The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher | Blogmas #15

Dear December Fifteenth,

You’re the month of giving. With every present under the tree and every party that you host, it’s crystal clear that you’re the generous month. My favourite gift to give is a book. Whether it be fiction or nonfiction, there’s nothing like giving someone new words to absorb. I myself received The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher for my birthday this year; I hung on until your month, December, to turn the first page. Today I wanted to write to you about this lovely children’s book (that is most certainly for adults too!) that would look lovely beneath the tree in ten days time or, equally, become the best companion for you for the rest of your magical month.

Blogmas Christmasaurus Edited #3.jpgThe Christmasaurus tells the story of the lovely but lonely William Trundle and Santa and his wannabe flying… dinosaur! Our sweet protagonist is having troubles at school; the new girl, Brenda Payne, has ruined his school life and he no longer has any friends. His once friends who didn’t even notice his wheelchair now mock his wheels alongside Brenda. This, of course, brings many trials and tribulations and leaves young William feeling very low. William Trundle’s dad, Mr Trundle, is Christmas’s biggest fan (it’s hard not to picture Tom Fletcher saying the very same things Mr Trundle says with glee). Our Christmas loving Mr Trundle notices a change in his son but instructs him to write his letter to Santa. This is probably the best thing he could have done for his Willypoos, even if it isn’t immediately obvious. And what does William ask for?

A dinosaur, of course!

Santa gets to work, not wanting to disappoint the obviously down in the rotten dumps child. Christmas Eve comes along as it does every year, but this year it comes with a festive adventure for William Trundle. He has felt so alone, feeling resentful of his wheelchair for the first time in his life. But this Christmas Eve, something was about to change. And maybe he’d no longer feel quite so alone.

I’ve also spent this month ADORING the soundtrack to The Christmasaurus; the most brilliant songs Tom Fletcher released to accompany William Trundle’s story. The Christmasaurus Live is coming to London next week and, although I’m secretly hoping I can find a way to go, I will be living with The Christmasaurus: The Musical Edition to get over it. December, I think you’ll adore the songs. They’re right up you’re street. Here are my five favourite songs from the album (it actually hurt to leave the rest of the soundtrack off of this list… Please don’t put me on The Naughty List, Tom!):

  1. I’ve Been a Good Girl
  2. It Must be Christmastime
  3. Don’t Know What It Is
  4. Christmas Makes Me Sick
  5. I Ho, Ho, Hope It’s Santa

The Christmasaurus has accompanied me throughout the first half of your month; I’ve loved coming home from work late at night to another chapter or so of this book. It’s the most twinkly-jingly-sparkly Christmas tale and it takes one sentence to forget it’s a children’s book before you’re immersed in a story all about letters to Santa, little rhyming elves, a jolly Santa Claus and one special dinosaur. I’m a little sad I’ve closed the book on William Trundle’s adventure but I’ve got a soundtrack to adore for the rest of your month. I totally recommend this festive read that has maintained and increased my festive feelings, even when, like all of us, I’ve felt a little tired throughout your draining but delightful month. You might even like to gift it to your sibling months, December.

Enjoy whatever party you’re attending tonight, December! I’ll write to you tomorrow.

Love, Kat ❤

P.S. I wrote to you about my Mrs Claus hat yesterday. I’ve linked the letter HERE if you haven’t had a chance to read it yet.

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The Mrs Claus Hat Edit | Blogmas #14

Dear December Fourteenth,

I have a new favourite hat. Well, December, I say “new.” I’ve never been a fan of hats; they sit weirdly on my head. I’ll happily sport a Santa’s hat throughout your month but I’ve never found a “normal” hat that I like. Until a couple of weeks ago. My boyfriend gifted me with a bright red bobbly hat that makes me feel like Mrs Claus. That’s probably why I like it so much. It isn’t so far from a Santa’s hat but it blends in as an everyday person’s hat. It keeps my head warm and my outfit festive. What do you think?

IMG_5791.JPGLike my green trousers, this hat makes it crystal clear I’m your biggest fan, December. Your favourite colours are red, gold and green. Here I am wearing my green trousers and my red hat; if you passed me in the street you’d know I’ve based my outfit on you. I hope you don’t mind but I’ve definitely copied you; you’re quite the trendsetter. After all, copying is the best form of flattery, right?

IMG_5788Aaron won’t tell me where this gloriously red hat is from so I’ve done it bit of internet window shopping for you, December. Just in case you wanted to pick up this lovely hat. If you don’t have an array of similar ones already, that is.

IMG_5794.JPGIt’s your fourteenth morning, December, and I’m heading out into your crisp day. With my Mrs Claus hat on my head and thick gloves hugging my winter-battered hands. I’m about to start another day of Christmas lunches and festive parties; I’ll be celebrating your month on behalf of customers all throughout your day today, December. I hope you enjoy watching. Speak to you tomorrow!

Love, Kat ❤

P.S. Yesterday I wrote to you about London at Christmas, if you’d like to reread it anytime soon.

London at Christmas | Blogmas #13

Dear December Thirteenth,

I love London. I adore being part of its crowds of fans, huddled like penguins as we make our way to Covent Garden or Oxford Street or the theatre to see a show. I bet you love London, December. It celebrates your month in the best kind of way; dazzlingly decked out window displays, grand Christmas trees and smiling lights… everywhere. I gifted my boyfriend tickets to see the band Kodaline and, yesterday, we headed to London to spend the day like London locals before seeing our mutual favourite band.

IMG_5776.JPGBlogmas underground London.jpgWe had no agenda for our London day, visiting various shops and pointing out different components of London’s version of Christmas. We bundled into Punch and Judy in Covent Garden, enjoying a twinkling Hop House to celebrate the Irish band, Kodaline. After more aimless, albeit lovely, wandering we gathered in the Editor’s Tap for half an Estrella each and to warm up a little. We visited Piazza, an Italian restaurant in Leicester Square; somewhere we ate a couple of years before. It was as sweet as we remembered; I ate the most delicious seabass. I completely recommend, December.

Blogmas London CoventBy this point, the run up to Kodaline was well and truly under way. We joined endless amounts of Christmas parties on the tube and hopped off at Brixton. We headed to a pub for a G&T before it was time for the main event. I couldn’t WAIT as we queued up. I’ve adored Kodaline for a while now and couldn’t believe I was finally seeing some of my most favourite songs performed live. A year before, when Aaron and I visited Dublin, I got him into the band, deciding the Dublin band should be the soundtrack of our trip. And, as expected, December, he fell in love. Fast forward to last night and we were two fangirls ready to see Kodaline do their thing.

IMG_5827Kodaline were FANTASTIC. With a little cold accompanying my throat, my ardent singing caused a croaky throat and a still squeaky voice to this moment. Aaron and I had so much fun, hearing all of our favourites live in front of us. We were there for a proposal (throughout their song, The One, which they wrote for a friend’s wedding) and they covered Fairytale of New York. This was a particularly special moment as our favourite memory from Dublin involves a crowded bar, whiskey and a live singer performing Fairytale of New York as the whole bar sung along with festive cheer. Last night was the perfect ten out of ten- Kodaline BRING IT when they sing live.

I hope you’ve had a lovely thirteenth day of your month, December. We’re well on our way to Christmas now, aren’t we? The frost and the chill you’re bringing are making me feel oh-so-festive. Have a lovely evening, December. Speak soon.

Love, Kat ❤

P.S. You can re-read yesterday’s letter HERE, December.

Twelve Christmas Memories | Blogmas #12

Dear December Twelfth,

I have always adored your month. When you take centre stage a warmth can be felt at all times. Despite the cars that can’t see in the early hours of the morning. Despite the magic we breathe out as we wander outside for the first time each day. Despite the “brrr” that slips our lips as we get into work. Some of my fondest memories belong in the December scrapbook stored in my head. I flick and I flick and the memories don’t stop twinkling. On the twelfth day of December, I’ll remind you of a few.

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1. After dinner race

Every year my mum begins our Christmas dinner by presenting each of us with a giftbag containing a little chocolate, a scratch card and something else. Once, for example, we each had a giftcard to use and were instructed to buy a certain gift for everyone. This particular year, my mum also gave us the most ridiculous game to play once we’d eaten as much turkey and roasted veg as we could muster. We were each given a windup reindeer toy to race. It created a lot of giggling and competitiveness and I thank you, December, for helping us make this memory.

2. Christmas crystals in my ears

I was a couple of months away from turning eleven when my wish finally came true. It was Christmas Eve and I was sat in a chair, ready to get my ears pierced. I remember the day poignantly. The whole day was novel as I tried to get used to the pretty blue crystals in my ears. We visited the pantomime afterwards and I distinctly remember feeling oh-so-grown up. Later on that evening, upon cleaning my ears for the first time, I fainted. I soon woke up to paramedics in my living room, still feeling just as excited about my newly pierced ears but also feeling very odd. December, nostalgia is a feeling I am good at feeling. Every year I remember the day I got my ears pierced as soon as December rolls around. This December is no exception.

3. A Christmas holiday of video games

A few years ago my brother and I took our tradition of bringing out the PS2 in December to a new level. Do you remember, December? “Far too old” to be entertaining such a tradition, we fell into a routine of playing our favourite game every day in the week that cheered on Christmas Day. “Shall we?” one of us would say mid-morning. Only a second would pass before the other agreed ardently. Star Wars Battlefront 2 was our greatest companion that Christmas holiday; though, we bring out the game every single year.

4. An evening of baking

December, you won’t have to think too far back to remember this one. My mum and I had one evening to bake not just one, not just two but three festive goodies. Mince pies. A yule log. Christmas cookies for Santa. With your encouragement and Christmas singing on the radio, we got the job done. It’s one of my all-time favourite memories.

5. Gnocchi with vodka lemonade and lime

Aaron and I celebrate your presence with a Christmas meal out in the week running up to Christmas. We choose somewhere really special to eat out and sparkle ourselves up. The first chapter of this new tradition rings a sleigh bell so I’ll recount that particular evening. We headed out into one of your clear and cold nights that you cast upon the south coast of England. We found ourselves in a particular Italian where I fell in love with gnocchi for the first time. The evening ended with a trip to a bar that no longer sits closely to Aaron’s home; I drunk vodka, lemonade and lime and didn’t really want the night to draw to a close.

6. Christmas in Cardiff

Roast turkey, roast potatoes and honey-roasted veg. This memory can only mean one story; I’m sure you’ll remember. It was my final Christmas at university and friends gathered for Secret Santa, silly chatter and a delicious dinner. A glass of wine and a best friend started off the most festive evening. It finished with ridiculous dancing to ridiculous songs. I would relive that evening this very Christmas if I could.

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7. Christmas come early

Back when I was in junior school, my brother and I would get our Christmas presents for our family from a little Christmas evening our school held. One year, my brother and I decided we should show each other what we were giving each other when December 25th would wake up already. This memory has to make the cut because we felt so awful for doing it and definitely ruined some Christmas magic. Since then we’ve never dreamed of doing such a thing.

8. A New Year’s pub trip

Nearly two years ago now I headed to the pub my boyfriend worked at to celebrate New Year’s. As he worked, I drank champagne with a few of my friends and it was one of those fizzy New Year’s that stands out from many others. It was a night of silly laughter and a “cheers all around.”

9. The final trip to the Hobbit

I always remember going to see The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies when it’s nearly December’s main event. For three years in a row, my brother and I felt Christmas around us almost because of the Hobbit. The three-part story gave way to three films released in December for three years in a row. Every year my brother and excitedly went to see the films and, to this day, the films are somewhat a symbol of Christmas to me.

10. Decorating our tree

A couple of years ago I’d finished at university for Christmas and returned home for my brother and I to put up the tree. It was a stand out Christmas tree decorating session because we I spent the evening dancing and singing as we decorated away; taking the stupidest selfies you’ve ever seen.

11. Winter Wonderland in Cardiff

Last year, Aaron and I went on our final Cardiff Winter Wonderland trip. After two years of visiting the mini Christmas wonderland of twinkling lights, cutesy stalls and rides, I felt a little nostalgic knowing it was our last trip; at least for a long time. So, instead of simply walking around, we went on a super fast and silly ride. Aaron and I quite literally screamed as the ride went round and round; my usually indestructible eyeliner streamed down my face. We finished our festive evening with a crepe and a German beer in the little German pop up pub.

12. The local Christmas market

For the last three years I have been working in a shop in my local high street and, on the first Friday of your month, they host an evening in the name of your favourite event, Christmas. My little shop sits opposite the Christmas tree locals gather around; I work happily into the night as merry people dip in and out of the shop, nursing mulled wine and getting ready for the big switch on. I adore the evening and I bet you love watching it too, December. This year was a good one.

December, we all know you’re generous. Giving. And that’s how you like to be. May I selfishly ask that you keep giving me such sweet memories? December twelfth is the day where Christmastime really starts to feel like Christmastime and many panic about getting ready for parties and buying presents and the big day itself. I’m feeling pretty content this December twelfth but it is only nine in the morning. I’ll bid you farewell now but I can’t wait to see what the rest of your day brings. What the rest of your month brings, actually.

Love, Kat ❤

P.S. HERE is yesterday’s letter!

DIY Christmas Memory Line | Blogmas #11

Dear December Eleventh,

In a day’s time most of us will be celebrating your main event in the form of Christmas trees, festive front of house displays and a wreath on the door. Our tree, traditionally, goes up on the twelfth- or as close as to the twelfth as possible. As I’m sure you’ve already seen, December, ours is already up. My brother won’t be home until around about the twenty-first of your month so we wanted to decorate it before he left. Upon popping the tree up, however, we realised we had forgotten to retrieve its decorations from the loft. Oops. So with the tree looking a bit bare, I’ve made a little DIY decoration to drape across it for the time being. This decoration, however, can be popped wherever you fancy. Let me explain how to make it!

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What you’ll need 

  • Fairy lights (the copper, white light fairly lights above were £2.50 from Primark)
  • Festive pegs (my pegs were £4 from Paperchase)
  • A selection of photos taken at Christmastimes previously
  • A few light Christmas decorations
  • Optional: A marker pen

IMG_5763.JPGIMG_5758How to get creative when you‘re not the most artsy person

  1. Find Christmassy photos that you’ve never framed or used in any way before- maybe even print photos you’ve never even printed previously!
  2. Purchase appropriate batteries for your lights to avoid disappointment when you get your DIY Christmas memory line up.
  3. The optional tool comes in now. Add an extra layer of special to your handmade decoration by writing little details about the photos on the back. Maybe you could write the date the photo was taken, where the photo was taken and if they’re really old school, who is in the photo! I chose not to do this as these are really old-school photos that we may not have duplicates of!
  4. Pop your lights wherever you’d like them to go. A mantelpiece would work really nicely but, as I’ve explained, I’ve popped mine on my tree!
  5. Once the ink on the  back of the photos has dried, with the help of your Christmassy clips, clip your photos and Christmas decorations onto the fairy lights.
  6. Switch on your lights and admire your one of a kind decoration!

IMG_5737IMG_5720IMG_5747December, how do you choose to decorate your home over the festive period? I would guess a lot of snow and red, gold and green would be involved. If you have the time, I’d love to hear. You know where I am. Have a lovely day, December.

Love, Kat ❤

P.S. In case you’re still looking for presents for your loved ones, December, I’ll remind you of yesterday’s letter: The Gin Lover’s Wish List.

The Gin Lover’s Wish List | Blogmas #10

Dear December Tenth,

I am partial to a gin and tonic. Doubles, of course. I don’t think it’s your drink of choice, December. You’re more of a hot chocolate, Baileys or mulled wine kind of month. I, however, am a strong believer in gin being an all-year round beverage; it’s not just for the summer! Your colleagues, June, July and August, I think would agree. I think gin makes for a jolly Christmas spirit. So today I thought I’d provide you with an extensive gift guide for your loved ones who are gin lovers like me; in case you feel a bit stuck when buying for your summer companions, June, July and August.

gin one.jpgWhy not gift your gin-lover loved one with a bottle of their favourite spirit? Below I’ve provided you with a helping hand. I think my five favourite gins would make for excellent gifts because most aren’t your everyday pub kind of gins. Expand your gin-loving friend’s gin knowledge by buying them a gin they probably haven’t ever tried before!

My five favourite gins

  1. Whitley Neill
  2. City of London Dry Gin
  3. Edinburgh Rhubarb and Ginger Gin
  4. Tarquin’s Gin
  5. Elephant Gin

Extra gifts for your gin fanatic

  • Make the gift a little more bulky by picking out some yummy-looking tonics or even find a set of minis to go alongside their bottle of gin. There is currently a delicious limited edition Fever Tree clementine and cinnamon tonic available which would add an extra sprinkle of festive to your gift.
  • Maybe the bottle of gin could even accompany an invitation to a gin distillery with you, December, for sometime in the New Year! I completely recommend the City of London Distillery (read my review HERE!), have heard awesome things about the Bombay Sapphire Distillery and, upon hearing good things about the Edinburgh Gin Distillery, I’ve booked in an experience next year for my boyfriend and me!
  • My boyfriend used to be subscribed to the Craft Gin Club; the monthly subscription box that includes all things gin. The subscription introduces buyers to small-batch gins. Aaron absolutely loved it; he just couldn’t keep up with the amount of gin he was receiving! I think this subscription box would make for an excellent gift alongside a bottle of gin!

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The print: Lisa Angel (£10) | The frame: Desenio (£8.95)

This print and frame combo are a perfect present for the partner whose poison is gin. I think, December, it would look awesome in a home office or in the bedroom; it might look even better after a double gin and tonic! Lisa Angel is my go-to company for sweet gifts. There’s something a little different and perfectly personal about their stuff. I’ve purchased from Desenio a couple of times now and have never been disappointed- their frames are true-to-picture and have always done the job brilliantly! They also have fabulous prints that I’ve purchased for a couple of people. I think these two items look really lovely together and a partner would love to receive this under the tree.

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The Bartender’s Guide to Gin

Very (currently £10)

I purchased this for my boyfriend a year or so ago and he loves his little blue book. It teaches all about our favourite spirit and gives readers exciting gin-based cocktails to try out. I’m really wanting to try out the cocktail recipe called “Star Wars!” I did buy this in Asda for about £4 so definitely look about before you order it online, December! I know you have lots of people to buy for. I think this book would work well as a stocking filler.

Fever Tree – The Art of Mixing

Amazon (currently £7.50)

This is my absolute favourite gin-based book so far. I bought this for Aaron’s birthday this year (he now has his own gin book library!) and it’s just AWESOME. If you were to purchase this for your summer friends, they would learn all about everyone’s favourite tonic, Fever Tree and how to use it this Christmas to make show-stopping cocktails. I’m particularly interested in the “Apple Garden” cocktail.

Gin: The Manual

Amazon (currently £10.47)

Aaron received this Gin Bible off of a friend for his 21st birthday. Gin: The Manual is “about how to drink gin” and teaches readers about its history, gin distillation and SO MANY gins. It, as expected, also shares a few gin-based recipes! December, I think June, July and August would love this book!

 

December, I hope I’ve helped you out if you’ve been struggling for gift ideas for June, July and August. I always have a few ideas when it comes to gin. Though, I must admit, they’re not always good ones! I can barely believe we’re half way through the tenth day of your month, but there we have it. I hope you have a relaxing Sunday and wind down with a hot chocolate this evening- with Baileys, of course! Speak soon, December.

Love, Kat ❤

P.S. Yesterday I wrote to you about my favourite Disney Christmas decorations!

My Three Favourite Disney Decorations | Blogmas #9

Dear December Ninth,

I adore Christmas; I adore Disney. The two kind of go hand-in-hand, don’t they? They both inspire us to feel festive, smiley and, most importantly, magical. Popping into the Disney store over the Christmas period is the best part of present shopping for me. There are a plethora of Disney decorations to choose from. I struggle to refrain myself from purchasing every single one for myself. I, however, love buying friends and family a Disney decoration as a gift for Christmas.

Disney dec 1.jpgI think the perfect Christmas present for a Disney and Christmas fan would look like this:

  • Pick the Disney Christmas decoration that is based on your loved one’s favourite Disney film.
  • Add to this the new (ish) edition of the Disney film they love- the one with the magical, shiny cover.
  • Buy the Tsum Tsum of their favourite character from the film- there are even Christmas editions (with little Santa hats on them!).

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1. The Baymax Decoration

Unfortunately I cannot find this on the Disney website anymore but I think this will be my favourite Disney Christmas decoration for the rest of my life, December. Big Hero 6 is one of my absolute favourite films and the lovable clumsy Baymax looks the part, wrapped up in Christmas lights. Every year for my boyfriend’s birthday (for he grows one year older towards the end of November), I gift him with a Disney Christmas decoration. We are both in agreement that this is the best one yet.

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2. The Dopey decoration

December, LOOK AT HOW PRECIOUS HE IS. On the first of your month this year, I gave lovely little Dopey (£12) to my mum. I am in love with him just as much as she is. I cannot wait for him to sit, grinning on our Christmas tree. I love how traditional our favourite little dwarf looks. There’s something so special about the decorations based on the Disney classics.

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3. The Jack Skellington decoration

Currently £15, the protagonist from The Nightmare Before Christmas makes for an amazing Christmas decoration. I’m not sure if you’ve seen the film, December, but The Nightmare Before Christmas is the best anti-Christmas film out there. This Disney decoration is the first to be my very own Disney decoration so he will always hold a place in my heart… and on the centre of the tree!

I don’t know what your favourite Disney film is, December. Maybe it’s Frozen- the snow, chipper snowman, Olaf and reindeer, Sven must make you grin over the festive period. Or maybe you adore The Nightmare Before Christmas- the Halloween hero turning into a Christmas lover. Either way, the Disney Store, I bet, have the Christmas decoration for you. I hope you enjoy the first day of the weekend, December.

Love, Kat ❤

P.S. I wrote to you about the magic of disposable cameras yesterday. I’ve stored it HERE for you if you’d like to reread, December.

How to Gift a Disposable Camera | Blogmas #8

Dear December Eighth,

I visited New York during your older sibling’s month; this November gone. But that’s not really what I want to write to you about today. Before Tarryn and I left for our Big Apple adventure, I gifted her with a disposable camera for her birthday. Attached was a mini card with twenty-two (for she was turning twenty-two) ideas for pictures she had to take with her camera, once in New York. For example, December, I ordered her to get me to take a photo of her with a Manhattan Cocktail (see the second picture) and get a photo of her with a New York cop (not featured in this post). I don’t know if you’re behind with your Christmas shopping, December, but if you are, I might just have the thing for you. Here are three thoughtful ways you could gift someone with a disposable camera.

Brighton polaroid fBlogmas cocktailBlogmas times

Making a holiday out of home

December, do any of your loved ones live in an adored destination? Maybe London, Cornwall, Berlin or Barcelona. Maybe they should stop doing only what they know and venture out of their comfort zone within their own home. Here’s an idea for that loved one.

  • Buy a disposable camera.
  • Purchase a Lonely Planet book written for the place they live in; allow your loved one to be an explorer in their own home.
  • Using little post-it notes, find eighteen (for the two-thousand-and-eighteenth year) places to see, eat or dance and tell your loved one they must experience just this.
  • Instruct that they must take a photo of each experience with their disposable camera.
  • Gift them with a mini scrapbook where they must stick each disposable picture.

Blogmas polaroid oneNY polaorisBlogmaaasMake memories a decoration

Have you a loved one who has recently moved home, December? I think this idea is for them.

  • Buy a disposable camera.
  • Buy a big board of some sort- a pin board or a photo board.
  • Buy a market pen.
  • Gift them with all of these three things with instructions that explain your loved one must use their disposable camera to capture homely, lovely moments; noting down somewhere the date of the photo and what they are doing. Once all photos are used up, they should print the photos, write information about the memory on the back and attach them to the board. They must then pin up the board somewhere- in the porch, an office or the living room. Their new house now becomes a home.

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The photographs of people

I’m not sure about you, December, but photographs of smiles and laughter make the best photographs. We all want look our best in photographs and yet, when Tarryn took these photos of me, I was very much wrapped up in the moment- in all of these photographs I am caught off guard. I didn’t prepare my hair or tell Tarryn to take ten more photos to ensure there was one I like. There was one shot and yet I love them, December. The best gift you can give is one that keeps on producing smiles- effortless smiles that aren’t posed or edited.

  • Buy a disposable camera.
  • Instruct your loved one to take a photo of their loved ones until the limit of the disposable camera is used up.
  • Tell them to store their photos in a pouch on their dressing table or even to give the photos away to the star of the photograph. Tell them to use their camera wisely and carefully; tell them to enjoy taking photos of their favourite people. Capture their loved ones looking so super happy; catch them off guard- they really do make the best photos.

BlogmassssBrighton BlogmasssDecember, I adore the photos Tarryn’s disposable camera captured. I think there’s something so precious about the prints disposable cameras produce. They’re essentially a one of a kind photograph and it makes the memories made in the photograph all the more special. I told Tarryn she must stick these photos in the scrapbook I provided her with- it’s going to look awesome when it’s done. A disposable camera would provide a gift that keeps on giving this Christmas.

Have a brilliant day, December. Maybe take a photo or two if you’ve got the time.

Love, Kat ❤

P.S. Yesterday I wrote to you about Brighton at Christmas.

Brighton at Christmas | Blogmas #7

Dear December Seventh,

I’ve always loved Brighton. I’ve admired its pier quite literally rain or shine and I’ve opted for fish and chips by the sea, again, rain or shine. There’s something about the city-like seaside town that sings to me. I’m both a lover of the city and the beach which makes Brighton the most dreamy location. But, December, there really is something about Brighton at Christmas.

Blogmas Seven OneEvery November or December, Aaron and I hop on a train with a pack of Uno and make our way down to Brighton town; where quirky little shops sit in between cafes and bars and ice cream parlours. Where The Lanes are jam-packed with shoppers and city dwellers. Where the pier’s arcade’s lights twinkle even while people battle with the seaside wind and icy rain. Yesterday Aaron and I visited Brighton to Christmas shop and purchase our yearly matching jumpers… Yeah, you heard right.

Blogmas Seven Threeee.jpgOur trips to Brighton follow the same routine every year; we visit the same shops, bars and places to eat. Let me tell you about how yesterday went down:

11:00: We arrived in Brighton and made our way to the cutesy shops with one important intention: Go to Aaron’s favourite shop, This is Not a Butchers. We mull around this area (after like THIRTY WHOLE MINUTES IN THIS IS NOT A BUTCHERS), dipping in and out of the gorgeous homeware and gift shops on the way.

13:00: We always pick up a small lunch, yesterday opting for a pasty (I ate a Christmas special- turkey, stuffing and cranberry!) before we headed to the Sussex Arms to have a pint after checking out The Lanes. We sipped on a delicious San Miguel while playing many a games of Uno.

14:00: From here, it was time to head down to the pier, doing any shopping we wished to do on the way. We always head into The Red Ghekko, admiring the lovely trinkets and ornaments. December, I think Aaron would decorate his whole home with the little dogs and frogs if he could.

 

Blogmas Seven Two.jpg15:00: After admiring the pier and taking obligatory photos, we headed to our favourite bar, The Fortune of War. It’s the loveliest on-the-beach bar that also has a pizza oven and a stack of games to borrow. We, however, grabbed a drink and played, of course, more games of Uno.

16:00: At this point we headed back to the big shops, pointing out the sparkly Christmas decorations and laughing at how windy it was. To Primark we headed, aiming to buy our matching Christmas jumpers. Yesterday, however, Primark was almost out of Christmas jumpers, much to our disappointment. After picking up jumpers from New Look, we continued our shopping alongside other Christmas shoppers.

17:30: We went to the authentic Mexican restaurant, Dos Sombreros to take advantage of the 2-4-1 cocktail deal. We sipped on our gin-based liquid and, yes, you guessed it: played more Uno.

18:30: It was time to head to Donatello, the Italian we return to every year. We loved our well-priced meal and red wine just as much as usual, giggling our way through the meal at our joint purchase of the day… Giant Uno!

20:30: And then it was time to head home, feeling a little glum that our day in Brighton was drawing to a close- but knowing we’d return very soon. And also knowing our train journey would consist of many more games of Uno.

Blogmas Seven Four.jpgDecember, Brighton celebrates your month in the most wonderful way- I really recommend you visit some time in the next twenty-something days… If you have the time, that is. I had the best day yesterday; a well-earned day of fun. I even treated myself to a sparkly outfit I will wear towards the end of your month. I hope you’re keeping well, December.

Love, Kat ❤

P.S. Yesterday I wrote to you to encourage waitresses to practice self-care this December- and I hoped it would help you out too: I’ve stored the letter for you HERE if you’d like to remind yourself, December.

Self Care for Waitresses this Christmas | Blogmas #6

Dear December Sixth,

I’m a waitress. At Christmastime this means saying, “I’m so busy” is just as natural as breathing in and out. As a waitress your hours tend to increase over the festive period and your sleep goes in the other direction. Just forget altogether about Christmas shopping while you’re at it. I am enjoying the festive spirit and seven or so Christmas songs that have been on a loop in the restaurant since your first day, December. I am, however, constantly sporting tired eyes. I do think that those of us in the hospitality industry need to take care of ourselves this month. I reckon these rules would apply to you too, December. I bet your feet are killing; but I also know you won’t be complaining about it. Here’s how you can help yourself.

Waitress Blogmas

Find your bath supplies

Whether it’s when you get in at midnight or on your day off, run yourself a bath at least once a week. Being on your feet is draining; even when you’re totally used to it. Engage with some wholehearted relaxing; bubbles and all. I recommend Lush’s milky bath bubble bar- it’s my new favourite. Read and/or bring a hot chocolate to your bath but, if you feel you can, simply have a bath and focus solely on that. The soapy warm water will feel delicious after a long, long shift.

Festive up

Sometimes it can feel like you’re missing out on the festive period altogether when you’re a waitress. So set aside some time to feel festive. Whether that’s a day out at a Christmas market or wrapping Christmas presents to the sound of Elf, the festivities will help you feel merry like everybody else. Maybe even wear a Santa’s hat and feast on a box of Celebrations if it makes you feel that bit more festive. But, December, save the Malteser truffles for me.

Switch off before bed

Getting home from work so late can mess up your sleeping pattern in more ways than one. I’m sure you know that, December. Even when you’re getting into your bed as soon as you get home, your brain is still working and you might feel tempted to scroll through your phone and, in turn, disrupt your resting time even further. Wind down properly and try and spend your last chunk of time awake without your phone.

Use your day off wisely

December, we just have to take our days off with both hands. Have a dreamy sleep, cook a yummy breakfast and go out for dinner with friends or bake to Christmas music or have a movie evening with your partner. Otherwise, before long, your day off will be over and you’ll be serving Christmas parties thinking, What did I even do with my day off?! Self care means being attentive to what you feel you’re missing out on; use your day off to do what you want to do.

Pamper when you can

Working so many hours, as I’m sure you know too well, December, can make you feel a bit creaky. A bit worn. Like a toy with batteries that are close to running out. As often as possible, do what you can to look after your body. Eat your fruit and veggies, resume a solid skin routine and treat your tired nails well. You’ll feel less worn out if you’re addressing what feels worn out; your immune system, your skin and your breaking nails.

Try and do at least one of these things today, December. We’re almost a week into your month and I just bet you’re feeling a little sleepy; even though you most certainly still have a bright smile painted onto your face. Have a wonderful, full of self care kind of day, December!

Love, Kat ❤

P.S. Yesterday I wrote about five of my favourite Christmas traditions.