Christmas, lifestyle, reviews, upcoming

Christmas treats with Prestige Hampers*

Growing up I always loved Christmas hampers, boxes of exotic treats that only came together at one time of the year. 

My dad used to buy them for his suppliers – not for us, but occasionally someone would send us one instead of buying individual presents or if we weren’t seeing them over the holidays. 

When Prestige Hampers, a Yorkshire based family business, offered to send me a hamper, I was thrilled. I received the Fabulous Christmas hamper. 

Although it’s still November just unpacking it made me feel all Christmassy (which is impressive as I struggle with the festive period). 

The team at Prestige are packing experts, once I’d unpacked it all I could not for the life of me get it all back in as neatly. 

The handmade wicker hamper is lovely and reusable – I’m already excited about deciding what to store in it! 

The contents itself is great. There’s so many treats in here. C has already got his eye on several of the goodies in it. 

This hamper includes a selection of sweet and savoury festive essentials along with three mini wine bottles, an individual Christmas pudding, jam and marmalade. 

Prestige provide a wide variety of options of gifts, everything from a bottle of wine, Christmas ham and of course the hampers. 

Right now there’s a sale on – and everything can be delivered in time for Christmas. 

Now excuse me, off to eat all these yummy treats….

*this post includes gifted items but all opinions and words are my own. 

adventures in post, art, crafty stuff, fun stuff, lifestyle boxes, reviews

Box of Lame 

I keep seeing bloggers sharing their Box of Lame snaps on Twitter and Instagram, so I took advantage of That Lame Company’s post-Christmas sale to pick one up and see what all the fuss is about. 

I have to say I’m impressed by the speed of delivery – two days after ordering  (on a bank holiday) and it arrived. 

I was a bit disappointed by the packaging, just a plain brown box. But I guess it’s what’s inside that counts. 

Wax melts, Yankee candle, tree decorations, candle holder. 

Tea bags, sweets, hot chocolate reindeer and marshmallows. 

Art prints

Budget notepad, resolutions worksheets

To do list, motivational postcards. 

This is a really fun cheerful box of goodies. I haven’t bought anything from That Lame Company before but I definitely think 2017 will contain more purchases.  

beauty, beauty boxes, lifestyle boxes, make up, my little box, reviews

My Little Christmas Box 

Look how festive this box is. With its green ribbon and candy cane. And it’s jam packed. 

There’s a Kanako art print with a message from the artist, My Little World magazine and loads of lovely treats. 

My Little Beauty Smokey Eye Duo – smokey eye make up has moved away from the greys and deep colours to these softer tones. Haven’t really had a play with these yet but I do quite like them together. 

Gingerbread candle – cinnamon and ginger are some of the smells of Christmas so this ties perfectly into the season. 

Cuff bracelet – gold tones with a hint of festive forest green.  I quite like this, it looks good next to my new velvet dress. 

Courrèges Hyperbole perfume – This perfume shares it’s name with one of my favourite words. It’s not a particularly heavy scent (although that might just be because I have a cold and can’t smell anything properly!) 

Kusmi Tea Tsarevna blend tea – this Russian blended black tea with orange peel, liquorice, vanilla and spice to give a whiff of Christmas. 

Tiptree Salted Caramel sauce – hands off! This is mine! I think this will be the perfect addition to my Christmas Day dessert. I love the mix of sweet and salt in this sauce and since I’m not having Christmas pudding (yuk!) I will add this to my sticky toffee pud instead. 

Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula Flipbalm Juicy Watermelon – I love lipbalm, especially in the winter months when my lips feel very dry and prone to cracking.  Plus this is a really cute pot. 

family, friends, life, mental health, relationships

This Is Not A Gift Guide

I was skimming along my twitter timeline the other day and saw a link to another gift guide on some website or other, where a gift was recommended that was “only £4,995”, that “only” just kills me.

A lot of people are struggling at the moment, finances are tight, a shop assistant I spoke to today said that they were still waiting for the Christmas rush, she was worried that if there wasn’t one she’d lose her job.

Five grand is a lot of money, and completely out of many people’s ability as a one off spend on a Christmas present.

Growing up there were times money was tight, when my dad was made redundant, when my mum was not working because she had two small children at home, when my parents bought their house. But we never went without.

We always had presents, I remember getting a new bike one year, and my auntie used to send us dresses every year, which we wore for Christmas day lunch, there were pyjamas, books, board games, toys, but not more than we could actually play with, we certainly weren’t spoiled.

So when I see these completely unrealistic gift guides being promoted, and there are more realistic ones out there, with presents that very few could buy, it makes me cross.

You don’t have to be religious to celebrate Christmas, Jesus was probably born in June and people have celebrated the solstice/yule etc for thousands of years, but it shouldn’t be all about stuff.

We’ve become too materialistic, yes I blog about beauty products, but I am also passionate about things that matter, I’m a proud feminist, I speak out against injustices, I am currently furious about the foul way some people treat other members of their communities due to race or religion.

Christmas, for me anyway, is about family, friends, being together, doing things like decorating the house, eating a meal, watching cheesy films, together.

Not about how much stuff you get, or how much money you spend.

So, I won’t be suggesting gifts, I won’t be telling you that spending £4,995 on a gift shows someone how much you love them. Just be with them, do things together.

ramblingmads

blogging, films, life, movie night

Best ever Christmas films, according to me!

During the festive season one of my favourite things to do is camp out on the sofa and watch Christmas films. I tend to stick to a few old favourites.

Rent – yes this film is about people dying of AIDS in poverty in early 90s New York, based on an opera (La Boheme) and it’s a musical but it begins and ends at Christmas and I love it. I know all the words to the songs and cry at the sad parts. It’s ultimately a story of redemption and love overcoming all odds.

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Muppets’ Christmas Carol – by far the best version of Dickens’ famous festive tale. Michael Caine as the crochety Mr Scrooge being shown the error of his ways by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come, while his employee Bob Cratchit (Kermit the Frog) struggles to provide for his rather large, mixed species family. With songs. And Muppets.

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Home Alone – the first one is brilliant, Macauley Culkin may be a much derided child star but this film with its genius level child building a lifesize version of the game Mousetrap to catch two bungling burglars, is every child’s secret dream.

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Elf – I’m not the biggest Will Ferrell fan but this is hilarious and silly, Zooey Deschanel is all big eyes and Ferrell as Buddy the Elf is just perfect.

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The Grinch – not the rubber faced Jim Carrey one but the original cartoon adaptation of Dr Seuss’ rhyming book about the grumpy Grinch and the good hearted Hoos of Hoosville who change his mind.

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Scrooged – Bill Murray was riding high when he made this, a high powered exec who follows in the footsteps of Ebenezer Scrooge by being miserly and mean at Christmas before ghostly visits have him rethinking his life. Murray’s Christmas special is currently on Netflix and is on my festive ‘To Watch’ list as is this very 80s film.

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What are your favourite Christmas films? Do you have any traditions you’d like to share? Leave a note below.
                  
                    🎅🎀🎄⛄🎁

ramblingmads

crafty stuff, life, upcoming

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

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I live with Christmas’ number two fan (his mum is no. 1) and this weekend we put the tree up and made our little flat all festive.

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We also discovered that rats are scared of the sound of Michael Buble singing (or maybe it’s when trees suddenly grow inside the house). They quite like the sound of Santa Paws and extra treats.

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We also wrote cards and wrapped presents to the sound of a gospel choir singing Christmas carols and discussed which films we will watch to get into the spirit.

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We’ve started our own little traditions and have ornaments that mean something to us, like the way all the ones on my parents’ tree have meaning and a story.

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I apologise in advance to whoever gets the cards I wrote last, my handwriting can only keep it together for so long before becoming unintelligible.

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We have a mix of traditional and contemporary decorations. There’s a Nativity scene and a herd of reindeer, Santas and angels. We’ve even got our first few cards up.

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Over the last few years I’ve got quite good at snagging cards and wrapping paper in January’s sales so we’re stocked up well in advance, not scrambling about trying to grab the last pack of cards or roll of paper.

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I have a weird relationship with Christmas, growing up it was all about the Sunday School presentation and getting a decent looking Christingle orange and not having my hair set alight by my friend’s little brother (small boys and lit candles are not a good mix).

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Presents were not ostentatious or in their multitudes, we had nice things but my mum the ex-hippy doesn’t really do commercialization and she’s religious.

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My best memories are of Christmas days at my grandparents, with Grandad’s gag gifts while dressed as Santa and my Nan’s mostly sherry trifle. My cousins bickering over the post lunch TV selection, my dad sleeping off the two types of potatoes and the washing up being done in shifts.

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ramblingmads