The Perfect Christmas Jumper

At this time of year we are busy choosing the perfect gifts for our family and friends and whilst competing with the thousands of other shoppers, we sometimes forget to take care of number one.

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So this weekend I decided that it was about time I invested in a Christmas jumper (yay). As I mentioned in my last post on fashion, I am quite tall for a girl, so naturally finding a winter warmer that fits is again a tricky task.

In my quest for a jazzy jumper I checked out the tall sections of Next, Dorothy Perkins and New Look but either the prices were a bit steep for a sweater with a best before date, or the designs just didn’t take my fancy.

However, on Saturday I took a trip to town and headed for a high street store which I have a love-hate relationship with, H&M. Some days I can walk in and want to purchase the whole shop (when the clothes fit), and others I come out completely disappointed in their selection.

On this occasion I was a winner and spotted the most gorgeous girly cream jumper (£19.99-bargain!). Okay – it isn’t strictly a Christmas design with reindeer prints or presents, but it is so pretty and cosy!

I absolutely love the combination of different shades of blue and pinks against the cream. Plus despite the size being a little on the big side, the arms are the perfect length.

So thank you H&M, for on this occasion catering to the needs of a tall girl in her fight for fashion and quest for a cosy Christmas jumper!

P.s. I treated my boyfriend to some festive knitwear, with a navy Primarni bargain (£14.99), while it is a lot more subtle than mine, the reindeer shapes hint that Christmas is well and truly on its way 🙂

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Lincoln’s Christmas Market

Sunday is funday and yesterday I spent the day at Lincoln Christmas market.

Anyone who has been to Lincoln will have probably experienced the work-out that is Steep Hill, which definitely stays true to its name.

But the climb to the many stalls in the castle grounds was definitely worth it. From carefully hand painted Russian dolls, to homemade cheeses, fudge, potpourri bundles, chocolate mulled wine and bubble machines – there really was something for everyone. But one stood out in particular, named “Personitas”. This was where I picked up the perfect present for my sister, Lara.

As her name is fairly unusual, stickers, place mats, key rings and teddies with her name on are a rarity, but Personitas changed that.

Bursting with glitter and fairy dust, this pop-up shop is every little girls’ dream come true, (and despite being twenty two, I was pretty wowed too ;)).

Beautiful, tiny dolls were the common theme throughout the handmade items for sale (see the pictures below), and I chose a pretty pink door hanger for my sister. Personalised on the spot, the lovely lady added my sister’s name in a swirly font before making the finishing touches with a dash more glitter.

Other magical items available included a photobox frame, home to a family of these adorable dolls and canvasses complete with magical castle scenes.

Following the stalls, I somehow found myself on Father Christmas’ knee for a small donation – who said Christmas was just for kids hey?!

What’s more, we timed our festive day out to perfection and saw the world renowned cathedral (it was formerly the world’s tallest building for at least 238 years!), looking spectacular; bathed in the winter sunshine.

And we were even treated to a few snowflakes during the somewhat easier descent of Steep Hill, before being drenched with quite hefty hail stones.

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Favourite Things About Christmas

I love Christmas and this week has been the perfect first week of the festive month. I have shopped pretty much till I’ve dropped already, opened doors on my (Frozen – be jel ;)) advent calendar, listened to every Christmas song ever and tinselfied the flat.

As I prepare to introduce my boyfriend to The Grinch (he’s never seen it!!??), I thought I’d share with you my top twenty favourite things about this wonderful time of the year.

♡ Mince pies | Okay, so I stalked all the shops way back in the beginning of October in a desperate attempt to track down some of these bad boys. FYI, Gregg’s were the winner with their delicious pack of five juicy pies. This Christmas delight is probably solely responsible for sending my calorie intake sky-high. Oops.

♡ The music | So in recent years I have abided by the myth that unless it is the twelfth month of the year, singing your heart out with Mariah Carey, is drastically unlucky. However, it’s been difficult to resist Wham’s ‘Last Christmas’, and those living in the flats above and adjacent to us may or may not have heard me blaring it out a good six weeks ago.

♡ The lights | Whether it’s one set of multi-coloured bulbs twinkling, or a year’s supply of electricity beaming back at you, the light displays in homes/streets/on roundabouts/generally anywhere possible, really do light up the chilly winter month.

♡ The movies | From initially hating on The Grinch for stealing Christmas, to watching Will Ferrell play the brilliant role of Buddy the Elf, and stuff his face with maple syrup and spaghetti, to rooting for little Kevin McCallister as he defends his home from the Wet Bandits while all alone, and obviously not forgetting to drool over Jude Law in The Holiday – Christmas movies are THE best.

♡ The tree | Real or fake, frosted or luscious green, no home is complete at Christmas without a special place for a star or angel to sit. Personally, I prefer a ‘miscellaneous’ theme, where colours don’t match. What’s more, my brother and I have been known to literally throw a whole load of chocolates on our tree in the lead up to Christmas, so that they are out of eye’s view. That way, when it comes to a gloomy January and it’s time to put the decorations away, there’s a sneaky surprise waiting for us – genius hey! 😉

♡ Games | At some point across the Christmas period I find myself partaking in the world’s most highly anticipated family affair, whether it is making sure we are picture perfect in a game of Pictionary, or ‘know it alls’ in a quiz it calls for a tactical team selection process – where winning becomes everything, haha.

♡ Father Christmas, Santa, Saint Nick | Yep. The big man himself. Enough said.

♡ SHOPPING | Why helllloooooo shopping spree x100. For most girls, shopping alone is a sport, but at Christmas it almost becomes an Olympic event. Battling through the crowds of fellow bargain hunters to snap up the perfect gift is a challenge, but so much fun. **To make your money go a little further this year, don’t forget to check out myvouchercodes/vouchercloud etc, as some high street retailers are offering an amazing 40% off!**

♡ TV Christmas specials | For myself, my family and many millions of others up and down the country, Eastenders on Christmas Day is a massive deal. The weeks of anticipation leading up to the humdinger episode all becomes worth it as it well and truly explodes on Albert Square. For others, the must-see tv might be Doctor Who, The Royle Family or Corrie, either way no Christmas evening is complete without a shocker on the box.

♡ The Nativity | In Kindergarten I played an angel, other years I donned a tea-towel on my head to pull off a very convincing shepherd, but in year two I remember my big break I played Joseph, so I will always look fondly upon any nativity play.

♡ Not so secret Santa | If you can make it all the way to the exchanging of presents WITHOUT breathing a word to anybody about who you have to buy a ‘secret’ present for, then I salute you. Regardless of the sporadic mystery, getting together with my friends to swap gifts is amazing fun!

♡ Santa’s snacks | Age is irrelevant when it comes to making sure Santa and his reindeer are fed and watered. Laying down a feast of carrots, mince pies and a glass of brandy is part of the bedtime ritual on the 24th.

♡ Giving presents | While choosing presents is never exactly easy, especially for boys, the process of selecting, wrapping (however, badly – remember it’s the thought that counts)and giving my gifts is so rewarding.

♡ Friends and family | Life is just so busy, but at Christmas the whole world seems to slow down and enjoy the moment. Some of us are scattered all over the country, plus this year, it will be the first time I will have seen my brother in three months and I can’t wait to be reunited with my little sister.

♡ Traditions | While it is not a common tradition, every Christmas Eve we go out for an Italian meal for my Dad’s birthday. We tend to gather at a local family run restaurant and the excitement and Christmas spirit is just so magical with one more sleep to go!

♡ Advent calendars | Like Easter, Christmas is the perfect opportunity to chomp a bucket load of chocolate without giving a second thought…until I stand on the scales in January, and when hindsight will become a wonderful tool in making me realise that I perhaps had one chocolate Santa too many…

♡ The adverts | For me, John Lewis always hits the top spot for a heart-warming advert, but this year Sainsbury’s took the trophy. Honouring the centenary of the First World War, the supermarket’s interpretation of the Christmas spirit is something to be admired. If you have been busy hibernating and haven’t yet seen it click here.

♡ Stockings | YAY. My stocking is absolutely gorgeous and features Minnie Mouse. I have had it since before I can remember and despite now being 22, Santa still generously fills it up. 😉

♡ Ice skating | Last year my boyfriend and I went to Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park and I took him ice skating for the first time. With the twinkling lights, Christmas market, mulled wine and roasted chestnuts for a backdrop, the stunning live musicians positioned in the centre of the ice, and the snowy sky creeping above us, this is possibly one of my favourite memories ever.

♡ Feeling like a big kid | I’ll admit it, as I know I am not alone in saying it, I can’t sleep on Christmas Eve and this year will be no different.

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Vegetarianism FAQs

Turning the clock back to junior school, I made a life changing decision that would stick with me forever dictating each and every meal time.

Since then, every time I meet someone new, I seem to be answering the same set of questions and performing the same speech that I wrote at just eight or nine years old. It’s as if people have never met one before, it’s almost as if we are a different species.

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Well fyi, we don’t bite and we certainly don’t bite meat OR fish (fun fact of the day: vegetarians who eat fish are in actual fact pescatarians) and no we do not live off rabbit food (aka lettuce leaves).

In fact some vegetarians eat an extremely healthy and balanced diet (I am definitely not one of them).

I am however, just starting to venture out into the world of vegetables (ehem, one small step at a time, I’ll admit) after spending the first 22 years of my life being renowned for only ever ordering chips in a restaurant. But I guess, for the foreseeable my like for just six fruit and seven vegetables (at a push) will lead me to answering a lot of questions such as these below…

♡ Why would you do it to yourself? I don’t understand…
Truth be told, it has been so long that I have eaten meat or fish that I can’t really remember what it’s like. My reasoning was because I simply couldn’t understand how people eat another living thing, an animal, something with a beating heart, and plus at school I learnt from a young age what vegetarianism actually meant because they split the veggies from the carnivores at lunchtime.

♡ Do you mind me eating this?
Nope, I don’t mind you tucking into that bloody steak, just as much as you aren’t really that bothered about the person next to you eating parsnips, your one food nemesis. However, if your food still possesses an eye/eyes, I would actually really appreciate you turning the plate round to face you instead of me being eyeballed for the duration of the meal. Thanks very much, haha.

♡ Dining Out
If I am going out for dinner with my family or my boyfriend or close friends, my dietary habits are generally accepted and I am left to order my meal at my leisure. However, the story is completely different if I were to venture out with people who I don’t know as well. They would take it upon themselves to be ever so helpful announce each and every vegetarian option on the menu, making me extra fully aware of it and as if I can’t read the language written before me, myself. “Oh you could have the mushroom risotto”, Yes, yes I could, but unfortunately not every veggie is having a love affair with mushrooms, much to the disappointment of every restaurant who feels that is the only option they can offer to ‘one of us’. It’s okay though, because if all else fails, most places do chips eh?

♡ YOU’VE NEVER HAD A BACON SANDWICH?!?!?!?
Now following my admitting to this, people genuinely look gobsmacked, unable to comprehend that I have never had a bacon sandwich and certainly never wrapped any pig in any blanket. I guess it’s true when they say that you can’t miss what you’ve never had, hey?

(I’ll expect a similar reaction when you realise that I do not have Turkey and all the trimmings on Christmas day, something which I must point out, is not actually a real crime – haha).

♡ You MUST have a weakness though right?
Well yes, you’re correct. McNuggets. Okay, okay, they’re far from ‘real meat’ and maybe it’s just the batter that smells so damn good, or maybe its a case of nostalgia and the euphoria attached to a happy meal, who knows. Either way, temptation hasn’t got the better of me, yet.

♡ Have you ever accidentally eaten meat?(Aka my vegetarian faux pas)
After a night on the town, one naturally stumbles into a fast food shop in a desperate search for something greasy, fatty and oh so satisfying, Now, on one frightful occasion I did just that. Due to a combination of merriness and the darkness causing low pizza visibility, I unknowingly started chewing a mouthful of pepperoni pizza. I had been given the wrong order and proceeded to quickly head for the bin to get rid. Every time I think about it now, I immediately want to scrub my mouth with bleach haha.

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