Christmas Bucket List

Hi, loves! Happy DECEMBER! It’s officially the best month of the whole year, and with it I’m bringing you Matt and I’s bucket list for this Christmas season. We’ve already done a few of these things in November, but there’s so much more we hope to pack into December and I just wanted to share. We are being realistic though, and know we probably won’t tick everything off as it’s always a super busy month.

There’s so many fun ideas in here of things to do with your spouse, family or your friends. I’ll be sharing lots of the things Matt and I have planned this holiday season on the blog and I can’t wait for you guys to experience them with us! I hope you have the most wonderful December with your loved ones!

– Spend a whole Sunday watching Christmas movies back to back
– Make candy cane hot chocolate in the CrockPot
– Decorate the Christmas tree
– Shop Lush’s Christmas collection… even more…
– Visit the Christmas markets in the city again
– Host our annual Gingerbread House Competition (we take it so seriously and I always WIN!)
– Eat a Yorkshire pudding wrap
– Finish up our Christmas shopping. We’re so close we have literally three more things to get… I’m so excited to be done
– Spend a cosy afternoon wrapping Christmas gifts and watching cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies (they’re my very favourite)
– Visit Edinburgh Chrismas Markets. We go to a new Christmas market each year! Two years ago we went to York, last year we went to Manchester and this year we’ve chosen Edinburgh. It’s one of our favourite cities, I’m so excited to visit during my favourite season
– Listen to all the Christmas music. I live for Michael Buble!
– Wear our matching Christmas sweaters at EVERY opportunity
– Keep on top of all the Vlogmas videos in my subscription box. This is never going to happen!
– Have a family game night
– Drop off a bunch of food at our a homeless shelter
– Enjoy a Christmassy date night at our favourite restaurant, Tomahawk Steakhouse
– Visit Fenwick’s window display and Christmas Shop
– Enjoy Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with our loved ones; I’m so happy and grateful we get to spend Christmas together and spend time with both of our families
– Drink lots of Bailey’s hot chocolate. It’s the best

Are you just as excited for December? What are the plans you’re most excited for? It’s always a very busy month for us, but I’m feeling so excited and I’m ready for it! Our days are jam packed, not just our weekends, and I’m giddy about all the things I’ll have to share with you, too! If you’re still looking for the perfect present for someone special in your life you can always check out my gift guides to help. I wrote one for the ladies, one for the men and one for any stocking filler or Secret Santa gifts under £20 🙂

-G x

Christmas Gift Guide: For Her

Photo contains gifted items – please read my disclaimer here

Hi, loves! Today is the first of three gift guides for this holiday season, and I’m so excited to share them with you! I decided to bring you the gift guide for the ladies in your life first, and I really hope this helps you if you’re struggling for gift inspiration this year. Of course there is so much more to Christmas than giving presents, but mixing and matching gifts from any of these categories would make the most incredible present for gal you’re buying for this year. Happy shopping!

Disclaimer: There are a few higher priced items in this gift guide but I promise you it’s because they’re great value for money and really amazing gifts! I really wanted to keep my gift guides affordable and practical, and also very realistic for the average gift giver like myself. Remember Black Friday is coming up and always check for discount codes before purchasing online – you can almost always save at least 10%. I hope you find it so helpful!

THE HOMEBODY

If there was ever a perfect word to describe my personality, it’s homebody. I love love love my home comforts, and I’m pretty sure I’ve got this category down. The White Company’s Winter candle is a must-have for me from November through to March! I live in my Ugg slippers that Matt bought me a few years ago; I’d literally wear them to work if I could. Guys… the Dumbo mug? My heart just can’t take it!

1. Ugg Aynsley Slippers | 2. Quiet by Fearne Cotton | 3. New Look Tinkerbell PJ Set | 4. Neal’s Yard Remedies Bath Salts | 5. Whittard Hot Chocolate Selection | 6. Victoria’s Secret Super Soft Legging Crew | 7. M&S Dressing Gown | 8. The White Company Candle in Winter | 9. Topshop Oatmeal Joggers| 10. Tisserand Essential Oil Diffuser | 11. Anthropologie Sleep Mask | 12. Disney Dumbo Mug | 13. Dunelm Bath Caddy | 14. Chelsea Peers Pyjama Set| 15. M&S Checked Throw

THE LUXURY LOVER

Jewelery is a wonderful gift for the ladies in your life, and just looking at the cute Tiffany & Co necklace makes my heart happy! Fun fact: Charlotte Tilbury’s Filmstar Bronze & Glow has been on my ‘wishlist’ for at least three years, and this limited edition packaging? *picks self up off floor* WOW! It’s so dang beautiful. I want need it so bad! Oh, and if you’re wondering why I picked Frederic Malle’s Portrait Of A Lady which is crazy expensive? Stacey Dooley wears it. A girl can dream…

1. Topshop MABEL Black Leather Boots | 2. Jo Malone Candle in Peony & Blush Suede | 3. Slip Silk Eye Mask | 4. Laura Mercier Ambre Vanille Gift Set | 5. & Other Stories Grey Wool Fringed Blanket Scarf | 6. Missoma Silver Interstellar Bracelet | 7. Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow | 8. The White Company Pink Cashmere Socks | 9. Frederic Malle Portrait Of A Lady Perfume | 10. Aspinal of London Grey Saffiano Leather Card Holder | 11. Tiffany & Co Silver Necklace| 12. Monica Vinader Siren Mini Earrings | 13. Dulwich Duck Egg Jewellery Box | 14. Dior Creme de Rose Lip Balm | 15. Acne Studios Pink Scarf

THE BEAUTY GURU

Beauty products are a fail-safe product for everyone. Your mum, your sister, your girlfriend, your grandma. Every lady loves a little pampering treat now and then! Emma Hardie’s Moringa cleansing balm is hopefully going to be my treat to myself this Black Friday (20% off is a steal) and I swear by Laura Mercier’s caviar sticks for quick and easy eyeshadow application! How dang cute is that little set?! Lancome La Vie Est Belle is one of my very favourite go-to scents, and such a sweet gift to give this Christmas season.

1. The Body Shop Spa Of The World Blissful Escape | 2. Peter Thomas Roth Mask-A-Holic Gift Set | 3. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Quad Palette | 4. Babyliss Curl Secret | 5. Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow | 6. Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm | 7. Bare Minerals Lip Gloss Duo | 8. Rose Gold Zoeva Brush Gift Set | 9. Pixi Best Of Tonic Gift Set | 10. Laura Mercier Mini Caviar Stick Collection | 11. Lancome La Vie Est Belle Fragrance Set | 12. Fresh Hydration Ever After Gift Set | 13. Huda Beauty The New Nude Eyeshadow Palette | 14. Omorovicza Rose Quartz Facial Roller | 15. Laura Mercier Ambre Vanille Luxe Body Collection

THE FOODIE

If you know me, you know bee prints and anything with bees on makes me so HAPPY. I just adore those bee print oven gloves, they’re so sweet! The marble and copper bar tools set is the most gorgeous gift for any of the cocktail loving ladies in your life and who wouldn’t just adore a whole hamper of Hotel Chocolat products?!

1. Pinch of Nom Cookbook | 2. Marble & Copper Bar Tools Set | 3. Anthropologie Measuring Spoons | 4. Bella Foster Dish Towel | 5. Saskia Salt & Pepper Shakers | 6. Le Creuset Pink Casserole Dish | 7. Marble Serving Board | 8. Bee Print Double Oven Mitt | 9. Hotel Chocolat Salted Caramel Gift Set | 10. Oliver Bonas Daydreamer Mug | 11. Cath Kidston Christmas Cheer Apron | 12. A DIY Hamper | 13. Pink Marble Serving Board | 14. CrockPot Slow Cooker | 15. Lakeland 2 in 1 Hand & Stand Mixer

THE TRAVELLER

An Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is my number one wishlist product this Christmas, and if it was socially acceptable I’d be writing it in my letter to Father Christmas for sure! The lovely team at Gaston Luga gifted me a Parlän backpack earlier this month and I can’t tell you how much I love it; and it’s perfect for travel! Pixi’s DetoxifEYE eye patches are a must when you’re a little tired or hungover and will definitely leave you looking and feeling your best when you step off any flight.

1. Aspinal Of London Passport Cover | 2. Gaston Luga Parlän Backpack | 3. Taupe Stackers Travel Jewellery Box | 4. Kindle Paperwhite | 5. Chilly’s Reusable Water Bottle | 6. Stojo Collapsible Cup | 7. Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm | 8. Pixi DetoxifEYE Eye Patches | 9. Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet Rollerball | 10. Apple Airpods | 11. & Other Stories Wool Fringed Blanket Scarf | 12. Longchamp Large Tote | 13. Elizabeth Scarlett Zebra Makeup Bag | 14. Mophie Portable Phone Charger | 15. GHD Flight Travel Hair Dryer

THE GIRL WHO HAS EVERYTHING

Have you smelled Capri Blue’s Volcano candle? No? YOU NEED IT. Seriously, it’s gorgeous!! Disney’s Dumbo Pandora charm is one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen in my entire life (I kinda love Dumbo, can you tell?!) and oh how sweet is that Diptyque candle snuffer? I’d feel like a rich housewife putting out my candles with that, hah. The candle and snuffer would be a wonderful gift for that gal who has everything!

1. Himalayan Pink Salt Lamp | 2. Vans Authentic White Trainers | 3. Oliver Bonas Plant Pot | 4. Tropical Palm Safety Matches | 5. Bee Wall Art | 6. Ted Baker Suede & Leather Gloves | 7. Stemless Wine Glasses | 8. Disney Dumbo Pandora Charm | 9. Molecule 01 Fragrance | 10. Oliver Bonas Stars Jewellery Holder | 11. Kikki K 2020 Diary | 12. Les Jardin Picnic Basket | 13. Capri Blue Volcano Candle | 14. Aspinal of London Continental Zip Wallet | 15. Diptyque Candle Snuffer

“It’s not about the gifts under the tree, it’s about the people around it”

-G x

Why You Need To Start Saving Now For Christmas

Hi, loves! Okay, so this post might seem a little random but please bare with me, I promise you’ll be glad of the reminder! Did the title scare you a little? Do you think I’ve gone completely nuts? Maybe I have! Today I’m sharing the reasons why you should start saving, and also helping you put together a little plan so that when December rolls around you’re not scared to check your bank account.

I never used to save for Christmas. It’s literally on the same day every year (Wednesday, right? If you know, you know) and there’s no real excuse not to set money aside each month to help you out with buying your gifts once November/December rolls around. There’s so much more to Christmas than giving gifts, but it’s something most of us love to do. Giving my loved ones gifts that I know they’ll love makes me so much happier than receiving gifts, it’s just the best feeling seeing someone be happy with what you got for them. So, what do you need to do to start saving?

Firstly, you need a plan. Is anyone shocked that I’m suggesting you create a plan? No? Okay, well let’s get started. Write down every single person on your Christmas list this year; that’s going to be your partner, your parents/siblings, your extended family members, friends and even any Secret Santa gifts you may be taking part in. Next to each persons name, you then need to write an amount you’re willing to spend on that person, and that is then your budget for their gift(s). This year, Matt and I decided not to do any ‘big gifts’ for each other, and instead we’re going to plan a trip for the new year (and also save more towards our house!) so we’ve set two limits; one for our ‘main’ gifts, and one for our stocking fillers. We always go overboard at Christmas and spend a small fortune, but really we’re just so happy to spend Christmas together and see both of our families so the the gifts part really isn’t important! I hope I stick to the set budget, because buying gifts for Matt really is one of my favorite things to do and I always feel like I just have to get all the things he’d like, hah!

Now you know how much you’re going to spend per person/couple, add those figures up, and divide it by how many weeks there is until Christmas. If you’re doing this today – if not, why aren’t you doing this today?! – it is 15 weeks until 22nd December. As you don’t want to be waiting for the balance of your money to be saved by the last weekend before Christmas, I’d divide your total by 14; meaning the week before Christmas all of your shopping should be completely done! Of course, you can save more than this figure each week, because the sooner you save that total the sooner you can have that money back for whatever else you want to spend it on. Also, if you’re not able to save that amount each week, maybe take another look at your totals for each person and adjust accordingly; your family and friends don’t need you to spend all of your money on them as that is NOT what Christmas is about, so be realistic with your figures.

So, where are you going to save this money? For me, the most logical thing to do is create another savings account; this means you can see the money mounting up, and you can also easily save each week by adding a standing order to your current account, meaning the money goes out each week and you don’t have to manually do anything. Of course you’ll need to adjust your budget to suit this money going out each week, but that’s another post!

It might also be beneficial to save extra money that you are wanting to spend at Christmas related to giving; we’re all so much more generous at Christmas (although it should be an all year round trait!) and there seems to be lots more giving opportunities. Whether it’s donating to charities, buying food for your local food bank, donating toys for children that don’t have them or something else entirely, even if you saved a few pounds each week you’d have an extra buffer ready to be able to give. Matt and I sent shoeboxes with Operation Christmas Child last year and we’re so excited to do it again; you pay a donation to be able to track your box, and fill it with sweets, toys, games, colouring books etc for children who would otherwise receive nothing on Christmas Day. Ours made it to Africa last year, and I can’t wait to see where they go this year! If you’re interested in participating this year, please check out the details here.

So, maybe you’re now freaking out that you need to save so much each week to be able to buy the gifts you want to for your loved ones. Don’t worry, you have so much time to be able to save, it’s more than three months until Christmas (which for me is now only two pay cheques, oh my GOD!) Here’s a few ways you can save money in the rest of your budget:
– limit eating out; cooking at home is way cheaper (and way more fun) than going out to eat all of the time. Check out Mix And Match Mama for some amazing recipe ideas, you’ll never want to go to a restaurant again!
– make your tea/coffee/hot chocolate at home; instead of stopping by Costa or Starbucks on the daily, make your own and you can take it on the go in the cutest re-usable (and collapsible!) cup. You can still enjoy in moderation, because after all it is Bonfire Spice season, YAY!
– have a No Spend month before December; basically eliminate everything from your budget that isn’t the absolute essentials. Of course you need to pay for your car, home, groceries, petrol etc, but do you need a clothing allowance this month? Or a beauty treatment? Give yourself a little ‘pocket money’ to spend at your own leisure to keep you encouraged, but for the most part you can forego everything but the necessities for a month, it’s life changing I promise you! You will absolutely hit your goal quicker if you do this.
– get creative with date nights; at home date nights (or friend nights) can be just as fun as going out, and as a bonus there’s no need to wear makeup, hallelujah!
– check out sales and offers in the buildup to Christmas; even before Black Friday hits our shelves and screens, there are so many good deals to be found – you just have to look! I like to add a separate column to my Christmas spreadsheet where I can list what I want to buy for each person (Matt’s so lucky because I do all of the choosing for gifts, he just gets to take the credit with me hah!) and then keep an eye out for discounts or deals.

December is always a crazy expensive month; with all of the gifting, giving and partying going on it seems that you’re constantly spending money, so I hope if you do plan a little in advance then you’re not going to feel the pinch so much! Also, if you get most of your December wage to yourself, think of all the extra Christmas chocolates you can pick up! 😉

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post (and don’t think I’m completely mad). Some people save all year round then beef their savings up when Christmas gets closer; do you do that? Or, are you now going to start saving after getting this little kick up the butt? I really hope this helps you, please leave any extra tips and tricks you do too!

-G x