Tag Archive | Christmas

The 12 outfits of Christmas

Christmas is my favourite time of the year, not least because it brings everyone together and helps you to really appreciate the wonderful people that are a part of your life.  Christmas also makes it legitimate to wear as much glitter and sparkle as possible!  The shops begin Christmas sometime in October but I refuse to get too into it until December.

On 1st December, out came the advent calendars, including one for Rufus of course, which by Christmas Eve he had completely annihilated!

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This was also the day of the first outfit of Christmas as we enjoyed a festive curry with friends that evening.  I wore a navy glitter dot dress from Oasis with navy suede heels from New Look and a matching clutch from Boohoo.  I even had my nails navy with the ring finger glittery.  The dress was a surprising disappointment on the quality front, particularly given my love for Oasis and the usual excellent quality.  The glitter shed itself all night, adding plenty of sparkle to the curry house and the next passenger in my husband’s car!

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I always like to arrange a trip somewhere to really get me in the mood for Christmas, so this year I chose one of the best and most famous Christmas markets in the UK – Bath.  My second outfit of Christmas comes in here.  I wore a red dress from Oasis with a mid brown funnel princess coat also Oasis and some black suede, calf high, slouch boots (yes you guessed it – Oasis) that I have been lusting after for a couple of years so finally treated myself to.

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Bath is somewhere I have wanted to go for some time and it didn’t disappoint although sadly the weather did.  Rather than a nice crisp winters day with a few light flurries of snow that would have made it the quintessential start to Christmas, we were treated to drizzle!

The market stretched for miles through the Georgian streets, selling everything from paintings and crafts to hot chocolate and waffles!  I was drawn by the smell of citrus fruits and cinnamon to a beautiful Christmas wreath stall.  We also got a couple of unusual presents for people.

While in Bath you have to visit the Roman baths it is famous for.  The baths are one of the most visited historical sights in the UK.  The thermal spring rises here meaning the baths flow naturally with hot water.  Bathing was a major part of Roman society and culture and this sight has been remarkably well preserved.

From Roman times to the late 1700’s, we had afternoon tea at The Regency Tea Rooms above the Jane Austin centre.  Jane was fascinated by bath, mentioning it in all her novels and even making it the setting for a couple of her stories.  We enjoyed the ‘tea with Mr Darcy’ served by waiters and waitresses in period costume, and avoided the worst of the rain.

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After more shopping we warmed ourselves with a drink at the Abbey Hotel’s Apres ski bar.

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As darkness fell, the beautiful streets and chalets were lit with pretty fairy lights and we finished the day with carols at the Abbey.

The following day, inspired by our trip, we put up all the Christmas decorations at home, while enjoying a snowball of course!

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Mum and I went to see the Tina Turner musical the weekend before Christmas, so this was outfit number three!  I wore a navy glitter knit dress from Warehouse with a pink shearling coat from Zara.  After the fantastic show, we took in the lights of Covent Garden as we headed for dinner at Browns.

Outfit four was for Christmas drinks with friends and was a black blouse with gold spots from Oasis with black leggings, also Oasis, with black stilettos with a bow detail on the back from New Look.

We had an early Christmas day, on the Sunday before, at my Mums with my gorgeous nieces and for this I wore my soft animal print dress from Oasis with purple Ugg boots.

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Christmas Eve arrived and we had both sets of parents over for dinner.  I wore my gingerbread men christmas jumper from Oasis with a velvet mini skirt from New Look.  We had a great meal, followed by a board game and then headed to midnight mass.

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Christmas day was spent as a couple this year.  We had bucks fizz and scrambled eggs with smoke salmon for breakfast.  We cooked a wonderful Christmas dinner in the evening and in between pigged out on nuts and sweets while finally wrapping the rest of the presents.  This year I decided to get crafty with my wrapping.  I wrapped the presents in brown paper and added red and white twine, stickers from a Kikki K book and fancy tags, finishing with a slice of dried orange.

Christmas day saw me wear a fun Christmas t-shirt I got from River Island some years back and a checked mini skirt from Oasis.  I was spoilt rotten with beautiful gifts, as was Rufus, who had a Christmas eve box, his own Christmas dinner and a blanket with his name embroidered on it from spoilt rotten pets!

Boxing day was a total chill out day, spent in our pyjamas on the sofa watching DVD’s so outfit eight was lounge clothes and cute slippers from Oasis.  I did move from the sofa briefly to make some gingerbread men!

We met Mum’s family in London on 27th for a delicious meal at The Parcel Yard in Kings Cross station.  Afterwards my husband and I sipped champagne at the champagne bar at St Pancras.  I wore a knitted stripped sparkle dress from Oasis with the same mid brown coat and slouch boots I wore to Bath earlier in the month.

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An afternoon with Phil’s family was spent in black skinny jeans from New Look, slogan t-shirt from Boohoo and a grey cardigan from Oasis.

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My Mum and I had the great treat of taking my nieces to the pantomime which was Cinderella this year.  For this I wore a mustard jumper and denim pinafore – both Oasis but to complete the look wore the wonderful Cinderella shoe necklace that my parents-in-law got me for Christmas.

All too soon, it was New Years Eve and I must be getting old as I turned down various invitations, to spend the evening in pyjamas, watching DVD’s and drinking fizz with a glowing log burner and my Yankee candles to add a bit of hygge.

So I saw out 2018 in outfit twelve of my Mary Poppins pyjamas from Marks and Spencer.  New Year always marks a time of reflection on things achieved and those still to achieve.  Once again I made a long list of New Year’s resolutions.  This year I am determined to at least achieve one and it’s a big one – to lose nearly three stone in weight.  I’m the heaviest I have ever been.  Weight is sneeky – it creeps up on you and enough is enough.  I started well with a seven mile walk around Riverside Country Park on New Year’s Day!  Let’s see if 2019 is the year I finally achieve that.

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What resolutions did you make and how are you doing with them so far?

 

 

 

Flying through the months

Can you believe we are already in March? I can’t believe how fast the last few months have gone, it doesn’t seem five minutes ago that we had Christmas to look forward to and now we are faced with lots of cold weather and a long wait until Summer.

Christmas countdown traditionally begins on 1st December with an advent calendar. Advent calendars were first used by German Lutherans in the 19th and 20th Century. Advent calendars have moved on a lot in recent years, with children no longer content with opening a door to reveal a Christmas picture or poem. At the very least they expect a chocolate now and some calendars give toys such as the Lego calendar. Being a big kid, I have never tired of an advent calendar and thankfully I am clearly not alone as there is now a large market in adult advent calendars offering candles or beauty products. This Christmas I decided to try a beauty advent calendar. These range quite a bit in price with the Liberty one costing £250! After some research I settled on the reasonably priced House of Fraser one at £25 as this also had all 24 doors, rather than the 12 some calendars offer – presumably to represent the 12 days of Christmas. It was quite exciting to see what beauty product you would get each day and by far my favourites were a glitter eyeliner, a blusher and one of the lipsticks, all of which I have been using regularly.

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What really got me in the festive mood was the Dickensian Christmas celebrations in Rochester on 3rd December. For this I wore skinny jeans from Oasis with a white pussy bow blouse from Oasis and my trusty New Look faux leather biker jacket. I accessorised with the gorgeous blue velvet flats and handbag which are also from New Look and my subtle take on the velvet trend for Autumn/Winter 2016.

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Rochester as I have mentioned many times before in my blog is one of my favourite places. It was also a favourite spot for Charles Dickens and the cobbled streets and old style lampposts make you feel you have truly been transported back in time as you watch the costume parade. We took the opportunity to watch a street performance of Miss Havisham’s story before warming up in the pub over lunch.

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Santa’s reindeer even popped down!

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There was a photo opportunity with Fagin.

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We then made our way to the Christmas market and fun fair. The market was a bit of a let-down if I am honest as I had been expecting the Bavarian style wooden huts you see in London when instead the stalls were in marques and a lot of the items for sale were quite tacky. The funfair was good though and forever the kid I had to have a ride on the carousel.

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I have wanted another piercing ever since I had to let my nose piercing close up earlier this year after an infection so I went and got my rook pierced – part of the ear. It was quite painful after so I went and recovered with a latte and a large piece of cake in Fleur de the.

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Number 12 or 13 is the rook

We ventured out into the cold and darkness just in time for the evening costume parade with lanterns. The snow machines were on and we all walked up to the castle where the carol service was held.  It was a magical evening and totally set me up for the festive period.  We warmed up and lubricated our tired voices with mulled wine in a local pub before heading off home.

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The following weekend, my husband and I took our niece and nephew to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. This year marks ten years of Winter Wonderland and each year it seems to get bigger and bigger. It was another cold day and unfortunately turned into quite a wet day too. I had bought a new hat, gloves and scarf set from Oasis and wore a long padded coat from New Look which although less than flattering, is extremely warm – it gives you the feeling of being wrapped up in a duvet!

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We visited the magical ice kingdom which this year had the theme of an Arctic Adventure. This is an awe inspiring sight whether it is your first visit or not, with incredible detail on each of the ice sculptures. There is also a slide made of ice which once again brought the kid out in me and ice thrones which of course kids love due to the connotations with Disney’s Frozen.

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The boys enjoyed the bumper cars whilst my niece and I went on the swings. Later my niece wanted to go on a roller coaster. There was an extremely long queue but the wait was made slightly more entertaining by a kind of fun house along the way. The ride was a disaster as she was so scared and I felt so helpless when she asked me to make it stop. You would have thought that would have put her off rides but she still wanted another go on the swings before we left!

Putting up the  Christmas decorations is always for me traditionally accompanied by listening to Now that’s what I call Christmas and sipping on snowballs.  This year I finally persuaded my husband to put lights outside – something I have always wanted.

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We hosted Christmas day this year for the first time and had my parents and my husband’s parents over. I wore a black lace dress from Oasis and sparkle tights also from Oasis and accessorised my hair with a flower band which I got at London Fashion week and is by Her Curious Nature.

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We had a really nice day. I really enjoyed setting out the Christmas table. Dinner was lovely and I got some wonderful presents – my favourite being a shoe design course! Look out for a blog on that in the next month or so. We played Cranium which was a laugh and watched the Christmas tele and before you knew it, it was all over for another year!

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Boxing day was spent at Mum’s with my brother and his family.  For this day I wore an Oasis jumper with a basic black mini skirt from Asos and purple Uggs that I got in New Zealand a few years back.

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Between Christmas and New Year my husband and I visited Scotney Castle and decided to become National Trust Members.

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New Year was spent with friends. I always find New Year rather depressing as it is another reminder of what you have not achieved and a time to set resolutions that you invariable break way before the end of January! I guess I can at least remember 2016 as the year I finally got promoted to a PA.  We also finally finished decorating our bedroom.  It was so nice to get rid of the grey striped wallpaper that was there when we moved in.

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As with every other new year, I once again set my usual resolution to lose weight and decided to try the milk diet which was the diet of choice for 2017. The full diet suggested you eat nothing and just drink 4 pints of full fat milk a day. That seemed rather extreme so I went for the modified version where you drink a glass of milk before each meal with the aim of then eating less. I did see some positive effect from this, loosing 3lbs in the first week but as per usual it was the same as most fad diets and I had given up within 3 weeks.

January always seems to drag so I was glad when we got to the end. The final weekend in January; Saturday evening was spent at a Fawlty Towers evening which was a great laugh. For this I wore a black pleated skirt from Asos, a gold stripped crop top from Kiss Kiss Heart in Rochester and accessorised with shoes I purchased at London Fashion Week by Alexander White and an Aldo clutch.

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That Sunday we had a trip to London to see the Play that Goes Wrong. The end of January of course marks the start of the new year for the Chinese and this year is the year of the Rooster!

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February saw a return to my early twenties with a night out at a club on Tottenham Court Road for a friend’s birthday.  I must be getting old as I was quite taken aback that they wanted to scan our ID before letting us in and by the fact there are now bouncers on McDonald’s on the Strand!  I am also way too old for the torturous 2 hour journey home on the night bus!  Having said all that though it was a fun night.  I reworked the outfit I wore to  the Fawlty Towers evening this time accessorising with gold Oasis t-bar shoes and a gold clutch.

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So now 2017 is well underway and we have certainly seen some cold weather. Easter is late this year meaning that Summer feels even further away but there are some exciting things coming up so keep looking out for future blogs.

Season’s Greetings

Happy New Year Readers, let’s hope 2015 is a good year for all. I was rather sad to say goodbye to 2014 being that it was the year my husband and I got married and it’s going to be hard to top that with anything this year – but perhaps a new home may be on the horizon.

Our Wedding

I find myself once again considering New Years Resolutions despite the fact that a study in 2007 found that 88% fail at their resolutions. I only really have one and it’s one I set every year and that is to lose weight. I have managed to put on nearly all of the weight I lost for my wedding and am really quite disappointed in myself. I am however going to start the diet on 12th January so as I have time to finish off all the Christmas goodies in the house. I am sharing this resolution with you all as the same study also found that women succeed 10% more if they share their goals with friends and family. Better enjoy the chocolate and nuts whilst I still can!

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My homemade Christmas cake and chocolate log

 

So another Christmas is over and done with again and the reality of going back to work is looming. This year my husband and I got into the Christmas spirit by visiting Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, London on 21st Dec. We visited the ice kingdom there, which took over two weeks to create by over 50 artists and is the largest exhibition of its type in the world.   Of course it is even more of an attraction with the current popularity of the Disney film Frozen (the DVD of which was one of my Christmas presents). The kingdom is kept at -8 degrees and it really was cold – we purchased a hot chocolate from the bar made of ice in order to warm up after posing on the ice thrones. The exhibition also included a large magic mirror of ice which you could pose behind – I had to do this as it was a nice reminder of our fairy tale wedding theme. We also browsed the stalls in Hyde Park and couldn’t resist a new addition for our Christmas tree.

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Winter wonderland thrones

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Christmas day was very different for me this year as it was the first time in my life that I didn’t spend it with my parents; they were invited over to my brother’s family. After the initial childish reaction I felt to the news, I finally came to the conclusion that it may be quite nice to spend our first Christmas married, just the two of us; and it was although it felt as though most of the day was spent in the kitchen. Cooking Christmas dinner is hard work I discovered and I was happy to relax on Boxing Day at Mum’s with a second Christmas dinner!

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Christmas Day

 

I was fortunate enough to receive most things that had been on my Christmas list – including The Great Gatsby DVD, a Luigi purse and an Urban Decay eyeshadow palette but my husband also surprised me with a Pandora charm bracelet which was totally unexpected and a lovely thought – he also picked a charm meaning passion for it. A novelty present I received was a personalized wine glass with small glass, large glass and Krissy’s glass printed on it.  All my presents from my husband were wrapped in shoe paper – he knows me so well.

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My parents bought me some Biba homeware. Biba as I have previously mentioned were a big fashion label in the sixties with a store in Kensington. They have had somewhat of a revival and are celebrating 50 years this year. Their homeware has quite an Art Deco air about it. I dressed the table with it for our New Year’s Eve dinner party with my parents and the in laws.

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I also treated myself to a little Christmas present. Everyone who knows me, will tell you I am a shoe addict as well as an avid Sex and the City fan so you can understand why I couldn’t resist these shoes, designed by none other than Sarah Jessica Parker and named after her character, Carrie.

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January is historically known as the most depressing month and the return to work certainly makes me inclined to agree – the fun of Christmas is behind us for another year but a new year also provides an opportunity for some great new fashion trends.  So what fashion delights will 2015 see?  It seems that the 1990’s nostalgia will continue as will the nod to the 1970’s.  Red is also going to be the colour of the season so looks as though I purchased wisely with the above SJP shoes.

Enjoy the sales and keep an eye out for those new trends.  Once again happy new year and good luck with your resolutions – I give mine until February at best!