T’was The Night Before Christmas… (Blogmas Day 24)

Today I was planning on sharing my goals for 2017, and trust me, I have quite a few, but
then I remembered the quote ‘Work hard in silence. Let your success be your noise’; and that’s what I think I will do…e773eb9aea97e1b3cb1420859ea7a0fd

Yesterday my family, Gareth and I went to a cinema screening of ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ and it was the perfect outing to end this month of festive activities. There is something extra special about seeing it on a big screen and hearing the reactions from other families.

…And now here we are, 24 posts later and it’s the end of Blogmas and Christmas tomorrow. I can’t believe that I managed to post something festive every single day. December has flown by and I have had so much fun blogging and sharing my thoughts and experiences this month. Thank you to everyone who has read, liked and followed my posts. Although I write this blog mainly for myself, as I enjoy writing, I did have a goal to get one new follower each day of Blogmas,(so 24 in total) and I have achieved almost double that (YAY!).

I am all ready for tomorrow; therefore today will be spent enjoying food, family and friends before the big day. So I thought I’d leave you with a ‘Christmas Eve Checklist’, to make sure you’re all ready too!

Christmas Eve Checklist:

  • Presents bought
  • Presents wrapped
  • Presents under the tree
  • Cards delivered
  • Food bought
  • Some food prepped (although I have nothing to do with this in my house!)
  • Drinks ready
  • House cleaned
  • House decorated
  • Batteries and cameras at the ready
  • Family around
  • Smiles and Laughter
  • Lot’s of relaxing

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas. I hope Santa brings you what you asked for and you fill up on delicious food, but most of all I hope that you enjoy the special time with the people you love.

(Be sure to check out all the posts you may have missed this month!)

…and that’s it – the final post of Blogmas 2016 (I actually did it!)

Happy Christmas!

 

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Dear 2016… (Blogmas Day 23)

Dear 2016,

We started off okay; in fact we started off great. Improvements were being made and this was going to be a successful year of big changes and then you threw in a few too many challenges. You made me feel a bit lost,thank you for all the things that you gave me, nevertheless I’d like to say goodbye.

This isn’t where I thought I’d be ending 2016, I don’t quite know exactly what I imagined, but it definitely wasn’t this. You raised my hopes with all those great opportunities you so generously gave to me, however you seemed to also enjoy pushing all those opportunities further and further away from me as you threw in unexpected hurdles, the biggest one being the one I could have done without – anxiety.

Yes you’ve left me with beautiful memories, but you’ve also left me with a lot of confusion. I think you tried to challenge me a few too many times and it has made me exhausted and unfocused. 2016, you haven’t been very balanced and there were times where it got too much for me, but maybe that’s what you wanted to show me… to show me that I am still okay after all of those things?

Your direction hasn’t been at all clear. I always thought I liked surprises. That’s until you introduced me to ‘bad’ surprises. But at least I’ll be more prepared for whatever 2017 hands me.

2016, you taught me that there are times to stop and step back before it gets too much. However, there are times to push through and persevere. There are also times I need to be really brave and do things that maybe I don’t want to do, but I know, deep down, I should.

Thank you for testing me and thank you for making me learn, however could you tell 2017 to go about it an easier route please?

You introduced a lot of new faces into my life. Some of them are still here, some of them pop up now and again, and some of them I never want to see again. Thanks for all of them, the bad and the good, because they’ve all taught me a great deal this year; and although you’ve been a difficult year, my biggest thanks is for letting me keep my favourite people.

Don’t think I am ungrateful because honestly i’m not; I am so lucky to have all the things I do. I know now that the mistakes were lessons; however, 2016 you can keep all the tears, arguments, doubt, confusion and exhaustion and I’ll just be taking the smiles, laughter, positivity and useful lessons with me into 2017.

For now 2016, let’s make the most of you before you go and fill the time with loved ones and laughter.

Goodbye 2016!

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language 
And next year’s words await another voice.” 
― T.S Elliot

 

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We Built A Gingerbread House (Kinda!) (Blogmas Day 22)

Yesterday, Gareth and I spent an afternoon attempting the festive activity of building and decorating a gingerbread house. I obviously can’t eat it due to my food intolerances (and to be honest I don’t think anyone will end up eating it), but it was hilarious to make!

We put on the festive tunes and began; it turns out that it’s actually a lot more difficult than it looks, so the fact we managed to get it to even hold together amazes me. I won’t tell you what to do because we made so many errors that it would probably be easier to explain what NOT to do. But, hey… we managed to assemble it and decorate it (the gold icing spray even made an appearance) – it could have ended up a lot worse.

 If you do choose to build a gingerbread house with a friend, be prepared to set aside a good amount of time, make a mess, get frustrated, giggle a lot, wish you were Mary Berry, get confused, and ultimately  finish feeling like you need a lie down after completing a massive challenge.      

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This is what it looked like on the box…
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This is what ours looked like…

I am so glad that I’ve finally made a gingerbread house (well, put together at least) – childhood dream fulfilled. Enhanced by the scent coming from my Dad making ‘mulled wine’ as I write this, today has felt like a very festive day.

 

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Local Lights (Blogmas Day 21)

It doesn’t feel like Christmas if I don’t go to a local village near us called ‘Angarrack’, with my family and Gareth to see some Christmas lights. The lights get better every year and I particularly enjoy the ’12 Days of Christmas’ theme – it’s always fun to look out for each different number. Wrapping up warm, walking around the village with my family sipping at their mulled wine, whilst other families pass us by with the same festive spirit; it is a Christmas tradition that I cannot go without.

This is just one of the many ‘little things’ that make me content in December, and I believe that no matter how old you get, if something simple like this cheers you up, you should keep doing it. Last night we ticked it off the Christmas ‘to do’ list, but I have a feeling that there will be another visit before the 25th arrives…

*Cue terrible quality photos*

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Going on adventures to look at local lights is one of my top ways to feel festive. Have you seen yours yet?

Happy Blogmas Day 21…

 

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A Little LUSH December (Blogmas Day 19)

As a girl who loves my natural skin and beauty products, I am of course a massive fan of Lush (who isn’t?) and I’ve had some luxurious baths this December trying out a few of their Christmas products. I’ve decided to share my thoughts with you, as they would make thoughtful presents or alternatively, they’re a perfect treat for a cosy night in. Although I definitely feel like their prices have gone up (is it just me?), I’m sure by the end of December I’ll have tried some more of their Christmas range.

 

STAR DUST

What Lush say:

 ‘Follow yonder twinkling, shimmering star all the way to the bathroom. The earthy spice of rosewood harmonises with the sweetness of vanilla absolute and bergamot oil for rejuvenating celestial waters. If you need a little post-party recovering this Christmas, just look skyward. Note: wise men not included.’

I chose this bath bomb for its fresh vanilla scent and simplicity. It fizzed quite quickly and made my bath a gorgeous icy blue, with trails of white on the surface. The blue inside was a lovely surprise as were the small dissolving confetti stars. I do wish this bath bomb had more stars and mine seemed to go straight to the bottom of the bath. But regardless, I thoroughly enjoyed the gentleness of this bath bomb. The fragrance filled the bathroom, but was not overwhelming and it left my skin feeling soft and cleansed. I felt incredibly refreshed after using it (probably the sea salt in it!). At  £2.95 this is perfect for someone who wants something fresh and gentle.

 

PEEPING SANTA

What Lush say:

‘Santa may use his dairy-free chocolate eyes to see who’s been naughty or nice come Christmas, but, at this time of year, he also looks out for the perfect batch of hand-churned shea butter. Nipping over to Ghana, he visits the Ojoba women’s cooperative, who crack and churn the shea pods into a rich, chocolatey butter. Blended with Fair Trade, organic cocoa butter, this indulgent combination is sandwiched between fragrant bergamot and geranium oils. Crumble under running water for sack loads of fruity bubbles’.

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I adore Lush Bubble bars for so many reasons; firstly because you can break them up and get multiple uses from one bar and secondly because of the incredible amount of bubbles they create. I used about half of this bar for one bath (but I probably could’ve used a quarter). It made my bath a festive orangey red, and created mountains of bubbles. The sweet scent was relaxing and my bath was made silky smooth. At £3.95, I believe this is good value for money due to the amount of uses  you can get from it . Out of the three products, this definitely felt the most festive – a completely Christmassy bubble bar.

 

BUTTER BEAR

What Lush Say:

‘Father Christmas gets softening, Fair Trade cocoa butter from the Colombian Peace Community of San José de Apartadó especially for his gentle polar pal. Pop him into the water to infuse your bath with a warm and creamy perfume and dreamy softness for sublime skin. This comforting bear is also filled with fragrant cocoa powder and calming ylang ylang to melt hearts young and old.’

This is one of the cheaper bath bombs, just £1.95, and I am sure it is a bit overlooked… It was just too adorable for me to leave behind and I loved using it! It was basically like a bath oil and a bath bomb together – two for the price of one! The oil does mean you need to wash your hair separately though, be warned! Out of the three products, this was definitely the most relaxing. The cocoa butter essentially put me in bath heaven, as I could relax to the scent of chocolate. Sometimes simple is the best.

 

I’ve asked Santa for some Lush products, but I’m sure if I get anywhere near a Lush shop before Christmas I’ll be leaving with something. What are your favourite products this December?

 

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