Blogmas # 12 Sick Days

During the winter, I always always get all of the colds that are floating around so I have had quite a few days this colder weather when I have felt a bit rubbish. Sometimes the only thing you want to do is curl up in bed and sleep the fog away but sometimes you have to get up and get on with the day as normal.

When I have to get up and go to work when I am not feeling my best I go into the office armed with all the supplies I could possibly need to get through the day.

Painkillers: Painkillers are my best friend when it comes to getting through the work day when I just want to be at home in bed. My desk drawer is always equipped with a box of Lemsip sachets or paracetamol as well as ibuprofen and throat sweets.

Tissues: I always keep tissues in my desk but especially when I have a cold. I like the balm ones because they are really soft and don’t make your nose feel quite so sore.

Lip Balm/Protective Balm: Not only is this great for keeping your lips moisturised, it is perfect for putting around your nose to stop it getting so chapped from constantly being rubbed by a tissue. I often get a really sore nose when I have a cold and it just helps to soothe it and keep it moisturised.

When I am feeling a bit under the weather I  don’t tend to wear too much makeup as I quite often end up rubbing most of it off anyway! On these days, I like to make sure I have my moisturiser with me in case my skin startings feeling tight and dry.

Also, on these days, I like to find really comfy outfits that I can still wear to the office but don’t feel restricted. My favourite combo is an oversized jumper with either jeans or leggings and boots. This way I am comfy and still look presentable.

 

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Blogmas # 11 Favourite Christmas Films

Every year at the begining of December my mum gets all of the Christmas films out and lines them up on the windowsill. I always reach for the same few films every year and will always watch them!

The Holiday – This is probably my favourite film in general, not just for Christmas. I love the two separate plots that intertwine and come together in the end. I love the strong female leads and strong supporting male roles. I love the cosy and warm feeling of the film.

Muppets Christmas Carol – This is a family favourite and it’s one that comes out every year that we all sit down to watch together. It is lighthearted and festive whilst also telling the original story very well!

Elf – Another classic Christmas film that I love to put on whilst baking festive treats or whilst decorating the Christmas tree. It is just an easy going, happy film that gets you feeling in the spirit.

Nightmare Before Christmas – This is a film that I love to watch on a cosy night in all wrapped un in bed. I often watch this all year round because it focuses on so many different holidays but Halloween and Christmas are usually when I watch it the most.

Arthur Christmas – When this film was released we saw it in the cinema with my grandparents and it has been a firm favourite ever since. Both of my grandparents really enjoyed it because it was just a fun Christmassy film and it became a bit of a tradition to watch it with them when they came to stay at Christmas so I want to carry that on this year.

Which Christmas film is your favourite?

Blogmas # 10 Winter Pamper Evening

I absolutely love setting aside a full afternoon or evening ever now and again to have a proper pamper evening so I thought I would share with you my favourite things to do in this time.

The first thing I do is run a bath. I really love the Lush Comforter Bubble Bar because it makes so many bubbles and turns the water such a lovely colour! The blackcurrant scent is my favourite of all the Lush Bubble Bar scents too.

Just before I get in the bath, I like to take all my makeup off with the Clinique Take The Day Off Balm and then wash off any extra residue and dirt with the Clinique Liquid Facial Soap. I then put a layer of the No7 Moisture Mask and get into the bath.

After I have had a soak in the bath, I like to rinse off, shave my legs and wash my hair. On the days when I am having a proper pamper, I use my Tony&Guy Damage Repair hair mask which I leave on for about 5 minutes.

Once I am done with my bath and have washed my hair I jump out and moisturise. My favourite body lotion at the minute is the Vaseline Cocoa one but I also love the Soap and Glory Body Butters! I then move onto my hair, which I usually roughly blowdry once I have added in some hair oil.

Pamper nights usually coincide with bed sheet changing day so my favourite bit of the evening is getting changed into some fluffy pjs and snuggling up in bed to watch a film. This, of course, only happens once I light my candles and turn on my fairy lights to make my bedroom really cosy.

When you have a pamper evening what is your favourite step?

Blogmas # 9 Christmas Cookies

I love making cookies at any time of year but around Christmas I tend to switch up the recipe a bit to make it more festive. The original recipe I used was the BBC Good Food Millie’s Cookies recipe but this has evolved over time so it is a bit different!

  • 250g Self Raising Flour
  • 175g Light Brown Sugar
  • 50g Caster Sugar
  • 100g Salted Butter
  • 1 Egg
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 3 tsp Ginger
  • 200g Chocolate Chips (or roughly chopped chocolate)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Soften the butter and combine with both types of sugar.
  3. Add in the egg and vanilla essence and combine with the sugar and butter mix.
  4. Sieve the flour into the bowl and add in the salt along with the cinnamon and ginger. Mix everything together.
  5. Add in the chocolate chips.
  6. Section into 12 and roll into balls.
  7. Put on the baking tray (I usually put 6 to a tray as they spread out quite a bit!) and place in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Do keep checking on them as depending on the oven it can vary quite a bit!
  8. Once they are out of the oven, they are really nice warm but are also great once cooled. They do keep in a tin for 4 or 5 days!

Blogmas # 7 Super Easy Hot Chocolate

When the weather starts getting colder and the nights get darker I love to snuggle up in the evening with a hot chocolate. I have recently found my new favourite way of making it with a slightly festive twist. This is super simple, but with a bit of a twist as I like to use the Innocent Hazelnut Milk rather than dairy milk.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of Innocent Hazelnut Milk
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons of Green & Blacks Hot Chocolate Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon of Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Teaspoons of Sweet Garam Masala (This can be swapped out for any other spice you like)

Method:

Pour your milk into your pan and place over a gentle heat.

Add in the hot chocolate powder and cocoa powder and whisk into the milk.

Once this is all combined, add in the vanilla extract and the spice of your choice. I really love the sweet Garam Masala as it gives it a rounded Chai flavour rather than just the cinnamon.

 

What is your favourite festive twist on hot chocolate? I would love to try out some other recipes!

 

Blogmas # 6 Stocking Fillers for Her

Following on from yesterday’s stocking filler ideas for Him, here are some stocking fillers/small gifts for her! I have linked a few things that I really love as an example for each one (non of which are affiliate links).

Fluffy Socks: No matter how many pairs of fluffy socks I already have, I always love receiving fluffy socks (especially Christmas themed ones!). Topshop have some really pretty patterns and they are really soft!

Candles: Again, this is something I absolutely love to receive as a gift and also love to pick out scents for other people. There are just so many different scents and I always find something new to try! Yankee Candle always do really nice Christmas stocking filler sets too!

Mugs: Especially around Christmas, there are always so many options when it comes to mugs and I think they make a great gift because they can be so personal. I love this one from Prezzy Box: https://www.prezzybox.com/for-fox-sake-mug.aspx

Custom Decorations: There are so many options for customised Christmas decorations and I really love the item of getting these for friends with some of my favourite photos of us all! Not on The High Street has a really nice hanging decoration that is customisable: https://www.notonthehighstreet.com/sophiavictoriajoy/product/personalised-hanging-photo-decoration

 

Blogmas # 5 Stocking Fillers for Him

I thought I would put together a little list of some stocking fillers for the men in your life. These are things that my dad, my brother or my boyfriend would love. I have included a few links so you can see some examples!

Table Top Sports Game: This is the sort of thing that my dad loves and is always something fun to play on Chirstmas Day/Boxing Day.  The Works have a Foosball version which is very similar to the one I bought my dad last year! https://www.theworks.co.uk/p/activity-toys/tabletop-football/5052089255906?CAWELAID=720011340002669535&CATARGETID=720011340002488683&cadevice=c&gclid=CjwKCAiA0O7fBRASEiwAYI9QAh9026vRfNaV14RGLa_vXSliEo8ZPG1P9QCWG4V0fyrIGw13MBCrlBoCGcoQAvD_BwE

Christmas Socks: Socks are always a winner and in my family we love to find the craziest Chirstmas patterned ones we can find! Asos have a really great selection this year!

Christmas Hats: Along with the Christmas socks, this is also one that my family love. I have bought them from Primark and Sainsbury’s in the past, but H&M have some different ones this year! https://www2.hm.com/en_gb/productpage.0697456001.html?gclid=CjwKCAiA0O7fBRASEiwAYI9QAuvbdE2sj-g2Sde4Ddai7H8RrBTaX32s23WS6A_1SqD5GUfrezYtERoCVZwQAvD_BwE&ef_id=W-xClQAAAPxUNdI4:20181126185933:s&s_kwcid=AL!850!3!296852201991!!!g!309247138059!#modal-1

Magic Tricks/Puzzles: This is one that my boyfriend loves. Most supermarkets have these around christmas in their stocking filler section but Amazon is also a great place to look!

 

Blogmas # 4 – Winter Favourites

I really love reading other people’s favourites so I thought I would put together a list of my November/winter favourites for this year.

Elisabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream: This is one of my favourite products all year round but especially in the winter. I have the tube version, which I carry with me wherever I go, and the tin, which I keep in my desk drawer at work. It is the best lip balm/moisturiser I have ever used and it stays on your lips for so long.

No7 Moisture Mask: My skin has got more dry over the past few months and now that the weather is colder it has become even more so in places. This mask really makes my skin feel nourished and moisturised. I tend to use it once a week, usually on a sunday, and I can see a difference in my skin straight away.

E45 Cream: Again, another product for dry skin but at this time of year, especially this year, my skin does get really dry. I have had a couple of eczema type patches this year and this has cleared it up in no time.

New Look Burgundy Corduroy Dress: Every since I bought this in late September it has been one of my most worn pieces. I love to style it with tights, a black polo neck/long sleeve top and black boots.

Yankee Candle Sparkling Cinnamon: I always love cinnamon scented candles in the winter, but this one by Yankee Candle has a strong scent, without being overwhelming. I bought it last year but it is still going strong!

Hot Spiced Apple drink from Costa: As with every year, the Costa Hot Spiced Apple drink is one of my favourites. It tastes a bit like mulled cider but more sweet, and as soon as it is released I start to feel a lot more festive.

Mac Lipstick in Russian Red: Once the festive season starts, I love to bring out my red lipstick again and this one is my favourite. It is a matte finish and is really pigmented. It can dry out your lips if you wear it all day, so I tend to use my Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream underneath to prevent this!

What are some of your winter favourites? Let me know in the comments or tweet me @placesserenity!

Blogmas # 3 – Christmas Decorations

When it comes to Christmas, I love decorating my bedroom to match the season. With just a few small touches you can really make a room feel festive. Whilst I still live at home or at my boyfriends house, I am very limited when it comes to decorating so these are the little things that I really find make a difference.

My favourite thing to do when the festive season draws closer is to change my bedding over to my christmas set. The one I currently have is from Primark and is a brushed cotton feel, which is really snuggly for the cold winter nights! I also swap out my cusions, which are usually mint green to match my room, to red ones and change my mint blanket to a red and white tartan patterned one (also from Primark I think!).

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I have fairy lights in my room all year round as I think they give a much nicer atmosphere than the standard ceiling light, but at christmas I add a few more sets in to make it extra twinkly!

Another thing I love all year round is candles. Anyone who knows me knows that I always have so many candles that I haven’t even started burning yet because I just can’t resist buying them if there is a scent that I like! Once it starts getting colder, I always bring out my Christmas candles, which are mostly Yankee Candles, and take away the more summery scents. Some of my favourites are the Sparkling Cinnamon and Snow in Love.

 

Every year, I bring out my tiny little Christmas tree that I bought from my local garden centre a few years back. I always struggle to find decorations for it because it is so small so if anyone knows a good place to get really small christmas tree decorations, let me know!!

Which things do you change up in your bedrooms/houses to make it more festive?