BLOGMAS DAY 16 | Grab Christmas by the Baubles, BLOGMAS, Christmas, Baubles, Decorations, John Lewis, Christmas Tree, XMas, Christmas 2016, XMas 2016, Blog A Book Etc, Fay

TIME TO GRAB CHRISTMAS BY THE BAUBLES!

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!

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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.

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What is your favourite Christmas bauble so far and where do you get yours from?

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BLOGMAS DAY 15 | Gadget Gifting, BlogMas, Christmas, Xmas, Matcha Latte, Latte Art, Latte, AIDA Shoreditch, AIDA, Shoreditch, London, East London, Blog A Book Etc, Fay

So, who’s done all of their Christmas shopping? No?! I’m not far off but there are a couple that I still need to get. With that in mind I have put together a list of gadgets as not only are they useful but for some reason the loved ones in my life seem to have become tech savvy over the past year. This is great news for keeping in contact but not such great news for my wallet. However, my belief is that if you are going to get a gadget get a good one. Of course everyone has a favourite brand when it comes to tech bits but if the product is a great one then why not mix it up a little. Let’s face it guys gadget gifting isn’t always the easiest thing to do now is it . . . well unless of course you are clued up on all the specs of the latest thingamejig that your loved one is dying to get their hands on! I got a new compact camera last year and I have to say it is pretty amazing but literally every day since I bought it I have noticed a million and one different ones that I think I need or actually want.

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First on my list is one of theĀ 4K Compact System Camera Panasonic have just launched with a range of features that not only includes amazing stabilisation in the lens and body to prevent that well known blur for those of us that do not have a steady hand (yep, thats me!) but is nice and compact so it can fit in most bags. I know that there are a lot of phone cameras out there these days that are truly amazing but there is something about having and holding a camera that I just cannot stop loving. On top of that you can capture some amazing videos on this thing and as we are living in the world of daily You Tube, Instagram stories and the like this particular camera will sort you right out. There is of course the updated version to my lovely little Samsung but as I said above people have preferences and Panasonic is my dear fathers. I believe the specs I got for his present this year were – “Compact that takes amazing pictures but isn’t one that will fall apart” so there you have it guys I am sucker when it comes to my parents – let’s see if he finds something else in the meantime.

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Even though this collection of gifts seems quite male orientated I am hoping that I am appealing to the ladies out there that love tech too?! I know that I would be ecstatic to get any of the items from that lovely collection especially the Amazon Echo! I’m pretty sure I could wait for some of the other stuff but I have had my eye on that for quite some time now. Just imagine you are cooking your dinner and your favourite song pops into your head, all you have to say is “Alexa, play {Enter song name here!}’ apparently you can even link it up to audiobooks and all sorts of other things. I know that this may seem terribly intrusive to some but I am often caught in a bind of doing one thing and thinking about so many others that it would be great to be able to actually do something else at the same time without stopping the other. Okay, so obviously I can multi-task because I’m a woman (put away your claws – it was a joke!) but it really would be quite nice to have a little extra help and Alexa may just be what I need. Have you got one?

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If I had to choose one present out of the collection for A it would have to be the Samsung Tablet as he doesn’t like taking photos or having his picture taken, doesn’t see the need for a fit-bit (which irks me!), listens to music in the car and cannot stand Apple products (this MORE THAN irks me!!). So with the thought of each to their own in mind the tablet is the best bet and it is something that he would actually like BUT (yes there is always a but!) I think I would get it in black to match his phone.

What’s on your gadget gifting list?!

*Although this post was sponsored by Panasonic all opinions are my own

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What does Christmas mean to you?

Over the years the meaning of Christmas has changed for me, not just because I have been busy ‘adulting’ but because the feeling of togetherness means a lot more to me these days than presents. As the years go by I am forever grateful that my parents are still with me and I am acutely aware that life is so cruel and can change at any moment. Recently I read a post over at The Lifb Issue called ‘How We Do Christmas’ and it really did warm my heart – Kirsten and her other half are just the cutest couple.

This year with regards to presents it has been a tough one as myself and A usually buy what we want and need there and then which leaves the list blank to short. With the above in mind we have decided to think of three things that we want/need and pick one from each list – coming up with the three is still in progress but nonetheless is the best idea we have had so far.

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The one thing that I am more than excited about is the fact that we will be spending Christmas Eve, Day and Boxing Day chilling together – this is a rarity as we are always so busy with work and life. I am going to try and Hygge it up to the max over the festive period so expect candles, blankets and all the cosy stuff you can think of on my Instagram.

On the work side of things as I work shift work (life of a nurse!) I get to pick whether I want to work Christmas or New Year’s and personally I would rather work New Years as I do not go out due to the overpriced and over hyped type of night it has become. I would much rather spend Christmas at home snuggled up watching Christmas movies, the queens speech and of course eating a hearty Christmas dinner pulling crackers with those that I love.

Much like many of you out there Christmas to me is a time for family and loved ones.

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BLOGMAS DAY 12 | ETSY Christmas Showroom with Bloom & Wild, Etsy x Bloom and Wild Christmas Showroom, Etsy Christmas Showroom, Christmas Showroom, Etsy Showroom, London, Christmas, Christmas 2016, Xmas, Xmas 2016, Flowers, Bloom, Homemade, Handmade, One of a Kind, Vintage, Craft, Blog A Book Etc, Fay

It’s BlogMas Day 12 peeps and today I have ETSY Christmas Showroom with Bloom & Wild

Way back when in July (okay, so not that far back!) Etsy joined forces with Bloom & Wild to share what many amazingly talented independent businesses have on offer for the festive season and beyond. As I have only shopped on Etsy sporadically before this showroom really did open my eyes to what great things are available to me whilst supporting individual sellers and their unique products on offer. From the moment I walked in my Christmas shopping list began to grow and then about half way through I found STATIONERY. Now, you may or may not know that I have quite an unhealthy obsession with stationery, personally I don’t see this as a bad thing but there is only so much space to keep all this stuff.

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As many of you know Etsy is home to handmade and vintage items with a plethora of craft supplies so it was no surprise to walk into a room filled with delightfully delicate handmade trinkets made from precious stones and list of other materials that I never even knew you could use for such items. Featheroak is one seller that really caught my eye with it’s bright colours, fine materials and just gorgeous jewellery – at first I was petrified to even touch it in fear of breaking it but the lovely lady at the stall was more than happy to go through the variety of materials and techniques used to make such beautiful items and assured me that they wouldn’t break. Out of the pictures above I don’t know whether you can tell but the bright blue rock is my favourite and I kind of wish I’d asked for her to make me a ring with it – imagine the epic beauty and individuality, pure class.

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As you can see wherever there is an opportunity to personalise something it has been done – jewellery, make up bags and home-ware are just a small amount of the items that can be made ‘just for you’ – it is quite nice for presents but also if you are celebrating a milestone with your friends or loved ones it really is a special way to make memories that last that are also useful. Fox and Lilly seem to have this down to a tee as everything is not only simply just lovely but also practical.

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On our way out myself and Catherine found a set of shelves that were full of mugs in different sections and a sign stating ‘Find Your Mug’ – intrigued we headed over to the puzzle on the wall and started answering some personal questions about the life we have and want. Once at the end you were guided to a certain section on a shelf and told to pick out your favourite from a selection made dependent on your answers. A little secret (not so much of a secret anymore!) we both checked out the shelves before we even saw the wall game and actually picked out the mugs that we ended up with anyway – weird right! As you can see we got our ‘mugshot’ (#etsymugshot) taken and were told to pick up our mugs at the door before we left. Just neat right! I mean who doesn’t love a good coffee/tea mug and one that is based on your choices just made it that more (i’m gonna say that word again!) personal.

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I mean YUMMMMM – am I right?!

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I couldn’t leave without saying how lovely the displays were around the Bloom & Wild corner of the showroom and the smell was absolutely sensational. The ladies who were holding the fort were more than patient with all of the visitors they had and they kindly gave us all the opportunity to make our own mini bouquets to take home as a little remembrance of the event and such a great brand. Personally I am absolutely useless at flower arranging so to say I got a lot of help was an understatement to say the least BUT I was very happy with the end result.

What do you think? . . .

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Etsy & Bloom & Wild I cannot thank you enough.

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This post was originally posted on September 1st but it is just so Christmassy that I couldn’t leave it in the past! I hope you like it!

Let me start by saying that I am not going crazy despite the title of the post saying Christmas in July! Two months ago I was lucky enough to go to Not On The High Street’s Christmas in July. From the moment I walked in I was transported to Christmas time, in my head it was December and I was ready for some Mulled Wine and of course a little Egg Nogg to settle with a good book and View Full Post