30 December 2018

Five Good Things To End 2018

Five Good Things - Pete Tong, Nail Polish and This Is Going To Hurt book

I haven't done too well at making my Five Good Things posts a regular thing this year but i'm aiming to create lots of new content in 2019 so i'm hoping this post will inspire me to get started.

1. In November we went to see Pete Tong in Manchester and it was such a good night! The live orchestra made it sound incredible and I loved the added bonus of seeing Beverley Knight and Becky Hill who also performed. Manchester is one of my favourite cities so we decided to stay over at the Cow Hollow Hotel, enjoy a meal at PLY and visit the Manchester Christmas Markets to get us in the festive spirit.

2. I'm getting better at reading more regularly and i've recently finished Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton. I wasn't expecting to enjoy it as much as I did but it was so relatable, and made me feel slightly less guilty about the amount of drinking I got up to at uni! I've also read This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay which has made me laugh and cry in equal measures. What makes this book special is that it can be read by anyone, even if you don't have an interest in medicine and you'll learnt lots about the reality of the pressure the NHS is currently under.

3. I enjoyed my third M&S advent calendar and while there are a few too many anti-aging products in there I still got lots of new beauty treats to discover. My absolute favourite was the Leighton Denny nail polish in Be My Berry which was the only thing on my nails over Christmas. Other stand out products include the This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray and Philip Kingsley Elasticizer - I just wish they'd included the Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm again this year!

4. Christmas was very relaxed and it was nice to spend the day with James and the rest of my family. James and I cooked Christmas dinner which wasn't as stressful as I expected and i'm now looking forward to buying a house in the new year. I didn't pick up much in the Christmas sales but did buy some new shorts from River Island and enough discounted Christmas cards to last me a couple of years!

5. ♫ Three (non-Christmassy!) songs i've been loving: Back in the Water (Gospel version) - HAEVN, Explosions - Rationale, and Through Glass - Hands Like Houses
22 December 2018

A festive day at Manchester Christmas Markets

Manchester Christmas Markets are one of my favourite ways to get in the festive spirit! This year we went on a Friday which was a lot quieter than previously when we visited at the weekend and meant we had chance to look around without there being lots of crowds.

Manchester Christmas Markets Santa

No trip to Manchester Christmas Markets is the same without a hot chocolate with lots of cream and marshmallows - I like the different designs the mugs have each year too. I think it came to around £6 for this which is obviously quite expensive but we plan to collect a mug each time we visit and build up a little collection to remember our trips by.

Manchester Christmas Markets Hot Chocolate

I love the mini dutch pancakes (poffertjes) that are for sale at a few of the stalls and it's a bit of a tradition for me to get some every time I visit the Christmas Markets. Eating them when they're really warm and it's a freezing cold day is something that has started to remind me of Christmas! This year the topping I opted for was maple syrup - sometimes the more original flavours are just what you need.

Manchester Christmas Markets mini dutch pancakes

We were actually in Manchester to see Pete Tong at the arena so stayed over at the Cow Hollow Hotel. I'd read lots of good reviews and as it's nearly Christmas we treated ourselves to somewhere a bit more expensive. The hotel was conveniently located in the middle of the city near our favourite pizza restaurant PLY, so we couldn't resist getting dinner there after we arrived. 

Cow Hollow Hotel Manchester

The rooms are quite cosy but really nicely decorated and the hotel has a calm and relaxed atmosphere which is just what you need at this time of year. The little touches like milk and cookies on an evening and breakfast to take away really appealed to us and meant we could have breakfast at Moose Coffee and eat the rest as car snacks later on.

We're thinking of making it a tradition to visit Manchester Christmas Markets every other year, so now i've got my eye on a traditional german market abroad or a long weekend in somewhere like Edinburgh to experience the festivities a little differently. If you have any suggestions for the best christmas markets to visit, i'd love to hear them!
26 November 2018

7 of my favourite Christmas tree decorations

I've developed a bit of an obsession with Christmas tree decorations so I thought i'd share some of my favourites in a festive blog post, to make a change from my usual secret santa gift ideas! It's not always easy to find cheap Christmas tree decorations but most of these are reasonably priced and they're a great way to add something fun and a bit different to your tree.
Funny Christmas Tree Decorations

Pink Balloon Dog Decoration - £5 / Pizza Slice Decoration - £15 / White Astronaut Bauble - £2 / Spaceship Santa Bauble - £8 / Guinea Pig Bauble - £10 / London Taxi Tree Decoration - £13 / Pineapple Bauble - £7.99