and a happy new year

Christmas is over and done with for another year. Why does it go so quickly? All that fuss for just one day but we had a lovely time with our family. Now it is the awkward time in between Christmas and new year, the slightly depressing realisation that the big day is over and the decorations just start to irritate us slightly. We have a few days back at work (back to some normality for us) but we still have the new year celebrations to look forward to. We are not wild party animals so we tend to enjoy a nice evening at home but this doesn't have to mean a boring or dull night. We like to watch some good films, make some cocktails and drinks (why not treat yourself to a posh shaker) and choose a selection of snacks and treats. Or if we want to ensure we stay awake until midnight (this is much harder now) we like to play some party games and we are currently loving the Obama llama one, which we featured in our last blog post! 

Staying in doesn't mean scrimping on the decorations or the fun. Bake a celebration cake or some party buns! Or opt for a disposable camera, which is a good talking point too, to capture the celebrations and fun in a more traditional way (no instant photos!) Some banners hung up, party poppers at the ready and some novelty accessories create the perfect party to welcome the new year! And if you can't be with friends or family then why not send out some happy new year cards to them! Whatever your plans or however you decide to spend the evening make it special and say goodbye to 2015 and hello 2016!

Cocktail shaker Paperchase £18 / Cake topper Not on the highstreet £17 / 
Happy new year banner Folksy £18.90 / Lets party card Urban outfitters £3.50 /
Gogglebox game Amazon £18.41 / Disposable camera Urban Outfitters £12 / 
Metallic paper cups Paperchase £4.95

Sarah and Holly



merry christmas

Thank you to everyone who reads our blog and follows us on our Instagram page we hope you have a lovely Christmas and a fabulous New year too!
Sarah and Holly



setting the christmas table

Christmas dinner has to be the highlight of Christmas day for us and with this in mind we think setting the table is as important as the food itself! A beautifully decorated table helps create the festive atmosphere as you, your family, guests or whoever you spending Christmas with, are all seated and ready for the food to be served. Christmas comes but once a year as does a Christmas turkey dinner, so on this one special day of the year indulge and make the effort to create a memorable and fun day! Take some extra time and plan the layout of the table and decorate to create something fun and exciting. Here are a few ideas to make the table extra special. 

Place cards labelled with guests names ensure no confusion over who sits where (make sure you pick wisely to avoid arguments!) DIY or make your own place cards or opt for pre bought depending on your theme or the time you have! Some christmas table confetti scattered on the table adds some extra detail nestled around plates and cutlery! Keep it easy and use a disposable paper tablecloth and napkins so any spills or drops of gravy are not a worry (you don't want to spend the day cleaning up!) And Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without crackers and those classic, colourful paper hats. 

We all enjoy a nice drink with our dinner so some festive themed tumblers or wine glasses can hold the perfect Christmas beverage. The centre of the table should be the centre of attention on Christmas day. Scented candles or some seasonal flowers and plants (or both) arranged beautifully together to create a show stopping focal point that is sure to get everyone talking (or those interested in homeware!) Once all the food has been consumed and everyone is full, an after dinner game can be a fun activity (we have picked up the Obama llama one) or maybe take some family photographs with a fun photo prop set or kit. Now, we understand everyone has their own traditions or preferences, but why not try something new or incorporate some different ideas into your Christmas dinner, day and table this year!

Place cards Paperchase £2 / Wooden confetti Not on the highstreet £2.99 / 
Table cloth Ebay £2.79 / Napkins John Lewis £2.50 / Crackers House of fraser £25 / 
Tumblers Next £16 / Table candle centre piece Farthing £9.95 / 
Obama Llama game John Lewis £20 / Photo booth prop set Lakeland £6.87

Sarah and Holly



the stockings were hung by the chimney with care..

Hanging stockings from the fireplace is a lovely tradition that as children we loved. We had knitted, fairisle, patterned stockings with our names stitched on them! (we will try and instagram these as we still have them!) These are unpacked from the storage boxes every year and they are a reminder to us both of all our Christmas memories! But these don't have to be purely decoration or for children either! Stockings can be a great alternative to using a gift bag and the stocking is also a bonus present! Pick a stocking that reflects the receiver of the presents or personalise by adding a name or adding your own additional decorations!

There are so many great stocking filler present options, that can fill the "christmas sock" with some exciting and fun treats! Chocolate coins, fun gadgets, socks, gloves are a few ideas but you can add anything you want! Why not pick a stocking out for all your loved ones and instead of giving expensive, large gifts choose lots of smaller, personal and special items that can fill the stocking right to the top. Or if you still fancy splashing out (it is the one time of year we all feel like we can) and are worried that the stockings size will restrict your options, then opt for a giant one! There are some out there too! Just maybe don't try hanging this one from the fireplace! 

Deer stocking Sasse & Belle £9.50 / Grey stripe stocking This modern life £25 / 
Knitted stocking Not on the highstreet £15.99 / Penguin stocking M&S £15 / 
Extra large stocking Not on the highstreet £17.50 / Animal print stocking John Lewis £12 

Sarah and Holly



dasher, dancer, prancer...

... vixen, comet, cupid, donner, blitzen and not forgetting rudolf! (who else thought of jingle all the way as they read that!

Reindeers we believe are one of the most iconic symbols of Christmas. As children we always looked out of our bedroom windows on Christmas Eve, with the expectation of hopefully getting a glimpse of Father Christmas and his reindeer as they flew through the sky and listening out for the jingle of the sleigh! Now we are older we are glad to say we don't spend our Christmas Eve this way but we still love the idea of the reindeers! 

Sometimes shopping for Christmas decorations can be daunting! The shops are saturated with some many themes and styles (sometimes too much choice can be overwhelming!) and it can be difficult to select multiple items and imagine them all pieced together without it looking like a jumbled up mess or a mix and match! So often it can be easier to choose just one single element and roll with it! Luckily there are lots of different variations of reindeer out there! Realistic and wild, cute and adorable, simple and figurative or as part of a farisle print, it is easy to incorporate these creatures into your Christmas decorating. We think reindeers are a timeless, classic, familiar and simple choice that can be repeated and replicated Christmas after Christmas. The best part we think is that you can build up a vast and varied collection and pick up new pieces each year to add to it, so there is no need to rush out and buy everything you can find in your chosen theme! Collections take years to build up and that's the fun part! Here are few ideas to inspire!

Candle John Lewis £12.00 / Candle holder Ebay £19.99 / Heat changing mug Boots £9.00 / Pom Pom decoration Oliver Bonas £4.00 / Draught excluder M&Co £10.50 / Reindeer names print Not on the high street £9.10 / Metal Reindeer Habitat £45.00

Sarah and Holly



christmas around the home

Another Christmas inspired post today (we hope you are enjoying them so far). By now most of us have decorated the tree (or trees) in our homes and hung our stockings by the fireplace. But what about adding that festive touch elsewhere in the home. Christmas is about indulgence and celebration so we think it's worth going all out and adding the christmas cheer around the whole house. Why limit Christmas to just one room or just have a tree? What about using a seasonal scent, a diffuser, air freshener or soap, so the house not only looks Christmassy but smells like it too. If you enjoy the festive season as much as we do then these ideas could really make this Christmas extra special in your home. 

We love finding something special each year to add to our collection of Christmas decor. Year on year when you open the boxes full of Christmas treasures and unpack those exciting items it adds something special to the whole occasion. From mugs to cushions to bedding or prints there is a massive range of products available. Disgard the boring tea towels and pick out something fun and festive, it is Christmas after all. 

Here are a few of our favourites.

Tea towel Not on the hightstreet £8.15 / Hand towel BHS £8.00 / Santa tea pot Next £12 / Oven gloves Asda £4.00 / Mug Emma Bridgewater £19.95 / Cinnamon diffuser Matalan£3.00 / Santa bedding M&S £13.65-£34.65

Sarah and Holly


top of the tree

The crowning glory of any tree has to be the tree topper. The finishing touch, the star of the show, the icing on the cake if you will! Once the tree has been covered with fairy lights, baubles and ornaments have been hung, tinsel and garlands draped generously over branches, it is finally time to tackle the top of the tree (if you are short like us you might need help with this part!) Traditionally toppers are usually in the form of a star or an angel but any show stopping ornament or even a large bow could be used, just get creative and go wild! 

So lets start with the stars (our personal favourite) The star "really" can shine on the top of the tree with battery operated options available, to create a truly magical and sparkling effect. Stars coated in layers of glitter are always a great choice too, for a truly indulgent and festive tree. But if all this sounds like a little too much glitz and glam, then try a textured or wooden star for a much more natural and toned down look. If modern is more your thing then why not try a copper or wire option (or both!) Now onto angels! These might be a little too traditional for some people but we have found some quirky alternatives, that still maintain and keep the concept of an angel but in an updated way. A cute option we think is a gingerbread angel! The idea of an angel remains but in a fun and different way and gingerbread well you can't get anymore Christmassy can you! Any pet lovers out there? Cat and dog toppers take your fancy? Look around and shop around to find something special! 

Whatever it might be on the top of the tree make sure it adds the wow to the tree! (like the cat!) 

Straw star Not on the hightstreet £12 / White star M&S £10 / Pre lit star Homebase £9.99 / 
Cat Trouva £9.99 / Dog Trouva £9.99 / Rattan star Wilkos £5 / Burlap star Asda £5 / 
Gingerbread fairy Not on the hightstreet £24

Sarah and Holly


it's a wrap!

Once the christmas shopping list is ticked off and complete its time to start thinking about how to thoughtfully wrap those important gifts. Just as much thought is needed in wrapping a gift as well as buying it, thats part of the fun of giving. Lets face it, buying the presents is the easy part but starting the mammoth task of wrapping all those presents is not one we look forward to. So why not get creative and enjoy it! There is a huge choice of paper, tapes, bows, tissue paper, string and tags, so you can get as creative as you like. You could stick to traditional colours and imagery or pick on trend designs that use hints of luxurious coppers and metallics. Character based designs, typography, there really is a massive range out there. 

If you are feeling really ambitious what about creating your own paper designs or crafting home made gift tags. If you are not as ambitious as that Sarah & Bendrix did a blog post about their printable designs, check the post out by clicking on the link. You could even incorporate small gifts into your wrapping. Tying a christmas decoration to a bow adds a thoughtful and sentimental touch to a gift. 

We have picked out some of our gift wrapping favourites below. 

Washi Tape Hobbycraft £5.00 / 2M Wrap pack Next £6.00  / 
Large gift bag Paperchase £4.00 / Red film bow John Lewis £2.00 / Personalised gift stamp Not on the high street £17.50 / Sticker Roll Wilkos £1.00

Sarah and Holly



the sledmere christmas craft fair

Today we made the beautiful and scenic trip to Sledmere house to have a wander and look around the Christmas craft fair and we were prepared with our boots, woolly hats and warm coats (it was very windy today in Yorkshire!) Once we had parked up and strolled down the rocky track, we were greeted with lots of multi coloured fairy lights, which were hung everywhere to create a very festive atmosphere! These brightened up the gloomy, dull December day and made us feel very Christmassy! Once inside (there were more lights too) we were confronted with countless stalls (around 100 we believe) and lots of people! 

Stalls were laid out with local crafts, gifts, decorations and food for the festive period. We spotted lots of beautiful pieces and we were very impressed with the prices of items too! Very affordable but also lovely to support local, independent businesses and shops. One of our favourite stalls had to be Twig & Whistle from which we picked up a lovely white star candle holder, with a copper / gold inside. We think this will look so magical when lit up! This was the perfect way to spend a Saturday and a great place to pick up Christmas gifts. And on our way home we popped into another craft shop we spotted, as well as a pub for some lunch! Here are a few photos from today's trip! 

Sarah and Holly


with every christmas card I write...

In our now very modern world of technology and gadgets you would think it impossible that the modest traditional Christmas card would still be so popular! Although sending a card does require a greater amount of effort than simply sending a text message or email, you can't deny a card has more thought and meaning. Thats why we like the idea that someone has picked a card and thought about you! There is something very nostalgic and pleasing about writing a card, sticking on a postage stamp (a christmas one of course) and popping it in a red post box! A simple and easy process, which gives a satisfying and warm feeling. In the run down to Christmas receiving a card is a lovely and thoughtful gesture to let someone know you are thinking of them at this time of year. As children we always loved opening the brightly coloured envelopes, to reveal an array of different designs. These were then always hung from string, which our Dad had attached from one side of the room to the other and by Christmas Eve there was quite a collection! 

The selection of card designs out there is vast and we think it is important to pick the right card for the right person. Designs and themes can range from humour, to cute and kitch, glitter, glitter and more glitter, traditional, scenic winter landscapes, modern and simple, charity cards, typographic, food... we could literally go on and on! The best tip we can give you, make sure before buying your cards to write a list of everyone you intend to send a card to (and maybe buy a few extra just in case you forget anyone!) there is nothing worse than running out of cards when you are in card writing mode. Our second tip, invest in a good quality pen and get practicing your handwriting. Now we all type on screens and keyboards constantly, so lets just say the handwriting skills might be a little rusty! Our final words of wisdom, don't leave it until the last minute to send out your cards, you don't want people to receive them on Christmas Eve! 

Christmas wishes Not on the highstreet £2.90 / Leap through the snow John Lewis £4 / 
Pea and pud Clinton cards £2.99 / Ski cat Paperchase £2.25 / Reindeer Whsmith £2.75 / Tinsel and elf M&S £5  

Sarah and Holly



the christmas jumper

In recent years Christmas jumpers have become extremely popular and we really do mean popular! Before the new craze began a few years ago Christmas jumpers for us conjured up visions of cheesy 80's Christmas music videos, crazy patterned prints, itchy fabrics and families in matching jumpers on Christmas cards. These stereotypes are long gone with the jumpers back in force in the shops with new, edgy, modern and interesting designs to choose from. 

Now you can pick up a jumper during your weekly food shop at the supermarket. Jumper designs range from the simple and the understated to the kitsch and the bright with all the trimmings, sequins and sparkles you could dream of! We have spotted a few with witty quotes and text too! It seems the Christmas jumper is now a festive staple and makes the perfect and easy outfit choice for office jumper days, parties and of course Christmas Day! (or why not all of December!) 

If you can't find a jumper you like (and you have a spare afternoon) then why not DIY one yourself! Pick up a plain, cheap jumper and head down to your local craft shop. Pop on a Christmas film and go wild with hot glue and decorate to your hearts content! But if you don't have the time or the patience to make one, check out the below items we have picked to help you with this years jumper decision. We have selected a few different styles and designs on the market this year!
Let's 'jump' in! 

Deer jumper Next £32 / Baahumbug Next £32 / Let it snow Asda £16 / 
Mornings New Look £19.99 / Candy cane Topshop £35 / Reindeer Sainsburys £18 

Sarah and Holly


magic and sparkle

Soon the boxes of Christmas decorations will be brought down from the loft, the dust will be blown away and the boxes opened to reveal the decorations and accessories of Christmas pasts. But as we search for the boxes in the dark and battle with the spiders, there is no doubt that we will start to worry. Will the tree lights work when we plug them in? What if the baubles are broken or were squashed in storage? So each year we like to add or update our existing decorations and incorporate some new pieces to keep Christmas fun and exciting as well as replacing any old or broken items. This will not be difficult as we have spotted so many amazing pieces on the highstreet. 

A new pack of baubles is an inexpensive way to change the colour scheme of the tree and are available in some many different shapes and colours. You could also check out our John Lewis post if you fancy something a little more special and individual! Twinkly wreaths, festive copper star lamps as well as plaques and signs with wonderful festive quotes, work well hung over door handles or swapped with a canvas or picture (no need to put any extra nails in the walls!) Snow globes look great added to shelves or fireplaces alongside current decor. Battery powdered fairy lights (available everywhere!) or garlands draped over mirrors can be easily added for some extra sparkle to a room. Lets not forget tea light holders and candles. These always add some extra Christmas spirit as they flicker away and be sure to pick up some seasonal and festive scented ones too!

Christmas decorating is our favourite so why not go wild, be creative and use Christmas as an excuse to add some magic and sparkle to your home! We have picked out a few examples below to help inspire you! (colour scheme was genuinely unintentional!) 

Noel sign Wilkos £1.50 / Metal star garland Next £10 / Snow globe Next £14 / 
Reindeer tea light holder Habitat £35 / Star lamp Ikea £8 / Candle holder Ikea £2.50

Sarah and Holly



by the fireside

Living in a new build or modern home can sometimes be tricky when it comes to furnishing and decorating. Often the rooms can lack features and focal points. Older buildings offer beautiful original and historical features, which add character and charm. Don't get us wrong we love our houses, they are modern, fresh and bright! However, it can be hard to decorate or arrange a room when there is nothing to act as a centre piece! If this is the case then why not treat this as a blank canvas and an opportunity to make your mark and create a space that's right for you. 

A fireplace can be an easy and simple way to add focus within a room as well as creating a much more cosy atmosphere. There are many free standing electric fires to choose from in varying sizes (compact ones are available if you have a small room) as well as various different styles. These are easy to assemble and install as they don't require a chimney and many come already assembled! Just unpack, plug it in and wait for the room to get toasty!

As Christmas approaches we have spotted various images on Pinterest and in magazines of magical, dreamy rooms with roaring fireplaces adorned with stockings and beautiful garlands! (you always want what you don't have) But whatever shape or style room you have, a fire place can be included to create the perfect homely living room. And yes we know these may not be the traditional roaring open fires with logs that we all wish we had but this a good compromise, that is quick and easy to do yourself!

Smeg fire John Lewis £444 / White compact fire Argos £149.99 / 
Black traditional style fire Homebase £399 / Walnut shelf fire Fireplace world £499 /
Stove and surround Very £499 / Cube shelf fire Next £399

Sarah and Holly


a scottish adventure

This weeks post is very different for us. We thought that it would be nice to share the things that we do and enjoy to make our blog that little more personal and varied. So last week we both took some well deserved time off work. Myself (Holly) decided to book a little break away to Edinburgh. I had never visited Scotland and I wanted to go somewhere new and exciting. I thought Edinburgh would be a good city to explore and I was not disappointed. 

We visited art galleries, museums, (which had free admission) the zoo, the castle and explored the shops and high street. Whilst exploring the historic castle it even snowed (the first snow of the year for me). We stopped for countless hot chocolates as the weather was very wintery and had to buy ourselves a woolly hat to keep warm. But I think visiting during the Autumn months adds something more magical and special to the whole experience (probably because the shops were adorned with Christmas decorations.)

I defiantly want to go back and explore more of Scotland's heritage and beautiful landscapes (maybe next year). I hope you like the photos. 




put the kettle on

Now we are heading towards the colder months and the winter season, hot drinks for us become a must and necessity. The perfect way to warm up! Cups of hot tea, coffee, cappuccinos... well you get the idea! (we don't need to list them all!) Now we know kettles may not seem like the most exciting or interesting item to talk about but without these appliances we wouldn't be able to snuggle up and enjoy a nice hot beverage on these now darker, cooler days!

Kettles are a functional item but this doesn't mean they can't look stylish sat on the kitchen worktop. If you shop around you can find a variety of different shapes and colours to match your kitchen decor. There is a huge array of kettles out there depending on taste, ranging from copper / rose gold effect to bright and bold colours. Pretty patterns adorn some, while others use a more traditional shape and style! We even found some that change colour as they boil! The choice is yours! Just remember kettles don't have to be dull and boring and you can have a lot of fun deciding which one you want! The humble kettle is used everyday so why not pick one that is just a little bit more exciting! (the smeg one though how cute and available in lots of other colours too!)

Copper kettle Debenhams £110 / Red heart kettle Next £32 / 
Colour change kettle John Lewis £46 / Cuppa kettle Argos £29.99 / 
Smeg pink kettle Currys £99.99 / Cranberry kettle Asda £54.99 

Sarah and Holly


alternative advent

December is fast approaching and now is the time to consider the advent calendars that are on offer and which one we want! Advent is not a modern concept and once consisted of families drawing a chalk line every day of December until Christmas Eve! Needless to say advent calendars have developed considerably since then but the essence of the festive countdown and the anticipation of each day remains the same! Each day in the run up to Christmas provides a glimpse and taste of the festivities and the big day ahead! 

Now we are older we feel like advent should be a little more grown up! Advent calendars are now available from a variety of different markets which has allowed for a break in the traditional and the usual. From make up and beauty to beer and candles the selection out there is huge! 

The unconventional calendars that are now available, allow you to try out different brands or high end products with more expensive and luxurious surprises each day! (even better in our opinion!) These alternative advents are often a lot pricier than a standard chocolate one but why not indulge.. 'Tis the season' and all that! (well that's out excuse!) 

The 12 days of Christmas Lush £49.95 / Yankee candle Clintons £24.99 / 
The nutcracker Oliver Bonas £18 / 12 beers of Christmas Not on the highstreet £49.50 / 
Nail varnish Ciate £49 / No 7 25 days of beauty wonders Boots £38

Sarah and Holly


say it with words

Lets face it, our homes are one of the most personal and intimate spaces. They reflect who we and our families are. Its only right that we decorate and adorn them with things that are specific and relevant to us. So we thought for this weeks blog post that we would focus on prints, but specifically quotes. Quotes are a perfect way to incorporate that individual touch to a room and home. There are quotes that are specific to every room, and they can be taken form all different places and inspirations. You could select a favourite song, a film, a book, poetry, an artist or even use a quote that is personal to you, that may have a symbolic or sentimental memory attached. Quotes help to keep us motivated and inspired, so why not have one or two dotted around the home as a subtle reminder (we all need a little help now and then).

Typographic prints are one of our favourites and there are a huge range of fonts and styles to choose from. The right font really does help enhance and compliment a quote, bringing the message and meaning behind it to life. You can keep it graphic and minimalistic with just simple black and white or pick prints that incorporate both type and imagery. Metallic foils add a touch of luxury and add a little more style and uniqueness. 

With Christmas looming these could make a really personal and thoughtful gift.
There really is a huge range of prints available, you can even have your own prints made to order. Here are just a few that we have picked out.

Be bold Print Society Six $19 / All you need is love Wall Art Debenhams £18 / Wild at heart Print Not on the high street £30 / Tille Print Next £30 / Willy Wonka Print Etsy £8.08 / Dreams Canvas House of Fraser £30 / Sisters Print Not on the high street £14 / Life doesn't have to be perfect Print Not on the high street £16.50

Sarah and Holly


man on the moon: john lewis christmas advert 2015

For the last few years the John Lewis Christmas adverts have never failed to disappoint us and this year was no exception! With the sweet message about making someone feel special at Christmas, this advert follows a young girl who spots an old man living alone on the moon! The song choice (a cover of Oasis), the moral story line, highlighting the issues of isolation and loneliness felt by many older people at Christmas and the friendship between the two characters we think reflects what Christmas should really be about! If you haven't seen the advert then you can watch it below!

We have to admit before the adverts became so huge and popular we had never visited a John Lewis store! Now every year it has become a tradition to buy a new tree decoration to add to our collection! (the choice and selection never fails to disappoint!) We all think that adverts don't work but they have managed to entice us back very easily (once again this year!) using snowmen, bears, hares and cute penguins! Year after year this has worked as we return dazzled by the magical and fantastic adverts we have come to expect! 

The John Lewis Christmas advert always marks the countdown to Christmas for us! Its starts to make us feel festive and seasonal (just a little though.. it is still November!) It prompts us to start writing and jotting down ideas and presents for our loved ones! It's better to be early and prepared so you can enjoy the festive countdown and if you start buying now you wont be disappointed or miss out on the decent stuff! 

We have picked a selection of some of our favourite Christmas decorations and baubles from John Lewis this year. 

Be merry bauble John Lewis £8 / Stripe bauble John Lewis £3.50 / Fox John Lewis £4.50 / 
Stag John Lewis £5 / 3D star John Lewis £4.50 / Gold bauble John Lewis £3.50

Sarah and Holly



get set for november

November has arrived and already the shops are flooded with Christmas items and decorations and it's almost time for the influx of the magical Christmas adverts on the television! (we are most excited for the John Lewis advert at the end of the week!) The Halloween decorations have been taken down which leaves November as the "in between" month. It is not quite time to deck the halls and drag out all the Christmas decorations just yet but a whole month to wait before we can drape everything in fairy lights and glitter seems like an endless wait! 

To help the run down to December feel a little faster why not incorporate some cosy and cute winter essentials into your day to day life (bunny slippers are a must in our opinion!) November is the time to indulge, relax and treat yourself before all the Christmas present shopping needs to be done and the crazy chaos begins! So we have picked some home pieces alongside clothing and phone accessories we think will make the wait much easier and a lot more fun! We hope you like the picks! (how cosy does the jumper look!)

Hot water bottle Asda £5 / Jumper Topshop £42 / Candle M&S £6 / 
Bunny slippers Next £12 / Cushion Not on the highstreet £27 / 
Phone case Not on the highstreet £10 

  Sarah and Holly