Saturday, 25 December 2021

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, guys!

I can't believe the big day is here. Where has the month gone? (Or the year for that matter)? It feels like it's all passed in a blink.

I've had such a busy few weeks preparing for Christmas- wrapping a gazillion presents, decking the halls, writing all these festive blog posts- so I'm looking forward to finally finding some time to relax and enjoy myself now that Christmas is finally here. 

I can't wait to spend the next few days enjoying the festivities with my family at home. It's going to be so lovely, especially as we only got one day together last year, thanks to Covid restrictions in the UK. I'm fully intending to make up for last year by spending today eating lots of delicious festive treats, spoiling my family and my dog with presents, watching Christmas movies in my PJs, sitting down to Christmas dinner with the family (and then falling in to a food coma in front of the TV), and maybe even playing a board game or two before crawling back in to bed to recover with some turkey sandwiches. I'm so rock 'n' roll, and I'm not even sorry! 

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas however you're spending it, and are able to celebrate with your friends and family. Eat, drink, and be merry- and have an extra slice of cake for me! You deserve it. 

If you aren't celebrating today, I hope you have a lovely day, too.

I'll be back to tell you all about Christmas 2021 soon, but right now I'm going to log off, and enjoy the holidays with my family.

Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year, everyone!


Thursday, 23 December 2021

Currently At Christmas

Happy Christmas Eve Eve!

I can't believe it's only two more sleeps 'til Christmas! Where has the month gone?

I don't know about you, but I've been so busy getting ready for Christmas, and enjoying all the usual festive activities, so I thought it would be a good time to sit down and have a catch up about what I've been getting up to lately. Well, it has been about a year since I last did one of these 'currently' posts!


When I've had a spare second to read between wrapping presents and hanging decorations, I've been enjoying some festive short stories. I'm currently reading A Merry Christmas & Other Christmas Stories by Louisa May Alcott for the first time, and it's one of the loveliest collections of Christmas stories I've ever read. If you love Little Women, I'd definitely recommend it. Once I finish it, I'll be moving on to the Puffin Book of Christmas Stories, which is also new to me this year.


The Christmas movies have been broken out, and I've been working my way through my favourites over the last couple of weeks. So far this Christmas, I've watched The Muppets Christmas Carol, Santa Claus the Movie, The Santa Clause, The Holiday, Love Actually, It's a Wonderful Life, Little Women (2019), Home Alone, Die Hard, A Gift Wrapped Christmas, and While You Were Sleeping.


I've been playing lots of Christmas tunes this month, including all the usual old favourites from Wham to The Pogues. And it wouldn't be Christmas without me breaking out Ronan's Winter Songs for the millionth time...


I finally finished stitching the Satsuma Street Christmas wall hanging I began two years ago, which I blogged about here, and I'm just started some small retro bauble designs from the same brand. I'd hoped to stitch throughout December, but I've only just made it down to Hobbycraft for more supplies to help me get started. 


When I've had a spare second to play, I've been enjoying the festivities in Animal Crossing New Horizons. I've been making my island look super festive by adding Christmas trees and decorations everywhere, along with a Christmas room, a Christmas market, tree farm, and an ice skating rink. I'm also living for all the cute festive outfits, and enjoying building snowmen in the snow. I love how AC allows you to immerse yourself in the seasons, and celebrate the holidays. It's so much fun. Do any of you guys play it?


This weekend, I finally finished wrapping all the presents I've got so far, after making it across to Hobbycraft for ribbons last week. I decided to go for pink gift wrap again this year, and chose the cutest puppy dog wrapping paper from Cath Kidston and gingerbread house paper from Emma Cooter Draws, then tied them with white or mint ribbon. (I may or may not have bought the dog print paper with my dog's Christmas presents in mind...) 


I spent a couple of evenings writing out my Christmas cards, and actually got them all written at the start of the month for a change. This year, I went with these pretty wreath cards from Paperchase. I love the little hidden robin in the wreath.


It's been slow-going this Christmas, but I've finally finished decorating my bedroom for Christmas a few days ago. I got a lovely fresh potted tree from Tesco's, and decorated it with colourful baubles and retro deer ornaments. It looks really scruffy now as it's dropped so many needles, but it was such a lovely tree when I first got it. I've got presents and bigger deer ornaments beneath it, plus more deer dotted around my bedroom, as well as festive tea light holders, light up ornaments, Christmas books, festive bedding, and more.

We also finally decorated the living room for Christmas yesterday. Everyone's been so busy and tired that it was the first chance we've had to put them up. We've never decorated so late before, but it actually felt more festive than usual since it's so close to Christmas. 

I haven't actually got photos of either tree yet, as it's been too dark and dreary for photos all month. Fingers crossed for some sunshine tomorrow so I can snap a few before all the presents are given out.


On the 2nd, my sister and I took our annual visit to the Appleton Christmas Barn. It's a little Christmas tree farm in Appleton, near Abingdon in Oxfordshire, with a barn converted in to a Christmas ornament shop, and a few reindeer to see. They had two new young reindeer this year, bringing their herd up to four, and the adorable little things were all curled up asleep in the straw. Why are reindeer so cute? After seeing the reindeer (which is completely free to do), we got out of the cold, and browsed the decorations. We were pleasantly surprised to find their Christmas shop had also grown since last Christmas, and is now about three times bigger. There were so many beautiful Christmas decorations to look at, and I could've bought the whole shop, but only bought two as I had a lot of Christmas presents left to buy. I got these two gorgeous frosted iridescent baubles, as they're similar to some old spherical favourites on our tree which I've had for about fifteen years. They don't look impressive in my photo, but when the fairy lights hit them, they glisten in so many different colours. They're really beautiful.


I've been doing my best to make my Insta grid look super festive, and have posted almost every day this month. I've done a daily reveal of what I've found in my OPI Celebration Collection Advent Calendar, posted brooches of the day, and also shared festive things I've been enjoying or getting up to.


Like everyone else, I've been buying so many presents for my family, friends, and dog lately. I've officially finished my Christmas shopping now, which is such a relief, although, I'll probably think of something I've forgotten. I also bought myself a pair of gingerbread man Christmas PJs from Simply Be on Black Friday, some retro reindeer decorations, and a couple of Christmas books to relax with.


My younger sister and I kicked off the festive season with a box of Christmas doughnuts from Doughnut Time that we went on halves on in the Black Friday sales. We split each doughnut so we could try all the flavours, and they were bloody delicious, especially the Biscoff filled Reindeer doughnut, Elvis Pretzel, and the apple cinnamon doughnut, Spice Up Your Life. 10/10 would recommend. Doughnut Time make the best doughnuts.


my dog, Rosie, up for Christmas in a Christmas headband when we decorated the living room for Christmas yesterday. She wasn't amused, but kept it on for a couple of minutes each time, while she sat looking like she was posing for an oil painting. She'll be less amused when I put a Christmas jumper on her on Christmas Day! Haha! 


Cadbury Chocolate Orange Mousse Snowmen. Have you tried them? They're so good!


How dark and dreary it's been lately. I feel like I've barely seen daylight all month. I can't wait for long summer evenings again.


a good night's sleep (or ten) to recover from the festivities. I'm shattered.


a lovely Christmas with my family, unruined by Covid restrictions. I will be pissed if Boris suddenly puts us on lockdown on the 27th (as rumoured), and says we can't socialise with our families between Christmas and New Year again. All I want is to eat, drink, and be merry with my family over the holidays, and be able to make some happy memories.


I had more hours in the day to get everything done.


forward to Christmas, and enjoying the festivities with my family. And also to Boxing Day when everything calms down again, and I can finally relax, and do nothing except eat cake in my PJs.

Well, that's my December so far.

What have you been getting up to this Christmas? Are you ready for Christmas yet?


Wednesday, 22 December 2021

Christmas Haul


I've bought a few new Christmas bits and bobs over the last few months, from Christmas decorations to wrapping paper, so I'm here with a Christmas haul post today to show you what I've been buying.

Please excuse the quality of some of the photos in today's post; I'm so unprepared this year, and we haven't had a decent day of daylight for photo-taking over the last few weeks. I had to take the missing photos yesterday in gloomy, grey light, and I don't have the editing skills to make photos taken in low-light look good. As we're running out of time, I'm having to make do, and will replace them with better photos after Christmas.

I don't know what it is about the Jellycat Amuseable soft toys, but I love them, and I find their little faces so amusing. When I was out shopping in Oxford a couple of months ago, I spotted the Amuseable Yule Log, and it was so ridiculously cute, I had to take one home with me. It's so random, but it makes me smile every time I look at it. I really want to add the Amuseable Christmas Pudding to my little collection next.

I love mid-century-style deer decorations, and have added a few to my collection again this year. I bought the little pink deer tree ornaments from Paperchase a couple of months ago, which were on 3 for 2 at the time, and then went back for the larger deer, when it was added a few weeks later. I love them! Six big retro deer ornaments, and ten deer tree ornaments isn't too many deer ornaments, right?

This Christmas, I also bought my Christmas cards from Paperchase, and picked out these pretty wreath cards. There's a little robin hiding behind a door in the centre of the wreath, and they're lovely. I bought a book of cute Christmas present stickers from them, too, but never managed to take a photo before I used most of them up.

I decided to go with pink wrapping paper again this Christmas, after enjoying my pink and mint theme last year. I found some gorgeous Emma Cooter Draws gingerbread-house-print wrap online at 1973, and picked up the sweetest Cath Kidston puppy print wrapping paper from Penny Black. They're both made from thick, great-quality paper, and everything looks so lovely wrapped in them.

Just after Christmas last year, I got myself the coolest Muppets Christmas Carol Christmas cards from Jenny Grene Illustration on Etsy. If you haven't seen my post already, I recently blogged a review of them here. They're the best Christmas cards ever!

Another item I bought after Christmas 2020 was this beautiful present sack from last year's Festive Party Animals Christmas collection. I've wanted a Cath Kidston present sack to put presents in for years, so I was really pleased to pick this one up cheaply in the Boxing Day sales. This design is obviously no longer available, but Cath Kidston has a new Festive Poem present sack this year which looks just as lovely- and it's currently on sale!

When I visited the Appleton Christmas Barn at the start of the month, I came away with these beautiful Gisela Graham iridescent frosted baubles. They don't look like much in my photos, but when the fairy lights hit them on the Christmas tree, they shimmer and shine in so many different colours. They're really beautiful. I've had some large spherical baubles just like them on my tree for over fifteen years, and they're some of my favourite Christmas decorations ever, so I'm happy to have found something similar in a new shape. 

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without some new festive books to enjoy, and this year, I added two new titles to my library. I bought A Merry Christmas & Other Christmas Stories by Louisa May Alcott, and The Puffin Book of Christmas Stories, which is filled with short stories from dozens of great authors from the past. They're both beautiful little hardbacks, and perfect for some festive reading. I haven't started the Puffin Book yet, but A Merry Christmas & Other Christmas Stories is one of the loveliest collections of Christmas stories I've ever read.

My Christmas jewellery collection grew a little bigger last month, when I added these beauties to my collection from Erstwilder's An Australian Christmas collection. I chose a beautiful kookaburra snowglobe brooch, and some koala and Christmas tree earrings, and have been wearing them to death so far this Christmas. I wrote a review of them here if you want to get a closer look.

This year, I've been counting down the days to Christmas with the OPI Celebration Collection Advent calendar, which I recently reviewed here. It's filled with gorgeous mini nail polishes, and I'm currently doing a daily reveal of what I find inside over on Instagram.

And last but not least, I also treated myself to a simple Cadbury Dairy Milk Advent calendar because I'm greedy. I like to get one every year as I often had one to count down to Christmas with when I was little, and the taste of the chocolate takes me right back to childhood Christmases now.

And those are some of the festive things that have come to live with me this year.

Have you bought any lovely festive things this Christmas?


Sunday, 19 December 2021

Sunday Favourites: Christmas Special #403

 I'm back with my third and final Sunday Favourites: Christmas Special post of the year.

This week, I've gathered lots of red and green Christmas inspiration for you guys because you can't go wrong with these classic colours at Christmas. Enjoy.

This red velvet Smith Island cake from Sprinkle Bakes looks so festive.

How cute are these DIY reindeer drink stirrers, shared on Lovely Indeed by A Kailo Chic Life?!

This mini wreath cross stitch kit from The Make Arcade would be a fun and easy little project to make while relaxing in front of the TV this Christmas. I'm tempted to pick one up to add to the collection.

These vintage snowman cookie pops from Sprinkle Bakes are ridiculously cute.

The Crafted Life have a helpful tutorial for dyeing DIY colourful bottle brush trees.

Need some Christmas present tags? These lovely retro Christmas sticker gift tags are available as a free printable from Persia Lou!

I love these DIY holiday sprinkle-me cupcake toppers from The House That Lars Built. Such a cute idea.

This triple cheese omelette bake from Sprinkle Bakes sounds delicious. I'm tempted to make it for breakfast on Christmas Day.

This Christmas cookie dessert board from A Pumpkin and a Princess would be lovely to recreate and put out for guests this Christmas.

I love these Christmas card designs by Mei Stoyva.

I'm currently working on these Christmas bauble cross stitches from Satsuma Street, but on white aida. The patterns are gorgeous, and so easy to follow. Would recommend if you're looking for a last minute Christmas craft to enjoy.

These festive black and white cookies by Sprinkle Bakes look like the perfect cookies to make for those of us who aren't skilled in the cookie decorating department. (That's me, alright).

If you are a whizz in the kitchen, however, these peppermint stripe mousse cakes, also from Sprinkle Bakes, look like an amazing Christmas treat.

Studio DIY's Santa Hat cupcakes are so cute.

I want to make my own holiday nesting dolls after seeing this charming DIY from The House That Lars Built.

The House That Lars Built also have a fun DIY for holiday friendship bracelets, which is such a unique, and lovely idea.

And last but not least, A Beautiful Mess show us how to make these easy chocolate Oreo truffles.

If you want more Christmas inspiration, you can find all of my previous Sunday Favourites posts here, and there's also heaps of Christmas images on my Christmas boards on Pinterest.

Thanks for reading!

Have you made or baked anything festive yet this Christmas?

Thursday, 16 December 2021

The Winter Tag

As I've ran out of photos for the other festive posts I have planned, and I haven't felt well enough to take any these last few days, I thought it would be fun to do another Christmas tag post to fill the void while I get myself organised.

Today, I'm giving The Winter Tag a go. If you'd like to know what my favourite holiday tradition is, if I love or hate snow, or where I prefer to spend the holidays, this is the day you'll find out.

1. What is your favourite holiday tradition?

I think it's probably sitting down to Christmas lunch with my family on Christmas Day. We only have a meal around the table together two or three times a year, so it always feels pretty special. The food is always delicious, and we always end up laughing about something random until someone almost chokes on a Brussels sprout. What's not to love?

2. What is your favourite winter scent?

I love the smell of turkey and sage and onion stuffing roasting in the oven on Christmas morning, and apple and cinnamon always smells amazing.

3. What is your favourite winter go-to fashion trend?

With so many Christmas presents to buy, I rarely have much money to spend on my wardrobe during the winter, so I usually just layer cardigans over dresses, and wear them with leggings and ankle boots. Then add cosy gloves and a scarf, if I'm cold. I don't think there's any trends involved! 

4. What is your all time favourite holiday movie?

It's a tie between Santa Claus the Movie and The Muppets Christmas Carol. I grew up watching them every year, and it wouldn't be Christmas without watching them both multiple times.

5. What is your favourite all-time holiday tune?

I don't think I've got one favourite Christmas song. As I've said before, there are so many Christmas songs I love, and consider favourites. Some of those include (but aren't limited to):

Last Christmas by Wham.

I Believe in Father Christmas by Greg Lake.

Step in to Christmas by Elton John.

A Spaceman Came Travelling by Chris de Burgh.

It's Only Christmas by Ronan Keating.

Underneath the Tree by Kelly Clarkson.

6. Do you prefer to travel or stay at home for the holidays?

I've always preferred to stay at home for Christmas. Celebrating anywhere else just wouldn't be the same. You can't beat your own traditions in your own home where you can relax and crawl in to your own bed at the end of the day. I would love to experience Christmas in New York one day, though.

7. What's your favourite winter activity?

Before chronic pain, it was probably going for walks in the snow, but now I can't really do that anymore, I'm going to say... doing Christmas cross stitching or curling up under a cosy blanket and reading for a few hours. 

8. Do you love or hate the snow?

I've always loved snow, and hope for it every winter. The deeper, the better. I guess I'm just a big kid at heart. 

9. What is one item on your wish list this year?

I'm not actually wishing for much at the moment. I found it really difficult to put together a wish list this year (post here) as I'm happy with what I have. I would love to get the Vendula London Flower Shop backpack, but it's been out of stock in the UK for a while, and I doubt I'll be lucky enough to ever get my hands on it. 

10. What is your favourite holiday treat?

I've never been a fan of traditional Christmas treats like Christmas cake and mince pies, but I love our Christmas dinner (especially the roast potatoes), and the desserts my family make. And you can't beat a few Cadbury Roses. Ever since I was little, we've always had a tin or tub in the house at Christmas time, and it wouldn't be Christmas without some.

And that's The Winter Tag.

I tag... anyone who wants to give this tag a go! If you decide to take part, make sure you send me a link to your post so I can read your answers!

What's your favourite Christmas tradition?

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