Write Like No One's Watching

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Relaxation with House of Fraser

Relaxation is big when you're a parent. We all know it. The smallest thing like sitting down and finishing a hot brew is lovely. And R&R does happen. The horror stories aren't true - you do get to enjoy life with kids. Quite a lot actually.

And while the most relaxing time of the day tends to be when they are snoring, I actually have a favourite part of the day. Or should I say a day. Because it really only happens once a week.

Mark, because he's pretty much perfect (I wish I was exaggerating) decided that on Saturdays, I would get a lie-in. And on Sundays, he would. Given that I haven't really experienced lie-ins for a very long time, I wander down on Saturday morning drunk on sleep. It's amazing. So I suppose, for all intents and purposes, Sunday morning should be torture for me.

But it's not.

Bill wakes earlyish. Around 7:00am. And I grab a hoody and my phone and we kiss Mark goodbye and leave him to get some rest and we pad downstairs.

Once he has juice and breakfast and I have a brew, I settle down on the sofa and just relax. I really, really rest.

It's quiet. My little road is still asleep. And the sun rises. And I can just hear the lively sounds of early morning cartoons and my little boy giggling and chatting away. He likes the time to play on his own - he's always been great at that. But he'll come and show me things and chat to me. And I'll catch-up on YouTube, or read. And I'm snuggly and warm and it's just perfect.

A lot of the time, I'll light a candle or burn some wax tarts or beans. The flickering light really comforts me, as does the scent that fills the air.

Recently, I was sent some Pied a Terre Mini Diffuser Trio* and the Pied a Terre Mini Votive Trio* from House of Fraser. I know - I'm lucky. The premise was just that I relax.

So this is what I unpacked that Sunday morning.

I looked through the scents.

Iris & Vitiver. Plum & Black Amber. Fig Leaf & Cassis.

The latter of which was my favourite and seems to remind me very much of my grandparents' house.

I am addicted to fig scents and this is no exception.

We've currently got this set in our lounge, matching candle and diffuser.

The Iris & Vitiver is in our hallway - the candle I'm saving!

And the Plum & Black Amber diffuser is spicing up our bedroom. Again, the candle is being saved.

The votive glasses are just beautiful and catch the light in such an incredible way, especially when they are lit. I'll definitely be saving them to pop tea lights in, in the future.

And, even as I write this, I've got one lit. And the scent is so relaxing. I don't always want to blog sometimes. I work full-time, I'm up at 6:30am, and I start work at 8:30am. By the time I get home it's 5:30pm and I just want to be lazy.

But this is my passion too. And it's also my second job.

And if I can have a little nudge in the form of flickering light and a relaxing scent (along with a slice of my brother's birthday cake) I will.

*As I mentioned, I was sent these to review. All thoughts are my own - who doesn't love candles?

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

25 Reasons Why You Know It's Nearly Christmas

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1) Even though your Christmas tree was practically collapsing last year, under the weight of the hundreds of decorations you already own, suddenly you need LOTS MORE. 

2) Having a theme for your Christmas gift-wrapping is definitely a thing.
3) The thought of writing Christmas cards feels like homework.

4) You don’t normally buy that much take-out coffee, but all of a sudden it is your quest to hold a Starbucks red cup in your hand with a suitable background from which to photograph it from. uploads to Instagram

5) The Christmas emojis are out in full-swing, Because everything is better said with a Santa face.

6) You’re ready to fight your corner over the best Christmas song of all time. Ahem...Mariah Carey.

7) The first thing you did when you heard the new version of Band Aid was sing along with Bono and realise you were singing from different hymn sheets. Then you Googled: "Why did they change the lyrics to Band Aid?" and felt instantly bad.

8) The countdown to pay day seems to drag. Must. Buy. All. Of. The. Presents.

9) The Christmas deals seem to be on exactly when you have 61p in your bank account.

10) Your weekly food shops start to contain random additions such as chestnuts and After Eights. The latter of which will need repurchasing because you ate them absentmindedly while watching X Factor last weekend.

11) You begin to panic that all of the turkey will be sold out and you’ll ruin Christmas. Even though this has never happened before, ever.

12) You wonder just how many pigs in blankets is too many pigs in blankets and realise that there is no such thing as too many pigs in blankets, and buy 50.

13) You wear red lipstick. Because it’s dead festive. This also goes for glittery nail varnish and sometimes tinsel.

14) The work Christmas party suddenly becomes the social event of the year.  Until someone suggests a seating plan.

15) You actually become convinced that you do a v. v. good rendition of All I Want For Christmas. Especially when you’ve been on the wine.

16) Oh mulled wine. Drink it because it is officially the beverage of Christmas. All the time. It’s warm so the alcohol is pretty much burned off right?

17) Suddenly, festive prints have never been so appealing. Must buy Christmas socks. Snowman leggings. And find the perfect Christmas jumper that is both stylish and correctly defines you as a person.

18) It’s the only time of year that you ever Google: “Things to do with sprouts.”

19) It’s socially acceptable to hang fairy lights off everything. Like beds, windowsills and toddlers.

20) The idea of buying Christmas outfits for your cats has crossed your mind more than once.

21) You buy a ridiculously festive pair of Christmas pyjamas for your kids to open on Christmas Eve, with full knowledge that they will still be wearing them come June. We just won’t Instagram that though.

22) You wish for snow, every day, until it snows, and you’re blissfully happy when it does. But because you’re British you start whinging two hours later, because you’re cold, traffic is a nightmare and you’ve just fallen over.

23) You have sudden urges to watch Love Actually, The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Holiday, Elf, Miracle on 34th Street and Home Alone 1 & 2, but not 3, because that kid is not Macaulay Culkin.

24) Suddenly everything tastes better when it tastes of Christmas. You buy the Boots Christmas sandwiches for lunch. You seriously consider a Christmas dinner-themed pizza. Mince pie cookies? I shall buy them all. Coffee that doesn’t taste like coffee but actually artificial flavourings – YES.

25) You remember that there are two types of people in the world – clearly defined by whether or not you have ever uttered the phrase: “But it’s still November!” 

By the way, if you're doing your Christmas shopping right now, please check out Care2Save. You can shop online, with tons of stores, and raise money for charity just by shopping through the site, at no extra cost to you. I'm really proud to say that my colleagues created the site for Care2Save and it's a bloody good way to give a little more this Christmas.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Toddler Boy Christmas Outfit

So, from the moment I realised I was growing a little boy in my belly I went a bit crazy on clothes. And it hasn't stopped.

There are very few shops that make lovely clothes for boys that aren't just blue, or covered in dinosaurs and footballs. It's disappointing, but true.

This will be young Bill's third Christmas this year, and every time I've gotten excited about what he'll wear, I've turned to Next. And no, it's not a sponsored post, I bought all of these on Thursday night, with my own puds - I had insomnia and so I decided to do some more Christmas shopping and planning instead. As you do.

So what have I picked. Well, the red jumper was coming home with me the minute I saw the reindeer pattern. Anything stag-related and I'm on it like a brandy cream on a mince pie. Which is probably while he'll be wearing the reindeer print shirt underneath. Yes, I know it's ridiculous but it's one of those things that only a toddler boy can pull off in my opinion.

I'm secretly hoping he won't destroy this outfit on Christmas Day, so he can wear it on Boxing Day when he comes to visit Mark's family too. But if he doesn't, which is highly-expected when we have to factor in gravy and chocolate, there's this frankly adorable snowman print top, that says "snowmen are cool" on the back if memory serves. Yes, yes they are cool. Quite literally. And I can't wait for him to wear this.

As with most households, the New Pyjamas on Christmas Eve Tradition is a winner with us. Every new pair he has had has come from Next, and this pair of polar bear pyjamas is super cute and, as always, I love the quality. He can get good use out of one pair in the run up to Christmas, and the other set I'll save for Christmas Eve. I also have no qualms about him wearing these until he grows out of them. Polar Bears are totally in for Spring/Summer.

What will your littles be wearing on Christmas Day?
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