, mince pies do nothing for your cheekbones.

The Morphe Pressed Powder Palette (£15.00) is a go-to when looking to sculpt your face. Containing 6 highly pigmented and buttery-textured powders, there’s a shade to suit most skin tones. The darkest shades are cool toned; which is perfect for avoiding that ‘orange’ look and the highlighting shades are great for adding extra dimension to your face. I would definitely go in with a light hand here as the powders are so pigmented that it’s easy to go overboard.

You can buy the Morphe Pressed Powder Palette here.

The Perfect Cheek

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I don’t gush often, but when I do, it’s about something so revolutionary that I just have to share it. That’s how strongly I feel about Milani blushes. I’ve yet to come across a Milani blush; which has failed to amaze me. Each one as pigmented as the last and the array of colours are just as beautiful on the skin as they are to look at.

The Milani Baked Blush in Rose D’oro (approx £4.50) is perfect for adding a flush of colour to your cheeks without over-powering your look. It’s a very universal in colour so it will suit most makeup looks and the price speaks for itself. The blush does contain a very subtle hint of glitter, however, it’s not very noticeable when on the cheeks.

You can buy the Milani Baked Blush in Rose D’oro here.

The Perfect Highlight

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Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a little glow. This highlighting power couple from Gerard Cosmetics is by far my favourite way to add some sparkle to my look. The BB Plus Illumination Facial Cream (£22.50) is a dream for your skin. It adds hydration, anti-ageing benefits and vibrancy to your skin; whilst giving you an ethereal glow. Add a small amount to the tops of your cheekbones or add it to your foundation for an all-over dewy finish. I use the Star Powder in Marilyn (£22.50) on top of the Illumination Facial Cream to add extra sparkle to my cheekbones. The Star Powder is beautifully packaged and incredibly pigmented. Used together with an initial layer of the cream helps you achieve optimal luminosity.

You can find both products here.

The Perfect Brows and Lashes

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No look is complete without a beautiful set of falsies and perfectly defined eyebrows. Both elements frame your face and make your overall look more polished. It’s almost become second nature for me to add a pair of lashes and fill in my brows before a night out. The Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz (£15.50) is a cult classic and it’s not hard to see why. Containing a spoolie on one end and an ultra-fine brow pencil on the other, this tool is everything you will need for perfectly arched brows. I use the colour Ebony, but there is literally a shade available for everyone.

The Ardell Demi Wispie Lashes (£5.49) are a fool-proof pair of false lashes. Not too long and not too natural, they add the perfect balance of glamour and elegance to any look. They are perfect for anyone who is uncomfortable with wearing false lashes or finds the application slightly tricky. Wear with eyeliner for a defined look or without for a slightly smokey-eyed effect.

You can find the Anastasia Beverley Hills Brow Wiz here and the Ardell Demi Wispies here.

The Perfect Eye Base

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Longevity for your eyeshadow is vital. I never go without a primer when applying eyeshadow. The Too Faced Shadow Insurance in Original (£17.00) is my favourite way to make eyeshadow stick. I have very oily eyelids and eyeshadow doesn’t stand a chance without the use of this primer. My eyeshadow stays in tact all night and the forumla is very comfortable to wear on the lids.

You can find the Too Faced Shadow Insurance Primer here.

The Perfect Glittery Eyeshadow

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The Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finsh Eyeshadow in Titanium (£33.50) is literally Christmas in a container. The cream-to-powder formula adds a build-able flush of sparkle to your lids. The set comes complete with a primer, dropper and metal mixing tray. Use a small amount of the primer with a pinch of the shadow to create a beautiful concoction of intense eyeshadow; which is perfect for adding some drama to your peepers. The shadow is long lasting and suitably festive.

You can find the Magnificent Metals Foil Finsh Eyeshadow in an array of colours here.

The Perfect Lip

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Whatever makeup look you go for, don’t forget to add some colour to your lips. Choosing the right lip colour can be tricky. It can either make or break your overall look.

Balance out a natural eye look by choosing a dark, sultry lip. My choice of colour lately has been L’Oreal Color Riche Lipstick Oud Obsession 703 (£6.99). Rather than a plum or burgundy, this rich chocolaty, almost treacle coloured brown shade is a modern take on the dark lip. The colour is absolute perfection and the formula is creamy on the lips.

If you rather a traditional look for Christmas then you can’t go wrong with a red lip and winged eyeliner. For that, I always turn to my original OG MAC’s Russian Red. Slightly more hydrating than the ever popular Ruby Woo, this shade is the perfect blue-toned, matte finish lipstick. If you have a similar skin tone to mine then Russian Red will be great for adding a little glamour to your look.

If you find the idea of a bold lip slightly daunting then perhaps a muted, pink lip is the choice for you. Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet lipstick in So Hap Pink to the perfect Kylie Jenner lip colour in a liquid lipstick form. The colour goes with almost any makeup look and allows you to have a pop of colour on the lips without committing to a bold lipstick.

The Perfect Start and Finish

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If you haven’t already, check out my review on the Skindanavia Primer and Finsh spray. Seeing your hard earned makeup masterpiece fade and melt throughout the night is never fun. Use the Primer and Finish spray to ensure that your makeup lasts well after the canapés are served.

You can find the Skindinavia products here.

What are your top makeup picks for the Christmas party season?

Christmas Gift Guide For Her

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Well…hello December, I’ve been waiting for you all year! We are now officially in the month of Christmas; which means that even crimbo-phobic people cannot complain that it’s too early for Christmas talk! As mentioned in my last blog post (check it out here), this month will be dedicated to Christmas themed blog posts.

Now that we’re only three weeks away from the big day, I’m sure many of you will be thinking about presents for your loved ones. I’ve always been a firm believer that there are two types of people in this world – ultra organised freaks who get their Christmas shopping done with just one click on Amazon or classic procrastinators who sign themselves up for sweat drenched, frenzy filled panic shopping on Christmas Eve. I can safely say that I’m a freak! I waste no time in getting my Christmas shop done so that I can spend the rest of the month enjoying the festivities.

Every year my husband and family ask me the dreaded question – ‘what do you want for Christmas?’. I’m not reluctant to tell them what I want, I just want so many things that I struggle to pick just a few #spoiltchildproblems.

This year I have beauty on my mind. My Christmas wish list comprises of skin care, makeup, body care and all things beauty related (surprise surprise). The shops are filled with an array of beauty gift sets; which makes it hard to know which one is the right choice for you or a loved one. Don’t fret, I am here to help! I’ve rounded up a handful of gift sets; which I believe are the perfect presents for a beauty enthusiast like me.

Here’s my shortlist of Christmas beauty gift sets that will put a smile on any girl’s face:-

The Skincare lover

 Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser Christmas Edition (£20.75)

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When it comes to skin care, you can’t go wrong with Liz Earle. The cult classic Cleanse and Polish is by far one of the most talked about skin care products ever created. If you’re into your skin care or are buying for someone who lives by the cardinal rule of cleanse, tone and moisturise then Liz Earle is the route you want to go down.

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This set includes a 150ml sized cleanser and two muslin cloths encased in a keepsake drum. The classic formula includes naturally active ingredients such as cocoa butter, rosemary, eucalyptus and chamomile to soothe, tone and moisturise your skin.

Although Liz Earle offer many choices in gift sets, this set stood out to me as the most versatile and useable of them all; which can by men and women of all ages.

The body care lover

Soap & Glory Once Upon A Lime (£10.00)

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Soap & Glory is always at the top of my wish list every Christmas. Their gift sets are always so appealing. The packaging mimics the fun, quirky nature of their brand and even makes soap look glamourous! No wonder they are one of the top choices for beauty gift sets at Christmas.

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Of all the scents that they offer, the SUGAR CRUSH™ fragrance is by far my favourite. You can imagine my delight when I saw a glitter topped hat box containing miniatures from the range. The set contains a body wash (75ml), body scrub (50ml), body buttercream (50ml), Hand Food (50ml) and a bonus body polisher.

This set is perfect for someone who is new to Soap & Glory or  the SUGAR CRUSH™ range. It’s also perfect for taking with you on holiday.

The makeup lover

Urban Decay Vice 4 Palette (£43.00)

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You can almost guarantee that any true makeup addict would give their right arm to have this makeup palette under their Christmas tree. The Vice 4 palette is one of the latest additions to the Urban Decay saga.

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Filled with never-before-seen shimmery shades, this limited-edition palette will see you right through the Christmas party season. Urban Decay palettes have always been a guilty pleasure of mine as with most makeup enthusiasts. The beautifully packaged palettes and buttery soft eyeshadows always make my heart skip a beat!

The palette comes complete with a double-ended brush and a travel bag; which makes this the perfect gift for the makeup lover in your life.

The fragrance lover

Victoria’s Secret Fragrance Mist Set (£18.00)

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If you or your loved one loves a good fragrance mist from Victoria’s Secret then try out this gift set. Containing 8 roller ball 2.66ml sized products, this set is perfect for the lady who loves to change up her scent, but doesn’t want to commit to full sized products.

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The set contains Dream, Coconut Passion, Amber Romance, Passion Struck, Sheer Love, Pure Seduction, Love Addict and my personal favourite, Love Spell.

The gadget lover

Magnitone Barefaced Vibra-Sonic Daily Cleansing Brush (£70.00)

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If you’re looking to take your cleansing game to another level then investing in a facial brush is essential.

Magnitone offer amazing quality facial brushes in three bright colours. The brushes can be used on any skin type and are suitable for any age.

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The Barefaced sets contain a facial brush, charger, splash proof travel case, Active Clean brush head and a 12 month warranty.

Comment below with what’s on your Christmas wish list.