In case you didn’t know it’s Christmas Eve today and Christmas TOMORROW!
With all the shopping and wrapping done, cards delivered there is only one last thing that I have to do and that is to stick on my new pyjamas, put on a Christmas film and pour a large glass of champagne before I snuggle down. This year has been quite the roller coaster for both myself and the blog, even though I have taken a lot more photos this year than many before I have actually learnt to put the camera downs at times and actually step back, look up and really enjoy life.
Next year I have plans for many things but for once I think that I am going to keep them to myself and just get stuck in at actually making them happen. This is where Blog A Book Etc signs off for now and from me and mine to you and yours I wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year with lots of love of course.
Christmas morning means one thing in our household – STOCKINGS! Well, that and Champagne so maybe two things then. From a small something special to a raging joke of a present the stocking present is the perfect thing for those little bits that you really don’t want to put under the tree. This is by no means saying that you shouldn’t put these things under the tree but you know when there is a tradition in your house it seems to just carry on and it really is lovely when it does. With a glass of champagne in hand and the snowman film on in the background we chat about everything and anything and open up our presents before we have breakfast. When we buy these presents it a bit like a big secret Santa sack as we keep the gifts to a budget of under £15. With that in mind I have put together a little collection of things that have made it into the sacks in the past and may even continue to make an appearance.
Even though these choices have been used in the morning sacks I have also included some of them in personalised gift sets that I have made for individual people depending on their personal likes. The one thing that I like to remember when I am buying presents is that it is never about the cost of it but if the person will like it and actually find it helpful, useful or just really appreciates it.
During the festive period apart from the dread of going out and doing your Christmas shopping at the last minute whilst wrangling your way through some of the biggest crowds you will ever see take a step back and think about FOOD. Oliver Twist and his buddies sang it best when they rang out the well known classic . . .
Man oh man I LOVE that film and for some reason even though it’s not your typical Christmas film this is one that makes it into my top pics which you will be seeing very soon. So, back to food! From cheese of all shapes and sizes to your puffed pastry mince pies I am a sucker for food let alone ‘festive’ food. During the winter it is not unusual to eat more and try your best to hibernate away from the rest of the world. With that in mind my question is always – why not do it with good if not GREAT food and there really is no shortage of such things just before Christmas.
Some are more inclined to the sweet side of the road and some like myself go through phases of craving both savoury and sweet. When it comes to my love for cheese that is a completely different thing altogether, it is nice to have a mixture of both sweet and savoury and there is nothing better than a cracker, oatcake and a nice big slathering of chutney. When you start to add fruits and nuts to the mix it really does start to get exciting. Personally my favourite cheeses are the ones that are pictured above and really do in moderation go very well together. Roquefort is a favourite of both myself and my dad so that really didn’t last long after taking the picture but the rest are still there just getting better with age.
Where do I even begin with treats like gingerbread men, mince pies and tea cakes. YUM! Well I suppose that’s a good place to start whether they are hard as nails (gingerbread of course!) or soft and gooey on the inside things are all good over here as they are all welcome. We started on the mince pies just before the beginning of December just to get into the Christmas spirit of course!!!
It’s that time of year where you skin needs just that bit more attention than you usually give it. Despite it not being bitterly cold – I would like to say yet but i’m not a weather girl – the constant changes in temperature will have an effect on your skin especially your face due to the constant exposure. Whether you are particular sensitive or not your skin really does need that little extra TLC.
With sensitive skin that is prone to dry patches in the colder months I try to be a bit more strict with myself and my skin care routine so I can try with all my mite to keep the dry bits at bay. Neal’s Yard is one of the brands that features heavily in my routine and has done for quite some time now. From face scrub to eucalyptus salve Neal’s Yard really is one of my favourites and even A loves some of their products which is a big plus. One of the major plus points is that despite what some may say is pricey a very small amount goes a very long way and the products last for a very long time and most of their packaging is reusable. We are onto a winner guys – get involved!
Another brand that I am particularly fond of is L’Occitane – not only do their products smell amazing but they are one of the few that also do not irritate my skin. Many may think they have quite heavily scented products but the one particular collection that I go for is incredibly subtle and really does do the trick when it comes to moisture. I am a lover of oils and I really cannot help it so when you say almond oil for skin you have my FULL attention. For many years I have used almond oil on my hard to handle locks so for the skin I am a great advocate of its use. The company itself advocates traceability and all actions are guided by what they call a two-fold desire to preserve and pass on. The key ingredientsused in their products are listed for all to see and this is something that really is nice to see as it really is “what you see is what you get!”.
What are you favourite Winter Skincare Items?
Although this post is Sponsored all thoughts and opinions are my own.
As we get closer to Christmas I am starting to feeling a lot more cosy and really getting into the spirit of things, the traditional side of me is creeping out of the woodwork and nostalgia is not far behind. When I was younger putting up the tree was always a big deal in our house and it was up and decorated by the 1st December so we could enjoy it for the entirety of December. My dear mothers perspective was ‘why put up a tree for a couple of days to have to then take it down so soon after!’ and you know what she is totally right.
This year things have been a little bit hectic and even with best intentions our tree only went up a couple of days ago, with mum not being 100% and me despite being at work constantly actually being off sick for a bit it was down to me to get the tree up and sorted. Now with the tree Mum has always been a bit of a stickler about keeping her ‘traditional’ decorations and I have to say despite being exquisite in their own right they aren’t really my taste. So, with that in mind we had a little revamp and despite the change she LOVED it!
Inspiration for the revamp came from a friend of mine who has an uncanny obsession with baubles – now, when I say uncanny it is the nicest thing I have seen in a long time. In every nook and cranny of their flat there must be a bauble or five neatly stored in a box made just for that purpose and waiting for this time of year. Just think Easter Egg hunt turns Christmas Bauble Hunt! The fact that he keeps the place spotless makes it all the more magical that these little trinkets are hidden away just waiting to be released for all to see. I always think about taking a picture of their Christmas tree but always forget as we always getting chatting so next time I am round i’ll Instagram it!
After many hours of being googly eyed over their beautiful tree I made the decision that it was time to get my act together and start a collection of my own. So I wrapped up warm and dragged A out on a bauble mission with the first stop being John Lewis. Guys if you haven’t been into your local or travelled to a John Lewis during this festive period all I can say is DO IT and DO IT SOON – obviously they are just fabulous all year round but at Christmas there is something truly spectacular about their stores. To me Christmas baubles are something that can really give your tree a bit of your own personality and really make it shine so I tried to find some baubles that I felt the urge to smile at as soon as I saw them and you know what I was quite successful. My choice may not be your favourites but they sure did make me happy and still do as they are dangling on my tree with the lights nestled below and behind them.
What is your favourite Christmas bauble so far and where do you get yours from?