Christmas Traditions

I absolutely love Christmas but this year it’s going to be extra special, my half sister is flying all the way from Canada and staying with us for the holidays. It will be our first time celebrating Christmas together as we only met each other for the first time earlier this year. Everyone’s Christmas will be slightly different, even now I’m with Adrian things have changed compared to when I grew up. We’ve made new Christmas traditions together and carried on with some from our childhoods, which we still find every bit as magical and exciting today.

A New Christmas Bauble

My Nan started collecting baubles when I was very young and she would always let me hang a brand new one on the tree every year. Adrian and I have carried on with the same tradition every Christmas since we’ve been together. I still have some of those sentimental decorations I chose with my Nan hanging next to our new ones on the tree now.

Advent Calendar

I love the count down to Christmas As a child my Nan or Aunt would buy me the traditional Cadburys or Dairy Milk chocolate Advent calendar. This year Adrian put together my very own version of a beauty advent calendar using 24 material stockings he found on Etsy and filled them with gifts he knew I’d love from the Boots 3 for 2 offer.

Christmas Pyjamas and Bedding

Christmas Baking

My Nan and my Aunt were both amazing cooks and the house always smelt gorgeous for weeks before Christmas Day. My Nan would start by baking a huge Christmas pudding for the adults complete with a generous drop of Brandy and my Aunt would make the Christmas cake filled with fruit and nuts which tasted divine. The only bit I’ve never liked is the icing. Now Adrian and I invite friends round for a small party in the lead up to Christmas. We’ll make our own mince pies, cakes and biscuits in the morning and the house still smells amazing when our guests arrive!

Every year our family take it in turns as to who will host Christmas Day Dinner. When I was a child I used to love it when everyone piled into my Nan’s house as it was great to see my aunts, uncles and cousins all together. My cousins and I would go off to my room and play with any gifts we’d been given, my Uncle would desperately be trying to watch something on the TV while the rest of the adults were opening the next bottle of drink and having a good giggle and singing Christmas songs in the kitchen. During the evening my Aunt would prepare a huge “buffet” style tea and it was spread across the dinning room table. No one was hungry after eating such a huge feast at lunch time but we still piled our plates high with everything that was on offer.

Guess who’s having a house full this year? I’m sure Adrian and I will try to be the perfect hosts.

Surprise Box

As a child I didn’t have a stocking at Christmas, instead my Nan would put together a Surprise Box and I was allowed to open it on Christmas Eve. It was basically a cardboard box wrapped in Christmas paper filled with mini toys and games, I’d also find an orange at the bottom which is a tradition my Great Grandmother started for my Nan when she was a child. By the time I was a teenager my Aunt took over the task of putting together a Surprise box for me and the mini gifts included makeup or CDs. Now Adrian and I put together a small surprise box for each other and we still open them on Christmas Eve, just as I did with my Nan all those years ago.

Christmas Mugs

Every year while I was growing up I’d always find a novelty shaped mug filled with mini chocolates or sweets inside my Surprise box, then for weeks afterwards I would insist on only using that mug.

Adrian and I have bought a new Christmas mug each year and I use them for my  hot chocolates or morning cup of tea in the lead up to Christmas. I have a nice little collection now and I think it’s a great fun way to get in the Christmas spirit, who cares if I’m an adult.

Fun Christmas Clothing

My Nan always bought me a pair of Christmas pyjamas every year, I remember getting so excited when I opened the parcel and used to insist on wearing the pjs right that minute. As an adult I do exactly the same thing, along with a festive themed throw or duvet set, only Adrian and I pick ours up before November is even over.

In more recent years Adrian and I also buy a new brightly coloured Christmas jumper every year, along with a fun Santa hat or reindeer antlers. I usually pick mine up from New Look or ASOS so I’m not spending a fortune on something I’ll only be wearing for a few weeks. I’ve mainly gone for a green or red jumper but this year I’ve chosen pink and white. You can guarantee  I’ll be wearing it along with  my snowflake pjs on Christmas Day.

Christmas Lights

I remember the first time my Nan took me on the train to see the Christmas lights in London, I was so excited by the whole journey and it became a regular thing. We’d go up earlier in the day to do some Christmas shopping, then have something to eat before it got dark and this beautiful display of lights came on. If I was lucky she would also take me to see Santa in whichever department store we were in at the time. When my Nan became too poorly to make the trip, my Aunt started taking me instead, yet the whole experience was every bit as exciting. I’ll always miss my Nan and will be reminded of her every time I see those bright twinkling lights against the night sky.

More recently it’s been Adrian and I who have taken the train into London to see the lights each year, making our own Christmas memories. We still haven’t been this year as we’ve both been extremely busy, although we did go into town to watch the Christmas lights switch on and enjoy the evenings entertainment. The large glass of mulled wine and mince pie  may have helped keep us merry and bright on that cold winter’s night.

Do you have any favourite traditions that you’ve carried on doing from when you were a child or have you made new ones in more recent years.

 

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gift guide for bloggersChristmas shopping can be so much fun but also extremely stressful, especially if you’ve a blogger to buy for. Every year I get asked by my friends and family what I’d like for Christmas and most years they’ve always been able to guess what gifts I’d love to receive. Since I became a blogger they say I’m impossible to buy for as I change my mind every five minutes.

Today’s gift guide features a few products which I personally would  love to find under the tree on Christmas morning and they will make wonderful presents for any blogger or YouTuber.

gift guide for bloggers

Technology is by far the most important thing to a blogger as it helps them to create content in the best way they can. Chances are they already have a camera and a laptop, but there are so many things that can make a blogger’s life easier.

A Portable Charger is an absolute essential, bloggers are on their phones all day, every day, they couldn’t run the risk of a low battery and hope that the very nice guy in the coffee shop will let them use the power supply behind the counter. A blogger couldn’t possibly miss that opportunity of the perfect photo for Instagram. This one from Anker is lightweight and perfect for carrying around in your handbag.

A Mini Tripod is probably one of the best gifts I was ever given. Taking photos is a large part of being a blogger and a tripod makes it so much easier for taking photos of products or outfits. I love this one as it’s flexible and small enough to fit in my bag. It even comes with a clip to use with your mobile and a bluetooth remote control.

A set of Headphones are a brilliant gift for a blogger who loves listening to music or their favourite podcast while they write up their latest post.  They are also a fab choice for YouTubers when it comes to editing their vlog. This white set from JVC has a beautiful clear sound and a nice deep base, they also have one button remote and microphone so you can use them hands free on your mobile. I personally prefer over the ear headphones and these ones are extremely comfortable to wear.

A portable harddrive is an excellent choice for storing photos, videos and media kits, which are all large files that a blogger needs to store and all take up space on the PC or laptop.

gift guide for bloggers

A diary and notebook are an absolute must when it comes to planning content and jotting down ideas. There are quiet a few planners that are designed with bloggers in mind, laid out with everything they could possibly need. There are some adorable notebooks around too, either one that fits in a handbag or a brightly coloured journal that’s perfect for a blogger’s desk.

Kate Spade Travel Mug, Coconut Lane Sweat Top

A sweat top with a cute slogan on would make a lovely gift for anyone, let alone a blogger. I want to be comfortable on days when I’m at home writing up posts or planning content and I love slouching around in this adorable pink one from Coconut Lane,

If your blogger friend loves their hot chocolate or lattes then they’ll really appropriate a travel mug for all their favourite drinks. This one from Kate Spade keeps hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold, plus it’ll look super cute in any photo. Why not treat them to a coffee voucher, any fan of Starbucks or Costa will love opening up a Christmas card and finding one inside.

gift guide for bloggers

A book such as Capture Your Style by Aimee Song will help any blogger transform their plain old everyday photos into truly amazing stories. With almost 5 million followers on Instagram she certainly knows her stuff.

motivation print for a blogger Christmas gift

I have quiet a few motivational quotes hanging in my office and I’m sure that every time I read them they give me an extra push to finish a big task or help get me through if I’m feeling slumped on a Monday afternoon. I get most of mine from the amazing Jemma at dorkfaceshop on Etsy. I think prints and quotes make the perfect gift for any blogger, especially if you put it in a cute frame. Treatbox do some amazing prints and gifts, they also have a monthly subscription box which you can buy as a one off box or as a 3, 6 or 12 month package

blogger Christmas gift guide

You can’t go wrong with a candle, most bloggers have them all round the house, well I do anyway. B&M or Homesense have a fantastic range of scented candles, if you fancy spending out a little more then Jo Malone have some gorgeous candles plus they come in the most beautiful packaging,

If you’re buying for a Beauty Blogger you can guarantee they’ll have a wish list of all the latest must have makeup. Why not have a snoop through their blog and social media to find out what products they’ve been lusting after and treat them to a luxury eyeshadow palette or lipstick. Some of my favourites are Tarte, Stila, Too Faced and Charlotte Tibury and I think any blogger would truly love to recieve something from their latest collection.

I also have a Gift Guide For Her if you need any more inspiration.

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christmas films

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a feel good film to watch over the holiday season, well along with the same old tunes being played for the 500th time! I’m sure most of you will have seen these films but over the years I never tire of watching them . I suppose along with the Christmas Day TV specials, these films have become a bit of a tradition in our house, even when someone’s staying over you can guarantee that one of us will request to watch a Christmas film, so there we are with our favourite drinks and snacks, snuggled under a throw and huddled round the TV, laughing at the funny bits, crying at the sad moments and booing the baddies, of course!

I usually start watching Christmas films from the beginning of December and this year is no different, maybe just with a new pair of pjs and festive mug for my hot chocolate.

  1. It’s A Wonderful Life
  2. The Grinch
  3. The Snowman
  4. Arthur Christmas
  5. Love Actually
  6. The Holiday
  7. The Nightmare Before Christmas
  8. Miracle On 34th Street
  9. Elf
  10. The Polar Express
  11. Frozen
  12. A Christmas Carol
  13. Scroooged
  14. The Muppets Christmas Carol
  15. The Long Kiss Good Night (A great Action Christmas Film)
  16. Die Hard (who doesn’t love Bruce Willis in his white vest!)
  17. Mickey’s Christmas Carol
  18. White Christmas
  19. Bridget Jones’ Diary
  20. Meet Me In St Louis
  21. Holiday Inn
  22. Ghostbusters 2
  23. The Chronicles Of Narnia (The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe)
  24. Gremlins
  25. Home Alone

And most probably any other Disney film ever made, there are just too many to mantion! So if you’re after a cosy night in with your best friend, your other half or your parents, stick on one of these films and you’ll feel a whole lot better afterwards!

What’s your favourite Christmas movie? Have you seen any of these films?

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christmas gift guide for her

I absolutely love the festive season, I’ll be playing my Christmas playlist from the start of November and a few weeks later I’ll be putting my decorations up, most probably while tucking into a jumbo sized tub of chocolates. Every year I look forward to the family coming together and enjoying each other’s company over a mulled wine or two. It can often feel like one of the most stressful times of the year when the shops are extra busy and you have no idea what gifts to get your nearest and dearest.

With Christmas less than a month away I thought I’d share some of the amazing goodies I found on  TJ Hughes* gift section. Whether it’s something to make your mum or sister feel super special, or a fun gift to make your best friend smile, hopefully there’s something here for all those lovely ladies you know.

GUCCI Bamboo eau de parfum

Everyone loves receiving a fragrance for Christmas and will probably have a wish list as long as their arm.  I’ve completely fallen in love with GUCCI Bamboo*, it’s feminine and sensual both together and with hints of Bergamont, Orange Blossom, Ylang Ylang and Sandalwood it smells absolutely divine. It’s light enough to be worn during the day, yet strong enough to be worn on an evening out. It’s such a beautiful fragrance that it will suit almost any woman.

Cluse La Boheme Nude Watch

A beautiful watch makes a wonderful Christmas gift, it’s something to keep and every time you wear it you’ll be reminded of the person who gave it to you. I think this one by Cluse looks classic and feminine, plus the neutral colour means it’s the perfect accessory to wear with any outfit. This may just be going on my wishlist, so if any of my family happen to be reading this, hint, hint!

TRU Luxury Plush Dressing Gown

I love snuggling up in a warm, soft robe on a cold winter’s evening, I practically live in one throughout December whenever I’m at home. So it was no surprise that this gorgeous soft grey dressing robe caught my eye, it’s a super soft, plush honeycomb material with a fleece lined hood and collar. I know quite a few ladies who would love to open a present and find this inside, It would make the ideal Christmas gift either on it’s own or with a pair of pyjamas and some bath treats.

Tru Flannelette Pyjamas

Speaking of pyjamas I found this pretty pink butterfly set, which would go perfectly with the dressing robe. They have piped detailing around the edge, a button front top and elasticated waist bottoms, just what you need after yet another roast dinner. They’re made from brushed, cotton flannelette which will keep you all snug and warm on a chilly winters night. I fell in love with almost every design they have in stock, so there’s bound to be one to suit everyone’s style, and at only £10 a pair they make a fab gift on their own or as a stocking filler depending on your budget.

Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream Gift Set

Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream comes in a gorgeous gift set and includes 50ml Eau de Toilette, 75ml Body Lotion and a 75ml Shower Gel, by layering all three products it will help the scent last that bit longer. This is a light, fresh floral smell, with hints of Blackberry, Grapefruit, Jasmine and Blue Wisteria and is inspired by daisies and blue skies, even down to the packaging. If you know someone who loves a light, delicate fragrance then this is the perfect gift for them.

Baylis & Harding Almond Gift Set

If you know someone who deserves to be spoilt and is in need of some relaxation, then this beautiful Jojoba and Almond Oil gift set from Baylis & Harding is just the thing for them. It contains a body wash, shower cream, soap, hand and body lotion, bath milk and bath soak crystals, literally everything you need for an at home pamper session. It looks so luxurious and would make an ideal Christmas gift.

Hair Straightening Brush

This Bauer Heated Straightening Brush is perfect for a busy woman always in a hurry to get out the door in the mornings. Instead of having to use two products, this straightens and brushes your hair at the same time. What a brilliant idea? It’s also excellent for travelling as it will take up less room in your suitcase and you can still have beautifully styled hair.

Snowflake Pyjamas and Cosy Socks Gift Set

There’s just something about having a new pair of Christmas pyjamas every year, it’s almost a must in our house, and how adorable is this gift set which also includes a pair of cosy socks to keep your feet nice and toasty too.

Merry Christmas Cushion

This novelty cushion is perfect for any room in the house, adding some festive colour to your sofa or bed. It is embroidered with the words “Merry Christmas” and surrounded by an embroidered holly wreath. I absolutely love this and can imagine squishing up to this as I open my presents and drink my favourite hot chocolate.

Christmas Reindeer Throw

Imagine how delighted someone would be to have this lovely soft festive throw to snuggle underneath when they watch their favourite seasonal film after Christmas dinner or to add some fun to their bedroom over the holidays, it’s perfect for breakfast in bed on Boxing Day morning.

Hope this has given you a few ideas if you still haven’t done your Christmas shopping yet.

What’s the one thing you’d like for Christmas this year?

*This item was very kindly sent to me for the purpose of this post, the first two photos are my own, all the rest have been used from TJ Hughes Christmas Gift section.
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Box Sets To Watch Right Now

Now that Autumn is in full swing and the nights are colder and darker it’s perfectly acceptable to light all the candles, snuggle up under your softest throw with a hot chocolate and binge watch your favourite box sets. Weekends and Autumn evenings were meant for relaxing and catching up on your favourite show, but how easy is it to think I’ll just watch one or two episodes and three hours later you still haven’t moved from the sofa?

I’ve got together with Panasonic HDR 4K TV to tell you which box sets I love to binge watch when I want time to chill out.

The Walking Dead

Not everything I watch is all girly, I’ve followed Rick’s adventures ever since he first woke up in the hospital bed at the start of the zombie apocalypse and I was gripped by episode one. It’s not just about the undead chasing after characters, it also shows how a community can rebuild their lives after being ripped apart whilst keeping you on the edge of your seat wondering who’ll be next to have their arm bitten off. Daryl is my hero and Negan is the baddie I love to hate.

Sex and the City

Based on the book by Candace Bushnell, Four 30 something women living in New York City, the “will they, won’t they” relationship with Carrie and Big, sassy Samantha’s classic one liners, will hopeless romantic Charlotte get her happy ending and will clinical Miranda ever believe that there is life outside the board room? I can’t forget to mention Carrie’s amazing walk in wardrobe, oh the outfits, the accessories, the shoes! After watching season one I’d already decided I wanted to work in fashion.

Friends

Friends will always be one of my favourite box sets, doesn’t matter how many times I watch it I still laugh and cry along with every episode. It follows the lives of six 20 something friends who live in New York in nearby apartments, I’ve loved it ever since Rachel ran into Central Perk in her wedding dress and Joey said his classic chat up line “How you doin’?” for the very first time.

Game Of Thrones

Oh please let it be Daenerys who sits on the Iron Throne and not Cersei at the end of season 8, I can’t believe there’ll be no more winters coming to Westeros after that and no more Jon Snow (quietly sobbing as I write this). The fight between the the Starks, the Lannisters and the Targaryens will finally be over. I’ll just have to watch them all over again and play the theme tune on a loop until I finally get Game Of Thrones out of my system, plus I can’t wait to see Aiden Gillen (who plays Little Finger) in season 4 of Peaky Blinders.

Box Sets To Watch Right Now

Stranger Things

I can’t believe I’ve only just watched Stranger Things, where have I been hiding? I was totally obsessed after the first series and luckily for me I could just go straight onto series two. It’s set in a spooky town where kids go missing, complete with excellent acting, twists that will leave you on the edge of your seat, a fantastic soundtrack and brilliant 80’s nostalgia. This sci-fi horror is an absolute must watch.

Pretty Little Liars

I was a late comer to Pretty Little Liars but soon became addicted to the story of Spencer, Hannah, Emily and Aria after the disappearance of their best friend Alison. I couldn’t wait to get to the end and find out who A was, then they tricked us in the episode with the dolls house, then made us wait till the finale anyway.  Let’s not mention what a cute couple Caleb and Hannah were, as I may just have to binge watch PLL from the start again next weekend.

Gilmore Girls

Gilmore Girls is one of those perfect, feel good box sets to watch on a cosy evening in. Set in the sleepy town of Stars Hollow it follows the mother-daughter relationship between Lorelai and Rory, both exploring life, love, friendship and ambition, along with the difficulties Lorelai has with her parents.

Gossip Girl

I’ve lost count of how many times I tried to recreate an outfit from Blair and Serena’s wardrobe, most probably without much success. Gossip Girl is the story of a mysterious blogger who spills the beans on lives of teenagers living in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Throughout each series you get to see how each of the characters grow and develop after getting through tough times and following their dreams. It’s funny, heartbreaking and addictive all wrapped up in one.

Downton Abbey

For me, Downton Abbey is simply pure escapism on a Sunday evening. The costumes, the houses, the generations of the same families during the 1900’s to the 1920’s, this historical drama will sweep you away to world that’s so far removed from your own and have you laughing at Dame Maggie Smith’s sharp tongue with her witty one liners.

Which box sets do you love to watch on a cosy evening in? Have you seen any of my favourite box sets?

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