12 Days of Christmas (#4): A Festive Student House

One of the best things about living in a rented off-campus house with friends is that we are able to get really festive and excited for Christmas. Sure some of you get that in halls, but to be honest I had a horrendous experience of that – the tinsel put up was deliberately done at a height to strangle a fellow housemate when she entered the bathroom. I’m pretty sure that sums up my experience! Anyway, I’ve really enjoyed living with friends, and we’ve gone to town on (very tasteful) decorating. We bought a lovely cheap tree from Argos (back at the beginning of October – I promptly confiscated it and banished it to the deep dark depths of the boiler cupboard in my room) along with lights, parents donated unused decorations, and we topped them up with bits and pieces from Poundland (I am seriously impressed with their Christmas range!). We even have table runners and festive looking blankets!

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2013-12-11 08.54.04Now, we all know I’m not a great photographer (namely because of my laziness at moving mess out of shot, and relying on a camera phone) but if you head over to my housemate Libby’s blog you will find a similar post, with amazing pictures of our decorations. One day my pictures will be as good, but relying on a smartphone and being lazy is not a good combination!

We did really well in getting so many decorations off (mainly Libby’s) mum, however I’ve come up with a fabulous idea to make sure my future children are never without Christmas decorations when they fly my nest. Every year I will add a different decoration to their stocking, and store them up. I think this is a great idea for a tradition, and one of many I wish to start. Oh, I love Christmas!

 

How do you decorate on a budget?

 

12 Days of Christmas (#3): Gifts For The Man In Your Life

I will confess that the products that on this post aren’t the cheapest and most budget friendly options, but (1) I have to avoid posting exactly what I have got my boyfriend or dad, and (2) I try and do my Christmas shopping in advance, so most things I would have originally chosen are long gone. I’ll give some cheaper ideas in the post too, but a lot of those don’t photograph too well! All photographs are taken from the links given.

Collage

 

From left to right, top to bottom, we have…

  • A box of classic ales. Beer or cider always goes down well!
  • A cute Christmassy jumper – I love this one!
  • Some kind of manly cooking course – this Pie & Pint one local to my home looks amazing! I’d want to book one that we could both do together though, as I’m greedy!
  • A scarf – I love the tartan styles ones around at the moment. I bought a lambswool one (before they became fashionable I’ll have you know!) during the Edinburgh Fringe and I love it!
  • A Make Your Own Bacon Kit – how cool does this look?! I can’t think of many men who would be disappointed to find this in their stocking!
  • A good leather wallet – Ebay has some fab offerings, like this one.
  • A funny book is something I think is a great little stocking filler. I’ve done FML ones in the past, but I desperately want to read this Exam Fails one!
  • If you know your man’s style well enough (I find they are quite personal things) then a watch is a good idea. Argos seems to have some good looking and relatively cheap ones (I like this). There’s currently an offer on too, so definitely have a look!
  • Finally, some aftershave. I’ve bought W this Paul Smith since the beginning of our relationship, and I love the smell.

Other ideas I have include finding a small plastic toy (try toy shops) version of his favourite animal, IOU’s (whatever you like – cooking, household chores, etc…), gift-cards for places such as Cineworld or restaurants (if all goes well, a nice date night for you!), or a selection of DVD’s and sweet treats to make your own night in. If you have met at university (and so will be spending Christmas apart), a nice photoframe filled with you two is a nice idea too! Basically, I like to think of presents I’d like to receive, make them a little more masculine, and then find those. And that way, it means if he doesn’t like something, I get to keep it!

What is Santa bringing your man this year?

12 Days of Christmas (#2) – Dear Santa

Today I’m going to show you what’s on my Christmas list. I’m lying a tad, in that I didn’t ask for a few things because I knew they were over budget, or they’re things I’m planning to treat myself to. And of course, if anyone wants to buy me Naked 3, you can email me to get my address…

CollageFrom left to right, top to bottom we have…

A cute raspberry/plum toned nail polish. I’m desperate for one of these colours, not too fussy about brand (as long as it doesn’t take five billion coats to be a smooth finish)- I just think it’s the perfect winter shade!

Bodyshop’s Ultimate Brush Collection. I know this will be in my stocking this year, because I ordered it myself (thank you Love Your Body discount!). I’m very excited to get these brushes. Photograph from Essie Button.

A lovely jumper. I’m not really one for Christmassy jumpers on me (they just don’t sit right on my body shape), so I’d far sooner have a pretty classic to wear instead. This one is sparkly but still sophisticated, and I’m in love!

I said I’m not one for Christmassy jumpers, but I love this one as it’s not too cheesy.

I’m in the mood for a new perfume, and at the moment I’m quite taken by my namesake – Chloe. I’ll have to try this on my skin before committing it to Santa’s sack though!

This curler has been well talked about on the internet lately, and I’m so intrigued. I don’t particularly like to heat style my hair, but it would be nice to have a safer option than going natural when it comes to placement interviews!

I know, I know, I don’t NEED another Filofax, I have two (see here and here). But Plum Osterley’s are just so pretty, and I want one so much…

I think it is pretty obvious on this blog that my camera specs aren’t great – I love the ease of wireless uploading, so I’m loathe to part with money for a camera when I know I’ll revert to not using it. This bit of gear would solve that, but its just so, so, so expensive. Well, well out of my student budget anyway! If anyone knows of a cheaper option, please let me know!

Quite a few cookery books made it onto my list this year. Bread by James Morton (because I loved him on Bake Off, I want to bake more bread, and he is the spitting image of my boyfriend), The Leftovers Handbook (it just looks so useful!), James Martin’s Fast Cooking (I just love his recipes), and Save with Jamie.

 

There we are, that’s what I’m secretly hoping Santa will bring me. Of course, I’m not expecting a lot as I’d sooner my parents spend money on a food shop for me next term! The thing I’m looking forward to most of all on Christmas morning – watching everyone else unwrap the presents I’ve carefully chosen them – I hope they like them!

What’s on your Christmas list?

 

 

12 Days of Christmas (#1): It’s Christmas!

I’ve decided to (try!) to do a 12-Days-of-Christmas run of posts – starting today and running to Christmas Day. I’ve not exactly finalised what they will contain, but I hope there will be a range to suit everyone – so far I’m thinking gift-guides, outfit guides, lifestyle posts, baking and cooking recipes, just a general Christmas related mish-mash! If you have anything specific you want to see, please tell me and I’ll do my best to include it!

Today I’m just going to treat you to a sneak-peek of our student house Christmas tree. Enjoy!

Merry Christmas