• 10 Hints and Tips on How to Survive the Christmas Holidays!

    Now we all love Christmas, its the holiday that virtually everyone has off and even if you don’t celebrate per say there is still a real buzz around it. Now in our house we visit families, enjoy spending time with everyone, eat loads and generally be very very merry (most of the time). Its also a time where you are managing everyone’s expectations for at least 2 whole weeks, if not longer, so here are some hints and tips on being prepared, making the most of and surviving as well as ensuring we’re all still friends at the end of it.

    1. Keep your camera’s handy, whether its on your phone, that hugely expensive DSLR or a Digi camera – The memories you will want to capture can be treasured forever when you’ve got it on camera. Perhaps granddad has fallen asleep and his beard is in the trifle or the toddler is walking around with his newly gifted trousers on his head, be great to make sure you’ve snapped those shots as they happen!
    2. Put a couple of playlists together for the different occasions, we love to dance to Christmas songs whilst decorating the house and I love to have music at the ready for present opening time (as its usually very very early, try 5am!). Adding to that, we sing at the top of our voices, unluckily for our neighbours.
    3. Prepare a Christmas eve box with little games, snacks for Santa and Rudolf, a Christmas movie, Christmas story book, hot chocolate for bedtime or even with the movie, marshmallows to toast, popcorn, Christmas pyjamas or onesie, slippers, a soft toy and of course gingerbread. Those impatient little ones will surely be distracted for a couple of hours and miraculously be soo tired that they don’t insist on waiting up for Santa, here’s hoping! Over the years trends for these have increased so you might want to invest in making one, or even buying one.
    1. For gifting you should ensure you have copious amounts of wrapping paper, tags, bows, wasi tape and of course scissors. I love brown paper wrapping and then jazzing it up with colourful bows and ribbons, I have to say that my toddler doesn’t have the same appreciation. So we generally have lots of different wrapping paper and layer it up so that the tree looks a feast.
    2. Ensure you schedule time out of the house and spend some much needed family time, go for long walks – has the added bonus of burning off all that food, go to your nearest nature trail and enjoy the fresh air, or alternatively have a duvet day and movie marathon!
    3. Have some ‘you’ time, its a very busy period and if you’re like me there is always lots going on so make sure you block out some time and focus on self care. After all, if you’re calm and relaxed then so will everyone and everything around you be.
    1. Plan for 2018; book or block out some time for trips and make sure there are adventures booked into the year, this gives you all something to look forward to as well as breaking up key parts of the year. Its also a nice thing to do as a family.
    2. Have some surprises up your sleeve, whether its an impromptu baking marathon, a trip to see friends or a games day wearing funny costumes, mix it up.
    3. If you’ve got older children then think about a Christmas day treasure hunt so that they have to work out where their presents are, although they might get a little frustrated if they’ve spent ages trying to find them.
    4. Finally, enjoy every minute. Things change so quickly and next year is going to be a whole different ball game so enjoy, laugh lots, eat even more and most importantly make the most of all the time you spend with the people that you care about.

    Do you have any other hints and tips? Anything that I didn’t mention? Hope you have a fantastic festive period and make wonderful memories together!


  • The Alternative Christmas: Decor the Stylish Way!

    Christmas is one of those times of year that we recognise, that we’re comfortable with and we know what to expect. The Christmas tree is usually always green, although the trend for silver, pink and now blue is on the rise, there is tinsel, an abundance of tree decor front-lined by baubles in every shape, size and colour and then there is that red, associated with the man with the presents!

    But there is also a new trend, where tree’s are upside down, or not actual tree’s at all, decorations are ornaments that could stay out and up all year round and not be out of place, larger than your average light features that are already part of the space, what is this new ideal of Christmas decor? Is it because its easy? or because its stylish? new? trendy?

    Some of these new pieces are just gorgeous, but naturally you really have to look for a gem, so of course we’ve done the hard work for you, here are some of our favourites, what do you think?

    The Christmas Tree:

    This tree by Cox and Cox is the hanging alternative for those short on space or those that want to adopt the clean, minimal, Scandinavian style. All you need is a few decoration pieces, some lights and somewhere to hang this beauty. The great thing is, any new customers get 20% off their first order (remember to look at tree decor, it is lovely!)

    This tree from House of Fraser is the epitome of stylish LED focused Christmas decor, it speaks for itself I think. The great thing is, you don’t even need to take it down once Christmas is over (shhhh).

    What about one for the little ones? This chalkboard tree is one that the children can play with throughout the year, putting it in their room means you’ve got a bit of Christmas all year round!

    Finally, what about this Scandinavian inspired tree? I think I love this one the best, its ethereal and the natural wood  is something that I do connect with on another level. Adding to basket as we speak…!

    Best of the Baubles (in every shape, style and size):

    Wow, there are just so many styles out there, in our house we have a Christmas theme that is different each year. This means I get to search the interweb and the retailers looking for the perfect on theme decorative items every year, which is so so exciting, although it can be so stressful if I don’t find what I’m looking for.

    Just look at these, there are mice, plants, birds, chandelier’s, gold houses, white houses, illuminated letters it goes on and on wherever I look but the best places to look (where I always go first) are Cox and Cox, Graham and Green, Marks and Spencer and Cloudberry Living, take a look at them and tell me what you think. Do you have any others that I’ve not discovered?

    Features around the Home:

    Some of the decoration and styling items that are around now can be used all year, this means stylish, cool, interiors objects, items and art which you can just leave out for all to see all year round. here are some that I just think look perfect;

    These tea light houses are just great to create ambient lighting levels and suit all moods.

    This lamp is a bedside feature that doesn’t need to make an appearance once a year.

    Stars, stars, stars are everywhere and how many alternatives there are! I have always loved stars, so this is just ace for me!

    Santa’s sack has just taken on a whole new and very stylish meaning, this is on my list, when you’re not using them for presents I can tink of many uses for them.

    Do these lights REALLY need to go back into the box? I don’t think so.


    …. if you just like the geometry of Christmas decor then take a look at this wallpaper by Graham and Brown, I do just love the colours, forms and materials expressed in its design.

    These gold inlaid marble table tops sing with the same geometry and are just gorgeous, who says Christmas needs to be packed away every year?!

    You do of course always need extra seating so how about this armchair or pouffe, or even this fluffy stool.

    There are so so many items for the home out there that have a slant towards Christmas, yet they aren’t directly linked. Have you seen anything that I might not have found yet? Any decor that you have bought and want to shout about? Be great to hear what your findings are!