Monday, 20 November 2017

101 Things To Do This Christmas

With just over a week to go until the beginning of December, and little over a month until Christmas Day, there's no denying it: Christmas is on it's way! It's almost time to deck those halls, trim the tree, and get well and truly hammered at the office Christmas party.

I don't know about you, but I can't wait!  I'm fully intending to soak up as much festive cheer between now and the 25th as possible. I'm planning to turn my home in to a Winter wonderland, do loads of Christmas crafting, watch plenty of Christmas movies, eat my body weight in delicious Christmas food, and do all the other fun things that make Christmas the most wonderful time of the year.

If you're planning to do the same, but are short on ideas for things to do this Christmas, don't worry; I've got you covered. I've compiled a new list of 101 things to do this Christmas to give you guys a few ideas that will hopefully help you get in to the Christmas spirit and make this Christmas the best one yet. You'll find plenty of ideas for people of all ages and genders, and you don't even need kids to be able to do any of them; they're all adult-friendly. 

So, let's get cracking! Here's my list of 101 things to do this Christmas...

1. Go out and buy a Christmas tree.
2. Decorate you Christmas tree.
3. Decorate the inside and outside of your home for Christmas
4. Go to your local Christmas turning-on-of-the-lights event.
5. Bake and ice Christmas cookies. You could even throw a Christmas cookie icing party.
6. Have a festive movie marathon in your PJs with plenty of festive snacks, and cosy blankets to snuggle under.
7. Read a festive themed book like A Christmas Carol or Little Women.
8. Make your own Christmas crackers.
9. Take a drive to spot Christmas lights.
10. Make a festive playlist to soundtrack all of your festive fun.
11. Take photos in front of the Christmas tree.
12. Make your own Christmas decorations.
13. Visit a big attraction like Disney World or The Wizarding World of Harry Potter while it's dressed up for Christmas.
14. Make a Christmas photo booth in your home with festive props and a camera on a tripod, and take silly photos with your family and friends.
15. Wrap your Christmas presents as beautifully and creatively as you can.
16. Have a Christmas carpet picnic by the tree with lots of delicious festive nibbles and drinks.
17. Put together a Christmas Eve box for yourself, your partner, or your kids to enjoy on Christmas Eve night.
18. Go ice skating.
19. Attempt some festive nail art... or cheat and treat yourself to a festive manicure at a salon or nail bar.
20. Spend a day playing board games with your family or friends.

21. Buy or make a wreath for your front door.
22. Make and decorate a Christmas gingerbread house.
23. Take a tour bus around a big city at night once the Christmas lights have been turned on.
24. Buy and wear a tacky Christmas jumper.
25. Learn a piece of Christmas music on an instrument.
26. Sit and write your Christmas cards, and a Christmas letter to put in them, if you like to write one.
27. Knit or crochet a Christmas blanket, scarf, gift, or decoration.
28. Wrap up warm and take a walk to spot Christmas lights.
29. Recreate an old family photo taken at Christmas time.
30. Start a new tradition.
31. Try a Christmas tradition from another part of the world.
32. Take your kids to see Santa.
33. Make a Christmas cake,  Christmas pudding, and / or your own mince pies.
34. Light an Advent candle or festive-scented candles every night.
35. Visit a Christmas market; the European ones are usually the best.
36. Watch a Christmas film you've never seen before.
37. Have a festive pamper day / evening.
38. Buy or make an Advent Calendar to enjoy.
39. Make a Christmas cross stitch or embroidery.
40. Throw a Christmas party for your family and friends.

41. Put together a hamper for a friend or family member for Christmas.
42. Browse the Christmas department in a garden centre or department store.
43. Have a Christmas PJ / onesie day.
44. Take in a festive church service.
45. Spend time listening and singing along to your favourite Christmas tunes.
46. Go Christmas shopping.
47. Perfect the perfect Christmas roast dinner with all the trimmings.
48. Go foraging for natural decorations to decorate your home with.
49. Donate to a food bank, shelter, animal rescue centre, or other deserving charity.
50. Have a sleepover underneath the Christmas tree.
51. Make your own sloe gin, egg nog, or mulled wine.
52. Buy at least one new decoration.
53. Watch The Nutcracker at the theatre.
54. Do some Christmas journaling to record your favourite festive fun times.
55. Go carol singing.
56. Relax and de-stress with a Christmas colouring book.
57. Help out at a soup kitchen or food bank.
58. Watch some festive TV.
59. Go out for a turkey roast (or veggie equivalent) at a carvery or cosy country pub.
60. Make your own Christmas jumper.

61. Take part in a Secret Santa.
62. Visit Christmas markets in European cities.
63. Make some festive art.
64. Make popcorn and cranberry garlands to string up in your home.
65. Go to a pantomime.
66. Go to a Christingle service.
67. Make your own Christmas cards.
68. Have a Christmas meal with friends
69. Buy a hot meal or drink for a homeless person, or buy a Big Issue and leave the magazine so the person can sell it again to raise another donation.
70. Kiss under the mistletoe.
71. Make all your gifts this year.
72. Watch a festive film at the cinema.
73. Go have fun at the Christmas party.
74. Go out for hot chocolate.
75. Try a Christmas make up look.
76. Visit some reindeer.
77. Buy new Christmas print PJs to wear on Christmas Eve.
78. Throw a festive girls / guys night in.
79. Check in with elderly, vulnerable, ill, or lonely people you know. Spend time with them, run errands like shopping for groceries, or shovelling snow from their driveways for them, and consider inviting them to spend Christmas with you if they don't have Christmas Day plans. Nobody should be alone at Christmas time.
80. Make a yule log.

81. Go Christmas shopping somewhere further afield than your local high street, and make a night of it by spending a night in a hotel.
82. Make foodie gifts for all your family and friends this year.
83. Hang stockings over the fire place.
84. Visit Lapland.
85. Write some festive creative writing.
86. Make a Christmas stocking and have fun shopping for stocking fillers.
87. Visit a palace, manor house, or stately home dressed for Christmas.
88. Go to a Christmas craft fair.
89. Make table favours for your family / guests to enjoy during Christmas dinner.
90. Enjoy a few Christmas drinks down your local.
91. Throw a Victorian-themed Christmas party.
92. If it snows, build a snowman, have a snowball fight, make snow angels, go sledding, and walk in the snow.
93. Take an outing to a pretty little village or town you've never been to before. The Cotswolds is particularly beautiful this time of year.
94. Make paper snowflakes and paper chains.
95. Buy hot roast chestnuts from a street vendor- or roast some over the fire at home. Remember to remove the shells before eating them, Steve.
96. Take a horse-drawn sleigh / carriage ride.
97. Experience Christmas in another part of the world.
98. Blog about all the fun things you get up to over Christmas.
99. Visit family and friends.
100. Take photos of all the fun things you get up to.
101. Do a random act of kindness for a stranger.

What are you most looking forward to doing this Christmas?

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Sunday Favourites #302

It's that time of the week again...

Oh Happy Day's DIY mini marquee signs are too cute.

This DIY diamond trinket dish from Maritza Lisa would make a lovely Christmas present for your jewellery loving friends and relatives.

I love this DIY felt succulent wreath from Sarah Hearts.

And Sarah Hearts' DIY floral embroidery printable is rather lovely, too.

This Bambi Disney iPhone case is adorable!

How cool is this colourblock film photo booth created by Oh Happy Day?! It would make a great backdrop for blog outfit photos!

This rainbow waffle cake from A Kailo Chic Life looks amazing!

Also from A Kailo Chic Life, these DIY ombre flower vases look so eye-catching.

Salty Canary's DIY colourful friendsgiving table is so darn pretty.

This pretty hibiscus embroidery pattern from Oh Sew Bootiful.

How cute are these ceramic planters from Barruntando?!

These strawberry marble doughnuts from The Little Blog of Vegan looks seriously delicious. Get in my belly!

It's official, YuSquare sell the funkiest socks. I want them all!

And last but not least, this flamingo LED lamp from House of Disaster is the best lamp ever.

Lovely Links

If you'd like to see more stuff like this, check out my Pinterest and Tumblr. You can also find all previous Sunday Favourites posts here.

Have a great day!

Friday, 17 November 2017

75 Of The Best Christmas Blog Photo Props

If you're a blogger, you're probably busy preparing your Christmas blog content, or at least beginning to plan for all of those festive posts you want to create for your readers this Christmas. I know I am! If you're planning your content, you may also be thinking about how to dress your Christmas blog photos to compliment your writing, showcase a product or subject, and catch the attention of your readers. As every blogger knows, it's our photos that can really make or break our posts.

When planning your photos, your first thought might be to start shopping for festive photo props, but you shouldn't need to do this if you already have a good supply of Christmas decorations and cosy winter homeware at home, and can go foraging for foliage to use as natural decorations. It's the one time of year when you will probably already have countless great photo props to hand, so don't start shopping for props before you've checked the decorations box or gone foraging in the garden or countryside. Save your pennies for Christmas shopping or an extra cocktail or two at the Christmas party!

If you want some ideas for festive photo props for killer Christmas blog photos, I've compiled a list of 75 great Christmas photo props you'll probably have in your home over the holidays (or can pick up cheaply as you do your Christmas shopping), to give you a little inspiration. I hope it gives you a few ideas!

1. Christmas trees (real or fake).
2. Fairy lights.
3. Tinsel.
4. Garlands.
5. Festive bunting.
6. Paper pom pom decorations.
7. Baubles.
8. Other tree decorations.
9. Pretty Christmas decorations.
10. Wreaths.
11. Bottle brush trees.
12. Miniature deer, reindeer, or polar bear figurines or toys.
13. Jingle bells.
14. Candles.
15. Tea light holders.
16. Fir branches.
17. Pine cones.
18. Holly branches.
19. Mistletoe.
20. Poinsettias.
21. Christmas cacti.
22. Cinnamon sticks.
23. Dried orange slices.
24. Oranges.
25. Red apples.
26. Shelled nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts etc).
27. Christmas patterned paper, or coloured paper in red, green, gold or silver.
28. Christmas wrapping paper.
29. Brown parcel paper (tied up with string).
30. Christmas patterned fabric, or plain red, green, gold, or silver fabric.
31. Notebooks.
32. Christmas cards.
33. Christmas crackers.
34. Presents- or empty boxes wrapped to look like presents.
35. Blankets.
36. Festive bedding.
37. Christmas cushions.
38. Scarves.
39. Christmas table cloths, runners, napkins, tea towels etc.
40. Christmas stockings.
41. Christmas jumpers.
42. Ribbons.
43. Curling ribbon.
44. Twine.
45. Raffia.
46. Bows.
47. Pom poms in festive colours.
48. Christmas present toppers.
49. Christmas DVDs and CDs.
50. Festive books.
51. Magazines with festive content.
52. Christmas craft projects you're working on.
53. Christmas chocolates and sweets.
54. Chocolate Santas.
55. Chocolate coins.
56. Candy canes.
57. Mince pies, stolen, panettone, and other Christmas treats.
58. Milk and cookies. (Perhaps with a plate of carrots in shot for the reindeer).
59. Christmas cookie cutters.
60. Nail polishes in festive colours like red, green, gold, and silver.
61. Make up in festive colours or with festive packaging.
62. Lush Christmas products.
63. The Body Shop Christmas products.
64. Jewellery- especially if it's Christmas themed.
65. Slippers.
66. Christmas socks.
67. Christmas PJs.
68. Christmas crockery.
69. Christmas table confetti.
70. Confetti.
71. Novelty Christmas bags and purses.
72. Advent calendars.
73. Hot water bottles.
74. Sequins.
75. Festive coloured beads.

What do you like to use for Christmas photo props?

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Wednesday Wish List

Here's a few things I've been coveting this week...

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These awesome novelty bags from Skinny Dip. I especially love the shooting star.

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Lindy Bop have released some more Christmas dresses this week, and they're all so gorgeous. I can't decide which print I love best.

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These stunning Collectif dresses would be perfect for the Christmas party season.

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I can never resist a good polka dot dress, and these two Lollidot frocks from Scarlett & Jo tick all the right boxes.

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I'm crazy about these beautiful dresses from Joanie Clothing. 

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Look how cute these fox cross body bags from Rose Gal are. The best part is they cost just $9.24 each! (That's about £7!!)

I'm obsessing over the new Urban Decay Heavy Metal eyeshadow palette like crazy. Just look at how gorgeous all of those eyeshadows are! I'm definitely going to need this palette in my life.

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Lindy Bop have the cutest Converse-style baseball shoes right now. I particularly love the fox print pair, but the polka dots are calling my name, too.

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And last but not least, these tartan and plaid swing dresses from Unique Vintage are the dresses of my dreams. 

If you'd like to see more of the fashion and beauty pieces on my wish list, check out my style and beauty wish list boards on Pinterest. You can also find all previous Wednesday Wish List posts here.

What's on your wish list this week?

Monday, 13 November 2017

35 Ways To Get Organised For Christmas Now

Christmas is without a doubt the busiest and most hectic time of year, what with all of those Christmas parties to go to, shopping to do, presents to wrap, a feast to cook, and so many other tasks to tackle on top of working, blogging, looking after our families, and going about our daily lives as normal. I'm exhausted just thinking about it all!

With so much to do in the space of a few weeks, it's no wonder we all get so stressed, sick, and exhausted over the festive season. If we're not careful, we can easily run ourselves in to the ground. I've lost count of how many Christmases I've been ill because I've worked myself too hard and had little time to rest; I used to come down with the flu every year right in time for Christmas.

I now realise it's important to spread the work load out to take the pressure off in December, which is particularly important if you have a chronic illness and limited energy every day. In fact, there are plenty of Christmas tasks you can start working on now to get a head start on your to do list, so that come December you have less to tackle, and more time to relax and enjoy the festivities.

Naturally, being somewhat of a Christmas addict, I'm already getting organised for Christmas, and I wanted to share a list of Christmas tasks you can get working on ahead of time to make your life so much easier come December, so here it is:

1. If you haven't already started, begin your Christmas shopping, and save yourself the stress of Christmas shopping in store in December.

2. Shop for any gift wrapping supplies, Christmas cards, and craft supplies you need. It's a good excuse for a fun trip out to Hobbycraft or Paperchase!

3. Wrap the presents you've already bought, and wrap everything else as you buy them. You'll thank yourself for it on Christmas Eve when you have more time to put your feet up at the end of the day.

4. Begin shopping for stocking fillers, and wrap anything you've already bought. It's also a good idea to organise each person's stocking fillers in to a separate carrier bag, so on Christmas Eve, all you have to do is transfer the presents in to the stockings.

5. Sit down and write your Christmas cards, and if you like to write one, a Christmas letter to go with them. Remember to stamp and address the envelopes, too, so come December all you'll have to do is post them.

6. Get working on any Christmas crafts you want or need to make this year. It will make those boring dark evenings at home pass faster, and stretch Christmas out that little bit further. I've been busy Christmas cross stitching away since September!

7. Put together your Christmas Eve box(es) of goodies to enjoy with your family on Christmas Eve. Think cosy pyjamas, slippers, Christmas movies, popcorn, chocolates, candles, Christmas books, hot chocolate, Christmas coffee mugs, face masks etc. If you need a little inspiration, here's the one I made for myself last year.

8. Start shopping for Christmas gifts for your pets, and stock up on enough pet food and bedding to see them through the holidays. I've already started buying gifts for my dog, Rosie; there's some great gifts for dogs out there this year! Do you want me to blog about what I've bought her in December?

9. Compile your Christmas playlist(s) to soundtrack all of your festive activities, or if you're a bit old school, dig out your Christmas CDs and LPs.

10. Take your Christmas decorations out of storage, and check if anything needs to be repaired or replaced.

11. Untangle the Christmas lights, and check if any bulbs need replacing.

12. Shop for any Christmas decorations and homeware you may want or need. I just bought myself the cutest fifties-style Christmas bedding from ASDA!

13. Go through your Christmas recipe books, and plan your Christmas menu. You could even start writing your Christmas shopping list ready for your Christmas food shop.

14. Make your Christmas cakes, puddings, and home-brewed drinks like sloe gin. If it can be made early, get it out of the way now!

15. Prepare and freeze any food that can be made ahead of time, so you have less food to make from scratch over the holidays. You could also bulk-cook and freeze every day meals for December so you have more time to put your feet up after a busy day of work or Christmas shopping in the run up to Christmas.

16. Start stocking up on non-perishable Christmas food and drink during your weekly / monthly food shops.

17. Buy or make your Christmas crackers ready for Christmas Day.

18. Wash and iron your Christmas bedding, table linen, tea towels etc. so they'll be ready to use come December, and you won't have extra laundry to do over the festive season.

19. Clear out the spare room ready for any guests you have coming to stay over Christmas, and check you have enough bedding for everyone.

20. Organise any Christmas parties, family gatherings, or meet ups with friends, and start inviting your friends and family before their diaries start filling up.

21. Stock up on batteries for your Christmas decorations, and any presents that may need them. The last thing you want is to find out you've forgotten the batteries for your kids' new toys on Christmas morning

22. Purchase stamps for your Christmas cards, so you can get them ready to send at the start of the month.

23. Shop for cute Christmas PJs and slippers to wear over Christmas, and to put in your Christmas Eve boxes.

24. Start shopping for all of those Christmas party outfits. The best pieces always sell out fast, so it never hurts to start early.

25. Begin planning any festive days out you want to take, and any activities you want to do in December.

26. Book tickets for any Christmas concerts, shows, or pantomimes you want to go to. They tend to book up fast at this time of year, so you want to snag those tickets early to avoid disappointment.

27. Book any accommodation and transport needed for your Christmas travels. With Christmas being the busiest travel season of the year, an' all, you sure don't want to leave this one 'til the last minute.

28. Gather together / shop for Christmas photo props for your Christmas blog and social media posts. You don't necessarily have to buy anything new; you'll probably have plenty of great props to use in your Christmas decorations box, and natural things like pine cones, holly, and fir branches make excellent festive props, too.

29. When you have a spare afternoon, take photos for your Christmas blog posts in bulk ready for all those festive posts you may be planning.

30. Write and schedule your Christmas blog content ahead of time so you don't have to spend December stressing about getting a post live on time when you could be enjoying the festivities with your family and friends.

31. Buy, make, or fill your Advent calendars so they're ready to start opening on December 1st.

32. Start putting together Christmas shoe boxes of gifts and essentials for people in need.

33. Begin collecting and donating food to food banks. Most supermarkets will have a collection point where you can leave non-perishable food (usually near the checkouts) to make it easier for you to donate as you do the weekly food shop.

34. Sign up to volunteer your time and services to worthy causes over the holidays.

35. If you haven't already, book your Christmas meals and parties before the venues fill up.

So, there we have it: 35 ways to get organised for Christmas now. I don't know about you, but I'm definitely going to try to get as many of these things prepared ahead of time to try to take the stress out of Christmas this year. What about you?

Have you started preparing for Christmas yet?
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