Saturday, 28 December 2013

Boxing Day With My Nearest and Dearest

For as long as I can remember Christmas has always been a family affair at my grandparents house.

This year we all got together on Boxing Day to have Christmas Number Two, dragging out the celebrations for as long as we can. 

I Am Wearing
Dress – Jack Wills

Someone’s eyeing up the trifle… It turned out Beatrix was more interested in the cheese board, particularly the stilton. Is that normal for a four year old?

This is by far my favourite time of year, purely because it’s one of the only times all the family reunite. 

‘Everyone look at Grandma lovingly!’

J’aime mes cousins. 

My mum is pregnant! So overly excited!

Santa’s little helper assisted in the present opening. It’s typical that children are more enthralled by the wrapping paper rather than the actual presents.

Christmas = absolute mess and chaos. But no one cares! We get right in there with the present opening. It’s a serious business you know. 

This one managed to follow the camera wherever it went and appear right in front of it. Cheeky!

Christmas is all about laughter and realising how much the people around you really mean to you. I love capturing the real and natural laughter shots. 

Beatrix attempted teaching us a game called ‘the burping dragons’. We still have no idea what the aim or purpose of this game is but there was certainly a lot of pointing going on while instructing us! What a bossy boots.

I hope you are all having a fantastic Christmas (I refuse to believe Christmas is over already).

Send 2013 off with great memories and welcome 2014 with excitement and optimism. Happy New Year!

Monday, 23 December 2013

Christmas in the City

Nothing compares to London at Christmas. The lights lining the streets and the unmissable window displays of Selfridges confirms that Christmas is well and truly here.

It’s always been a tradition for me to visit London for a night’s stay where the aim is to spend the days as Christmassy as possible! Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park has always made the cut combined with a trip to Harrods or Selfridges. 

On this years trip, for the evening Marcus and I decided to eat out in Notting Hill. We enjoyed cocktails and pizzas at The Oak, which isn’t an ordinary pub (as the name suggests), but a cosy and romantic venue lit only by candle light. 

We are both moving to London in the new year and Notting Hill is a definite contender to live so it made sense to scout out the area on this trip. 

We shared brushetta and olives to start followed by a wood fired pizza each with spiced salami. The photos speak for themselves! I’ll be coming back to this little place many times I’m sure. After dinner we walked around Notting Hill under the moonlight; I’m completely and utterly in love with the place!

The following day, after a short but sweet visit to Selfridges (check out the Father Christmas in the telephone box!) it was time to go to Winter Wonderland!

I Am Wearing
Coat – Jack Wills, Scarf – H&M, Hat – Kurt Geiger,
Boots – Office

The stalls are far too tempting to walk past so I opted for some fudge and a chocolate crepe. Hey, it’s Christmas!

Usually we would go ice skating there, but this year we went to Zippos circus instead. Hercules (no, I don’t think that is his real name) was so strong he could take the weight of a car over his body! I had to look away for most of it!

If you visit Winter Wonderland you must try one of the German sausages! 

Once we were happily stuffed full of sweets, sausages and crepes we left for the theatre where we saw Matilda – it was amazing! 

Sunday, 15 December 2013

A Crafty Christmas

For those of you that had a go at baking the festive cookies that I posted a couple of weeks ago, here are some ideas for packaging them up to give away at Christmas.


For the past few weeks I have been buying little bits and bobs to decorate my cookie jars and finally found today that I had everything I needed to get started. 

I found these cute ribbons, gingerbread men and gingham fabric hearts at Hobbycraft thanks to my friend Steph for recommending the place to me. I was especially over the moon to stumble upon the mini wooden gingerbread men! They couldn’t be more fitting for my cookie packaging project.

These are the various jars, boxes and tins I have been gathering since I decided on my Christmas presents idea a few months ago. They hardly cost any money at all.

I aimed to go for simple containers so that I could decorate them myself with ribbons and fabrics. I did however, buy the vintage coca cola tin because I loved it so much!

I used the small bucket tin to draw a perfect circle to cut out jam jar covers for the glass jars.

I’ve been looking for some faux sprigs of holly for a while and thought I was going to have to visit a florist until I eventually found these ones for £1 in Cargo.

So people know exactly what they are receiving I decided to write the names of the biscuits on pieces of card. I layered red card over the top to write a greeting from me and cut them out with pretty patterned scissors that I bought from Tiger.

The finished products. I got slightly carried away today with my project, so I actually finished all of them! I thought it would take me a good few days to complete, but it goes to show that it can be done in just one day.

I’m so pleased with how they look. I’m so excited, I want to give them to people right now!

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Skiing in the Desert

Skiing has not been on the top of my list of things to do in Dubai. 
Not because I wouldn’t like to do it of course, just because Dubai is the last place I would even consider skiing down icy slopes. 

A couple of days ago the boys and I decided to explore the city while the girls filmed. We’ve spent most of out days within the hotel and so we headed off to the Mall of the Emirates. The plan was to look around the shops, jump on the slopes, move on to the Dubai Mall and then check out the Burj Khalifa. As you can imagine we didn’t quite manage all of that in one day! After lunch at The Cheesecake Factory (where I had a delicious grilled salmon by the way) we got kitted out in ski gear and hit the slopes. 

Rather fetching; wouldn’t you agree?!

Being only the second time skiing I was anxious to begin with but it soon all came flooding back to me and I was flying down before I knew it. 

Some girl time was needed and nothing beats a pizza each at Ronda Locatelli where we could all dress up. 

Cold Stone has got to be the best ice cream I have ever had! After choosing an ice cream flavour the guys in there mix it all up with anything from brownies to peanut butter cups. Your ice cream is thrown about a bit by the staff playing catch before being handed to you. I have no idea how they manage to catch the ice cream scoop in the cup when it’s flying through the air!

Last night we all ate out at the Saffron restaurant within the Atlantis where you can order noodles at the buffet and it is made on a hot plate in front of you. It doesn’t get fresher than that!

I personally chose sushi. I couldn’t resist!

Once we had eaten as much as our bellies would allow us we moved on to Nasimi beach. Yes, we may have spent nearly our entire time in Dubai at Nasimi beach but we only discovered on our second to last night that it’s a perfect spot for a cocktail after dark! The view was incredible and the cocktails were equally as impressive.

Today has been our last day so Marcus and I decided to peel ourselves out of the sun beds and discover a bit more of what Dubai has to offer. We ended up at the Dubai Mall. It’s almost too big to shop there! 

Having never eaten at Shake Shake before despite seeing it in New York and in London before, we had to give it a go and see what all the hype is about. This photo says it all… juicy beef burger with crisp lettuce and melty cheese.