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Sunday, 10 December 2017

Blogmas 2017 - Day 10 - A Festive Day Out



Blogmas wouldn't really be Blogmas without a festive day out, would it?

A few months ago, my sister and I entered an Instagram competition ran by Masons Family Market. It was for free tickets to their first ever Christmas Fayre.  We were both over the moon to find out we won tickets for free entry. We planned to make a wee day of it, so we arrived at the Hilton hotel at Queensferry at around 12 noon. The fayre itself was fairly small in size with only around 20 stalls, however this is only it's first year so we had expected that. Everyone was so warm and welcoming - they had free tea and coffee, a face painting stand and a kids soft play. The stalls were well set up and sold products ranging from bath bombs to chutneys & jams, marshmallows to candles. When we arrived there was only a couple of other shoppers there so I didn't feel comfortable to take photos.



I already knew one of the businesses at the market, Can to Candle. I've taken part in one of Kerry's candle making workshops before, I talk about it here. Kerry's candles are beautifully made and presented and it was lovely to have a quick catch up with her today. I may have made a purchase at her stall - not for myself though, I promise...

If you are looking for a lovely gift for someone special this Christmas, be sure to check out the Kerry's candle making workshop vouchers.

After we finished at the fayre, we popped down to the restaurant in the hotel for a cuppa, the interior of the Hilton is very luxurious and we each got our own Suki tea pot. The real draw for me though was the view from the hotel, you have a clear view of all 3 Forth bridges, and the water - it's spectacular.





From there we went onto Dobbies for a look round their Christmas goodies, I always love a wander around Dobbies, however it's particularly special at Christmas. It's like walking through the door to a winter wonderland. They had lovely Christmas music on today too, it made me feel really festive. They always have lots of lovely wee gifts, somethings are just that wee bit different. 

Afterward we had a mooch around, we went into the restaurant for a bite to eat and another cuppa. I love lunch at Dobbies, it's always so tasty and their cakes are to die for! We both had a lovely tune baguette with salad and a massive scone with cream. Here are some of the goodies that Dobbies had to offer. 

 
 
  


I had a lovely wee day with my sister today and I am now feeling suitably festive. Have you had any Christmas-y outings? I'd love to hear about them.

Love and hugs, 





Saturday, 9 December 2017

Blogmas 2017 - Day 9 - Writing My Christmas Cards


Some people find writing Christmas cards a bit of a chore, but personally I find it quite therapeutic. I like to clear a few hours and sit down to write them.

I usually set myself up in a comfortable spot at the dining table and make myself a cuppa, I then start with my special cards and write them all first, check out Blogmas Day 7 to see where I got them from this year.

As you can see from above (and will most likely already know if you follow my blogs) I am a massive Scottie fan, so the other cards I have chosen this year are also Scottie themed. They are from Sainsburys and are a cute tartan print with a Scottie illustration on -  I love them.

Whilst I'm writing my cards I love to put a Christmas movie on the TV and make a lovely hot cup of tea. This year, I chose my Christmas Scottie mug, just to keep the theme going - yes I am THAT person. I usually try to co-ordinate my wrapping paper to my cards so keep your eyes peeled for my gift wrapping post coming soon.

Do you have any traditions for writing your Christmas cards?  I'm now donning my hat, scarf and gloves to go and deliver mine in the freezing cold - wish me luck!



Love and hugs,

Friday, 8 December 2017

Blogmas 2017 - Day 8 - My Top Five Festive Candles With A Twist





If you follow my blog you will know of my love for candles. Actually, maybe more than love them,  I think I have a slight obsession...

If you walk into my home at any time of year, you will instantly see at least one candle in each room, although some definitely have more!

You'd be forgiven for thinking that my love of both Christmas and candles would mean that my house would smell like one giant cinnamon stick at this time of year, but actually, you'd be wrong. Although I do love the smell of cinnamon and citrus fruit throughout the festive period, I just don't like my house smelling of it. In fact, throughout my whole house, I only have one Christmas scented item, which is a winter berries scented reed diffused, but even then it's tucked away behind my TV, so now and then I get the faintest whiff of Christmas and that's enough for me.

That being said, this doesn't stop me from burning candles at Christmas, ohhh no. A recent trip to Home Sense proved that! I came out with no less than 8 new candles. I told you, it's an obsession. And, in my defence, 1 was a gift...

I love nothing more than coming home from work, switching my fairy lights on and lighting a few candles, that's my happy place. In fact, as I'm writing this I'm currently sat on my couch, with my fairy lights on, my candles flickering away and the crackling fireplace on Netflix. I feel like I'm locked away in some snowy cabin in the woods. Does it get any better than this?

I guess there's a lot of people like me, aren't there? It's not that I dislike the scent of  the typical festive candles, I just prefer other scents. I suppose Christmas means different things to everyone doesn't it, so because of that, I decided to choose some alternative scents.


Bath & Body Works - White Barn edition in Peppered Suede


The first one is my 3-wick Bath and Body Works candle in the scent Peppered Suede. The presentation of the B&BW candles is always beautiful, this one in particular is a rich copper coloured jar, with a white marble lid. It's gorgeous, with notes of bergamot, black peppercorn and amberwood it has quite a spicy smell which makes it perfect for the festive period.

Elle Décor - Sandalwood & Musk


Next up is this gorgeous sandalwood and musk candle from Elle Décor, I bought this one in Home Sense. I absolutely love the look of this candle, its a baby pink mirrored effect jar with a silver lid. It just looks so classic and elegant and the smell, oh my goodness, it smells like a beautiful perfume which I think is the down to the sandalwood. The musk adds a little bit of depth to it too - definitely recommend this one.



One of my favourites has to be this Empire candle. Tuberose and sandalwood are two of my favourite scents in a candle so to have them both in one together - dreamy! This scent isn't particularly festive at all, but given the theme of this post - I just had to feature it. It is described as '...a subtle, sweet fragrance blend, creating a light and refreshing scent in your home.' You can definitely smell the tuberose in this candle but I love it. This would be perfect in a small room - possibly a toilet or hallway.





Sand & Fog - Winter White

Second to last is the Sand & Fog Winter White candle. I really like the design on the jar of this one, it's raised and bumpy - it actually reminds me of a pineapple! This is the only one I got that is remotely festive scented. It's a very spicy scent, with a lot of clove and even a slight hint of eucalyptus or liquorice I think. This candle is perfectly named, a white winter day is exactly what I think of when I smell this scent.

DW Home - White Christmas


Last but by no means least is the DW Home candle. Now, I almost didn't even smell this one in the shop because it's called 'White Christmas' however I tried it anyway and I'm glad I did because it's so not a festive smell to me, it smells like you've just came out the shower; clean, fresh and slightly like baby powder. It is quite a heavy scent though, so I don't think I could burn it all the time, however I absolutely love the labelling it's beautiful.

So there you have it, my alternatives to the usual festive scented candles. As mentioned above, all of these except the B&BW one were purchased in Home Sense, so definitely try there if you can, they literally have a wall of candles so perfect for this wick lovers out there. Although I like them all for different reasons, my ultimate favourite is the Elle Décor one, It's just so elegant and beautifully scented. Do you have any festive candles in your home? Which ones have you gone for?

Love and hugs,


Thursday, 7 December 2017

Blogmas 2017 - Day 7 - Shopping Local with Small Businesses This Christmas




Don't you just love finding a wee gem at a Christmas market? Or having a special little item hand made?

I try to shop locally with smaller businesses where I can, I prefer individual handmade items instead of mass produced lesser quality items from large chain stores. This year so far, I have bought handmade items from two different companies and I could not be happier with them, not only are they better quality and bespoke to my requirements, I also know that no one will have anything similar to it, which is exactly the kind of gift I love to give!

The first handmade items I had made were my 'special' Christmas cards. Do you do that? Do you buy 'special' cards for loved ones? Previously, I've gone to shops like the Card Factory or Clintons, however last year I decided to have them made for me, I wanted them to be a little more personal. I loved them so much, I had them made this year again by the same company. The company in particular is called 'Ya Stoatir'. Chris, who runs the company, is fantastic to work with, nothing is too much trouble for her and she will mock up any design you request, making any number of changes until you are 100% happy with the design.





Chris shares my love of Scotties, that's actually what brought me to her Facebook page at first. She blends two of my favourite things in the creation of her items; glitter and Scotties. What more could a girl want.

I think you will agree that the cards Chris has made for me this year are stunning, they are very traditional in terms of the colours and snowy scene, however the glitter and the Scotties add something a little different to it.

Take a look through her Facebook page, I'm sure you will love her work as much as I do.




The second item I had made was from a girl who works with my husband, she doesn't have a company as such but she has one heck of a talent. Lyndsay creates gorgeous handmade Christmas baubles. She uses Lego characters in various forms to create scenes inside the baubles, the one my husband had made for me is another of my favourite things; Harry Potter. As you can see from the images below, she has done an incredible job. I have all three of the main characters, Harry, Ron & Hermione in a snowy bauble with a Hogwarts backdrop. It's truly beautiful.




If you can, you should definitely try shopping with smaller, local companies this Christmas. A handmade gift is a personal, thoughtful way to buy for someone, I'd personally love to receive any of the items I've written about in this post.

Have you used any local businesses this year for gifts? I'd love to see what you bought! 

Love and hugs,









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