Merry Christmas Everyone!
I hope you all had a lovely day filled with loved ones, laughter, food and gifts. I had a great day with Topher and my family. So here’s what I got for Christmas. Since it was Topher and my first Christmas together as a married couple – we got a couple more things for each other this year. See this post for a couple of things I got him. He got me a Manchester cushion for our living room, Wall-e and Eve plushies and a book (not pictured). As for everything else:
- I got cash from a few family members for me to squirrel away for Topher and I’s upcoming Disneyland Paris trip
- Topher’s mum’s boyfriend got us the Hogwarts cushions. We already have our own house cushions but these will be perfect for the guest room. Topher came up with the awesome idea to switch them up for any guests that stay over so that they have their house cushions on the bed. We’re such nerds but I love it!
- Emma got me the Minnie Mouse keyring and the cactus lights. Can’t decide whether to put the lights in the bedroom or the living room.
- My parents actually bought us a fridge freezer a couple of months ago so they just gave us little goody bags to open on Christmas. I got some chocolate, a lush bath bomb, a lego mug and some socks. They also got us the Disney calendar* to replace our food pun one from last year.
- Topher’s grandma is always the winner of most random present but there’s always something useful in her packages. I got some makeup brushes, an appliqué embroidery hoop and some dishcloths.
- I joined in the In Colourful Company Secret Santa this year so I got a little bag of goodies from someone. I got a Disney/Cath Kidston reusable bag, 2 notebooks, a Harry Potter mirror and coaster.
- My brother got me the brush pens – judging by my practice run with them I’m going to need a hell of a lot more practice with them before I get my lettering looking Instagram ready!
I’m super thankful for everything I received and it looks like everyone enjoyed the gifts I gave them too so that’s always nice!
For previous years What I got for Christmas – see 2016, 2013 and 2012.
What did you get for Christmas?
*Oh Christmas tree *We Blog North Xmas
*In colourful company xmas meetup *Crystal Maze
*Coffee *Poor thing has no idea.
So it’s been a bit quiet around these parts recently. Not so much in terms of posts but of actual catch-ups and the person behind the blog showing her face. Hello again.
I’ve been doing the bare minimum this month for a reason and I’m trying to feel good about it. I’ve been so hard on myself this year, my mental health has taken a nosedive and I needed a break. I haven’t completely taken my foot off the gas but I’ve been rather quiet on social media and just doing posts that I needed to. I’ll be going into my whole mental health fun and games in another post but for now let’s keep things light and fluffy with a catchup. It is only 3 days until Christmas after all. Almost Christmas, woo!
- I attended the We Blog North Xmas dinner which was awesome. Good food, good company and a lovely goody bag to take home.
- The snow came and went. We seemed to get it a day earlier than everyone else (even others in Manchester) so it was all gone by the time people were talking about it on Twitter.
- I attended the In Colourful Company Xmas meetup. It turned out to be a rather small affair (5 of us to be exact) as so many people were stuck in the snow but we had a nice afternoon. Tried to have brunch at Leaf but their power went so we ended up at Ezra and Gil where I tried my first matcha latte (nom) and had a delicious main of smoked salmon on rye (even more nom).
- Topher turned 30! We went to crystal maze where I still didn’t win any crystals for the team (third time’s the charm?) but neither did Topher, ha ha. Then for lunch it was Bem Brasil where we ate all the meat. So good! Then we spent the rest of the afternoon and evening attempting to bar hop but then managing to find a table in one and settling there for the night. So worth it – and they had mulled wine!
- I caught a cold off Topher – thanks Topher! – which kept me in bed for several days. It finally went away to be replaced by one of the biggest and long lasting headaches I’ve ever had. Thankfully all the illness seems to be behind both of us now.
- I finished my Christmas shopping on Monday and everything is wrapped. Topher is currently wrapping my stuff in the other room as we speak.
- We decided to look at all our internet options just after Christmas so no fibre yet but soon!
- We saw Star Wars last night and it was awesome.
So coming up we’ll be heading over to the in-laws tomorrow before bundling our stuff and the cats into the car on Christmas Eve and driving over to Nottinghamshire to spend Christmas Day with my parents. We’ll be back early on the 27th just in time for my sister in law Emma’s birthday.
How has your December been?
Winter time can be freezing cold and miserable on the surface, but there’s no reason to put your life on hold until spring swings around. This season can be just as enjoyable as any other time of the year if you put some effort into looking after yourself. Obviously, it’s understandable that you’ll feel a little blue this season; the short days mean you’re not seeing as much sunshine, and eating more to keep your body warm might make you slightly unhealthier. But you don’t need to develop bad habits in order to cope with the tough season. The following health pointers should help you to enjoy winter a little more this year.
Retain a healthy sleeping pattern.
If you want to stay healthy over winter then you need to sleep properly to keep your energy levels up in the cold weather. Of course, it’s not enough to simply sleep for 7 to 9 hours every evening. Your body needs enough sleep but it also needs a quality sleep. When you go to bed, you’re giving your body the chance to recharge. If you’ve not got a supportive bed then your body won’t get the rest it needs, so you need a mattress that is firm and comfortable in order to avoid aches and pains. Additionally, you could look into goose feather pillows so that your head has a supportive yet soft place to rest. It’s very important to prioritise the comfort of your bed so that you’re really getting a good sleep.
Eat and exercise well.
The best way to stay healthy and happy during winter is to make sure that you eat and exercise well. As mentioned in the introduction, you’re going to feel hungrier as the days get colder and your body craves energy but it’s important that you eat the right things. “Variety, balance, and moderation” is the tri-factor of a successful diet. You shouldn’t simply aim to cut out bad food and restrict your diet to nothing more than fruit and veg. You need to cut out junk but replace that junk with good food because your body still needs sustenance. Calcium, protein, iron, potassium, and other vitamins or nutrients make up a full diet. You might struggle to make healthy habits stick at first but you could even join slimming groups for support and advice to keep you going.
As for exercise, you don’t need to start working out mercilessly in order to be healthy; you simply need to find a way to stay active every day. A 10-minute run around the park could make all the difference to your health. It’s not just about reducing weight but reducing the risk of heart disease and mental issues. There are so many ways to adopt a healthy lifestyle but the most important thing is to simply find a routine that works for you. You don’t have to exercise excessively, for example, but regularly keeping your body active is crucial to keeping your heart and mind healthy. Exercise also boosts the immune system which is important when facing the risk of winter colds.
*This is a collaborative post
For all of December so far, I’ve been dying to make some handmade Christmas decorations.
Seriously how is it Christmas in less than a week? I finally made some handmade Christmas decorations last night as I figured it’s better late than never.
It’s been a dream for Topher and I to buy a new decoration for our tree every year for Christmas but it has never happened. A multitude of things always got in our way over the last 8 Christmas’s together; from lack of money to running out of time, to not even having a tree one year.
Unsurprisingly once again we were unable to buy a decoration this year. But all is not lost – taking inspiration from Reeves’ How-to Videos I decided to paint some baubles last minute. Their acrylic paints which I received at their September event can paint on practically any service and dry super quick (ideal for when there are curious cats around!).
The video shows them using glass baubles which they filled with the paint which I loved the idea of. Unfortunately for me I couldn’t find them anywhere so was pleased to find some plain ceramic baubles in Aldi for £1.99. Score!
The paints are pretty easy to use, even for the less crafty of people – you just need a steady hand! I do not have the steadiest of hands but I don’t think these turned out too badly.
Here’s how I decorated my baubles:
This was my first idea and I love how it looks, especially the Ho Ho Ho one.
Definitely the hardest of the three to do but I was so pleased with the holly ones. The reindeer ones not so much but that’s the fun of it.
Full on colour
This was the easiest to do – the paint went on like a dream and still dried just as quickly.
The whole task took about half an hour so perfect to get some last minute decorating in.
I had such a good time using these paints that I might get Topher to sit down and paint these flat ceramic ornaments I found. Let’s start a new tradition!
Are any of your Christmas decorations handmade?
*WeBlogNorth Event *Xmas markets
*Tsum tsum advent calendar *Freelance Folk Christmas Meal
*The tree is up *Watched Elf all the way through for the first time
*Fibre is here! *Pickles loves boxes
So I took a week off. I didn’t mean to but it just happened and that’s completely fine.
I was super busy and then I had a short down period again. I think I need to stop guilting myself into a stupor. So I’m going to take it easy this December and just concentrate on the things that need to be done.
So what have I been up to since my last My Week post back on 17th November?
- Topher and I went to Coventry for a Christening of one of our friend’s children. Stayed in a Travelodge nearby and caught up with our uni mates.
- I attended my first WeBlogNorth event in a while – really fun and great to catch up with people.
- I did some in person work for an indie business who has a stand at the Manchester Christmas Markets.
- Topher and I started watching Star Trek (the original series) from the beginning.
- We saw Murder on the Orient Express at the cinema which we both loved. I can’t believe it took me right until the end to realise that Poirot was Gilderoy Lockhart from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets!
- Christmas decorations went up at the weekend. And when I say Christmas decorations I mean the tree. I also bought some fairy lights so now we have two things. I really need to step up our decorating game. It’s happening though – some bits and pieces for me to craft are on the way so look out for those in a future blog post.
- The first Christmas event I attended came and went. It was the Freelance Folk Christmas Lunch last Friday. It was a lovely afternoon and I’ve got a lot more events to look forward to.
- And finally it looks like we’ll be able to get fibre internet very soon. It’s finally come to our area. We’ve been here almost two years and have been dealing with 1.2mb speed which has been horrible. Especially for me having to rely on it for my job. We actually got rid of our wifi all together earlier this year and now use hotspots from our phone. I can’t wait to have wifi again.
Also, I’m almost done gift shopping which is a relief. If you find yourself with not many names crossed off your list you should check out my Gift Guide for Her, for Him and my Indie Business Gift Guide where all the items are from small businesses.
How have you been this fortnight?