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