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December 2019

Lifestyle

40 Ideas To Help With Your Winter Bucket List

Bucket List

Photo by Joseph Pearson on Unsplash

Another Blogmas day, another post focusing on winter stuff! Haha!

This is probably going to be my last post about it since even I’m getting a little tired of chatting about it. However, I’ve been meaning to write about what is on my winter bucket list. There are so many incredible things that happen during this season and a bucket list makes things easier!

I just love lists!

When you have a free day from work or stuck on what to do for an evening, you’re always checking the internet for ideas on what to do. I’ve got some ideas that maybe be able to help you! If you have any ideas that you would add to the list, then let me know! I love chatting with my international friends and hearing what they do.

The Winter Bucket List

  1. Go ice-skating
  2. Make home-made hot chocolate
  3. Bake and make a gingerbread house
  4. Build a snowman
  5. Put a jigsaw puzzle together with a friend/family member
  6. Create small kits to give to the homeless
  7. Try a DIY craft from Pinterest
  8. Send Christmas cards or create a card to share online
  9. Stay in your pyjamas all day
  10. Drive around and check out the different Christmas lights in your neighbourhood
  11. Buy a pair of comfy slippers
  12. Wear something that makes you feel warm
  13. Take a walk in the snow
  14. Make exciting plans for New Year’s Eve
  15. Come up with some realistic New Year Resolutions
  16. Write a handwritten letter to a friend
  17. Go to a local Christmas market
  18. Make an ornament for your tree
  19. Go to a wreath-making class
  20. Buy presents for a child who needs help
  21. Take part in ‘Ugly Christmas Jumper Day’
  22. Kiss a special someone under the mistletoe
  23. Read a book somewhere comfortable
  24. Light a Christmas-scented candle
  25. Have a snowball fight
  26. Create a Christmas Eve box for children
  27. Wrap some presents
  28. Take family pictures
  29. Attend a party
  30. Perform a random act of kindness
  31. Go on a scavenger hunt
  32. Buy a snow globe
  33. Do a Secret Santa
  34. Learn how to say Merry Christmas/Happy New Year in 3 different languages
  35. Create your own Christmas song
  36. Go skiing
  37. Participate in a chuch service
  38. Take a picture with your Christmas tree
  39. Give someone a surprise gift
  40. Donate items you don’t use anymore to charity

There are only a handful ideas here that help you out but you can find more information through Pinterest or even looking into your local newspaper. I just need to learn to listen to my inner voice!

What would be your bucket list?

bucket list

Lifestyle

What’s Inside My Handbag During The Winter

bagPhoto by STIL on Unsplash

Are you bored of all my winter posts yet? Are you secretly hoping that I’ll stop talking about winter or making every lifestyle post about it? Well, I apologise if you’re bored but since it’s that time of year, I’m going to chat a lot about it! I don’t regret making these either! They’re fun!

Like a lot of people, I love watching Youtube videos.

There are obviously questionable ones but I know what I love and who I love to watch. One type of video that I always seem to enjoy is seeing what is in someone’s bag. I’m so nosy! The amount of stuff a person can cram in there is incredible. You don’t just get handbags either! You can get bags of celebrities, fashion school bags, bags for auditions and even pet bags!

I would have taken a picture of my own bag but it’s an absolute state so I’ll just describe it to you.

For the last few years I’ve had a Harry Potter satchel from Primark! It’s just like an old school satchel and I still love it (even though it’s slowly falling apart). I’ve gotten so many comments about how cute it is and how they’re surprised it’s from Primark.

I REPRESENT YOU, PRIMARK! (Work with me please…)

Let’s see what I’ve got in my bag, shall we?

Tissues

I’m going to start off with a little TMI but does anyone else’s nose run just because it’s cold? Mine does ALL the time! I don’t even have to be sick and it runs like a tap. So annoying! That means I have to make sure I have a pack of tissues with me at all time.

I tend to use The Cheeky Panda tissues from Boots! They’re made out of bamboo and are vegan too! I figured that I may as well do a little for the environment even if it’s only for my nose. It’s one of my big things to try and be more eco-friendly over the next year so wish me luck!

What tissues do you use?

Lip Balm

Yikes, do my lips get extra dry during the winter!

I didn’t always use to carry a lip balm in my bag but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve discovered that my lips have become a little less…moist. I don’t know how to describe it! Haha! Just like my skin, my lips really react to extreme temperatures. They can get pretty sore if I don’t keep on top of them.

In the past I used Vaseline and Burt’s Bees (which I do love! I just need to find a new flavour I like). These days I’ve been using Dr Organic with Manuka Honey and it’s so good!! It not only keeps lips feeling alive but it also has SPF 15. Yes, we have to use SPF in winter too! Have you not heard of snow blindness?! The sun is crazy during this time of year. When we get any, that is…

Extra pair of gloves

Fellow ezcema sufferers, high five!

What one word would I use to describe my hands right now? Ow. They’re ow because they’re dry and I’m trying to figure out what I can use to help them. I’ve got a combination of two different creams so sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t.

To try and help my hands a bit when it’s bitterly cold, I wear my Next gloves which are lovely and keep an extra pair in my bag. I like to occasionally double-up my gloves to keep my hands extra warm! It’s so nice and my skin doesn’t flare up as much.

Hand Sanitiser

It’s times like these when I wish the UK had a Bath & Body Works! I’ve heard so many incredible things about their selection of hand sanitisers! Though I did just now (literally as I’m writing this post) discover that you can buy some of them and their candles on Amazon!

This makes me a very happy blogger!

Since we don’t right now, I’ve just been grabbing whatever one smells okay. I haven’t managed to find one particular that both smells great, doesn’t dry out my hands

What kind of stuff do you keep in your bag?

Lifestyle

How To Make The Most Of A Cold Day | Blogmas 2019

The thing about winter is that it’s…well…cold!

Unless you live in a really hot country or Florida (as Thomas Sanders keeps ranting about), but most countries have really cold winters and I’m not afraid to admit that it sucks. If you haven’t read my other winter-related posts, I complain a lot about the weather. It’s too hot, it’s too cold, my body hates temperature!

It’s all true though!!

If you’re like me, I feel for you too!

cold dayPhoto by Thom Holmes on Unsplash

I’ve recently started seeing snow mentioned on my weather app and I’m low-key panicking about snow coming. I have talked about my fear of ice in past posts but it’s just debilitating when you have stuff to get done. Other than that, the last thing you want to do on a day off or during time off Christmas is stand in the cold. It makes you want to stay curled up under a blanket and forget that the world exists for the day.

That’s why I’ve been coming up with ways to make the most of a cold day.

Accept it

This is like some sort of therapy class but it’s true.

You have to learn to accept that winter is going to be with us for a good few months and could possibly sneak into spring too. The UK takes no prisoners when it comes to weather! As much as we would all prefer to stay out the cold (unless you have super thick ski gear or secretly a penguin), we just have to put up with it.

This has been my mini Ted Talk! Haha!

Do some put-off chores

Forget spring cleaning…winter cleaning happens!

You wouldn’t believe how messy things get when you’re preparing for Christmas! You’re pulling out all the boxes you tucked away at the start of the year, dusting them off and trying to decide whether you even love the decorations anymore. I’m always a little indecisive when it comes to what I pop on my tree! Sometimes I want to be minimalistic and the next I want to explode tinsel and baubles all over it!

Life gets busy as well and we all have chores that we don’t like.

Mine have to be polishing (the smell is so strong!) and taking the rubbish out (I have to carry bags a long way!). When I have no-where to go, this is when I pop on music and finally start the chores I’ve delayed.

Try baking

This is something I really want to do this month!

I really want to try making some Christmas cookies because I always see them being mentioned in films or on family vlogs. The problem is that I’m not a great baker and will probably burn a lot of them. I’m still going to try so let’s hope my life insurance covers death by cooking! Haha!

My kitchen is quite small but so cosy when the oven is on and that makes it the perfect place to be when it’s a cold day! I would happily grab a chair and park myself there if I had room.

Watch films

December is a great time to watch films, whether tucked in at home with Netflix and Christmas or whether you hide from the cold at the cinema. That’s what I’m planning to do this week when it’s super cold! The ironic thing is that I’m going to see Frozen 2 again!

I love my irony sometimes!

If I’m at home, I’ll close my curtains, grab all my blankets or even my duvet and watch the films that had been on my watch list! You’d be surprised I have many put aside for days like this!

Read blogs and write comments

Another idea from when you can stay at home or it’s a cold evening is to read posts from your favourite bloggers and leave them comments. If my mental health isn’t letting me write my own posts, then I make sure to leave love from people I love reading.

We may be only 3 days into December but I’m already loving posts from:

These ladies know how to make me forget about the weather for a bit! Love them!

Have a spa day

Just like you put off your chores, you’ve probably put off looking after yourself.

It’s so easily done with how busy lives can get sometimes especially during this time of year. I’ve never been to a spa before but I have been trying to have a day a week when I do look after me. I don’t always feel like I deserve it so it’s a bit of an effort.

You can take this time to put on some relaxing music and do whatever you need to. You could put on face/foot masks, paint your nails, have a bath with some extra nice scents or even just read with your favourite candle on.

Use it an excuse

You know you want to!!

Do you have a favourite cafe or place that you want to visit on a cold day and it’s freezing out? You are completely justified to use the cold as an excuse to go there. I have my eyes on my local cat cafe to go and enjoy myself. There is nothing more warming than a cat sleeping on your lap. It’s so comforting and I miss Jewel doing that with me at home.

Let me adopt all your cats please!

What do you do to make the most of a cold day?

Fandom

What’s On My ‘His Dark Materials’ Gift Guide?

his dark materials

The Definitive Guide to Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials (£25) | His Dark Materials: Northern Lights (£7.99) | The Book of Dust: The Secret Commonwealth (£14.99) | Lyra’s Oxford (£6.18) | His Dark Materials Cushion (£29.95) | Dark Materials Poster Set (£28.80) | His Dark Materials Poster Print – A4 (£3.69) | Golden Compass Alethiometer Watch (£40.33)

Who else is watching His Dark Materials on BBC One?!

Me!!

I’ve been adoring all the episodes so far, even though they’ve missed out some bits that pulled my heartstrings in the books! That said, I just had to make a gift guide for the show and franchise because they are so many pretty things out there! Some of these things you may already own and others you might not!

Grab your daemon and let’s see!

The Definitive Guide To His Dark Materials

Ever wanted to learn everything you could about the world Philip Pullman created?

This book has everything you could want! From lots of details about the characters, places, creatures, language and more! I love discovering all the things I’d either missed while reading or wanting to learn more!

With over 560 pages to flip through, I reckon you’ll be busy until next Christmas!

His Dark Materials: Northern Lights (BBC Cover)

Speaking of the BBC series, here is the cover for the book!

I know it may seem pointless to most people about buying the same book over and over with different covers, but for book lovers and fans, it doesn’t matter!

It’s another cover to the collection and you can appreciate it from afar. It’s an even big plus if you’re loving the series and the actress playing Lyra!

The Secret Commonwealth

If you’ve read His Dark Materials a fair few times and needed something new to check out, then you need to grab Philip Pullman’s latest novel featuring an older Lyra!! I wasn’t a massive fan of the first Book of Dust novel but there is just something about Lyra that had me hooked in this!

The second volume of Sir Philip Pullman’s The Book of Dust sees Lyra, now twenty years old, and her dæmon Pantalaimon, forced to navigate their relationship in a way they could never have imagined, and drawn into the complex and dangerous factions a world that they had no idea existed.

Pulled along on his own journey too is Malcolm; once a boy with a boat and a mission to save a baby from the flood, now a man with a strong sense of duty and a desire to do what is right.

Theirs is a world at once familiar and extraordinary, and they must travel far beyond the edges of Oxford, across Europe and into Asia, in search for what is lost – a city haunted by dæmons, a secret at the heart of a desert, and the mystery of the elusive Dust.

Lyra’s Oxford

Remember with Harry Potter when we were trying to pass the time in between books and films?

This was the His Dark Materials version in the form of a short story featuring Lyra and Pan! It’s only 80 pages so a perfect little stocking filler. It’s set two years after The Amber Spyglass and you know wherever these two are, drama can’t be far behind!

Have any of you visited Oxford and tried to look through Lyra’s eyes?

His Dark Materials Cushion

This cushion has the most gorgeous illustration of Lyra flying through the air in a balloon and, while it seems so peaceful, you can feel the magic! Nothing more perfect for a cushion than relaxing and feeling sleepy! The colours are so pretty and I reckon this would fit on any bed!

You can get this cushion 45cm with cover only for £24.95 up to 60cm with cover and insert for £43.95!

Pricey cushion, huh?

Poster Set

I adore this poster set for the reason that they’re designed in a kind of steampunk style! It shows off 3 of the most important places in the series: Oxford, the North and London! It’s just a really different kind of style compared to the colourful ones out there.

If you love steampunk, then I know you’ll love 1 or all 3 of these!

Golden Compass Alethiometer Watch

You can’t have a ‘His Dark Materials’ gift guide without featuring some kind of Alethiometer mention!

When I saw this watch mentioned on Etsy, I knew that I had to include it in my guide! It has the gorgeous design that we’ve come to know and love with the Alethiometer, but the straps come in different colours! 9!! I think everyone would find a gorgeous colour that they like!

It’s £40.93 and I don’t think that’s too bad for a watch!

Have you been watching the show/have you read the books?

Lifestyle

How To Get Into The Christmas Spirit

Christmas spirit

Happy 1st of December, everyone!! The final month of 2019 has arrived and that means it’s a countdown to Christmas. That being said, Christmas is not always the best time of year. You could have lost a family member or friend, it could be your first without your loved ones, you may be in hospital for it or you might not have the funds to celebrate like everyone else.

I’ll be real with you…I have honestly found it difficult to get into the Christmas spirit.

Growing up, you tend to lose all that magic and sparkle it once had or that was what happened to me. I still loved receiving gifts from my mum and family, but I loved giving! Seeing my mum and friends looking happy with their gift made everything fun.

Now that I’ve no-one to celebrate Christmas with anymore, it becomes very easy to lose any Christmas spirit you had. That or you don’t celebrate it at all. For anyone reading this that doesn’t celebrate because of religious reasons or personal choice, I hope you have a great month anyway!

For those of you do, I’m going to see if I can ignite some festiveness along with you.

Take your time

Feeling festive isn’t a ginormous thing.

It can be as big or as small as you want it to be, depending on how you’re feeling at the moment. You don’t have to compare what you do to others. I didn’t celebrate at all the year Mum died because I didn’t know how I could. Last year I managed to pop up a tree and wrapped up a few presents and this year? I’m not sure. I’m not feeling overly festive yet and I might not feel it all.

Everyone is different.

Watch Christmas films

This is something I’m planning to do this month and I’m somewhat excited for it!

I can’t watch all the family ones because it’s harder to watch something you can’t have. The more fantasy ones I can do such as the Christmas Princess series and the classics such as Home Alone and Muppets’ Christmas Carol! I know how they will go and they don’t feel as real. Netflix have some fun ones I’m planning to watch over the next few years such as:

  • Holiday Rush
  • The Littlest Reindeer
  • A Christmas Story: A Christmas Wish
  • Let It Snow
  • Merry Happy Whatever

I still get the warm feelings and the fun and that’s what the Christmas spirit feels like to me.

Listen/dance to Christmas songs

This is on my Christmas bucket list of stuff to do during December!

I’ve managed to avoid majority of the festive songs that I love (which is hard when you go into shops) so, now that it’s December, I’m cracking out all the tunes! Some that my parents brought me up on and other cheesy ones that I’ve added to my list! What is your list of favourite songs? Don’t judge me:

  • I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day – Wizzard
  • Merry Xmas (War Is Over) – John Lennon & Yoko Ono
  • Stop The Cavalry – Jona Lewie
  • Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bell Ends) – The Darkness
  • Merry Xmas Everybody – Slade

I’ve been listening to these songs for years and years especially Wizzard and Slade and they always bring a smile to my face! That and I always thought the guy singing was secretly my uncle since he had a beard and was from Birmingham too! They don’t make songs like they used to.

Grab yourself an advent calendar

Ooof, someone really cranked out the advent calendars this year!

You name a thing and I bet there is a calendar for it! I’ve definitely noticed the influx of Harry Potter ones this year which is awesome but makes me sad that I can’t get them all. Thanks to my incredible twin Ali, she sent me an early gift in the form of the Lego Harry Potter calendar and I’m so excited!! I’ve never had a non-chocolate one before so this is making me feel like such a big kid!

I’ve also been watching a lot of advent calendar reviews from Lady Writes and they sound so good!!

Maybe I’ll start saving up now for one next year!

Start a new tradition

A lot of indecision comes from focusing on what my Christmases used to be like to what they are now. I’m making it a small thing to create my own kind of special day. Yes, it won’t be like what I had in the past, but that doesn’t mean I can’t create something new. I’m not going out buying lots of new stuff and being crazy. That would drive my anxiety way up.

All I’m doing to start this is buying an ornament.

I’ve had my eyes on the Hufflepuff ornament from the WB Studio Tour London so I’m going to buy myself that next for my tree.

Every year after this, I’ll buy another Potter ornament to add to my tree until it’s a nerdy paradise!

Whatever you choose to do this month, I’m only a blog away if you ever need a chat or if you need a distraction.

How are you guys doing to kickstart your Christmas spirit?