Sunday, 17 December 2017

Sunday Favourites: Christmas Special #306

Here's another batch of my Christmas Sunday Favourites to give you a few last minute ideas and inspiration for the holidays. Enjoy.

These colour-dipped gingerbread cookies from Studio DIY look so pretty.

Lovely pink snowflake cupcakes from Glorious Treats.

These DIY snowman place cards from Oh Happy Day are adorable.

These DIY honeycomb ornament cupcake toppers, also from Oh Happy Day, would make the perfect finishing touch to any Christmas cupcake.

Sprinkle For Breakfast's chocolate candy cane cupcakes look so delicious.

How cute are these holly balloon gift toppers from Oh Happy Day?!

Everyone made paper snowflakes growing up, but I bet you never made giant paper snowflakes like these epic ones from Oh Happy Day. Am I the only one who wants to make some??

What's better than brown paper packages tied up with string? Sewn paper packages, like these awesome ones from Say Yes.

I love these Christmas cross stitch patterns and kits from Red Bear Designs. All of their designs are amazing.

This pretty ugly sweater embroidery DIY from Random Acts of Pastel is so lovely.

These mini gingerbread house place cards from Aww Sam have got to be the best place cards I've ever seen.

This DIY colour-blocked wooden Christmas card holder from A Kailo Chic Life would be the perfect Christmas DIY or present for any colour junkie.

I love these DIY mod wooden ornaments from Say Yes. They look so eye-catching.

I want to make a batch of A Kailo Chic Life's pink ombre tree spritz cookies. Don't they look amazing?

How great would Studio DIY's DIY giant ornament balloons look hanging up at the Christmas party?

Bored of making the same old gingerbread houses? How about making this awesome DIY pink gingerbread car instead?

Gorgeous DIY holiday gift wrap by Maritza Lisa.

And finally, this illustration of holiday nail polish shades is hilarious!

If you're looking for more Christmas inspiration, don't forget to check out my Christmas boards on Pinterest; I have twenty different Christmas boards on there packed full of festive images! You can also find all previous Christmas Sunday Favourites posts here.

Remember to pop back next week for the fourth of the five festive Sunday Favourites posts I'll be bringing you this month.

What are your plans for the day?

Friday, 15 December 2017

Christmas Things Haul 2017

Over the last couple of months, I've acquired quite a few Christmas bits and bobs, so I thought it was about time for my annual Christmas Things Haul. 

I haven't been able to buy as many decorations or festive fashion pieces as I would usually do at this time of year, as I'm on a tight budget this Christmas, but I still have plenty of things to show you. I've picked up essentials like gift wrap and Christmas cards, managed to stock up on festive craft supplies from Hobbycraft, and even treated myself to the cutest reindeer bedding from ASDA. Well, just see for yourself...

I always do a big Hobbycraft haul before Christmas, picking up all the supplies I need for Christmas craft projects and present wrapping. This year I had to be very tame- not that you can tell, as I still came away with loads of stuff- but there have been Christmases when I've come out of Hobbycraft a hundred pounds lighter! What can I say? I find shopping for craft supplies and stationery as tempting and addictive as shopping for beauty products... if not more so. I bought ribbons, jingle bells, and red tissue paper for present wrapping, a wooden Advent house and chalk and acrylic paints in festive colours to paint it with, Christmas washi tapes, a Christmas cracker kit, a gingerbread bunting kit, retro festive stamps and stickers, double-sided tape, and a trio of paper fans which were on sale for the bargain price of £1. I'll give you a closer look at some of the best bits...

I always buy a Christmas cracker kit from Hobbycraft every year as I like to make and personalise my own crackers for Christmas Day. It's far more fun then buying them pre-made. I wasn't that impressed with the designs this year, though, and settled for the Santa and Reindeer Cracker Kit as I thought it would match our festive tableware best. The designs are a little cuter than I tend to go for, but they're kinda fun, and should go down well with the family on Christmas Day.

One of the cutest things I picked up this Christmas is the Gingerbread Man Bunting Sewing Kit which I had to buy when I saw it was only £3. Yes, £3! If that wasn't great enough, I had a discount code, so I paid just £2.70 for it! It has little felt gingerbread men and gingham hearts to sew and string together, and it was too adorable to resist. I haven't actually managed to make it yet, but I'm hoping I'll still have time before Christmas. I'll give you a peek at it when it's done.

Unfortunately neither the cracker or bunting kit seems to be available online anymore, but it could be worth giving your local Hobbycraft a visit if you want to get your hands on them.

Papermania Love Santa A5 Postage Stamps: £1.29 // Papermania Love Santa Stick Sheet £0.99

Look how cute these Papermania Love Santa mid-century style Christmas stamps and stickers are! I love fifties Christmas designs, so I just couldn't resist picking some up when I placed my last online order. I thought they'd be perfect for decorating Christmas cards and parcels. They're currently out of stock at Hobbycraft online, but Craft Stash still have some available, which I've linked to above.

I also added a set of red and white Christmas washi tapes to my basket as they were only £1, which I'll probably use to jazz up some Christmas card envelopes. Again, they're out of stock online, but they should still be available in store.

And one of my favourite Hobbycraft purchases was this £5 wooden Advent house, which I was inspired to purchase after seeing their tutorial for making a colourful Advent house (here). Last week, I painted the whole thing in chalky finish white paint, and I'm currently in the process of sticking festive patterned fabrics and papers on to the backs of some of the cubby-holes. I'm not actually making it in to an Advent calendar, but planning to use it to display some decorations, although it occurred to me that it would be ideal for displaying some of my nail polish collection, too. I was thinking about picking up another one for that purpose, but now we're so far in to Advent it's, you've guessed it, sold out online, and I probably won't make it in store before Christmas now.

ASDA always have the loveliest Christmas bedding collections, and this year has been no different. As soon as I saw it, I fell in love with the Vintage Deer Reversible Duvet Set, which is covered in fifties-style reindeer, Christmas trees, candy canes, baubles, birds, tinsel, presents and stars, with ditsy multi coloured stars on the other side. It's the best Christmas bedding set ever! For £12 for a double, I couldn't resist it and treated myself to it, along with the Happy Santa Throw, which is the softest baby blue fleece blanket ever, with retro Santas, reindeer, and dogs all over it. The best part is, it was the bargain price of £6! You'll get to see them properly when I blog a Christmas bedroom tour later in the month, or you can take a peek at them on my Instagram here now.

Last year, I treated myself to this gorgeous set of twelve vintage style glass baubles from Dot Com Gift Shop, and I love them so much that I went ahead and bought a second box of them last week to fill the tree. The set includes twelve large baubles in four colours and three designs- an ice skating scene, Santa in a reindeer led sleigh, and a Merry Christmas design- and they're absolutely beautiful. They were originally £19.95 for the set, but they've been on offer for just £4.95 for a couple of years, which is amazing value. I love the mid-century style, and they also remind me of some of the colourful baubles we had on our family Christmas tree growing up (many of which we still have). I only wish Dot Com Gift Shop sold other decorations like them.

Cath Kidston Polar Bear Roll Wrap Set: £9

During the Black Friday sales, I purchased this year's wrapping paper, and once again I went with a set from Cath Kidston. I think it's the fourth of fifth year in a row that I've used Cath Kidston wrapping paper, so it's becoming somewhat of a tradition! I just love their Christmas collections, and their Christmas wrapping paper always makes presents look so pretty under the tree. This roll wrap pack features three of this year's Christmas prints; Polar Bears, Snowflakes, and Snowmen, and I snagged them for £7 instead of £9. They also seem to be sold out online now, but try your local store. 

Last week, I ordered myself a box of 50 Christmas cards from Paperchase online, taking advantage of the 30% off boxed Christmas cards deal that is still running. Paperchase always make the best cards, and it's a brand I almost always go with at Christmas time. Apparently, I wasn't paying enough attention when I ordered them, as I thought I'd ordered one of the charity boxes of mixed cards, where every single card is a different design, like I usually go for. I ended up with a box of nine very mediocre designs with multiples of each, and am very much underwhelmed with them. Several of the designs don't even have a message on the inside. Apart from one or two designs, they're just a bit crap. I left the card purchasing a bit late to buy some different cards, so I ended up using them along with the last of last year's Cath Kidston cards, but they're definitely not what I was hoping to send out this year. Not that anyone is going to notice either way, LOL.

About a month ago, I treated myself to the Christmas To Color adult Christmas colouring book by Mary Tanana to relax with this Christmas. It's filled with the most beautiful Christmas pictures, and has to be one of the prettiest Christmas colouring books I've come across. I actually purchased it with the hope of painting some of the pictures to destress this month, but I've not had a spare second to paint yet. I have done some colouring, though, and it's been lovely to relax with. I'm planning to review it properly for you before Christmas, but I can tell you now, if you want a good Christmas colouring book, this is the one to go for!

Of course, I also splurged on the Ciaté Mini Mani Month nail polish Advent calendar, which I reviewed here a few weeks ago. I'm loving opening the boxes to a different nail polish or nail treat every day, and it has some amazing shades inside. I'm sharing what I find inside each day over on my Instagram... but I've been so busy preparing for Christmas, it's ending up being more like every other day. Haha!

Cadbury Dairy Milk Advent Calendar: £1.50

And it just wouldn't be Christmas without a Cadbury Dairy Milk Advent calendar, so I got myself one of these bad boys, too. My sisters and I had Cadbury Advent calendars to count down the days 'til Christmas with most years growing up, so it's making me really nostalgic, and even the taste of the chocolate keeps taking me back to childhood each day! I love it!

So, that's my Christmas haul...what Christmassy things have you been buying this Christmas?

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Rosie's First Snow Day

I can't tell you how excited I was to wake up on Sunday morning to find the world outside my window blanketed in deep snow.

We hadn't had more than a light flurry in five years, so naturally I was as excited as a kid on Christmas morning to find over half a foot of snow had fallen during the night, and giant snowflakes were still blizzarding down from the sky. The view from my bedroom window looked like a winter wonderland... and trust me, there's nothing wondrous about that view of terraced RAF houses on an average day. Somehow a dusting of snow can make anywhere look pretty.

I'm always excited when it snows because we don't get much snow here in south east England. If we're lucky, we might get snowfall a couple of times each Winter, but we've not had more than a few flakes in around five years, and I don't think we've had snow this deep since 2010. To wake up to so much snow on Sunday was a real novelty, and I couldn't stop myself from chucking on some clothes, and getting out in to the garden with my camera at first light. I'm just an over grown child at heart when it comes to snow!

I intended to take photos of the snow-draped wintry scene outside, but that soon went out the window, as Rosie decided it was the perfect time to play ball, and kept launching snow-caked tennis balls in my direction. I ended up taking heaps of photos of her playing in the snow instead in between throws.

Sunday was Rosie's first ever snow day. She'd never seen snow on the ground before, and barked at it through the window when she first saw it! (Though, to be fair, that dog barks at everything). I didn't get to see her venture out in to the snow for the first time, as my parents let her outside just before I got up, but she was so excited she was zooming around the garden like crazy. She was still super excited when she followed me outside in to the snow half an hour later, and it was hilarious watching her playing in the snow and experiencing it all for the first time. She was prancing around, eating mouthfuls of snow, and running around playing catch, but getting super confused each time the ball sank in the snow before her eyes, and disappeared. Her expression was like that of a small child trying to figure out how its Dad had got its nose. I was in stitches.

I stayed outside in the snow for about an hour, playing ball, taking photos, and getting covered in snow, before retreating back inside to the warmth because I could no longer feel my fingers. It was fucking freezing outside. 

I was exhausted from just playing in the garden, so after thawing dreadlocks of snow off of Rosie's little legs, I went back up to bed, and sat and watched the snow falling from my window. 

It snowed heavily all day without a break, and was still snowing when it got dark late afternoon. By the end of the day, we had almost a foot of snow on the ground! It was magical.

We still had snow on the ground the next morning, and even though the temperature had dropped well below freezing, I couldn't resist taking some more photos outside. Once again, I had an excitable dog bouncing around wanting to play ball. Her reaction to the snow really was adorable.

We still have some snow on the ground today, but the rain melted much of it away last night. It's a shame it's almost gone already, but I enjoyed living in my own winter wonderland while it lasted. It made the last few days even more festive, and is getting me all excited for Christmas now. I just hope it's not the only snowfall we get this winter because I love it. It's one of life's little pleasures.

Did you get snow over the weekend?
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