Friday, 30 November 2018

Advent Calendar 2018 {Yep, That One}

Advent: the highlight of Christmas.

I always like to share this post, and this year I know I am cutting it a bit fine, but I have just been so busy.
Advent is such a beautiful time. The journey to Christmas is one that should be very much enjoyed, in fact the whole of the next month is a time for enjoyment and togetherness. The lead up to Christmas can be so stressful and there is no denying that, but for the children it is a time to start getting very excited. If nothing else, the advent calendar can answer the constant question "When is it Christmas?". Counting us all down is a great help really and having a little excitement each day makes the time go that little bit quicker. 

Making a Calendar.

For the last few years I have used the same calendar with the children {THIS ONE}. It is one I make up each year and one that you can do anything with really. Its base is simply a canvas with hooks on for every day of advent which leaves you to decide what goes on them. 
This year was actually the start of me cutting down what we give the kids. I think, maybe, I am too generous and even though I have filled it before with loads of little toys, I still think it is too much. Also, most of the time it has been cheap stuff that ends up in the bin so I was conscious of not doing that again. Really, I should maybe make it a bit more task based, something more thoughtful, but right now I recognise what the children want and they very much want excitement and play. It also can end up costing quite a bit and even though I tried to keep each item around £1 it always added up to over £30, and yes, for an advent calendar it seems just like an extra cost. It has always been successful though and the kids love it, but this year I feel I have done something they want for a better price and better quality of toy.

My own LEGO Advent Calendar.

I just happened to pick up a small Christmas set of LEGO from the supermarket, well two actually, and looking at them I was able to break the set down into 11 individual little items. It dawned on me that I could make my own advent calendar and break down these 2 £7 boxes of LEGO into 22 parts. With some little envelopes to help, I cut up the instructions and pocketed each part. This set was easy; 3 separate mini figures, train carriages, a tree, individual little shops; it seemed to just be a good set that could be broken down. Each envelope contains the instruction pages to build that little part and what I did was cut it up in order of the book so each page will follow on as they open them.
So two sets, alternating each day means the kids will open up a set of LEGO each but it will be a prolonged process. I couldn't quite break it down to be 24 sets so I got two little books from a charity shop for their last two turns. 

I like to make things pretty

It's the packaging and finishing touches I like the most. Little brown envelopes, tags and fake greenery all look perfect together. 
For the first year I have also hung the calendar in their bedroom so it will be even more exciting. Will they be able to wait to open it each day? Or will they be jumping out of bed to grab the gift?

This year I am really pleased with how it has turned out. LEGO does not get wasted in this house and this is a nice way to give that as a gift. The Children also open traditional paper advent calendars which also give us a nice addition to the religious story of Christmas which we love to follow.


Christmas Wrapping {Combating Disposable Waste}

Let's Wrap Gifts in Pretty Fabric

Well let's just say I am inspired! Since making my CHRISTMAS SACKS to help cut down on wrapping paper I have been inspired to think of more ways of making gift giving look extra special. Since I can't take any credit for coming up with the idea, yes, Pinterest strikes again, I felt that it was fair to share it and share what I have done in the same way.
Take a look at the simplest, most pretty, reusable wrapping!

So first off, this is a super simple way to wrap your gifts whether it is for Christmas or otherwise!
All you need is some fabric! You can get this in many forms, from the local fabric store, online or even recycle old shirts, bedding or silky scarfs!

How to wrap!

I know, all you need is a square, one that will wrap around your gift!
To keep it simple, I have a picture how to:

Place diagonally so the present edges sit pointing towards the corners of the fabric.

Fold corner over gift and begin to wrap.

Roll on the parcel until the fabric is wrapped around.

Place the end down and the turn over the parcel.

Twist both ends of the parcels.

Bring over the parcel and tie.

It will unravel but that's what you want.

Add decoration!

And there you have it, the prettiest, easiest way to wrap, and no sellotape!

The finished product will be beautiful under the tree!

I am still quite ready to use some paper in my Christmas wrapping this year, but this is such a beautiful idea that I really wanted to try it out! What do you think, maybe it's something adults would enjoy more?


Wednesday, 28 November 2018

The Brown Dress

Repeating Styles Suit Me!

I feel like the fashion side of my blog is repetitive at the moment, but that's just because I have found my favourite combination and am wearing it in as many ways as I can! Dresses, skirts and jumpers can’t be beat in my eyes and having been told that I make great two piece outfits, I am just really enjoying them. Also, I feel I have discovered my colours and am more comfortable than ever in picking items based on colour and what suits me. I am an autumn girl so browns, reds and oranges seem to be my thing. A lot of my wardrobe really reflects the season but I can’t remember this happening really before this year.

 Maybe it’s my mental health and how I look at it or maybe it’s just eventually, after years of trying to be minimal and grey I have found that just really isn’t me!
I think as we get older maybe we embrace what we truly like rather than trying to always be “fashionable” and for me, maybe that is a dose of colour!

Finding inspiration from others.

I follow blogger Belle & Bunty on Instagram and find I like a lot of their outfit piecing. As there are two of them, they show a really nice breadth of colour and I like to check in and see what they have been styling. I have similar hair colour to one of them too so it’s nice to see someone with a similar complexion wearing clothes. That makes a difference when shopping for fashion!

Anyway, a few weeks ago they shared this dress as one to watch so I made sure to purchase it pretty quick. I loved the monochrome spots in the summer and these more autumnal brown/ burgundy ones are ideal for the change in season! 

This dress though; its style, cut and length really suits me and I am so pleased with it! I think in the colder months it is hard to imagine wearing maxi dresses but with tights and boots (and often a jumper) I am so happy with how I can keep changing my combinations and recreating my favourite looks!

Outfit Details:



Tuesday, 27 November 2018

What I Look For When Buying Boots

Great boots last for years!

Sometimes, all you need to make the transition from Autumn to winter fashion is good boots. I am really picky when it comes to boots but that's only because I have learned what suits me over the years. I remember for a long time never wearing heeled boots as boots had to be practical. I mean they were always flat and if I wanted something fancy that was usually in strapping detail around the boot! Oh, how my style has changed!!

These days I have a big tick list of things before boots make it home and I thought I would share that with you to help you make good future purchases!

For me, boots need to to be made of Leather, that is important. I hate nothing more that scuffing shoes that you love and being unable to be polish out the mark. I also find that they lose their shape badly and usually crease. I just buy leather as I know they can be repaired to a better standard after years of wear. Because I buy with this in mind it means that the styles I go for are slightly more classic.

Over the knee and ankle boots were always my 'go to'. Mid-calf boots do not suit me or my style, and to be honest, knee high boots felt dated until I got this pair and they kind of showed me how nice they can be if I get the right colour and cut.

The colour makes a big difference. I have boots in all colours but really tan and oxblood are my favourite! Tan boots will go with everything. I mean that, literally everything!! So they are a great colour to invest in! My newest pair are these Oxblood Boden ones and I feel they have shot up to be a favourite of mine! They are a beautiful colour and I just feel that they go with so much in my wardrobe. The berry colour was one I have always looked at but never purchased, but these are beautiful and I am so pleased with them.

Heel height is also something I wanted to talk about. I used to always have flat boots but I have learned to have a practical pair for outings but have all my others with a heel now. I find they elongate my leg more and make me carry myself differently so when I spend most of winter wearing them, I still feel like I have dressed up somewhat even though I just wear jeans and a jumper with then a lot of the time. Heel heights have changed so much and I feel the market offers so many more options. I always go for a block heel too now as that give you loads more balance and I find my feet don’t hurt after a day wearing block heel boots like they do when I am in stiletto styles. With regards to practical boots, I have Chelsea boots which are flat but I am finding I just don’t wear them much anymore. Maybe that's a fashion thing but Last year I picked up some Timberland style worker boots which I wore all through the snow and just loved them. Those kind of practical flat boots I love, but it makes me smile how my tastes change! I haven’t worn my beloved leopard print Chelsea boots for a year!

With a list like this I find it helps me not to 'rush buy'. I really like to analyse a pair of boots as they are usually pricey in real leather so they have to really be something I want! At the moment these Oxblood boots are the ones I am wearing on repeat and I just love them with all my dresses and skirts! Do you over think buying boots? I am just trying to be more conscious about how I spend!

Outfit Details:


*Outfit gifted for work with Boden
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