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AN ODE TO CHRISTMAS CANDLES

Wednesday, December 07, 2016



I'm currently sat typing this by the Christmas tree and feeling 10/10 festive, with one of the above candles burning a cinnamon scented haven beside me and my tummy rumbling for more advent chocolate - it's a hard malarkey this Christmas stuff ey?

One thing that heightens for me this time of year is my obsession with buying festive candles - candles the rest fo the year feel too warm or too over-powering, but come October and finally December, candles are all I can think about (and all my purse dreads me buying 10 more of). So, with my extensive knowledge and purchasing behind me (I have 8 candles this year, btw) I wanted to share the low-down on a few of my festive faves you can still pick up...

What originally started this festive spending spree was Yankee Candle Cinnamon Stick which I got for Christmas last year, and it burnt beautifully and smelt perfectly of sweet warming cinnamon without being too sweet or baked - I cannot stand sweet candles but this is just perfectly warmed and uplifting whilst bringing a sense of cosiness. One thing I would say is that the medium candle burns much better than the large - as the large only has one wick, it doesn't seem to have enough power to burn evenly across past a certain point despite having a smaller circumference than the medium candle, however you can get over this by wrapping foil around the outside to encourage heat convection and keep it burning down, but again this only lasts to a certain point when the centre gets and stays hotter quicker than the edges. Other than that, smells divine!

One that is said to (and so far is) burn better than Yankee Candle is Village Candle Red Hot Cinnamon, which is near identical in scent and packaging, but has two wicks in the large size. Now both are the same size and it does make more sense to have two wicks to 'power' the burn and melting of the wax at such a height. So far, it's bloomin' great and smelt very festive - I've had to bring it downstairs to burn however as I have just too many candles to burn but you can find this online or in garden centres - easy peasy.

A little bit more luxurious now, but also a very good stocking filler treat if you fancy; Neom already has a fab range of candles but their festive offerings really smell high quality and less traditional all whilst being super cosy and Christmassy. I picked up the Scents of Christmas pack which contains small sizes of Perfect Peace and Christmas Wish, and the scents do mix a little being so packed together, however they each have a unique smell - Perfect Peace has more of a fresh pine twist to it, almost smelling like a Lush bath bomb that is equally relaxing a spa-like but has a cosy warmth to it (I always burn this before bed and during baths) and the Christmas Wish has more traditional deep scents like cinnamon and mandarin, however has almost a velvety, rich edge which reminds me of rich Christmas pudding; it's very grounding and almost melty in atmosphere, but a perfect mood-setter for the evening when entertaining - because both are small, they also burn very well and evenly, and buying the duo is the same as buying one on it's own!

Finally, the peak of Christmas candles - The White Company Winter Candle. I've seen people talk about this for years, how it smells incredible, how it lasts for years depending on size, and just how festive it is in design and scent. You know what? They weren't wrong. So I'm yet to burn them properly (yeah I purchased a small pretty one and a big ass 3 wick, sue me, it's Christmas) but even from opening the packaging and using the reed version, the quality of oils/ingredients used is incredible; it's so high quality, very intense, but also smells true to the natural festive smells you associate with Christmas. I'm a huge fan, I'm converted, there is nothing artificial about it and it's worth every penny, so if you're still looking for a luxury gift or a candle to make your house a festive grotto, pick one up asap (there's probably even a code online to get you discount if you're lucky!)

So many candles, so little time (18 days and counting) so the question remains - what shall I burn next?

x

Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more.

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DECORATING THE CHRISTMAS TREE

Monday, December 05, 2016



One of the first things I get done on my 'Christmas is here list' is putting up the tree - it's always December 1st, 3rd at a push - and whilst this year was a bit of a rush, it's been good to finally get the main tree standing and decorated. It makes me sit downstairs more often, makes cosy movie evenings even cosier and festive, and it also puts my symmetry neat-freak into full mode because certains colours and styles can't be too close okay?!

Instead of just showing you the tree complete (partially because this weekend has been spent me perfecting it rather than photographing it oops) I wanted to focus on the individual decorations that make up the main theme - there's already the small tree in the kitchen which is decked in blues, whites and silvers (very frozen, very me) so it still feels 'on brand' but there's something about Christmas I've said before that makes me go all traditional; I do love the blues and greens, eucalyptus and golds, but heck I've been cracking out the reds and it just feel right.


Decorating for me symbolises that Christmas is here and is just levels of festivity I can't compute; despite being very blue orientated, I do quite like the traditional feel - it's evolved from full on green, red and gold with very 90's edge, to gold and deep purples, and finally the dispute of silver and pewter with blue vs reds, silvers and a bit of gold. Luckily this year, we've managed to do both - in the kitchen is more of a blue and silver theme (unintentionally Frozen) which works so well with the snow tipped tree (an artificial 7ft pencil tree with snow from Homebase), and is adorned with decorations from Homesense (obvs), Homesense and M&S which you can see here and are hopefully still available!

We've also chosen a real tree for the second year in a row now, and I've been converted to the smell and look of them including the whole buying process - this year we tried to dig up our own but opted for a pre-cut one because fussy with tree shapes, ours has a big Kim-K butt which is v nice.


As you can see in the flatlays, we're really rocking the red, white, silver and slightly creamy gold vibe - the white helps to brighten and lift the tree especially at night, when against the lights they reflect each twinkle a little more (saving having to turn more lights on). Despite being quite traditional however, I think the design of the baubles is a mix of rustic, country, opulent and jazzy which shouldn't work but strangely does, and you know what? I bloomin' love it!



Now all the tree needs now is a few piles of presents to open ;) ....

x


Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more.

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THE BEST 2016 CHRISTMAS JUMPERS

Friday, December 02, 2016



Well we finally made it didn't we? Christmas has well and truly begun and I for one now feel completely pressed for time and am trying to fit in as many festive things as I can before you can say 'it's Boxing Day already?'

I love the festive films, the food (always) and the general decor and warmth of the season, but I mostly love the jumpers; I have been itching to wear mine since October, in public since November and slowly started wearing them around friends two weeks ago (thankfully everyone knows I'm Christmas af and appreciated how festive I was) and it's fair to say I have quite the collection now - so far this year I've picked up 5 new jumpers bringing the total to 8 which means I have enough to look fashionable every day of the week and then some!

Whether you're looking for more jumpers to add to your wardrobe or are yet to pick up a design, here's my pick of the best 2016 releases still on offer...





This little tree beauty is via Primark and whilst you can't shop it online it should hopefully still be available in stores (although we all know how manic Primark can get). If you're someone who likes a high or turtle neck style jumper, then this is definitely for you - it's a bit thin so you will need a plain white thermal underneath as you can see pattern and colour through the fabric, but it's a lovely cute addition to wear to family dinner or by the fire whilst you melt your icy toes into toasty marshmallows.


Okay, I tell a lie - this jumper was from a charity shop so the exact design won't be readily available, however it is a good opportunity to tell you to check your local charity/thrift shops for fab jumpers! I've seen sold-out jumpers from even last year in various shops and online for bargain prices, plus it all helps out an important cause so have a good scout at your local; one thing that is available though is this Marks and Spencer Pudding Beanie which is probably my fave hat ever and makes my hair look bigger thanks to the added height. It's also blue and festive so ;)



One store I think are absolutely nailing it this year are Next, and mostly their men's section - I've found this year that most places have gone more fun and cool novelty with mens and very simple and classy with womens (which is fine, if it's your thing) but I really love an in-your-face yet tasteful design hence why I'm all over this beauty - a Blue Reindeer Light Up Jumper* which is honestly the coolest and cosiest jumper ever. The fabric is thick enough that even with a light long-sleeve you feel toasty but is very soft as well, and it comes with constant changing lights on the reindeer noses which are the most festive thing ever (mine have run out already as I think I left them on by mistake, but are easily replaced). If you want a jumper with extra edge and christmas-ness, please buy this, you won't regret it.



ICYMI it, myself and Ally collabed with Primark this year and made some merch - I'm also joking, because I wish. If you've seen our Festive Whisper Challenge video from last year (2016 version coming soon!) then you'll know this was one of the phrases we lolled over a lot, but in reality it's just Primark taking inspo from us Christmas with a catchy slogan. This is actually a decent knit weight although one sleeve has started to pull, but it's warm, it's fun, it's a sturdy soft which is an odd explanation but that's what it is, and it's also pretty affordable if you have limitied budget (also thanks Ally for buying me this you are a star)



Finally and possibly my favourite jumper is another Next men's beauty - the Green Santa Sleigh Jumper* which is a lighter weight to th previous Next jumper but equally as snug, equally as high quality and equally not leaving my back until Christmas is over. I honestly have to be stopped wearing this one as it's translating into my loungewear wardrobe and that's a land most items don't come back from, but it's the perfect cosy, casual fabric, has a fabulous festive print that isn't too in your face but still says 'hey, Christmas is here and I am ready' and you can tell this will last year after year, which is exactly what you want from a gift of Christmas right?


I've actually filmed 7 of my jumpers in a quick lookbook that you can watch below (you can also subscribe, tickle the sub button) and if you're quick, you may be able to pick up a festive jumper wardrobe to rival even mine ;)


x


Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more.

Website | Flickr | Tumblr | Twitter | Bloglovin | Instagram | Pinterest

CHRISTMAS PARTY BAGS: BECAUSE COOKING FOOD ISN'T ENOUGH

Wednesday, November 30, 2016



Now I know it's not always customary to give people party bags these days (unless you're 5, I can confirm I'm not 5, just a very festively excited 22 year old) but with it being Christmas and all then giving guests a little something extra is a nice treat - think of it as mini stocking of treats used to swing friends over to the dark side; I mean solidify a friendship and thank them for coming...

Sticking with the red theme and other Meri Meri decorations I picked up at Homesense, I found a 4-pack of Nutcracker party bags which come ready to fold and additional festive tissue paper, and they themselves are a talking table piece - look how bright and colourful they are!


Of course, there are plenty of ways to fill your party bags, and being the gifting season there are lots of mini products and treats available to distribute; I went mainly for a mix of food and beauty because, well, everyone loves something relaxation related and it's the most chocolatey time of the year, right? Plus my friends are the foodiest people I've ever met so it's clear to say the true way to friendship is the stomach ;)



As you can see, plenty of chocolate ;) M&S have lots of 3 for 2 offers on party food this season including chocolates and drinks so I manage to grab the last lot of Dulce De Leche on the shelves to pop in bags, and also a great tip is to buy packs of special festive releases like these Lindor Santas which come in a row of 6 and separate to share between friends.

I also found this uhmazing gluten/dairy free drinking fudge in Homesense, which was Sea Salt Caramel flavoured as is basically liquid fudge you add to any hot drink for sweetness, flavour and smooth texture - it's honestly divine.

And what is christmas without candles? I popped in a mini cinnamon tealight to really start the warm, cosy feeling for when my friends got home, and additionally added some Next mini scented candles*, which vary from Figgy Pudding to Roasted Chestnuts and Pine and perfect to either dot around your house or give to others to spread festive cheer or mask burnt roast dinner (idk), but along with cute mini candles are cute mini crackers* containing some lush beauty products; from body lotion to wash and hand cream, each cracker is a unique design, looks interesting on the table and add to a bit of pre-christmas relaxation that we all need now and again.

Speaking of relaxing, I'm a big fan of sheet masks for hydration and moisture (with the best being from Korean brand Innisfree) and as a lot of my friends are bloggers or work in highly time consuming and stressful jobs, taking a few minutes to lie back and pop on a face mask is a slice of heaven (I should know, even using a clay mask on the regular is a luxury!)



Obviously you can vary your gifts to taste - from sweets and leftover treats, to cards and beauty gifts (heck if you fancy pop a mini bottle of wine in everyone's box!) - but it's so nice to see everyone's gratitude even on top of cooking for them, that sometimes the gift of giving is mostly just for you...

x

Items from Homsesense have been compensated with a gift card but all views and party bag loves my own!

Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more.

Website | Flickr | Tumblr | Twitter | Bloglovin | Instagram | Pinterest
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