Friday, 5 December 2014

Blogmas Day 5: The Christmas Tag

So I was tagged by the lovely Ana Celia Wanderley from Oh My Louboutin  to do the Christmas tag, in which I answer a variety of questions about Christmas. I would love to hear your answers to these questions too. Just leave them in the comments below ( can you tell I went a bit crazy on PicMonkey?) 

What is your favourite Christmas movie?
It would have to be the Nightmare Before Christmas for me. Christmas and Halloween are my two favourite holidays, and this film encapsulates them both. I love anything by Tim Burton, and Oogie Boogie's song weirdly gets me in the holiday mood. 

Do you open your Christmas presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
Definitely Christmas morning. I've never met anyone who opens them on Christmas Eve. Maybe one if you can't bear the wait. Every other year my gradparents come round in the morning to give us their presents, and have breakfast with us, and on those years we can't open our presents until they've arrived and we've all eaten breakfast, so me and my brother are well trained in patience and restraint. When we were younger we couldn't bare it, but we've had practice now. 

Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
We always play games after Christmas dinner, and lat year we played the game where we all have the name of someone stuck to our foreheads and we have to guess who it is. Grandad had Tom Hanks. We're all shouting 'I got shot in the buttocks' (with accent obviously) at him, as well as multiple other Forest Gump quotes. He never got it, and we must have looked like absolute loons. 

Favourite festive food?
Leftover turkey and stuffing sandwiches with Branston pickle. Don't get me wrong I love the main Christmas meal, but there's something about leftover food that makes it taste amazing. My Aunty Annie has also introduced me to brussel sprout sandwiches which have to me made with real butter, on warm granary bread and sprinkled with black pepper. Sounds grim, but I tried it last year and it's lush.  

Favourite Christmas gift?
The one I remember most was when I got my first laptop. Mum had individually wrapped the laptop case, and the internet security software and made me open that first. I had no idea what was going on and was trying to look grateful for these gifts that I couldn't do anything with. Then Mum pulled out a big present from the very back of the tree, and low and behold it was a laptop. 

Favourite Christmas scent?
Nutmeg and cinnamon. Whenever I smell those two I'm always reminded of Christmas. I've been looking for ages for the perfect candle the smells just like it, but so far I've had no luck. 

Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?
Obviously when I was little we used to put the mince pie and carrot in the living room before bed. I find it quite sad that we don't do that anymore even if we've stopped believing *sniffs* just for the sake of tradition. 

What tops your tree?
It used to be a fairy, but a few years ago one of my Mum's friends made handmade jewellery, and she also made Christmas decorations out of copper and bronze wire and beads, so we have a cute, star that sits on top now. Our tree is very colour coordinated, so all the decorations are copper, bronze and gold too. 

As a kid, what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you asked for but never received?
I don't remember asking for anything crazy in particular, but I guess that craziness came in the form of me circling practically every toy in the Argos book. 

What's the best part about Christmas for you?
I think the relaxation. The lead up to Christmas is so hectic and quite stressful, and I'm sure everyone is working their butts off for it too, so it's nice when Christmas comes for everything to just stop. For you and your loved ones to be in the same room, slobbing out over tubs of chocolates and leftover turkey, watching movie after movie after movie. 

If you would like to be tagged, just say in the comments below with a link to your blog, and I'll add you below. 

I tag Yaya Duran from My Dreamality


Monday, 29 September 2014

Belated Birthday Boast - Gift Ideas.

'Is she really writing a post boasting about what she got for her birthday?' I hear you ask. Well, kinda. 

As you can tell from the name of this post, it's been quite a while since my birthday, however I have friends and family up and down the country, and didn't want to leave any presents out of this post because in all honesty, they're amazing present givers. 

The aim of this post isn't really to boast about how awesome my birthday was (even though it was AWESOME), it's actually to inspire you for any gift giving you may have to do soon. As much as I hate how early Xmas is being shoved down our throats. it's not a bad idea to get thinking about unique and original gift ideas for your loved ones. Failing that you may have some birthdays coming up, or may just want to spontaneously surprise someone close with a gift. 

There's nothing better than gifts that have an element of sentiment and personality behind them, and that show that person really knows what you love and who you are. 

My lovely boyfriend took me shopping in Cambridge or my birthday and let me pick out an outfit of my choice. The moment I saw this playsuit I had to have it. Who could possible resist these colours? So summery and soooooo comfortable to wear. 

I think everyone that knows me is now fully aware of my Pug/ French Bulldog obsession, even my grandparents. I have many squishy nosed pup paraphernalia scattered throughout my room, but this cushion is my fave. SO SQUIDGY!!

Just like my pup obsession, everyone knows how much I love baking. Something like this stamp makes a cute little addition to any avid baker's baking kit. My Aunty Annie bought me a huge bundle of goodies that are all featured here, and this is the first of many. Stay tuned for this lil stamp's debut appearance in one of my baking posts.
 (I couldn;t find this particular stamp, but have linked to one very similar.) 

As a blogger and a freelance fashion writer there's always so much stuff I need to write down. Post-its just don't cut it as far as I'm concerned. I'm also a HUGE stationary horder. If I won the lottery I would buy all of Paperchase. And Staples. Seriously. So for me, there's no such thing as too many notepads. This is a really cute addition to my collection, and if you know anyone who's a bit of a stationary freak like me, you can never go wrong with something nice to write in. 

Any baker fanatic will agree that once you start baking, fancy aprons become your collectors item. All colours, shapes, and patterns; the more the merrier. Cath Kidston have some really kitsch designs at the moment, especially for home and kitchenware. This is the kind of kit you want on display for everyone to see. It's so pretty I'm scared to get it dirty. 

6. Marks and Spencers Caramel Coulis Truffles
I couldn't find these online, but you know that when it comes to M&S and sweet treats, you're in safe hands. The box itself is very pretty, and the chocolates are to die for. These would make for a lovely little present, and with M&S there's so much variety. 

7. The Fudge Tree Co Chocolates
I am a sucker for old school vintage sweets, and they are becoming so popular recently. There's nothing more fun than a huge jar of retro sweets that remind you of your childhood. These giant white chocolate snowies are the big brothers of my favourite sweets when I was a kid, and I get a wave of nostalgia every time I eat them. 

8. Nikon Camera Equipment
Sometimes the best presents are things you really need - something practical.  The boyfriend earned himself some major BF points when he bought me these, mainly because now I have them, I don't know what I'd do without them. The first is a Macro Fisheye Lens, the second is a spare battery, and the third is a wireless DSLR remote. For blogging and anyone into photography, these are lifesavers. 

Since starting this blog I've only really just started taking care of my nails. I've bitten them for as long as I can remember, but since exploring the world of beauty and building up my nail varnish collection, I've realised it's well worth looking after my nails. Cute nail files in a variety of designs will appeal to any beauty fanatic, or even someone who just takes pride in having a well manicured set of talons. They're a really reasonable yet quirky addition to any gift. 

I love it when I receive gifts that are used to conceal other gifts. It appeals to the excited child in me. My lovely friend Gabbie used this gorgeous hippie style purse to hide a necklace and miniature bottle of hand cleanser (which smells like chewits: AMAZING).  I honestly never have enough of accessories like these. They make for really handy make-up bags or somewhere to store all your hair clips and hair bands. When I'm not using it, it looks really pretty just left out on my shelf as decoration. I've added a link to similar bags on Etsy.

Cosmetics of any sort always make for a brilliant present, but travel miniatures are a god send. I'm always travelling between my home here in Bedford, London and Essex where my boyfriend lives. I'd always much rather prioritize room in my suitcase for clothes than cosmetics, but if they're cute and miniature then they're definitely coming along, and I don't feel like I've compromised on my attempt at travelling light. Based in Brighton, Pecksniffs is a great cosmetic brand to check out simply for the fact you'll be supporting a British brand, which I for one think is very important. 

This is the epitome of a gift full of personality and character. Thanks to the likes of Etsy and other craft websites, you can get a quote on practically anything. It's so simple, but has so much impact when you open it to find a quote that sums up who you are as a person. Not only am I a huge literature manic, but writing and editing is what I spend most of my days doing, so I can't think of a more appropriate quote. I've added a link to this particular necklace, but you can find a variety of quote necklaces on Etsy here

When it comes to clothes and jewellery, finding something one-of-a-kind and unique is so hard these days, and the only way to do it is to go down the antique / vintage road. An antique piece of jewellery makes for such a lovely present, and it doesn't have to cost you the earth either. I love owning things that I know have their own piece of history and sentiment attached to them, as well as adding my own. Whilst in Cambridge the boyfriend and I stumbled across this tiny shop on the King's Parade. The only way to describe it is an 'Aladdin's Cove.' Jam packed with bohemian jewels from all over Asia, as well as textiles and home furnishings, I was spoilt for choice. You can go antique jewellery hunting no matter where you live. Look out for auction houses or antique showrooms. Flea markets and boot sales also host some hidden gems. 

I won't go into too much detail because I want to do a separate post on these later, but a little selection of nail varnishes always go down well as a present. Topshop have some stunning new Autumn/Winter shades at the moment too. 

Not only is this book a bit of a giggle, but it appeals to the literary and mixologists alike. The literary twists on cocktail names make for entertaining reading alone, even if you have no intention of making a cocktail. This is one of those really quirky presents that you want to tell everyone about. If you love entertaining and having dinner parties, or even just a couple of girls over to watch Xfactor, why not replace the wine with a cheeky cocktail inspired by your favourite book. 

You can never go wrong with chocolate as a gift, but why not get inventive. Montezuma are another British based brand, with flagship stores in Brighton and Spitalfields market. Husband and Wife chocolatiers Helen and Simon come up with some pretty unique flavours, like this Lime and Sea Salt bar, or just behind it, White Chocolate, Lemon and Sour Cherry. 

If you know anyone with a creative flair, get them this. My darling friend Becca has saved me from creative chaos in getting me this. It's basically like Wreck This Journal, but with more productive and proactive results. It encourages you to organise your creativity, but also develop it. From collages and finance spread sheets to listing 4 reasons why you're awesome, this is the best motivational tool you can own. 

Vouchers are a pretty good present, but the best ones are those that have variety, so that whoever you get them for has a choice as to what they spend them on. Love2Shop vouchers are a perfect example of this, or these Leisure Vouchers. These can be spent on anything from theme parks to restaurants. So many places take these, so it's a perfect excuse to organise a day out for yourself and whoever the vouchers are for. Even better, if you know someone who's been bogged down with work or stress, these would make a lovely pressie.