Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts

Blogmas #1: December Goals



I gots Christmas on the braaaain. Seriously I'm like a child, literally actually because I've spent the past hour trying to choose what Sylvanian family to get Baby Florrie. How those things passed me by as a child I do not know, they're so bloody cute! but now I think , wahhh. Florrie will like either, this is totally for my benefit when I come round to play with her toys hahaha. I'm completely digressing but that's because I have failed on all of my and just wanna skim past that...to be fair I've been ill (woop to those cf and post-transplant problems!) and I've been sleeping every spare second away but honestly, it's like December has hit and I've sprung into action because Christmas is my JAM. I totally get it's a difficult time for so many people and we know it's materialistic etc etc - but for me it's about spending time with loved ones and I have so many fun memories of this time of year. After transplant it feels even more special and I'm so grateful to my donor for giving me another Christmas I wouldn't have had if it weren't for them (it goes without saying I think of them and their family even more so now.) So I have a few festive things I'd like to do this month and here they are:

What I Got For Christmas 2016



So late with this! I'm not even gonna bother with a disclaimer here, let's just cut to the chase - I'm nosy, you're nosy, let's get on with it!

Clothing

This year I was very spoilt by mama and step-pa and got an All Saints leather jacket AND coat. I'm absolutely in love with them both, the has blown my Zara fave out the water and the is the perfect 'smart' coat that I've been searching for.

all saints balfern leather jacket, all saints leni coat, archive by alexa lovell blouse, evan peters cushion, david bowie quote print, monica vinader friendship bracelet, charlotte tilbury vintage vamp, chanel no5 l'eau, rosie for autograph summer rose
all saints balfern leather jacket, all saints leni coat, archive by alexa lovell blouse, evan peters cushion, david bowie quote print, monica vinader friendship bracelet, charlotte tilbury vintage vamp, chanel no5 l'eau, rosie for autograph summer rose
all saints balfern leather jacket, all saints leni coat, archive by alexa lovell blouse, evan peters cushion, david bowie quote print, monica vinader friendship bracelet, charlotte tilbury vintage vamp, chanel no5 l'eau, rosie for autograph summer rose

YES they are pricey but I like to invest as much as I can in coats, shoes and bags because they really pull an outfit together and can make a H&M outfit look a million dollars. The coat is tailored beautifully and is very true to size. So while I can't layer much underneath it it doesn't drown me when I wear it with little dresses and skirts, which is exactly what I was after! The jacket is pure perfection, the quality is incredible and it feels so heavy and buttery soft. Expect to see it on the blog a lot! Not sorry though, cos look at it. 

all saints balfern leather jacket, all saints leni coat, archive by alexa lovell blouse, evan peters cushion, david bowie quote print, monica vinader friendship bracelet, charlotte tilbury vintage vamp, chanel no5 l'eau, rosie for autograph summer rose
all saints balfern leather jacket, all saints leni coat, archive by alexa lovell blouse, evan peters cushion, david bowie quote print, monica vinader friendship bracelet, charlotte tilbury vintage vamp, chanel no5 l'eau, rosie for autograph summer rose
all saints balfern leather jacket, all saints leni coat, archive by alexa lovell blouse, evan peters cushion, david bowie quote print, monica vinader friendship bracelet, charlotte tilbury vintage vamp, chanel no5 l'eau, rosie for autograph summer rose

To be honest I wasn't really feeling Archive by Alexa Season Two but being the huge fangirl that I am I still managed to find something that I wanted. I got the for Christmas and in real life it's a lot more appealing than it was on the website! The detailing is gorgeous, I'll be copying the lookbook by pairing it with a patent leather skirt and I think the collar will look adorable peeking out the top of jumpers.

Homeware 

all saints balfern leather jacket, all saints leni coat, archive by alexa lovell blouse, evan peters cushion, david bowie quote print, monica vinader friendship bracelet, charlotte tilbury vintage vamp, chanel no5 l'eau, rosie for autograph summer rose

The framed print was such a thoughtful gift! My brother saw the picture in a magazine and framed it for me. I'm a huge Bowie fan and grew up listening to his music so was devastated when he passed but now I have my own lovely tribute to him. Such a great quote too, I'm so pleased he felt that way. 

The cushion was a gift from my cousins, we watch American Horror Story and kind of have an obsession with Evan Peters so every time I look at this I think of our jokes! I'm glad they gave it to me, now they just have to accept I'm his wife pahaha.

Jewellery

all saints balfern leather jacket, all saints leni coat, archive by alexa lovell blouse, evan peters cushion, david bowie quote print, monica vinader friendship bracelet, charlotte tilbury vintage vamp, chanel no5 l'eau, rosie for autograph summer rose
all saints balfern leather jacket, all saints leni coat, archive by alexa lovell blouse, evan peters cushion, david bowie quote print, monica vinader friendship bracelet, charlotte tilbury vintage vamp, chanel no5 l'eau, rosie for autograph summer rose

I was extremely spoilt by my brother and his girlfriend (and Baby Florrie too!) because they also got me. It was the biggest surprise because I really wanted one but hadn't told anybody at all - they know me well! It's mink and rose gold, I can go and get it engraved but I think I might just keep it as it is as it's just so simple and chic.

The charm was a present from my aunt, if you look closely you can see my Freddydog! It's one of my favourite ever photos of him and now I just need to find something to put him on so I can have him with me wherever I go <3 The pretty sparkly bracelet was a gift from my grandparents, I don't usually go for blingy jewellery but I love wearing this! Like the Monica Vinader bracelet it's adjustable, so it can fit my teeny wrists!

Beauty

all saints balfern leather jacket, all saints leni coat, archive by alexa lovell blouse, evan peters cushion, david bowie quote print, monica vinader friendship bracelet, charlotte tilbury vintage vamp, chanel no5 l'eau, rosie for autograph summer rose
all saints balfern leather jacket, all saints leni coat, archive by alexa lovell blouse, evan peters cushion, david bowie quote print, monica vinader friendship bracelet, charlotte tilbury vintage vamp, chanel no5 l'eau, rosie for autograph summer rose

I got some special beauty bits this year, things that have been on my wishlist for a while! The first fragrance is , there'll be a full review coming soon but I love its fruity scent! My grandparents gave me a Boots voucher so I got the too, I've had samples but am super happy to have a proper bottle now as I think it might just be my favourite perfume ever.

Thanks to my nan and grandad I now also have some Charlotte Tilbury in my life! I knew I wanted an eyeshadow palette and although I almost went for in the end I chose as I love the more purpley tones. Again, full review coming soon but what I'll say for now is believe the hype!!

I did get a few other bits and bobs but I've no doubt they'll make an appearance on the blog soon! It goes without saying how grateful I am and I know I'm very spoilt! What was your favourite Christmas gift? 

Blogmas #8 | Gift Guide For Guys


Men are an absolute pain in the ass to buy for I find. Why is it when you ask them what they want all you get is a 'I dunno, nothing.' Let them have nothing Christmas Day, they'll be sad then. Saying that, this year I've found it a little bit easier than usual so thought I'd share some of my ideas with you in case you're in need of a bit of inspiration. I don't really like the whole gifts for 'her' and 'him' thing because it makes you think that certain things are just for certain genders when really you should just have whatever the hell you want regardless of who it was made for! However these things do lean more towards the more masculine side of the spectrum even though I'd be happy to receive a few of them myself!


| | | |  | |

Shops like and are great for quirky buys for everyone, even if they are a little pricey. However I'd rather give someone something small and unique that they wouldn't necessarily buy for themselves because it'd be seen as a bit 'frivolous' rather than get a load of tat! The little lemon bottle opener is a good example, sticking with the bar theme the tumblers are pretty cool as well. Cookbooks are a good gift for foodies and this one is fab as it combines recipes with playlists which I haven't seen before.

Food and drink is in general a wise idea (I'm putting together a little hamper for my grandad) as is anything a bit techy - ear phones always go down well, as hands up who else is always breaking theirs? I also like to buy men skincare as the fact that the majority of them are still using shower gel as face wash cringes me out a little. I think these days blokes shouldn't be embarrassed about buying it but some still are or maybe they're just a bit clueless about what to buy - whatever the reason, gift sets like this Elemis one (a very nice brand!) will stop them swiping your moisturiser on the sly. 

I hope that was somewhat helpful! Please remember if you're shopping online to use - a charity of your choice will be given a little money with each purchase you make at no extra cost to you (may I suggest the 😉) What will you be treating the men in your life to this Christmas? 


Blogmas #4 | Seven Easy Ways To Give Back This Christmas


Christmas is the time of giving and there are so many ways we can all do our bit for charity and those in need! I feel that now more than ever we need to be generous to others and look out for each other, so let's see out the last month of a godawful year by doing something good.

ways to give back this christmas, blogmas, charity christmas


1.  | This is the absolute easiest thing on the list! Christmas shopping is fun but sometimes it's just far less faff to buy gifts in the comfort of your own home and if you shop through Give As You Live they will give a small percentage to a UK charity of your choice at no extra cost to you at all. It takes two seconds to sign up, it's super easy to do and participating online stores include ASOS, Amazon, New Look, Boohoo plus thousands more! Plus it's good way of justifying that cheeky Topshop order as I like to think I'm just doing my bit for charidee. Not just for Christmas, I use it all year round and think it's the most fabulous idea! If you're not sure of which charity to raise for may I suggest the Cystic Fibrosis Trust? 😏 If you do one thing from this list, please do this as it's so simple and we all shop online. 

2. Charity Christmas Cards | Again, a simple way to support good causes. Unless you're supporting a small, independent business and are buying their Christmas cards then try your best to buy charity cards, which you can get practically everywhere now! Not only will the charities receive a small donation you'll also be raising awareness too with each one you send. to support a variety of good causes and I really love - their charities are Comic Relief and The British Legion, plus they are selling  to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital (I'll be buying one as that's where I had spinal surgery as a teen and they were fantastic!)

3. Donate unwanted gifts | We all get them but they don't need to go to waste! Don't let unwanted, unopened toiletries sit there gathering dust - places like your local food bank, or  will put them to good use and give them to people in need. I like to have a good clear out of my stuff before Christmas so often drop a load of stuff off at the charity shop who are always in need of stock but especially this time of year. I'll also be sending old bras to who have a recycling scheme - I had no idea they could be of some use, I've just been binning them! Alternatively you can also sell unwanted gifts on eBay and give a small percentage to charity.

4. Send a Christmas parcel | Many charities have set up schemes where you can donate send a 'parcel' to people in need ranging from toys for children and Christmas dinners to maybe more practical things such as legal help or a bed for the night. ,  and  are a few examples, or you can  to patients who will be spending this Christmas ill in hospital. The NSPCC are also doing a personalised to help protect children from abuse.

5. Look out for your neighbours | As happy a time this is for the majority of us it can also be so lonely for others. It's important to look after each other all year round but just something as simple as a Christmas card can really brighten someone's day.

6. Donate blood | Giving blood may seem like a relatively small thing to do but it saves lives! I'm quite surprised at how few of us do it. Approximately 200,000 new donors are needed each year as 6000 blood donations are used a day which is a staggering amount. However during the busy Christmas period people donate less as they don't manage to keep to their appointments, so they are in extra need of volunteers this time of year! I myself received blood from a stranger when I had my transplant back in July as I'd lost a lot of blood during surgery, my blood donor is a hero to me and I'll be forever thankful. But literally anyone can need it for a whole number of reasons, AKA it could be you or a loved one some day which is why I think if you can, you must donate. and !

7. Sign up to the organ donor register | As if this wasn't gonna be included on the list 😉 When I compare last Christmas to this year's the difference is incredible, I literally have to pinch myself to make sure it's not all some amazing dream. You know I love shoes and clothes and all these material things but new lungs the best present I ever could have asked for. The fact a selfless stranger and their family have changed my life in such a way blows my tiny mind! Long time readers of the blog will know how much I was suffering before (even if I did try and put a brave face on!) but posts lately are just all about how fantastic my life is now. Thanks to them, I'll be eating Christmas dinner with all my family (all twenty of us!) without feeling ill or tired and I'll see in the New Year dancing with my best ever friends - I can't bladdy wait! It truly is the most spectacular and magical thing you will ever do for someone,

These are just some ideas but there's loads more I could add! It's so important everyone does their bit, no matter how 'big' or 'small'! How will you be giving back this Christmas?

LIFESTYLE | Would You Rather Christmas Edition Tag

A cute/tacky display at my local garden centre.


It's not often I do tags but when I spied on the lovely I so wanted to post it! Especially as it's Christmas Eve AND I AM TOO EXCITED!!! So, would you rather:

Have to sing Jingle Bells loudly every time you walk into a room or wear a Santa Suit to work/school every day for a week?

100% the Santa Suit. It'd keep me snug and just think of all the food babies I'd be able to hide under there.

Not celebrate Christmas this year or not celebrate your birthday this year?

Not celebrate my birthday, they're no big deal to me. Don't get me wrong, I love that buzzing birthday feeling and getting vouchers so I can go shopping but it doesn't compare to Christmas. Plus my birthday is just one day and the Christmas excitement goes on for at least a month!

Have Frosty the Snowman for a friend or Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer? 

Rudolph! I'd be a true friend. I will always think it's so out of order how the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names and now all the reindeer love him just because he's Santa's top boy. I'd be his friend regardless of what Santa thinks.

Have mistletoe hanging in your doorway, or have a large decorated Christmas tree in your bedroom doorway?   

Well I kinda love so defo mistletoe! Only way I'll be getting any Christmas kisses anyway haha!

Write a five paragraph essay about the meaning of Christmas or solve a page of Christmas themed maths problems?

Essay! I could go on and on about Christmas plus I'm terrible at maths.

Have a job wrapping presents at the mall or have a job taking photographs of children sitting on Santa's lap at the mall?

Well I had to gift box people's stuff once and it was no fun at all, it was so stressful! They wanted things 'just so' and ribbons to be a specific length etc...it was a free service so I just felt like 'Do it your bloody self!' haha. So I'd choose to be photographer for sure.

See The Nut Cracker or dance in The Nut Cracker?

Most definitely see! I can barely dance normally, never mind ballet.

Be given £100 for Christmas to spend on yourself or be given £1000 before Christmas to buy for other people? 

I wonder how many people wanted to put the £100 but thought it'd make them look bad? Haha but I'd choose to be given money to spend on others, this year has been a poopy one for my family so it'd be great to treat everyone! Not that material things make up for poor health but they still can make you smile.

Have a nose that glows like Rudolph's or have pointy ears like an elf?

I reckon pointy ears would be quite cute, so yeah, the ears!

Be one of Santa's Elves or one of Santa's Reindeer?

See this is a tough one. Reindeer are beautiful plus THEY CAN FLY AT CHRISTMAS. Elves have to work a hell of lot but then on the other hand they are extremely happy. I don't know if reindeer are happy. I'm gonna go with elves!

I'm feeling all Christmassy now! Are you excited for tomorrow? Let me know if you've done this tag, I'd love to read your answers! As I doubt there'll be a post up tomorrow MERRRRRY CHRISTMAS to you!! Hope you have a lovely day, whether you celebrate or not. Merry Everything and a Happy Always <3

Check out more Christmas goodness




LIFESTYLE | My Top 5 Christmas Films

As Sundays are traditionally my days for binge watching films I think it's only right that the blog should be dedicated to what I've been watching! I hope by now you're in the Christmas spirit but if not here are my top five festive favourites to get you in the mood. All pics via and in no particular order: 


1. Elf (2003)

I think this has featured on every Christmas movie round up I've seen this year (and the year before and year before...) but it's for good reason. I remember going to see this when it first came out (11 years ago!!) and I've watched it countless times since, four times this month alone! Obviously Buddy is my favourite character but I also think Gimbel's manager (Faizon Love) is just hilarious! What's your favourite Elf quote?


2. Miracle On 34th Street (1994)

This film has been made three times but it's the last one, produced by John Hughes (who also made Home Alone), that's my favourite. When Kris Kingle (Richard Attenborough) takes the role as a department store's Santa Claus all the kids in NYC believe he is the real deal, apart from little Susan (Mara Wilson aka Matilda.) Then Kris gets himself in some trouble and the only way to avoid jail is by proving he is indeed the real Father Christmas. To be honest the story probably isn't great but it's so good because of Attenborough...he is what you imagine Santa Claus to be like! And the scene with the little deaf girl is just too cute.

3. Nativity! (2009)

This is a film I only got round to watching yesterday and I don't know what took me so long! About two rival schools battling it out to do the best nativity play, this British comedy is just so cute and did make me laugh. Not sure if it's quite a classic but it's just a nice, easy watch for all the family.


4. Home Alone (1990)

It was a toss up between this and Love Actually for the fourth spot but I just had to include Home Alone because it's one I watch every year without fail ever since I can remember. It also just reminds me of my brothers because we all used to watch it together so that's quite nice haha! I'm sure you all know the story and the slapstick in it is just so silly but I love it.


5. Looney Tunes Christmas

This is a bit of a funny one because I don't actually know what it's called! But when I was little we had a video (don't that make me feel old haha) of a Looney Tunes Christmas special that we'd watch on Christmas Eve. I'm always looking for it on DVD but I don't think the full version is available which is a shame because it brings back so many happy memories! You can watch part of it (yep, youtubed it because I'm a loser.)

As you can see, my choices aren't exactly mature but most of them are childhood favourites that hold a lot of special memories for me and it's great rewatching them now with the little ones in my family. Have you seen any of these? What would be on your list?

Check out more film posts





FRIYAY #4 | Brown Paper Gift Wrap Ideas

christmas brown paper wrapping ideas
Last year's gift wrap efforts (see original post )

Happy Friday! Next Friday Christmas will be over, isn't that a depressing thought? :'(

So now all the shopping is done it's time to get down to the gift wrapping. I start off with the easy, box shaped things and have loads of fun, then I start having trouble with the awkward presents like mugs and then things get a little messy. Still, I like to give it a go! I think you can tell a lot about a person by the type of gift wrap they use, like when my family put all the gifts together I can immediately see who's wrapped what! Yes I know brown paper is a bit of a cliché but it's for good reason! I love it because: 

1. You can get really creative.
2. You can personalize it for the person who's receiving the gift without much effort at all.
3. It's cheap! Definitely no point in spending loads on something that's just going to be torn up and recycled.

So I guess from my gift wrap style we can conclude that I am cheap and lazy haha! As always I've been browsing and have found a few ideas that look simple but really effective.

all pictures from

I'm in love with the little bird tag, so cute and very easy to do by the looks of things! I have plenty of stamps and ribbons to use so I'm not sure exactly how I'll be wrapping things up this year but I'll probably be instagramming my efforts!

Do you like gift wrapping? What kind do you go for?

Check out more Christmas posts



FASHION | An Imaginary Christmas Wishlist


Mulberry Suffolk in Oxblood Silky Classic Calf - £1550

So yesterday I finished nearly all of my Christmas shopping, leaving me free to window shop for myself but I can't actually buy anything,  So here's an extreme imaginary Christmas list for myself, because seeing as I'm browsing without being able to buy I may as well go all out!

is my BFF but I would soon ditch it for this Saint Laurent beauty (what can I say, I'm not a very good friend.) Doesn't it look like the softest thing? The tee is something I've wanted for so long, I almost regret not buying it when I had the money but then again almost £70 for a tee is very ridic. I've wanted dungas for years but can never find the right pair. Let's face it, they're the ultimate man repeller piece but I reckon this Frame Denim pair would be the least offensive as the fit looks pretty great. 

I love Bella Freud and so although I don't really care for candles I think this would be a cool addition to my dressing table. I love my Mulberry bags but to be honest I don't like many of the more recent designs bar the Suffolk. I love the ladylike shape and the fact it has a longer strap, as well as the compartments on the inside. Also, an oxblood colour would make a nice change to my usual black or brown bags and is a classic enough shade to never date. Finally the shoes, which I think may be a feasible buy if I save hard enough. I used to think I wanted the loafers but after seeing these I fell in love and just feel that they're much more my style. I have no smart flat shoes so they're definitely something I need to invest in because I can't really wear my trainers everywhere!

Have you finished your Christmas shopping? What would be on your imaginary wishlist?

FRIYAY #3 | My Christmas To Do List Update

cozy christmas living room
My living room

Hello! So a week or so ago I wrote a  and here's what I've ticked off so far!

Get an advent calendar


m&s percy pig advent calendar
advent calendar for dogs

I got a Percy Pig one and I'm definitely enjoying it...I don't care that I'm probably too old haha! I got a dog one for Freddy too, it's actually really cute because his sweets have little Christmas pictures on. But he doesn't understand the one a day rule and that my chocolates aren't for him too. 

Go to the Southbank Winter Festival/ Visit a craft fair/Try mulled wine


the london eye christmas


I went with family and some family friends and it was really nice even though it was freeeeezing...my lungs were in agony and I paid for it the next day but it was worth it. They have a really nice food market there too that I think is permanent so that's definitely worth checking out even though I've been too ill to really eat anything lately so made do with a crepe haha. I also tried mulled wine and brandy, I don't think it's something that I'd drink at home but it's definitely a good idea if you're walking along in the cold! The Christmas fair is also lovely, I bought a gift and a few others from other fairs and on Etsy this year. Christmas is such an important time for independent sellers so it's good to support them when you can!

Attempt some handmade gifts


handmade christmas decorations shabby chic


I have a couple of purses to make still but I made these little decorations the other night. I will admit I've kind of cheated because I bought a kit from Hobbycraft so I could practise my hand sewing but I like how they came out so will probably add them to presents!

See real reindeer


ruxley manor garden centre reindeer

I went to where they have them every year and I am now very happy that I have seen a real life reindeer (in fact I saw two!) They were much smaller than I was expecting and very, very cute. They had loads of cute/tacky Christmas displays too, this was my fave:

ruxley manor garden centre christmas


So that's much of my list done already, which kind of explains my lack of blogging lately! Winter kind of knocks everything out of me, I've been putting lots of energy into doing Christmassy things and making cards so when it comes to blogging/reading blogs I'm just a bit too pooped to bother! I think in the New Year I'm definitely going to have to sort out some kind of schedule!! I did go to the Harry Potter Studios yesterday though so I'll let you know all about that soon.

Have you been up to anything Christmassy lately? Hope you have a lovely weekend!




FRIYAY #2 | Minimal Themed Christmas Decor

minimal theme christmas decorations
minimal theme christmas decorations
minimal theme christmas decorations
minimal theme christmas decorations
minimal theme christmas decorations
minimal theme christmas decorations

Hello! I don't know about you but I'm well into the festive spirit...present buying (for others, I'm buying myself stuff no problem) still needs to get a move on but the tree is up, Elf is on and the chocolates have already been eaten. I also like to add a couple of bits to my bedroom because it all just makes me so happy!

As much as I love our big tree downstairs full of random (mainly animal decorations snuck on there by someone...*ahem*) that kind of look wouldn't be practical in my room because I don't have the space! Also, as it's white and quite minimal it'd look a bit random and out of place. I loved  with a real mini tree from Marks & Spencer but this year I've fallen totally in love with Nordic styley decorations like those pictured above...grey, white and sometimes splashes of red just look so good together! So here's what I've got this year:

minimal theme christmas decorations
minimal theme christmas decorations


I dug out last year's crocheted snowflake garland that I bought in Wilkos (get similar ) and I also picked up this really pretty tree with LED lights in for £20 (although it's more expensive online for some reason so get looking in stores if you want one!) Getting a decent photo was hard but in real life it's just so pretty and cosy. I'm thinking of adding little grey ribbons to it but we shall see!

What do you think of minimal Christmas decor? Do you decorate your room too? Also, I've just spied Freddydog in this post, can you see him? 

See other Christmas posts

Check out my Etsy Shop's Christmas range 








LIFESTYLE | My Christmas To-Do List

Charity Christmas Cards Cystic Fibrosis
available from my (some of the proceeds will be going to the )

I haven't done a for a couple of months now seeing as health problems kept getting in the way of me being able to make plans and actually stick to them! But seeing as it's Christmas and all (yes, December = Christmas for me and I'm not sorry because it's NOT too early ;) ) there are definitely a few things I want to do this festive season:


  •  Watch 'It's A Wonderful Life': I've seen many Christmas films but actually haven't gotten round to watching this classic yet so this shall be the year if I can get my hands on it! 
  • Have an advent calendar: I haven't had one for years and years so this time I'm getting one because chocolate for breakfast...yeaaaah boi! Not that I don't do that anyway, just this time it's actually legit to do so.
  • Go to the : This is something I do every year with my family, I never really bother with  but this one for me is a must because it's just tradition!
  • Attempt some handmade gifts: I've done this before and they went down well so I'd like to give it a go myself! Unless people were just being kind and my gifts were actually pretty pants haha. I'd also like to buy handmade, having  and  has made me more aware of the importance of supporting small businesses. 
  • Attend at least one Christmas craft fair: Leading on from the above point I'd like to attend some fairs to see if I can support local sellers too. I'd also like to check them out just to see what they're like, unfortunately this year my plans to have a stall of my own had to be cancelled because I was ill and then in hospital so I lost about a month of preparation. So this year I'm just concentrating on online and word of mouth orders but it's definitely an exciting goal to aim towards for next year!
  • Get my baking hat on: I think that food and drink is always a nice gift to give (or is that just my greedy self?) It's especially nice if someone has taken the time to make you something themselves so I'd like to get baking some Christmas cookies.
  • Try mulled wine: Following on from the food and drink theme I'd like to try this! I've also heard good things about mulled cider...any recommendations? 
  • Go to Covent Garden: Because I've never actually been at Christmas and considering it's just a short train journey from my house this should be an easy one to do! From what I've seen in pics the decorations look dreamy.
  • See real reindeer: There's a place not far from my home that has real reindeer there and being the animal nut that I am I MUST SEE THEM AND MAKE THEM BE MY FRIEND. Ahem.

So that's it for now, I'm sure there'll be more I'll wanna add to my list though! What are your plans for the festive season? Or are you a bit of a Grinch? ;)

LIFESTYLE | Christmas Gift Guide For Him


Hey! So it's definitely time to get cracking with my Christmas shopping, every year I leave it too late and get in a panic so this year I want to be a lot more relaxed! To help me get started I've been browsing online and have come across a couple of things I think would be cool for anyone, but seeing as men are notoriously tricky to buy for I think these would be good buys for guys.

:  I love the  that this book is based on and the book is just as hilarious. If you're a Brit you'll definitely relate, it makes for a funny, light hearted read.

 I could literally browse for hours so to have it in book form would be especially nice. If you haven't heard of it (although I'm sure you have!) it's basically snapshots of people in New York and quotes/short stories told by them. It's just really interesting and often very moving, with some funny moments in there too.

It's always nice to buy from independent UK designers and these tees are designed and printed in London, as well as being sweat shop free! The Black Skull Tee is my personal favourite but you can check out more designs As it's Black Friday they're offering a whopping 35% discount if you use the code blackfriday35! For future offers and updates you can follow on , and

 I own a couple of cashmere pieces from Uniqlo and the quality is really rather good, especially considering the lower price point. I think if you're going to buy someone a scarf as a gift it should be a little bit special and there's nothing more snug than cashmere!

For those who love football and fashion, sorted!

As I said, these gifts are mainly pretty unisex but I hope that's given you some ideas! I know I've included a lot of books but I really think they're a good thing to give as it's not often people buy them for themselves, especially the type I've featured here. I just want to say as well if you're doing your Christmas shopping online (or indeed any Black Friday shopping!) please, please, please make sure you're signed up to . It's super quick and easy to do and helps to raise money for the charity of your choice without any added extra cost to you...amazing right? If you're stuck for a cause I must say is a brilliant one ;)

(Talking of The CF Trust, my charity Christmas cards are still available but have been selling out fast! Until this Sunday there's 30% off all stock if you use the code 'blackfriday1'!)

LIFESTYLE | IT'S CHRISTMAAAAAAAS!

I'm gonna miss this little tree when Christmas is over! 

 I swear next year I'm just dumping everything in gift bags, wrapping is the worst chore! Although I'm happy I managed to get this done without spending too much and I think it looks kinda cute. Brown paper costs nothing and this year I waited til last minute to get all the ribbon and things, I usually rush to get it as soon as December hits and it costs a fortune. But it all goes half price just before the big day so I got them all cheaply, CLEVER ME!
I don't know what to wear tomorrow, Christmas Day for me isn't really a time to dress up...if anything it's an excuse to slob out in my comfiest jimjams (as if I needed an excuse!) But I'll definitely have the Crimbo socks on, these were a present from my friend and they're perfect! Christmas doggies, what could be better?

Finally here is my actual Christmas doggy, he's feeling better now I think. It's hard to leave presents under the tree because he thinks they're all for him but he'll get his own tomorrow morning...it's a bit of a liberty really because he never bloody buys me anything! Today is actually a month til his birthday, he'll get more presents then. And presents in April to mark the day we got him. And presents in between, every week, just because. Everyday is Christmas for this dog!

Well Merry Christmas from me and Freddy! Hope you have lovely days, whether you celebrate it or not you'll probably have a day off work which is always good!  (If not, er, sorry. Poor you.) 

Niamh Nelson x

LIFESTYLE | Gifts For Her Under £15

Maybe I'm a little late jumping on the Christmas Gift Guide bandwagon but being stuck ill indoors has meant I haven't been able to go out shopping and I'm panicking a little that I'm gonna end up having to do a Joey and Chandler! So I've been looking on t'interwebs to get some ideas, unfortunately this year I'm on a bit of a budget (booo, budgets!) so I've had to find gifts that aren't too pricey. However, cheap doesn't mean crap, there's some cute things about! I thought I'd do my gift guide for 'her' (that's kinda rude, 'her.' I mean for the ladies) first because it's the most fun! I'll try and put together one for the boys and the kids too, I've decided almost a week too late to do Blogmas so we'll see how that goes!

Under £5

Wilko Star Lantern Candle Holder - £3 | Dunelm Heart Trinket Box - £4.99 |  Dunelm Pom Pom Cushion - £3.99 | Wilko Candle in Bark Covered Glass Holder - £2 | Wilko Decorative Glass Jar - £5


For the under a fiver category I've decided to stick with homeware because to be honest I think if you're gonna get someone make up it's generally something that they buy for themselves often, the majority of it probably being drugstore products so I think it's nicer to get something a bit high end beauty wise because they're less likely to treat themselves to that meaning it'll be a bit more special. Plus there are some surprisingly lovely things in Dunelm and Wilko (of all places! Their wrapping paper and accessories are definitely worth checking out too.) These would make cute Secret Santa gifts but I've seen most of these in store and they're actually the same quality as similar stuff that's at least double the price in other shops. If you have a bit of extra cash to spend (and if you wanna!) you could add stuff with them, for example fill the jar with some pamper goodies, sweets or homemade biscuits. By the way, I know the pom pom cushion is a bit out there but I think it's super funky, if it fit into my room decor I'd snap that right up! Everything I've picked out is to my taste but they have such a huge variety of stuff I'm sure you'll be able to find other things perfect for the person you're buying for.

Under £10




Paperchase Skull Notebook - £9 | & Other Stories Fig Fiction Body Scrub - £7 | Paperchase Bambi Hot Water Bottle - £8 | H&M Tartan Scarf - £7.99 | Oliver Bonas Alphabet Mug - £10

I'm lucky because I work so close to the & Other Stories store on Regent St so I'll be popping in there to make a few purchases in the beauty section, I'll make sure to buy a few body scrubs in particular because they really are something else. Not only do the products work well the scents are beautiful and I love the sleek, expensive looking packaging. I know that the people I'm buying for haven't tried anything from the brand before so it'll be a bit different to the usual bodycare gift sets that people usually receive. A notebook because we all love them, Paperchase obvs has the cutest ones! A hot water bottle because despite them being a bit grannyish I think secretly there's nothing better than snuggling up in bed with one on a cold night (apart from maybe a snuggle with Ryan Gosling...a girl can dream!) A tartan scarf because I don't think you can go wrong with such a classic and a personalised mug because I think that personalised things look cool and they add a bit of thought to the gift.

Under £15


Alphabet Bags Canvas Pouch - £15 | Joy Love Bird Frame - £15 | H&M Pyjamas - £14.99 | Oliver Bonas Elephant Earrings - £12 | Meringue Girls Cookbook - £15

I love these little pouches, they come in loads of designs and I just think they're really sweet. A photo frame is always best with a photo included, makes it more personal and thoughtful. We all love Primark jimjams but sometimes it's nice to go a wee bit posher, not that H&M is posh but these pjs are so chic and look more expensive than they are. One thing Oliver Bonas does well is pretty, dainty jewellery, often at bargain prices and I can vouch for the quality because I've owned many beautiful, unique (and often animal themed, you know me) pieces that have lasted for years and are still going strong. Finally, The Meringue Girls Cookbook for the lady that likes to cook so you can go round later and eat the goodies she makes haha. 

So that's round one of my gift guide, hope you like! One thing I'd say is don't stress if you think it doesn't look enough, I often do that and end up spending more money than I have because I think my gift looks too small. I don't know about you but I've never received a present and thought 'Is that it?' so I highly doubt that many other people do (and the ones that do think like that don't deserve a present anyway!) I know I'd rather get one lovely thing instead of too much tat. As for buying for friends, make sure you all agree on a budget because no one wants to feel bad because someone gave them a more expensive gift, right? Also, me and my friends often go in together on gifts for each other, especially when budgets are tight. For example, me and my best mate have put our money together to get our other best friend some Benefit make up which is something neither of us could really afford on our own. I think it's a nice idea because that way you get to give something a bit more special and something that the person will appreciate rather than a load of cheaper things.

Hope this has been somewhat helpful, or at least fun to read (I personally am loving reading all the gift guides!) Make sure you link me up to yours and I'll hopefully be back tomorrow or Sunday with one for the boys.


Niamh Nelson x
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