Blogmas 2019 My Christmas Shopping Tips!

Blogmas 2019: My Christmas Shopping Tips!

Christmas shopping – you either love it or loathe it. Personally, I am incredibly extra when it comes to Christmas and I get SO excited about getting gifts for the people I love. Sometimes I buy them, sometimes I make them but I just like it being something personal.

Anyway, seeing as we don’t have long to go until the big day here are my top tips to get your Christmas shopping done.

Get it done as soon as you can

The longer you leave it the more stressed you’re going to get. I lost a pretty important contact 6 weeks before Christmas, thankfully I’d already started shopping so most of the important people were bought for.

Know your budget and stick to it

Just putting it out there some of the gifts most precious to me didn’t cost that much, it was the fact someone thought of me and got something I adored that mattered most.

Don’t be afraid of buying something useful

Last year we got my fianc√©’s Dad a multi-tool for his bike for when he goes out. It sounds simple and maybe a bit boring but he loved it and was chuffed we’d got him something he can use rather than a smellies set.

But, also you’re allowed to have fun with your gifts!

I have a friend who I’ve bought Lego for or a silly game regularly over the years, yes he’s a man in his 20s. I’ve also got joke presents for people. Christmas is about fun people! It’s all about the fun times!

Remember you don’t have to be perfect

I LOVE Christmas so I want my gifts to be perfect and nicely wrapped and on time. Things don’t always go perfectly! Gifts arrive late, you might be terrible at wrapping (totally me) or not have the funds to get the gifts you want to. It’s the thought that counts, remember that.

Do what you need to do, seriously

Want to buy premade pigs in blankets? Go for it. Is there a local wrapping station where all proceeds go to charity? Drop off your presents and grab yourself a coffee. A friend has offered to have your kids or dog so you can go and get stuff done? Take them up on it!

What are your Christmas shopping tips? Let me know below!

My Christmas Wishlist...2019

Blogmas 2019: My Christmas Wishlist

My Mum asked me back in October for a Christmas list, which she then lost about 3 times and I had to keep sending it to her. ūüėā

I miss the days when I just cut out half of the Argos catalog and stuck it on bits of paper for my Mum. I mean, realistically, I could probably still do that in the Lego section… that Hogwarts set is looking mighty fine.

For real though, I struggled with it – I wanted to ask for things I actually wanted or things I could use. I’m thankful for any gift but would rather it wasn’t something I used once and then it sat in the back of my wardrobe for 2 years, you know?

I did manage to pull together a few things although let me make it clear – I don’t expect my parents to get me everything on the list it’s more of a these things are cool and they’re ideas. Anyway, let’s get on with it.

Ninth House – Leigh Bardugo

This has been all over the internet. I don’t know that much about it apart from it’s meant to be pretty dark has a mystery element. You know, totally in the Christmas spirit. If I don’t get it then I’ll be picking it up as soon as I can get to my local Waterstones.

Serpent & Dove

Another I’ve seen all over BookTube, although this time I know a little more and it has a fantasy element and WITCHES. Ok, there might be a bit of a theme to this list…I really like magic. I’ve seen a lot of good reviews for this book and there’s a complicated marriage – I’m intrigued.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Illustrated Edition

Do I need to explain this one? I have the pervious 3 and I’ve spent a lot of time flicking through while in the bookshop – it’s so beautiful. Jim Kay is a true artist.

Thank U Next Perfume by Ariana Grande

I worship Ariana Grande, I think she has the most incredible voice, a talent for lyrics and seems like a genuinely lovely person. I saw her twice this year and I’m currently wearing my tour sweatshirt – I like Ari a lot.

I absolutely love the smell of this perfume so of course it got added on – I actually prefer celebrity scents most of the time, my current favourite is Fantasy by Britney Spears, I’m a sweet scent kinda girl.

Loungefly Bag

I love Loungefly and Mum surprised me with a R2-D2 bag for my birthday and seeing as I have 2 Star Wars ones I’d quite like one that is Disney or Harry Potter. That said these are super expensive! So I’m ot expecting one!

Hermione Granger Mug

Do I need another mug? No, not at all but c’mon I got a Hermione Granger tattoo this year so of course I want this mug. It’s so pretty.

Lego Hagrid’s Hut

This set looks like so much fun to make, one of my friends has it and while I’m not sure if she’s built it I’m itching to get my own set. Look at Buckbeak – look at him! I could have put LOADS of Potter lego on this list but I restrained myself.

And that’s all of them! As you can see it’s a very grown up and important list of adulty things.

What’s on your Christmas list? Let me know below. ūüĎá

I'm Attempting Blogmas 2019

Blogmas 2019: I’m Attempting Blogmas

It’s the first of December which means we’re officially counting down to Christmas! Advent calendars have been opened, you trees are going up (or maybe they’re already up) and it’s the start of Blogmas! Yes!

I’ll be honest with you, I kept going back and forward on whether I was going to do Blogmas this year – it’s a lot of work and I wasn’t sure if I could do it again to myself alongside everything else I’m doing at the moment including working my ass off so I can have a break over Christmas! Although, who are we kidding here? Of course I’ll end up doing some kind of work – but I digress.

I’m excited to write about one of my favourite times of the year, a mix of fun and silly posts but also some which might be harder to write or harder to read about some of the struggles that people face. Will it be random? Most likely.

That said I’m trying not to put pressure on myself – if I miss a day because I’m busy, that’s ok. If it gets to half way through and I need to put my health first, that’s ok too.

So, buckle up it’s time to get festive!

Why I Haven't Planned Any Blogmas Posts

Why I Haven’t Planned ANY Blogmas Posts

It’s the 1st December and bloody hell hasn’t that gone quick! Throughout the internet, I’ve seen people starting Blogmas and Vlogmas where the very dedicated post every single day either in the run-up to Christmas or throughout the month of December. So, what about me?

I love seeing everyone’s post and last year had a great time with my own Blogmas posts, however, when I came to this year I had to think about it. Things are different to last year, mainly, because I started working freelance and running my own business all of my spare time and energy are going into that to make it a success. I’ve been doing this since August. And, honestly, I really want some time to relax in December. I need to take a break before the madness of 2019 when I’m hoping to get a few projects going.

Really, this is a form of self-care for me. When I blog I want to put things out that I’m passionate about and care about. Trying to write and schedule 25 posts just felt a little overwhelming this year and so I decided to take care of myself. That said, I’ll still have all of my regular blogs up and ready to go! There’ll even be some bonus blogs with my favourites of the year posts that I LOVE to do (they’re my absolute favourites).

Why am I writing this? Mostly because I wanted to remind other bloggers too that if you simply don’t have the time, the energy or don’t want to do Blogmas don’t feel like you have to! We all know how long blogging takes getting the ideas together, writing, editing, taking any images, making images etc. With Christmas being such a hectic time of year I don’t think we should put more pressure on ourselves.

While I will 100% be supporting and cheering on my favourite bloggers as they take part in the mammoth task and maybe next year I will get involved again, who knows? Right now, my focus is going to be recharging my batteries a little and making big plans for next year!

Are you taking part in Blogmas or Vlogmas? I’d love to know why/why not in the comments. If you are please leave your links too – I’d love to support you!

Blogmas Day 24: A Christmas Message

I may not be the Queen, but I’m still going to give a Christmas message. Fun fact my Dad always watches the Christmas Speech, every year 3pm usually while we’re eating. Anyway, back to the matter at hand. Tomorrow is Christmas day. At the time I’ve posted this I’ll be in my PJs, watching a Santa tracker online and feeling very weird about the fact that it is the first year Ali and I are in our own home for Christmas Eve. It’s so weird.

Christmas, we are told, is a time for joy and happiness and family. For many of us, it is all these things. But what if it’s not? Some people have to go to work on Christmas, some are alone, some are dealing with some pretty heavy stuff. This is the thing, just because it’s Christmas doesn’t mean life stops, I wish it did.

So, I’m just putting it out there Christmas doesn’t need to be perfect. If, for you, this Christmas has to be just another day then so be it. We put so much pressure on ourselves all the time and it sucks! I’ve been really poorly at Christmas before and the pressure made it worse.

Really, what I’m trying to say is make Christmas what you want or can make it. We don’t all need to have the same day, the same time.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays or, simply, I hope you have a good day.

 

Blogmas Day 23: A Blogmas Round Up!

While Blogmas officially ends tomorrow with my Christmas message (hey, the Queen gets one!) I wanted to do a round-up of Blogmas 2017. I’m not going to lie, it was tough doing a post every single day when I work full time but I enjoyed seeing the responses. Will I do it again next year? Possibly but I’ll do a lot more planning! If you want to catch up you can find all of my Blogmas posts below!

Blogmas Day 1: Welcome to Blogmas!

Blogmas Day 2: My Christmas Playlist

Blogmas Day 3: Shopping with Small Businesses this Christmas

Blogmas Day 4: Last Minute Gifts for the feminist in your life

Blogmas Day 5: Christmas Q & A with Adell & Nate

Blogmas Day 6: Costa Hot Chocolates Ranked!

Blogmas Day 7: Book Review – Trumps Christmas Carol – Lucien Young

Blogmas Day 8: Christmas Wishlist

Blogmas Day 9: How to Stay on Budget at Christmas!

Blogmas Day 10: Books to Give this Christmas

Blogmas Day 11: Christmas Q & A with Vikki & Zoe 

Blogmas Day 12: First Christmas in Our Own Home!

Blogmas Day 13: Holly Jolly Xmas Tag

Blogmas Day 14: Book Review – Christmas Poetry by Wendy Cope

Blogmas Day 15: Looking after your mental health in the holidays

Blogmas Day 16: Christmas Q & A with Midnight Madness and AllLadyA

Blogmas Day 17: Our Little Christmas Tree!

Blogmas Day 18: My Favourite Christmas Films!

Blogmas Day 19: Christmas Eve Traditions

Blogmas Day 20: Would You Rather РChristmas Edition 

Blogmas Day 21: Christmas Throwbacks

Blogmas Day 22: Books I read in 2017… so far

 

What’s been your favourite part of Blogmas? Let me know in the comments below!

Blogmas Day 22: What I’ve Read In 2017 so far…

Of course, this was coming! My annual Goodreads challenge is still going and there’s still 9 days to go. So far I’m at 98 books, yep 98. Last year I managed 120 and the year before I managed 80-something? I read, I read a lot. So I wanted to share with you all the books I’ve read in 2017… here we go! Also, links to any I’ve reviewed too!

January 

The Art of the Film: Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them

Bitch Planet, Vol. 1: Extraordinary Machine by Kelly Sue DeConnick

Illuminae РJay Kristoff and Aimee Kaufman

February

Heartless РMarissa Meyer 

Falling Awake – Alice Oswald

Back to the Future: Untold Tales and Alternate Timelines – Bob Gale

How to Murder Your Life РCat Marnell How to Murder Your Life РCat Marnell 

Bad Feminist – Roxanne Gay

March: Book One – John Lewis

Amazing, Fantastic, Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir – Stan Lee

Behind Her Eyes РSarah Pinborough 

Here We Are: Feminism For The Real World – Kelly Jensen

Bullet in the Brain – Tobias Wolff

Happy Mum, Happy Baby: My Adventures in Motherhood РGiovanna Fletcher 

March

Without a Doubt РMarcia Clarke 

One of The Boys РDaniel Magariel 

Something in Between – Melissa De La Cruz

I Feel Bad. All Day. Every Day. About Everything. – Orli Auslanda

Nasty Woman – 404 Ink

April

The Princess Saves Herself In This One – Amanda Lovelace

Zenn Diagram РWendy Brant 

Off Colour – Jackie Kay

Anne Boleyn: The Last 24 Hours – Marcell Mayfair

The Dead Inside – Cyndy Etler

In Contempt – Christopher Darden

We Should All Be Feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Supergirl Rebirth – Steve Orlando

Cheer Up, Love – Susan Calman

The One РJohn Marrs 

The Best Awful – Carrie Fisher

Seriously…I’m Kidding – Ellen Degeneres

May

A Book For Her – Bridget Christie

Wildflower- Drew Barrymore 

Raising My Rainbow – Lori Duron

Brain On Fire: My Month of Madness – Susannah Cahalan

Doing It РHannah Witton 

What Would Beyoncé Do? РLuisa Omielan

June

Mad Girl – Bryony Gordon

Nutshell – Ian McEwan

What the F*** is Normal?! – Francesca Martinez

The Girl Who Beat ISIS РFarida Khalaf 

Imperial Phase 1 – Kieron Gillen

The New Girl РRhyannon Styles 

Alice in Brexitland – Lucien Young

All Things Kardashian – Kris Jenner

July 

You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain – Phoebe¬†Robinson

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms – George R. R. Martin

Dreadnought – April Daniels

One of Us Is Lying – Karen M. McManus

Men Explain Things to Me – Rebecca Solnit

Big Little Lies – Liane Moriarty

My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me: A Black Woman Discovers Her Family’s Nazi Past – Jennifer Teege

August 

Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse: One Twentysomething’s (Mostly Failed) Attempts at Adulthood – Alida Nugent

Our Super American Adventure – Sarah Graley

My Shitty Twenties – Emily Morris

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Tales of Extraordinary Woman – Elena Favilli & Francesca Cavallo

Diana Her True Story, In Her Own Words – Andrew Morton

September 

The Wrong Knickers: A Decade of Chaos – Bryony Gordon

Fully Functioning Human (Almost) Living In An Online/Offline World – Melanie Murphy

Depression & Other Magic Tricks – Sabrina Benaim

My Lovely Wife: A Memoir of Madness and Hope – Mark Lukach

See You in the Cosmos, Carl Sagan – Jack Cheng

Making Faces – Amy Harmon

How Not To Be a Boy – Robert Webb

Riot Days – Maria Alyokhina

Feel Good 101 – Emma Blackery

October 

The Sun and Her Flowers – Rupi Kaur

Raising Ryland – Hillary Whittington

How To Be Champion – Sarah Millican

Turtles All The Way Down – John Green

Female – Sujata Balaram

Final Girls – Riley Sager

The Tattooist of Auschwitz – Heather Morris

Lumberjanes Vol. 1. – Noelle Stevenson

November 

Wild Embers – Nikita Gill

A Trump Christmas Carol – Lucien Young

I Wrote This For You – Iain S. Thomas

Helium – Rudy Francisco

Rabbit: A Memoir – Patricia Williams

It Only Happens in the Movies – Holly Bourne

Still Can’t Do¬†My Daughters Hair – William Evans

Nina Is Not Okay – Shappi Khorsandi

Selling Manhattan – Carol Ann Duffy

Unqualified – Anna Farris

A Pearl For My Mistress РAnnabel Fielding 

It’s All in Your Head A Guide To Getting Your Shit Together – Rae Earl

Christmas Poems РWendy Cope 

Making Cocoa For Kingsley Amin – Wendy Cope

December

The Diary of Anne Frank

Serious Concerns – Wendy Cope

Leave This Song Behind – Various

Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions – Russell Brand

Family Values – Wendy Cope

What I Know For Sure – Oprah Winfrey

How to be a Bawse – Lily Singh

Love, Grief and being Mum & Dad – Rio Ferdinand

The Ladybird Book of Mindfulness

Sex Object – Jessica Valenti

 

More to come…

Blogmas Day 21: Christmas Throwback Pics

Today I wanted to share some great throwback¬†pics that I’ve managed to find (although none of me as a teeny tiny person, these have all been snatched from Facebook). It’s so much fun to look back on Christmas, even if my sister will kill me.

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Christmas 2016, I think. Sums and I after we opened all of our presents in matching Cookie Monster pjs. I think it’s rare that we look similar in pictures but this is actually one where I think we look alike.

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This picture is way back in 2012! Mum and I had just gotten back from Kingston on a visit to see if the uni was for me (and the rest is history) and managed to get these Minnie Mouse ears.

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I have no idea what year this was, perhaps 2012? Not quite matching but all cuddled up in our fleecy pjs on Christmas Eve. All of the girls in the family have Christmas Eve pjs, Dad usually gets some of the non-fluffy variety.

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Fun fact, this selfie was taken at 5am. Yep, my sister and I are those kind of people we turn into excited children. One will wake the other up, it used to be me waking her up but now she’s the first one up…I love sleep too much.

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In town messing around on Christmas Eve, that’s just how my sister and I roll.

Blogmas Day 20: Would you rather -Christmas Edition.

I was so excited to have a tag pop up on my Twitter feed, the wonderful Shevy from Moonsomnia¬†to do a would you rather tag! At the end of this post I will also tag some great bloggers so make sure to check them out!! Here we go –

Shevy’s questions for us:

Would you prefer a Summer or a Winter Christmas?

I think a winter Christmas, simply because I think it adds that extra bit of magic! Even if winter here normally just means rain! Plus if Christmas wasn’t in Winter there would be nothing to look forward to in the miserable cold months!

Traditional roast dinner or a modern twist?

Probably traditional, I like to know what I’m getting for my dinner.

Real Christmas tree versus an artificial one?

Artificial, getting the bits stuck in your feed hurts like hell.

Mulled Wine versus eggnog?

I’ve never had eggnog but hate mulled wine!

Pet presents or none?

Pet present, always.

Thanks so much for including me in this post! I’m so excited to put forward my own 5 questions.

  1. Presents first thing or after dinner?
  2. Indoor decorations or outdoor decorations?
  3. Dressing up for Christmas day or staying comfy?
  4. Boxing day sales or nowhere near?
  5. Christmas Pudding or Chocolate Log?

 

I now nominate:

Sophie from Puuuurpale 

Amanda from The Bellezza Corner

Paige from Currently, Lately 

 

Make sure to tag me once you have done your own post!

Blogmas Day 19: Christmas Eve Traditions

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Christmas for me is all about family and isn’t just about one day! Christmas Eve is full of little traditions for me, and I think as I get older these may adjust again and again. It’s weird that for the first time I’m not in a home with either mine or Ali’s families, it’s just the two of us.

I’m so pleased that Christmas Eve falls on a weekend this year, the thought of having to go to work on Christmas Eve makes me super sad, I don’t know why. So, what does my Christmas Eve usually look like?

  • ¬†Wake up early and annoy Ali with the fact it’s Christmas tomorrow. Be hyperactive as hell.
  • ¬†Shower and dress in Christmassy clothes, jumper or hat are suitable.
  • ¬†Get picked up by Mum to go into town with her, my sister and my Nanna.
  • Get a coffee/hot chocolate to kick off the day
  • Mooch around the shops and pick up some last minute presents in the sales (Ali usually gets a few more presents here)
  • Go home, get any last minute wrapping done, blast Christmas music.
  • Go and visit family members start the Christmas cheer
  • Hit up McDonalds, ok hear me out. We’re usually so busy with family and the Turkey for the next day is slowly cooking so we get McDonald’s and it’s amazing.
  • Get given our Christmas Eve PJs, usually matching my sister
  • Be banished¬†from anywhere near certain areas of my parent’s house.

Now, it’s slightly different now I’m older, I go to my own house which will be the first time in our own home! I have no idea if Ali and I will create any new traditions in our own space but I really hope so. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions? Let me know in the comments below!