Blogmas 2020.. so far..

14 Dec 2020

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Back in November, I remember feeling so excited that I'd written 31 blog posts and was ready to get them all written and scheduled but as soon as December hit and even till this day I have been in complete and utter stress mode.. worrying about presents, am I gifting people enough, money, spending time with everyone that I've worn myself out.. completely! 

Blogmas for me wasn't meant to be about that and I assumed (silly me) it would be fun! I haven't even had a chance to really push my posts out there and read my favourite blogs! This is why this week I'm doing things a little differently, I'm going to really take a step back, try to relax and enjoy the lead up to Christmas because for me it isn't about gifts or anything like it but time spent together and when I say all I want is a little time with someone I hope they feel the same. 

I took a step back this weekend past from everything - social media, blogging, emailsw which really helped! I spent some quality time with my boyfriend, went to a football match and really got my energy levels restored. 

Plans for this week include catching up on my favourite blogs and taking things a little easier and enjoying crafting, watching festive movies with my mum. 

So far with Blogmas 2020....










Are you doing blogmas? Do you have any tips? Let me know below! 

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5 Handmade Gifts for the One You Love This Christmas

11 Dec 2020

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When it comes to gifting at Christmas if you're anything like me ... money is not important. I would love a DIY gift because it's the thought, time and effort someone I care about has put into it. 

I sat and thought "what gifts would I appreciate this Christmas" and I came up with these ideas that would mean so much to me. So if you're stuck on gifts to buy the one you love then take note as here is a list of DIY gifts you can create for them. 

1) A printed photo framed with a note

Who doesn't love our selfies come to life on our shelves or nightstand? It's super cute and special!

2) Redemption vouchers or coupons

You could make these as unique to your relationship as possible and also as naughty or nice as you want to be with them! Check out some of the ideas on Pinterest. I absolutely love this idea and half tempted to do it for my boyfriend!


3) Scrapbook

Make them a scrapbook full to the brim of photos, cinema tickets, and little handwritten messages. 

4) Open When Letters

One for when they're sad, happy, stressed, missing you etc. These are the perfect little pick me up for long-distance. It's always great talking on the phone and video calling but sometimes a handwritten letter can really hit home. 

5) 52 Reasons Why You Love Them 

Grab an old deck of cards and personalise each one with a reason you love your other half. You can get as creative as you like and in the end, hole punch a hole in them and tie a ribbon through them to bind them all together.  


What do you think of the above ideas? Do you like gifting and receiving handmade gifts? Let me know below! 
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10 Modern Festive Songs You Need On Your Playlist

9 Dec 2020

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'Rocking Around the Christmas Tree' to 'Fairytale of New York'  are two classic songs that the majority of us start listening to every year through the festive season. In recent years though there have been quite a few modern songs that have been released I've added to my Christmas playlist! 

Check out the 10 Modern Festive Songs You Need On Your Playlist below. 

1) Santa Tell Me - Ariana Grande



2) All I Want For Christmas - Mariah Carey ft Justin Bieber


3) One More Sleep - Leona Lewis


4) Underneath the Tree - Kelly Clarkson


5) Santa's Coming For Us - Sia


6) Cozy Little Christmas - Katy Perry



7) Oh Santa - Mariah Carey ft Ariana Grande and Jennifer Hudson

8) Mistletoe - Justin Bieber


9) Like It's Christmas - Jonas Brothers




10) Noel - Chris Tomlin ft Lauren Daigle 


What do you think of the songs above? Have you added these to your list? Let me know below!

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The Ultimate Netflix Christmas Movie Watchlist

8 Dec 2020

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When it comes to watching Christmas movies there is always that one we favour the most over the others, for me it's Elf! Elf is such a fun, festive, family film that everyone can enjoy. It's been my favourite movie for so many years as watching it always got me in the mood the holidays ahead. 

Home Alone has came in a close second for me with The Princess Switch from Netflix a third! I absolutely adore that film and have yet to watch Switched Again as I'm hoping to with my mum this week! 

Below you will find the Ultimate Netflix Christmas Movie Watchlist.


How many will you be watching this year? or how many have you watched so far?  Let me know below! 
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The Boyfriend Tag | Christmas Style

7 Dec 2020

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This is my first Christmas with my boyfriend so I wanted to do something fun to celebrate that and as he always brings out my goofy and carefree side so naturally, I decided The Boyfriend Tag would be a fab way to see how similar or opposite we are when it comes to the festive period as he knows I'm kind of excited with Christmas. 

1) What are you most looking forward to this Christmas? 

Kerry-Ann: I'm most looking forward to my first Christmas with Lee and spending time with my family. 

Lee: Spending it in a relationship with someone I love.



2) Do you have any festive traditions?

Kerry-Ann: We always open one present on Christmas Eve.. although over the years my sister and I have bent the rules so it's only one present from our mum!

Lee: I go to my parents' house on Christmas Eve and stay over until 26th/27th. 

3) When you hear the word Christmas, what do you think about?

Kerry-Ann: Lights, Christmas trees and my family on Christmas morning when we still get excited to rip the paper off our gifts.

Lee: Snow, good spirits and family.

4) Is there anywhere you'd like to spend the holiday season?

Kerry-Ann: This is easy, without a doubt New York. It's one of the cities I've been obsessed with since I was a child and I've had a festive New York bucket list for years! 

Lee: 2 places - either Las Vegas (to see how it gets decorated) or New York!

5) What does your Christmas dinner look like?

Kerry-Ann: Mashed and Roast Potatoes, Carrots, Garden and Bigga Peas, Broccoli, Cauliflower.

Lee: Turkey, stuffing, gammon, roast and boiled potatoes, sprouts, peas and carrots. Sometimes chipolatas.


6) Do you have a favourite Christmas or December memory?

Kerry-Ann: We always went to my Grandparents when I was growing up on Christmas day it was always where my whole family congregated and I remember when I was about 11 it was snowing and nearly my whole family had a massive snow fight! My Granny watched from the window whilst my Granda watched his film on the TV and we literally just all had a ball together. 

Lee: The surprise of receiving a Playstation 2 in 2000 when I never expected to receive it. 

7) What gift have you always wanted but never received? 

Kerry-Ann: I've always wanted a charm bracelet filled with charms that represent different memories with someone. I always asked for one or dropped hints every year but my mum always tells me she wouldn't have a clue what to fill it with.

Lee: Action Man Street racer, but Santa wrote me a letter to explain that his elves couldn't make it. 

8) Do you have a real or artificial tree?

Kerry-Ann: Artificial! If I think it's bad my cat Ethan attempting to snack on the fake one everyday, gosh knows what he would do with a real one!

Lee: Artificial for sure! I couldn't keep a real one!


9) You've been granted a wish, what is it?

Kerry-Ann:  To give the world a hug right now! I don't think there's not one person that deserves or needs one.

Lee: For the global pandemic to subside shortly so we can get back to normality very soon afterwards. 

10) What are your plans or goals for 2021?

Kerry-Ann: I spent 2020 focusing on my finances and it's something I will continue to focus on going into 2021. Although in 2021 I want to really think about career options and goals within that area of my life as well as my blogging/writing. 

My plans include continuing to support my boyfriend in his streaming and also strengthening my relationships with friends, family, and my boyfriend.

Lee: To get better at my current job, to support my girlfriend in expanding her audience on her social media platforms and her blog as well as my Twitcher channel and influence.

F A V O U R I T E S

Kerry-Ann
Song: All I Want For Christmas by Mariah Carey
Movie: ELF
Snack: Candy Canes or Poundland Chocolate Santas
Gift Received: A Telescope I never knew I was getting one year, my dad had lost his job and we didn't have much but it was still one of my favourite Christmasses when he left and came back into the living room after we'd opened our presents and told us someone had left more gifts at the door for us. Mine was a telescope and it's my gift I've received at Christmas. 
Drink: Pink Gin and Lemonade (as pictured below) or Hot Chocolae

Lee: 
Song: All I Want For Christmas by Mariah Carey
Movie: Die Hard or Gremlins (Don't @ me)
Snack: Candy Cane or Chocolate
Gift Received: I couldn't pick one I cherish them all.
Drink: Has to be beer for me, sadly!

I'm actually surprised by the similarities in some of our answers but also really happy how much we both love the festive season and how important our families are to us. 

Lee is a Twitch streamer under the name cptfishpaste as mentioned I before in my 10 Twitch Streamers You Should Be Watching if you're interested in gaming or enjoy watching others play games then check out his channel and social media links below! I can guarantee you'll be laughing, smiling, and have a fab time if you stop by! We always end up talking and chatting about so much more than gaming and he's always so supportive of fellow streamers that sop by and off me and my blogging. 


What do you think of The Boyfriend Tag? Have you done it with a partner? Let me know below! 
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'Tis The Season for Glitter & Glam with Cosy Hand-Crafts

5 Dec 2020

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There may no parties or big family get togethers but that doesn't mean you can't add a little glitz or glam to your festive period, especially with Cosy Hand-Crafts! 

I've been getting in the festive mood for quite a few months now and have just added so many Christmas themes new items over to my Etsy which you should check out, I also offer free UK delivery on items as well. 

Without further ado though... check out a few of the items below.














Check out my Etsy HERE

What do you think of the items above? What's your go-to accessory this time of year? Let me know below!






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5 Christmas Movies I Won't Be Watching

4 Dec 2020

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There are lists every year of Christmas movies you should watch (I have two myself coming up) but one I never see is Christmas movies I won't be watching, that's why I decided to write the 5 movies I won't be watching this year.

Movie pictures contain affiliate links to Amazon Video. 

 


   


1) Gremlins

2) The Grinch

3) Nativity

4) Bad Santa

5) National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

These are movies I know for certain I won't be watching this year, the Gremlins and the Grinch frighten me abit and have done since I was a child so it surprises me I'm even sharing their movie covers! 

Are there any movies you'll not be watching this Christmas? Let me know below! 

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My Christmas Wishlist

3 Dec 2020

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 It's the same conversation I have every year with my family ... 

Them: "What do you want for Christmas?"

Me: "Nothing. I'm good! Treat yourself to something, I have everything I need."

Them: *Looks at me in annoyance.*

Me: "..."

When I say this it's not for them to push and ask again, I genuinely just don't want my family going out of their way to buy me a gift and would rather them use the money for something they need instead. Christmas is such a financially worrying time that adding one more thing to a budget really can put a lot of stress on someone that they don't need. 

I always end up asking for the same thing anyway, time with that person or chocolate and I'm easily pleased. I did tell my boyfriend I wanted the tree outside Belfast City Hall but he said no..  There are always a few little items we have our eye on or hope Santa brings and I've included mine below. 

This post contains affiliate links to Amazon.


1) Paige Toon has re-released The Minute I Saw You with a fresh blue wintry cover and it's something I really want to get my hands one. My boyfriend ordered one but it came in yellow which means I now have two yellow copies but as I've told him.. it's special anyway as it's the first book (and favourite book) he bought me.

2) Freedom Mallows Roasting - Toasting Fun Kit - I've always wanted to try roasted mallows but it's so hard to find gelatine free ones which is why I would love this kit to roast some marshmallows! Especially because I know Freedom Mallows are the best veggie-friendly ones around!

3) Book Angel Mug from Miss Bohemia - I love all MB's items but this mug just pulls me in, I would love to sit and have a hot chocolate in this!

4) Reindeer Christmas Carol Mug - This looks so cute and a bonus is it can be personalised, I would love this, though would end up keeping it out all year round. 

5) Giant Percy Pig - Veggie Percy Pigs are m ultimate go-to snack so when I can only what snuggling with this giant Percy pig would be like in bed with a bag of those sweets to match!

6) Top Trumps - my boyfriend has me into playing so many board or card games and I'd actually love these cute Disney Classics edition, Grand Prix or Frozen ones! 


7) The Ultimate Brush Collection from No 7 - I love the colours of these brushes, every year I always check out Boots to see wat colours the new No 7 brushes are this years no different as I adore them, I use my midnight blue and rose gold ones from last year every time I apply make-up as I genuinely believe No 7 brushes are the best! 


8) Dobble - This game is so addictive and fun to play, I always end up getting so competitive when playing it so would love my own set to practice with! 


9) Nicky Clarke Friz Control Hairdryer - I'm thinking practical finally and adding something I genuinely need! 

10) Dreaming of my book boyfriend sleep mask - Miss Bohemia - I've always had a fascination with eye masks and have collected quite a few over the years so when my sister showed me Miss Bohemias 'Dreaming off my book boyfriend' design, I knew I was adding it to my wishlist! 

There you have it! 10 Items I wouldn't be opposed to receiving this year! 

What's on your wishlist this year? Let me know in the comments below! 
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Step Into Christmas with Lynsey from In Stitches - Q&A #LocalLoves #ShopLocal

2 Dec 2020

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Shopping with small and local businesses has always been something I've enjoyed, I appreciate the time and effort that goes into every item and I know that one individual sale to a small business means alot. That's why when I saw In Stitches put up on their Facebook page about taking preorders for the Christmas items they craft I knew I wanted to ask them some questions.

At this time of year gift items at In Stitches include Terrys Chocolate Orange Covers and cute festive coasters! Lynsey also made my pumpkin back in October which I loved displaying on my bookcase and using in photos. Check it out below.
Last year I bought quite a few covers Terrys Orange covers and this year I've managed to grab a few more, one which I'll be giving away at the bottom of this post, minus the Terrys Chocolate orange! Sorry! Read on to learn more about In Stitches. 


1) Can you tell readers about In Stitches?

Hi everyone, InStitches is a small, local business that specialises in handmade crocheted items. I range from baby blankets to adult scarves, so there's something for everyone.
2) How and why did you start your business?

When my son was a baby our elderly neighbour would very kindly crochet him blankets and cardigans, I was always so amazed watching her in the garden. A few years later after she passed away I thought it would be a good way to remember her if I could learn to crochet myself. I picked it up really quickly and friends and family encouraged me to sell my makes.
3) What's been a highlight for you since starting?

I have so many highlights from starting up InStitches but my favourite would the lovely people I've met and reconnected with along the way
4) Do you have a favourite item which you've made?

Oh that's such a hard one but I think my top favourite would be surprising my LFC mad son with his very own Liverpool blanket personalised with his name.
5) What is your preferred season to craft for?

Autumn/winter is my most busiest time but summer is my favourite as it gives me time to think up and create different pieces
6) Why would you encourage shoppers to shop small this Christmas?

For me, this little business has really helped me provide for my family. Unfortunately lately a lot of small businesses have been hit hard with these uncertain times and it's important to help keep the likes of handmade businesses stay afloat. It shows great community spirit to buy local if you can and feels a little more personal buying handmade.

Stay up to date with In Stitches on Facebook or Instagram.

G I V E A W A Y:


I am giving away one Terry's Chocolate orange hat over on Instagram, to be in with a chance of winning check out the giveaway details HERE and GOODLUCK!
 


 What do you think of the items In Stitches crafts? How do you support small or local businesses? Let me know below in the comments.

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Hello December | Welcome The Start Of Blogmas 2020

1 Dec 2020

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This year I'm planning on doing Blogmas and am determined to stick to it! I've been talking about this for weeks and my lovely, helpful boyfriend even sat and literally brainstormed ideas with me. I've made a tab at the top "Blogmas 2020" where you can find my full December schedule. Direct links to posts will follow daily as posts go live.


First things first though, what is blogmas? Blogmas is a yearly feature where bloggers can write and share posts every day in December. The posts don't necessarily have to be festive themed. Obviously, everyone's interpretation of Blogmas is different, and prompts can include favourite playlists, movies to watch, and also festive wishlists. The aim of the game is to write publish everyday!

This year I'm taking part because in my nearly 10 years of blogging I've never fully completed a full Blogmas. I often make attempts and then my mental health gets me down or I feel demotivated and my focus changes but this year I made a promise to myself not to let things get on top of me and it's a promise I plan to keep. Next year also as I mentioned sees Voluptuous Chatterbox turn 10 and I really want to focus on my writing and sharing more of my ideas and experiences through my blog so by writing everyday in December I hope it will keep me motivated to keep going. 


Christmas has always been an important part of the year for me, it's the time my family would have gathered in my Grandparent's house - exchanged gifts and caught up with each other. We would have all been spaced around the house just enjoying each other's company. (Being nice to each other cause my Grandmother was present!) Things may have changed and be different but as long as we make the most of it I believe we can have an amazing time. 

Upcoming posts include quick and simple dessert ideas, local or small businesses to check out, and even a possible football match and dinner out! If it's safe and guidelines permit us to. I've even roped my boyfriend in to do a Christmas style boyfriend tag with some festive questions for us each to answer. 

This month I've also signed up to do a Christmas Card exchange hosted by Life with KT Kinnes and am so excited as I intend to get a start on crafting them tonight. I always make so many cards every year with not many to send to so this has really given me a boost as writing cards always brings a smile to my face. 

I'm taking part in the self-care advent calendar hosted by The Self Love Summit. Every day there will be something to self-care to complete and honestly, I believe we can never do too much self-care for ourselves. 

Again this month I have a could-do list of things I'd like to accomplish. 

- make a ginger bread house
- make hot chocolate with mallows
- watch a festive movie with my mum
- read a Christmas book
- Watch the nutcracker 
- Prep for 2021 and what I want to achieve 
- Get dressed up 
- Wrap Presents
- Bake Christmas cookies
- Sing Christmas songs
- Do something kind for someone
- Pay it forward
- Write Christmas cards
- make a Christmas decoration 
- Make a festive ice cream sundae

I've managed to convince my boyfriend to do a couples to-do list. He's under the impression it'll be fun and I really think I'm going to have a relaxed approach to it and not try to take the "perfect" picture so I've also made this little graphic so we can tick off what we complete! 


What do you have planned for the month of December? Are you doing blogmas? Let me know below. 
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