Christmas Time 2013

Christmas Time 2013

For twenty seven years, I have spent Christmas with my family in Lancashire. After a disastrous break in tradition last year, I thought my days of turkey and Christmas pudding elsewhere were well and truly over. However, this year, I decided to spend Christmas day with the boy and his family. You’ll know that it was our first Christmas together and I wanted it to be special. Arriving on Christmas Eve, the grand unveiling of the Christmas pyjamas kicked off festivities, followed by popcorn, Pringles and peanuts and a side of Despicable Me 2! 

Christmas morning arrived early, the boy had been up since 6am and was apparently ‘way too excited to sleep.’  Thankfully, after being told to go back to sleep, he did and we awoke at a respectable 9am. Before any presents could be opened, we brewed the coffee Kim had gifted me during our trip to Edinburgh. Orange spiced coffee. It was simply delicious and perfect for Christmas day. I was handed the biggest pile of presents I’ve ever received as an adult. John and his mum had bought me lots! It’s fair to say that I was spoiled rotten this year . With so, so many amazing presents I intend to fill an entire blog post. You see, I’ve also been spoiled rotten by my pals too. So many lovely things. I’ve caught myself saying, ‘How did you know?’ so many times!

Mid-morning, John’s niece and nephew descended and with them brought chaos and a trail of wrapping paper. Watching two small children open stacks of presents with big grins on their faces totally gave me that Christmas feeling. 

After presents, I got to wear my Christmas day dress. I posted this snap on Instagram, along with a picture of my Diana F+ camera. It seems everyone was wearing this little beaut of a Primark dress and I don’t blame you. For £15, it’s so well made and fits like a dream. Did you see Rachel the Hat‘s Christmas dress this week? I have a feeling this will become mine for many years to come. 

For the boy’s Christmas present, I bought him the Instant Lab by Impossible Project. This means he will be able to print out his hundreds of street art Instagram pictures onto a Polaroid. Sweet, hey? Naturally, we were both fascinated by this new fandangled piece of technology and deliberating over which pictures to print out took us well up to our lunch. 

Christmas dinner. Excuse me whilst I mop up the drool from my chin. John’s mum had prepared a feast for us. I ate every last bit, until my dress no longer fit my hips forcing me to pause before Christmas pudding. As the sun began to set, we started to pack our things ready for the drive to my parents’ house on the other side of Lancashire. 
 
You see, my mum always prepares a buffet on Christmas evening. It’s a more the merrier affair. Sipping bubbly champagne, I was given even more presents. It was a huge surprise as their Christmas present to me was a tumble dryer (welcome to adulthood). The night slipped by nursing a food baby and catching up with my side of the family before heading home to my own bed. Bliss.
 
All in all. A perfect Christmas!
How was your Christmas?
 
As always, much love,
 
LONDON CALLING

LONDON CALLING

Can you believe I’ve never been to our capital city? From Paris to Berlin, Krakow to Bratislava, Vienna to Amsterdam, Prague to Rome, Copenhagen to Munich… never London. Say what? Usually that admission causes raised eyebrows and rightly so. When asked, I’d always say, ‘It’s so expensive!’ or ‘I want to try a different culture,’ but as the years have passed, I’ve become curious about London. The city I know only from television, where punk was born and a hotbed of street art…it seems it was meant to be. So, when I priced up a weekend in London for a too good to be true price I just couldn’t resist…
 
I’M GOING TO LONDON!
 
Before Edinburgh, I’d never really travelled by train. Sure, I’d  visited my nearest cities but I’d never ventured far. I’ve decided that I quite like trains. Any mode of transport that allows me to sit back and relax whilst someone else takes the wheel is grand in my books. What started as an innocent browse on the Trainline website, a cup of coffee and a few custard creams, ended in a fully booked weekend away and bourbon biscuits too. Whoops. 

The boy and I are travelling down for Valentine’s weekend. Sure, it means one very early morning train and a budget hotel, but for two whole days exploring the capital for a meagre £50 each, well it has to be worth it. 

 
Are you planning any trips away this year?
Have you been to London? 
Can you recommend some places to visit?

Dreaming of a White Christmas :: A Flashback of Christmas Past

Dreaming of a White Christmas :: A Flashback of Christmas Past

After a beautiful, mild winter’s day on Sunday, this morning I awoke to a frozen car and  a temperature of minus 1! However, I can’t complain. I’m just so excited about Christmas and colder temperatures could mean snow! 
 
Way back in 2009, it snowed. And snowed. And snowed! In Lancashire, schools were closed for a whole week. Which meant I got an extra week off work. Roads were treacherous and living in the rural countryside meant that we had nowhere to go, we welcomed this.  At the time, I lived with my parents and it was a week filled with finishing off Christmas food and long country walks. 
It was also the year that I visited Berlin for the first time and it snowed there too. 

And, the Christmas after… it snowed again! 

Since then, there’s been no snow on Christmas day up in the north but maybe, just maybe, this year will be different. I’m dreaming of a white Christmas. The chances of snow in the UK  are pretty high. Manchester has 6/1 odds, although this doesn’t beat Glasgow’s odds of 5/2! If you want to calculate the chance of snow in your town, check out this neat little widgit here. 

With only a week to go, I’ve been indulging in plenty of shopping! Starting with a visit to the Manchester Christmas Markets. It’s becoming somewhat of a tradition.

And if it doesn’t snow this year? Well, I’ll be happy just to be spending it with this guy. A white Christmas with the boy? A girl can dream…

As always, much love,
Donna x

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*This post was produced in collaboration with PR. All memories my own*
HEARTS AND BOWS :: MANCHESTER’S NORTHERN QUARTER

HEARTS AND BOWS :: MANCHESTER’S NORTHERN QUARTER

Can you believe it’s mid-December? I certainly can’t! With Christmas shopping to finish, we decided to head into Manchester on Sunday. You could be forgiven for thinking it was an autumnal day. Truth be told, the sun was shining brightly but it didn’t last long before the traditional damp weather returned. Nonetheless, with the promise of a Common lunch, we drove into the city centre hitting the Northern Quarter first. 

If you follow my Instagram, you’ll have seen my favourite new shop, Fred Aldous. A wonderland of art, craft, haberdashery, books and curiosities encased under a bright and colourful  roof, you can see why I was drawn to it like a moth to a flame. So much of our day was spent in the Northern Quarter in shops like Magma and Incognito. I’m guessing it’s no surprise that I still have lots of shopping left to do.  

// Dress – Vero Moda (via EBay) // Shoes – Primark // Cardigan – H&M // Brooch – Inherited from grandma // Coat – Topshop // Satchel – Cambridge Satchel Company //


Recently, I’ve been leaning towards the twee side of my wardrobe. Animal motifs, polka dots, hearts and collars have all been firm favourites. I love this micro heart and polka dot dress by Vero Moda. I bought it on eBay for a bargain price some time ago, I think it was about £5 and that’s including postage. For so long it sat unworn in my wardrobe, forgotten about. I can’t believe I haven’t worn it sooner! Even though the zip scratched my poor waist to pieces, I still love it and will be wearing it lots. This Izabel London dress is a ringer for it. 

Did you notice my brooch? I inherited this from my grandma, who was called Dee. Apt that my initial should also be D. Now that I’m settling in to my home (read: organised) I’m beginning to find hidden gems I’d forgotten all about. Why have I never worn this before? I’ve had it years.

With just over a week to Christmas day, I’ve got so much planning to do. Gift vouchers to buy, cards to send and my bag to pack for Edinburgh with Kirsty, Kim and Erica at the weekend. Eek! I’m ridiculously excited!


Are you ready for Christmas?
Will you come and wrap my presents? Please?
One for the Boys :: Christmas Shopping

One for the Boys :: Christmas Shopping

 

Men. They can be so hard to buy for. Each and every year, I spend countless hours searching for the perfect gift to buy each of the men in my life. My dad is the hardest to buy for. What do you buy the man who enjoys the simple things in life? 
 
This year, it will be the boyfriend and I’s first Christmas together. I simply cannot wait to wake up and present him with his gifts. Again, he is also difficult to buy for but hopefully, he will like what I’ve bought. 
 
Now that my Christmas shopping for the boys is complete, I thought I’d share a selection of ideas:
 
1.  Whiskey Stones:: An ingenious product from homewetbar. My dad and I are both whiskey drinkers, he prefers his neat. The one problem? He hates it when the ice melts and dilutes the flavour. These clever whiskey stones will keep his whiskey chilled and undiluted. Genius. 
 
2. YMC Knitwear:: Stylish, unique and durable, YMC is my boy’s favourite brand. With him walking to work each day, this cozy knit would keep him warm. It’s also the colour of his favourite football team, bonus. 
 
3. Uniform Wares Watch:: I actually bought this for the boy’s birthday present. In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with a watch, it’s something every man will find useful. I love its simple, clean design.  
 
4. Lambswool Scarf:: This is one for my brother. He’s four years older than me, in his thirties and likes practical presents. This lambswool scarf won’t date and will keep him snug for years to come. 
 
5. Lomography Sardina Camera:: One thing my boyfriend and I share is a love of photography. This year, he’s bought so many cameras; from Polaroid cameras to my Diana F+. This is another toy camera to add to the list!
 
6. Le Creuset Mug:: Well, who doesn’t love their own brew mug? 
 
What have you bought the men in your life this year?
 
As always, much love,
Donna x
 
*This post was a PR collaboration. As always, all lustings are my own.*
 
 
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