Feelin’ It Friday

Hi, loves! Happy Friday! In fact, happy (almost) Christmas! I’m posting my Feelin’ It Friday a little early this month as I really wanted to share it with you before Christmas rolls around. Next week is going to be reserved for quality time with my loved ones – once I’m finished work for the year – and honestly I didn’t want to worry about rushing to get a blog post up! There’s a lot going on in this month’s post so let’s dive right in…

What candle I’m burning:
I am burning all of the FESTIVE scents! My favourites every year are Snowflake Cookie by Yankee Candle and Winter by The White Company, although this year I am obsessed with my Bath & Body Works candles, too. Matt and I’s sweet friends Nathan and David were recently on holiday in the US (not jealous at all…) and they so kindly picked up a few candles and wallflowers for us! Matt and I are both obsessed with ‘Tis The Season so we’ve been burning that most evenings, and we have the wall plug in our room right now too. It’s literally the smell of CHRISTMAS! I have just started burning Pink Fairy Gumdrop which is super sweet and the scent makes me happy. I love love love the pink, glittery packaging and if I could ever be a candle, it would be this one! 

What I’m eating:
Matt and I are addicted to Ghirardelli Peppermint bark. Seriously, addicted! My family has always stocked up on this chocolate when we’re in Florida, so I can’t tell you how excited we were to find it in Costco this year! We’ve bought literally five bags and already eaten two (I mean, it’s a family effort…) it’s just SO GOOD. I love love love chocolate, and I love candy canes. Mixing the two together? Genius. I also have made our own peppermint bark a few times this season and I know it’ll be on rotation throughout the next few weeks!

What I’m watching:
Every Vlogmas video I can possibly keep up with! Matt has been working more late shifts than usual in the run up to Christmas, so I’ve been blogging/editing, watching Vlogmas videos and drinking all the cups of tea before he comes home. I love Niomi Smart’s Vlogmas videos the most again this year! I really enjoy her content year round, but I feel like Vlogmas is the most exciting time because we see so much of her life. She is the sweetest person, and I truly get so much joy from watching her videos. She lives such an incredible life – she’s moving to India with her partner, Joe in January – and I’m so excited to be along for the journey via YouTube! They also just got engaged and it was the most pure, wholesome content I ever did see. Also, I can’t get into how sad I (still) am that Chris didn’t make the Strictly final. I was seriously SO gutted, although Kelvin & Oti are very worthy winners and I am so happy for them both!

What I’m reading:
I just started reading One Day In December by Josie Silver last week, although I really haven’t had as much time to read as I’d like. I love nothing more than a long soak in the bath with a good book, and I am so into this story and the characters! This is my last physical book I’ve got left to read (my sweet boyfriend has bought me a Kindle Paperwhite for Christmas, I can’t tell you how excited I am to read all of my books on it!) so I’m really making the most of that, too. I’m sure I’ll still read the odd paperback, especially because my mum and Matt’s mum are always sharing books with me that they’ve enjoyed, too. I’m definitely going to be talking a lot more about reading on the blog in the new year, I love it SO much and I see how much you guys love my book related posts! They’re always posts that are searched for and re-read tons of times. (Thanks, you cuties!) I’m not sure if it’ll be a monthly thing or just a here-and-there thing, but I’m excited about it. I really want to review books I’ve read, to be honest, but I’m not sure how that would be! How many ways is there to say “I love this book” or “I didn’t love this book so much”? HAHA, I’m sure I’ll figure it out.

This cute bauble was a little gift I gave Matt last year of all the places we’d travelled to in 2018! I ordered him a different personalised one for 2019 that hasn’t arrived yet, so I’m pretty sure it won’t be here in time for Christmas 😦

What I’m excited about:
Christmas and all of the fun things coming up. Spending so much time with Matt and our families, eating delicious food, the Gavin & Stacey Christmas special (low key sad we have to wait until 8.30pm to watch it!!), being off work for almost two weeks, having so much time to create blog content and brainstorm where I want to take my blog in the new year. I’m going to spend my Christmas break doing all of the things that bring me joy! I am SO HAPPY Matt and I have so much time off work together I can’t even tell you. We literally never have time for a ‘lazy day’ so we are going to make the most of it.

What I’m listening to:
Christmas music! I have been SO loving an excuse to listen to Christmas music when it’s socially acceptable. Matt hates when I play it in like… July. I’ve no idea why. Hahaha. I’ve had Michael Buble pretty much on repeat since October. His voice just makes me happy!

What I’m wearing:
Okay so I know I promised you a post on things to look for in your perfect Winter coat, and I promise that’s coming in the new year. Here’s a little sneak peak! I am OBSESSED with my Winter coat; it’s made with recycled down feathers so it’s super warm, snuggly and cosy, and perfect for this super cold weather. I love that it’s a little longer to cover my hips/bum, and it has the biggest hood you’ve ever seen! I feel like I’ve finally found a coat my mum would be proud of… anyone else spend years of their life refusing to wear a proper coat? Just me…?

What is going on in my life:
A few weeks ago I found a lump in my right breast. Obviously, I went into panic mode – I’m pretty sure this is just the normal reaction – and bearing in mind I’ve already been more anxious than usual the past few weeks, it really wasn’t a fun time. This is a huge part of the reason my posts have been a little spotty recently, I’m so sorry. Matt has been an absolute star and let me feel my worries, but also not let me dwell on something we didn’t know about. This week I had a doctor’s appointment and I’ve been referred for further testing; to take a biopsy, an ultrasound, an x-ray etc. I feel okay and I’m surprisingly not a wreck right now! It does not necessarily mean the C word, but there were a few things my GP was concerned about. I’m trying to stay upbeat and positive because right now, no news is good news! Regardless if there is something wrong or not, I’m so grateful for our NHS and the quick, high quality treatment they are able to give. I’m only telling you all of this now – without any real answers – because it’s what’s going on in my life right now, and life is not all sunshine and rainbows! Also, this is your reminder to check your boobs, ladies. Coppafeel have so much information I’m linking here in case you’re confused on where to start. If you pray, I’d really appreciate your prayers for good news right now! I’ll be talking about everything in more detail once I have answers and results, but right now it is a season of waiting. I hate waiting!

What is making me feel festive:
So I know it’s partly because of being worried about what I mentioned above, but I’ve been having a really hard time feeling festive this year. I mentioned in my last Feelin’ It Friday post that I think I may have been suffering a little with SAD and I’m 99% positive I am as I just feel so unmotivated and not like myself. Christmas is my favourite time of the year so I can’t tell you how crap this makes me feel! However, Matt and I just had the most wonderful Christmassy day in Edinburgh and it picked up my spirits SO MUCH. We had the most amazing time, and I took all the photos to share with you lovely lot! You can see our festive day here, if you missed it.

What lipstick I’ve been wearing:
So you may remember this post from a few months ago, where I said I really wanted to try wearing red lipstick. I did it! I kinda love it! I’m definitely not going to be reaching for red lipstick on a day to day basis but I’m really enjoying being a little bit brave here and there and enjoy wearing it. I have however been wearing Clinique’s Bare Pop lipstick almost every. single. day. for the past three months! It’s the most perfect shade; it works for every ocassion and never clashes with clothes or anything, it’s so versatile and I can’t recommend it enough. I love the formula too, it lasts all day or night.

What I’m up to this weekend:
It’s the last weekend before Christmas, and I have so many things to do! Tomorrow Matt starts work at 7am so I’ll be up early with him, then I’m maybe going to get my nails done as a little festive treat. I’ll be spending the rest of the day running last minute errands, cleaning, organising, blogging, baking cookies and wrapping SO MANY Christmas presents whilst watching Christmas movies before he comes home. I can’t believe how many gifts I have left to wrap, it’s kind of freaking me out! He’ll be home mid-afternoon so we’re just going to chill at home for a little while (and eat cookies!) then I’ve planned a surprise Christmas date night for us both. I’m so excited! Our plan for Sunday is to have a relaxed morning, probably definitely drinking lots of hot chocolate and snoozing in bed then we’re heading into town to see the Christmas markets one last time before Christmas. I love our city so much, and at Christmas time it’s seriously the most beautiful! Later in the day Matt’s going out with his friends for a few hours and I’m going to treat myself to a pamper night, and probably finish up more wrapping before I go pick him up. 🙂

Thank you so much for reading, and thank you for all of your wonderful support over the past year. I am so thankful that you – yes, you! – read my blog, and you’ve no idea how much it means to me. I’m so sad this is the las Feelin’ It Friday of 2019! What are your plans for this weekend? I hope you all have the most perfect, Christmassy weekend with your loved ones! It’s five days until CHRISTMAS DAY! See you on Sunday, my loves.

-G x

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

How To Keep It Together This Holiday Season

Hi, loves! We are one week away from December 1st, which for most of us marks the beginning of the busiest time of year. Date nights, dinner and drinks, Christmas markets, catch ups with friends you haven’t seen forever, a whole channel filled with Christmas movies you NEED to watch, last minute present shopping, work Christmas parties and approximately 483 other events are taking place this month, and somehow you’re expected to fit it all in. Not to mention you’ve still got to squeeze in the regular ol’ 9-5, quality time with your partner, grocery shopping, errands, sleeping, eating, seeing your family, exercising, preparing dinner, I’m A Celebrity, hobbies and there’s also probably a sh*t load of Christmas presents you need to wrap too. Phew. Anybody else exhausted just reading that?! ME. TOO. But, it doesn’t have to be as hectic as it seems. There’s lots of things we can do – aside from cutting out our favourite reality TV show – to make this time of year easier on ourselves, and actually really enjoy the festive fun!

Utilize your iPhone calendar. There’s no excuse for forgetting you already agreed to plans when you can plan every second of your life in your phone. *Note to self because I am still really bad at this!* A surefire way to ensure you don’t double book, turn up late or (even worse) arrive at the wrong place is to record every single plan you agree to in your calendar. I love to use my iPhone calendar specifically because it syncs to my MacBook and iPad therefore everything is easily accessible, and it can be colour coded for ease. I use my calendar throughout the year to plan blog content as well as write details of social plans, but Christmas is HECTIC and requires a little extra upkeep!

Write lists. For everything. The last thing you need to be stressing out about is if what you’ve forgotten to do/buy/organise etc. I can’t tell you how much I love writing a list (partly because crossing off what you’ve achieved is just fun to me) but it’s so. much. help. I have lists for everything and the holiday season is certainly no different! I have several gifting lists, tasks to be done, extra things to buy, places to visit etc – I just feel so organised when I know what’s to be checked off.

Eat good meals. Most of us link preparing super healthy meals to the Summer months, when pre-holiday your biggest concern is how you’ll look in your new bikini. But, let’s be real. It’s pretty common for most of us at the time of year to indulge in more chocolates than we usually would, try every festive flavoured drink in Costa and enjoy an alcoholic beverage with the occasional every meal, justified by the words “well, it’s Christmas”. Add in the fact it’s freezing cold outside and you’re almost definitely enjoying nights out without a coat (it’s not just a Northern thing, right?) the chances of you falling ill are pretty high, too. Being poorly at Christmas time sucks, so eating healthy, good-for-you meals during the day is a little way of self care and you’ll feel the benefits throughout the month. Pile your meals high with fruits and veggies and it makes all of the indulging you do a little bit more acceptable! Speaking of which…

Don’t be afraid to indulge yourself. When you are at home, make the most of it. Don’t worry too much about the non-essential things and instead really indulge in things that make you happy. For Matt and I, that’s cooking a good meal and chatting about our days then snuggling in to watch one of our favourite shows. We both find so much joy in binge watching The Office but I want to watch as many holiday movies as possible this year. Just don’t tell Matt, it’s a surprise! One of our favourite ways to unwind is a long soak in a bubble bath, and I love to read books so much. Also, despite my point above that we should try to eat healthy meals… I also am MORE than happy to eat any sweets, chocolates, shortbread, cookies etc that I want to! If we’re watching a cute Christmas movie we’re probably snacking on something, and that’s okay. It’s all about moderation.

Prioritise the things that are most important for you. The annual Christmas market trip with your love, a last minute Christmas shopping dash with your mum and a festive brunch with your best gal might be the three things that are top of your social plans this year, and that’s fine! Make sure you do the things you really want to do, and everything else will slot in where possible. It’s really important not to overload your social calendar as it will begin to feel like a chore, when really all of your festive plans should be fun and bring JOY!

Do not get slack on your skincare! Okay, maybe this is just an important one for me but I know if I take even one day away from my usual routine my face really bloody hates me for it. It’s super easy after a busy day to think you can skip a few steps but really, taking those five minutes for you will help you feel (and look) good. At the very least make sure to cleanse, tone and apply eye cream, serum and moisturiser each morning and night. I also would advise against trying new skincare products this time of year because with all of the Christmas induced stress, chances are your skin isn’t going to be it’s best anyway. I just know if I try *that* amazing moisturiser everyone is raving about I’ll develop a spot the size of Rudolph’s nose, so it’s just not worth the hassle.

Say no if you can’t make it work. There’s no reason to feel obliged to squeeze in that pub meet up with those friends you barely see ‘just because it’s Christmas’ if it doesn’t work for you. True friends will always understand that life is busy, and I’d really suggest giving alternative plans if what everyone else is doing doesn’t work for you. By the same token, if a friend isn’t able to make it to something you’ve planned or are attending, make sure to let them know it’s okay and they’ve got nothing to worry about. For example, I personally couldn’t think of anything worse than going to a club because I’m a #25yearoldgrandma, and that’s okay. We all have to set boundaries and the people who love us as we are will never make us feel guilty for that. I’m a sociable person, but kinda only with my people. We all just need to be mindful, especially at this time of year, that there is no obligation to join in on plans you can’t make work with your schedule.

Thank you so much for reading! Feel free to use this blog post as your reminder to chill the heck out this holiday season, refer back to it throughout the next month and share it with your friends… we need all of the self care reminders we can get, right?! I hope you have the most amazing December, I’m so excited to share what we’re up to with you throughout the month! Next week I’ll be posting our Christmas Bucket List! I’m so excited because we have so many fun plans… and yes some of those include snuggling up on the couch with a hot chocolate and Elf 🙂 yay for plans that make us happy!

-G x