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Ten Things To Do This Christmas

Thursday, 4 December 2014

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From October to the end of Winter is my number one time of the year, there's Halloween, my birthday, Christmas, so much to look forward to! As Christmas is the next big event of the year (not counting my birthday on the 1st of December haha) I thought I'd put together a little Christmas idea list full of things you can do to get yourself in the festive spirit.

1. Go To A Christmas Market

This is one of my personal favourites to do around Christmas. There's nothing better than wandering around a German style Christmas Market surrounded by twinkling fairy lights and the smell of mulled wine. It's also a great place to get Christmas gifts as you can usually find presents which are handmade or far more unique than what you could get on the high street, perfect if you want something a little different for that special someone. If you feel like being extra festive and venturing to a market full of Christmas heaven then there's a website here which lists pretty much all of them!

2. Go Ice Skating
Extra ice skating rinks seem to pop up everywhere as Christmas nears, one of the best ones being at Somerset House in London. Ice skating is always something that I forget about, I haven't been for a few years but I absolutely love it and I know many people are the same so why not rekindle your love for it in the perfect Christmas setting surrounded by trees and decorations? Tickets are usually fairly cheap so it could make a great day out if you tied it in with something like a Christmas market or Londons Winter Wonderland.

3. Buy a Real Christmas Tree
Something that I persuade my Mum to do every single year is to buy a real Christmas tree because nothing beats a real one with that incredible pine tree smell. We usually get one from a garden centre near us but there are plenty of places that actually let you choose and chop down your own tree which is an excellent way to add extra fun into the magic of getting your tree and decorating it. There's a great website here that lists a load of tree farms in the UK so have a look if it's something you want to do!

4. Bake Christmas Treats
We all know that December is the one month of the year where every diet or healthy eating regime goes straight out the window in favour of all the divine winter food. Rather than going to stores and buying ready made Christmas treats why not have a go at making your own? It's a great way to spend your days off towards the end of the year (unless you work in retail like me) and can be shared around your family and friends which will definitely make you extremely popular with everyone! My personal favourites to make are definitely Gingerbread Men (recipe here) and Stollen (recipe here). BBC Good Food also has a fantastic Christmas section here, so you can make something to suit every craving.

5. Visit Hogwarts In The Snow
I've been to the Warner Bros Studio Tour twice now as it's no secret that I'm a huge Harry Potter fan but I visited it in the snow myself a few days ago, even if you're aren't that invested in it yourself it's still a great place to visit at Christmas. They decorate the Great Hall and some of their other sets such as the Hogwarts Castle and dorm rooms especially for Christmas and I can tell you, it's really amazing to see. It's overall an incredibly interesting tour as everyone will know of the magical world of Harry Potter so it's great to get behind the films and see how it was all done which isn't something you can really do for any other films.

6. Go To Winter Wonderland
This is similar to visiting a Christmas market but what makes it different is that rather than just being a market, it has a whole range of other activities like the Ice Kingdom, circus shows, and fairground rides. It's free to get in although you will have to pay extra for some of the attractions though it's still fun to just walk around it and take in the sights. It's also fairly near Harrods so you can follow it with another one of my favourite things to do, exploring the Christmas section in Harrods!

7. See The Christmas Lights In Your Area
My mum has done this with me since I was little, we'll drive through the centre of town and see the lights there then go around the streets near us to see how everyone has decorated the outside of their houses. It's a simple and inexpensive thing to do but there's something magical about it which is why I love doing it. It's also become a bit of a tradition now and we'll always look out for the houses that are known for having over the top displays.

8. Get Yourself A Christmas Outfit
I'm not talking about a sparkly dress here, I mean a full on cringe fest outfit combination. Primark is great for this, they sell light up Christmas jumpers, Christmas underwear, Christmas pyjamas, Christmas socks, Christmas knitted leggings. If you can think of it, they'll probably have it. Get yourself a warm, cosy outfit like that then snuggle down with family or friends to have a night in watching your favourite winter classics!

9. Have A Christmas Film Night
This is something that everyone probably does anyway but I thought I'd include it just in case. Put on your warmest winter pyjamas and choose yourself some of the best Christmas films to watch whilst snacking on your favourite food and it'll make a great night in! Some of my favourite films to watch would have to be Home Alone, Love Actually, The Holiday, and The Grinch.

10. Build A Gingerbread House
Building a gingerbread house is a great activity to do on Christmas Eve, especially if there's young kids in your family (though I'm 21 and I love doing it...). You can either make your own gingerbread or you can buy a ready made kit from places such as John Lewis. Stock up on extra sweets and candy canes for extra decoration then have a competition between you and your relatives to see who can make the best one! Just try not to eat it before it's finished...

So what do you think of these Christmas ideas? These are all things that I love to do myself so definitely try them if they aren't something you'd normally do yourself and feel free to add more ideas to the comments below!

Christmas Gift Guide | Gifts For Him

Monday, 1 December 2014

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I personally love shopping for men, for some reason I find it insanely fun, possibly because I enjoy shopping for my boyfriend and showering him with random things I think he'd like (well I would do if I had money to spare!). With that in mind I've decided to put together a Christmas Gift Guide for the man in your life, whether it be your other half, guy best friend, brother, whoever, there's hopefully something in here that will give you an idea if you're stuck on what to buy.
I've also tried to keep this fairly budget friendly. I'm always on the look out for things that are within my price range though sometimes it is nice to splurge and treat them so there are a few pricier items in this though I'm sure you'll always be able to find a cheaper alternative if needed!


If you're anything like me, you're constantly trying to pry your other half of FIFA, in my case it's because I'm into video games myself and can think of so many other alternatives that are far more interesting and worth their time than FIFA is. If you're one of the 'good' girlfriends who understands how amazing gaming is then why not get them an alternative (and much, much, better) game for them to widow you for? I chose Far Cry 4 as it's a new release for this Christmas and has the appeal of a shooter game but it's set in a huge open-world enviroment and has an actual story to go along with the action but there are so many equally good games that you could go for instead.

Socks are such an underraed present. They're often seen as the 'worst' present to get for Christmas but come on, they keep your toes warm and there's hundreds of funky patterns or colours to choose from! I've gone for a Topman pair wich feature a Christmas style print with turkeys and the phrase "Get Stuffed", perfect for eating Christmas dinner in.

Chances are the man you're buying for will probably already have seen Guardians of the Galaxy and (hopefully) loved it. I've included the soundtrack on here as it's a mix of songs from the 70s and 80s which tie in perfectly with the film and also make a great playlist in general. It's an interesting idea to go along with the film if he already owns that or you could buy them both together as a bundle to nurture his inner geek. 

I'm a sucker for a guy in a jumper, I'm constantly forcing my boyfriend into them but in my defence he looks amazing in them so it's alright. As we still have the rest of Winter to get through after Christmas, a jumper would make a practical yet stylish gift and because it's something that everyone needs it can always be an idea to fall back on if you can't think of anything else.

Shoes are another thing that like socks or a jumper, could be considered boring but if you get it right would make an amazing gift that could last ages plus be well worth the money. A black suede pair like the ones I've featured above would make a great option as they're not too 'out there' and could be worn for daytime or nighttime as well as going with virtually any outfit.
This book is something that could be given as a bit of a joke but is also really useful if you have a guy who maybe doesn't cook as much as he should! Maybe it's me personally but I love cookbooks and I think they're the perfect solution when you never have much motivation to make yourself something healthy or decent. If you don't fancy a cookbook, places like ASOS or Urban Outfitters have plenty of other quirky books to choose from.
A washbag similar to this one would be a great idea as you could fill it with various toiletries or other body care products that are always a favourite at Christmas. It would also make a great gift for someone who travels a lot for work or is lucky enough to be going off on some holiday adventures fairly soon.
This is the most expensive gift on the list so it's definitely something for if you have the money to splurge or just fancy treating him. I really liked this gift set as it featured a watch and cufflinks which definitely makes for an extremely classy gift! I also went for this one over the other sets as I thought it had more of a modern twist on the classic black leather watch style which made it slightly more unique.

Vinyls and record players are definitely becoming more popular now so a vinyl would make a great present for someone who's looking to start his vinyl collection or even add to it. There's probably a vinyl version of any album that you want so you definitely aren't restricted with what you can get. A cheaper option would be going around second hand/vintage or charity shops as they nearly always have a section of old records and you may be able to find a hidden gem for a fraction of the price!

This is the dream gift for the aspiring writer in your life, something like this could be the kick they need to get writing or could even be something they look back on when they're the next Stephen King and remember where they started. It would also be good paired with a fancy notebook, appointent diary, or even letter writing set. 
Similar to the jumper idea, a warm hat is going to be great for the colder months at the start of the New Year and is also cheap and cheerful. Hats also come in a range of styles or patterns so there's literally a choice for everyone, I've gone for this aztec print one as it's similar to the ever popular fairisle option but different enough that they wont look like everyone else. 

Any type of case is another really simple yet useful gift idea as it'll keep his gadgets safe when not being used and save him from having to fork out loads of cash if he ever accidentally cracks a screen!

A scarf would be a handy companion for the hat idea, maybe even throw in a pair of gloves for good measure. Rather than going for a traditional dark red or green checked scarf I chose this bright mustard one as everyone needs a little sunshine on a grey day, even if it's in the form of a garish scarf!  

Cufflinks are a mans alternative to a pair of earrings or a bracelet, they're the perfect way to jazz up a suit along with a tie and maybe a tie pin. I loved this simple black pair as they're the kind of thing that could go with every suit or shirt no matter what the occasion. There are so many other types of cufflinks if you wanted something fancier, I came across some beautiful fox head ones but a sleek pair like this is a failsafe option if you weren't too sure what to go for.

A pillow like this is a really fun idea to bring out the inner child in the guy you're shopping for. Most men always need a little help in the home decor area and something like this would be a great way to throw them in at the deep end. It's colourful without being too over the top and features this really unique dinosaur design, because who doesn't love dinosaurs?! 

I hope this has managed to give you all a few gift ideas if you're stuck on what to buy. I kept it fairly simple but there are so many other great ideas out there so keep your eyes open and don't be afraid to think outside the box! If there's any of your own suggestions that you'd like to add to this then be sure to leave a comment below with some ideas or links to what you like!
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