That Magical Season

Its almost upon us, Sky have their Christmas Movie channel on and there is Christmas music being played on the music channels, the shops have Christmas cards, wrapping paper and BHS has those classic “gifts” that are out EVERY year and boots have their 3 for 2 offer on their “gifts” too. Its official, that magical season is almost upon us!

We are just over 1/2 way through November and I can honestly say I haven’t yet given in and started watching Christmas movies BUT I have started Christmas shopping, however, I think next week will be the week when the I make that change! I have borrowed the Nativity movies from my friend Hayley and they are going to be top on my list next week, we are also heading upto London to visit Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park and what a better way to start the Christmas season.

Myself and Steph have also scheduled a Christmas “date” to get a red cup hot chocolate from Starbucks and have a look around the garden centres as they are always dressed lovely and we can get some cute decorations and last minute gift ideas.

I really love Christmas and everything that comes with it, so to share the joy, I am going to do a Christmas blog every Thursday in the run up to Christmas, hopefully share some tips, ideas and laughs!

So sit back, make a hot chocolate, put on a Christmas movie and enjoy those dark winter evenings!

Much Love xxxx

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Revisiting Number 20

20. Experience Christmas In New York

As you know when I came back from New York this year, I was in 2 minds as to whether I wanted to go back again, I felt that I had done everything I wanted to do in new York and that the only reason I wanted to go back is to see the Rockefeller Tree at Christmas. Now it got me thinking, is that a good enough reason to spend potentially £800+ for a long weekend in New York?? Each time I ask that question, I have 2 little people on each shoulder, 1 saying “yeah go for it, you only live once” and the other says “ you have been to New York 4 times now, do you really need to go again?!” Even now as I am writing this I am thinking I am going to keep it in the list! But it’s a no from me, yes I want to travel, but I don’t want to keep going back to the same place all the time.

20. Have A Make Over At A Makeup Counter & Buy The Right Make Up For Me.

So this is a bit of an unusual one, I am not a big make up wearer and the make-up I do have has been recommended to me by Steph (My Bestie). So I know I wear good products and I pretty much can make a bottle of foundation last a year. But I have no clue what I am doing, I don’t know how to work out what the right colour is for me, I don’t know what brushes to buy, what eye shadow will compliment my eyes and my skin tone. Don’t even get me started on what Primer is and when is the best time to apply it. When I put make up, it’s literally foundation bit of powder, bronzer or blush, eye liner, maybe some eye shadow and then mascara – and that’s if I am going out! If it’s just a normal day, I chuck on some mascara and that’s me done! But I would really like to have a box full of make-up that I know A) how to apply & B) suits me! So I am going to do some research on quality make up brands that you can find in department stores or Boots that offer make up sessions etc. There are 2 that have caught my eye so far, MAC and Benefit, I don’t know too much about them so I am going to do a bit of research and see what I can find out.

What’s Next?!

Hey Everyone!

I posted a status on my facebook last week due asking if anyone would like to come to NYC with me in December to experience Christmas in New York……My cousin text me instantly and said even though she is moving out soon and saving for a wedding she will go – I was soo pleased!

I have been thinking and people often say to me how many times have you been to NYC don’t you want to see somewhere different? What is so special about NYC?? I feel a bond with NYC, I feel safe there – it was my first holiday abroad without my parents, I have been with so many different people and each time I have been it has been different, I always experience something different when I am there….but this time I get it, if I went again it would be my 5th visit in 9 years and twice in 1 year.

So I am just hoping for some advice from anyone – do you go back to the same place more than once? do you want to explore anywhere else?

I posted a tweet last night So this June will be my 4th visit to NYC……..do I really need to go back at Christmas?! #toomuch #overkill #advice #travel #NYC and Las (an Irish ex-pat currently living in TX) was one of the first people to tweet me back and suggested Texas and bless her soul even offered me her spare room if her and Col were still living there! I was beyond bowled over by her generosity!

I texted my cousin and ask her realistically if she can see herself going to NYC this December…..we have decided to postpone our trip to NYC for another time….So this leaves me to look for a December trip.

I am looking to go to America, for a maximum of 5 days here are my possibilities so far:

Texas
Boston
Tennesse (Memphis & Nashville)
Seattle

Sooo I am on the hunt for possibilities!

Wish me luck

xxx

Santa Actually Came!

I am sat here with a scrummy hot chocolate in my new starbucks mug a warmed mince pie and tangled on the TV, don’t you just love this time of year!

So we are in that inbetween period of Christmas and New Year, some of us are back and work and some aren’t, its that time of year where all the days roll into one and you get a bit lost! So I thought I would bring you some Festive Cheer and share with you the Traditions of our family Christmas and also what Father Christmas brought me in his sleigh!

So every Christmas Eve since I can remember my family and my grandparents have gone to Carols By Candlelight at one the churches nearby. I am not sure when, but at some point over the last 26years my Godfathers mum has joined us and we get a Chinese afterwards! We always have the back 2 pews in the church and sing our hearts out. This was mine and Matt’s 5th Christmas and the 4th time he has joined us on Christmas Eve, it is really nice that he has joined us in this tradition and I hope that if we start a family that we can make this a everlasting tradition within our family. This year, we decided to wear our Christmas jumpers…..here are a few photo’s!

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When I was looking back at the photo’s I realised as always, I was the odd one out and didn’t have a Stag on my jumper! Oh well!

So Christmas Day & Boxing Day Matt & I have always split it between our families and this year it was his turn to be at my house on Christmas Day, so when he arrived we opened presents with him and he was really pleased with his wallet and skydive that I brought him. Then it was my turn to open my gifts……he always likes to play the joker and started off by giving me some coal! Then it was to open some smellies (which you can never go wrong with), then some lovely PJ’s, then a gorgeous blazer (I have wanted one for ages), then he handed me a Karen Millen Bag, which completely knocked me for six. Inside was a beautiful Champagne coloured dress and such a lovely shape too. I was then given another parcel, I ripped off the wrapping paper to reveal a lovely Versace Jeans Bag, the lining is stunningly purple. Instantly I was told to go and try it all on BUT not to take off any of the labels (that were covered in wrapping paper), I was so shocked and happy to find that it all fitted – my man did good!

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When I went back downstairs my mum was a tad emotional…..I am not sure why!and Matt told me to empty the bag of all the stuffing and look in the pocket, so like a crazy woman I chucked out all the stuffing and opened up the pocket….and there it was…..Number 19 email confirmation of a reservation for 2 for Afternoon Tea At The Ritz! I was shocked and speechless and also a bit worried because the date he has booked it for was so close to his birthday! The surprises didn’t stop there, once I got over my amazement he told me to look in the pocket of my blazer…and there it was again….Number 25email confirmation of 3 tickets to London Fashion Weekend In February! That was it, I had to hold back the tears and just plant a massive kiss on his lips! Not only did I get a lovely outfit, I was given 2 things on my bucket list!

I honestly could not contain my excitement! I felt like I was on cloud cuckoo land! So the beginning of next year already looks to be a good one and all thanks to my gorgeous man!

I got lots of other lovely bits for Christmas including lots of new books to read and lovely smellies!

I am off to watch the rest of my movie now and will leave you all in peace! Have a lovely relaxing Sunday!

Emma xx

Christmas At Claridges

This is my first book review – so I will apologise now if this isn’t what normally happens!

I first came across Karen Swan’s books in late 2011 when I started reading to keep my anxiety under control and my love affair started with Christmas At Tiffanys, which I think I read within 2 weeks. I then took Primadonna and Players to Cuba with me and read them both within a week ( I did A LOT of reading on that holiday). Then last Christmas I read The Perfect Present which was read within a week and that was it, I had finished the book collection and was just dying for more!

I started following Karen on Twitter to find out more about when her new books will be out and was really pleased to hear about a new release in time for Christmas 2013 and also one in the summer of 2014!

So as soon as I knew Christmas At Claridges was out in the shops I headed out and picked up my copy, but it was to remain on my bookshelf to wait until 1st December to start reading. It took me until about chapter 14 to really get into the book, which is unusal for me as I normally fall straight in and become immersed in the story, but for some reason I just couldn’t jump in. I don’t think it is anything to do with the story or the writing, I had a lot going on and just couldn’t connect to the book.

Then Chapter 14 happened and Clem had the meeting with the Swimmer and I could feel the passion and tension and lust between the 2 of them as I read the book in the bath and that was it, I was involved in the story – their want for each other had dragged me in completely. I then became immersed in the story, feeling the shock on Tom’s face at the auction when that beloved Birkin sold and the pain Clem felt when she realised she had to go to Portifino, but not really understanding why she didn’t want to go!

The story and the writing just dragged me in deeper to the story, wanting to know more about the ties between her and Rafa, why did he hate her so much – what was their history? Why did Chiara want Clem so badly to stay and help with Luca? I had so many questions and I wanted so much to find the answers and the need to know just kept me reading more and more and more.

Then as the story unravelled and we hit Chapter 44, the tears flowed. I felt the pain of the characters and then the pride and happiness, my emotions really took over. I sobbed like a baby for the remainder of the book!

I know that I haven’t given much away of the story, but that is because you need to read the book! You need to go out buy it (or on your Kindle) and read it – even if you struggle to begin with keep going and once your done, invest in all her other books – I promise you will NOT be disappointed!

I am waiting for the news on Twitter of her new release in the Summer and just hope and pray that it will be out before I go on holiday in June!

Happy Reading

Emma xx

Christmas In New York

I changed my desktop photo at work today to the Christmas Tree at The Rockefeller Centre in New York, for me that is a beautiful Christmas scene. Whilst working through all our Christmas movies, I have noticed that the majority of Christmas films are set in New York, now I LOVE New York and all it has to offer, but there most something extra special about it for so many Writers/Producers to pick it as their location for their Christmas Movie.

Now, as you know on the bucket list I have to experience Christmas in New York. Mainly to see what all the fuss is about AND to see that tree! So I have been doing a spot of research to see what sort of things I can get up to when I go. At the moment I haven’t decided if I will go over Christmas or just in the lead up to the big day, so if your planning to spend some of the festive season in the Big Apple, why not check out some of these idea’s!

Top Of The Rock One of 2 places to view the famous New York Skyline, of course the other is Empire State Building. Top Of The Rock is open 365 days a year and is $27 per adult. Personally I prefer Top Of The Rock as you can see the Empire State Building and Central Park, there is 3 floors to view and no extra cost to do all 3 either. I have been up here 2 times on previous visits and I would definitely love to do this Christmas Eve! If you are in the area of Rockefeller Plaza then you MUST see that tree and watch the ice skaters!

Radio City Christmas Spectacular This show has been running since 1933 and I can remember when I first visited New York in 2005 and we did a tour of Radio City – this was one of the things they really told us about. Each year, I see people getting excited on twitter about going to see the show! I imagine it to be a bit like our version of Panto but 10 times better! I would definitely love to see one of the shows! I have looked and tickets for 2013 range between $45-$115, I guess it is like any show and depends where you sit!

Store Windows I have heard that the stores in New York really go to town at Christmas with their window displays. Macys in particular keeps popping up and also their Santa land! I would imagine that the store windows and their Christmas Departments get VERY busy, so I would recommend going as soon as the store opens to avoid the rush! The store windows I would like to see are; Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Tiffany’s, Dylans Candy Store, Saks, Barneys, FAO Schwartz. Now whilst you can walk round the stores I have found a bus tour that I would love to do called Holiday Lights & Movie Sites Tour through City Sights NY, it is $38 for an adult and $28 for a child. It looks to be a really good tour!

Horse & Carriage Ride Through Central ParkI would love to do this especially if there is a layer of snow, getting all cosy with a loved one under a blanket and perhaps a hot chocolate in a Red Starbucks Cup! I know the horse and carriage rides are expensive, but its only Christmas once!

Christmas Shopping If you are shopping for yourself or for others, I would always recommend a trip to Woodbury Common Outlet. It is approx. 45minute bus ride from Port Authority, but it is a massive outlet. unfortunately it isn’t under cover – so I would recommend you wrap up warm. I have always brought my ticket through City Sights NY (they are the tour guides that wear the yellow jackets!) and I think it is about $42!

Christmas Train Show For anyone who knows my boyfriend, you will know that he has a love of trains, not in a train spotting way, but he just likes trains! So as I can imagine I will be going to NYC with him, I have found 2 places with Christmas Trains! The first is at New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex which I believe is free and boasts a 34-foot-long display! The second is at New York Botanical Garden and this is definitely one that we will be visiting! It includes scaled versions of iconic New York Buildings and lots of other exciting things!

So as you can see I have found a few things to do, the only thing I need now is some suggestions of places to eat on Christmas Day! So if you have any recommendations PLEASE get in touch!

Happy Holidays!

Emma xxxx

Vlogger, Blogger, Follower!

Whilst I love telling you all about me and my life, I thought I would share with you today 2 of blogs I read and people I follow!

First up, is my best friend Steph, I have known Steph for 10 years in September. We met at college and quite often caught the train together, we weren’t in the same classes but we were studying the same subject. We have enjoyed MANY trips together abroad and in this country and we need to plan our Spring/Summer shopping trip! Steph is mainly a vlogger on youtube but she does have a blog as well, her speciality is fashion & beauty. She is an avid animal lover and all of the products she uses are cruelty free. I have to admit that I am not a big fashion/beauty fan, however I can always rely on Steph to guide me in the right direction!

Now, she has warned me not to watch any recent videos as there is some Christmas presents in there! So please everyone take a look through her video’s and her blog and make sure you subscribe to her channel as I know there is a good Christmas giveaway coming up! Steph is also on instragram, twitter & pinterest so you can keep up with her recommendations everywhere!

Blog: http://goddessmnemosyne.blogspot.co.uk/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/Goddessmnemosyne?feature=mhee

If you are losing weight or keeping fit and you are looking for some inspiration, look no further than Amanda Tyson. I stumbled upon her facebook page last Christmas and I can honestly say that I have never found anyone as inspiring as her. Amanda was in the final 30 to be picked for the Biggest Loser 12, but wasn’t chosen for the show. When you look at her before and after photo’s alone will be such motivation to you! She is real and honest about how she feels regarding life, weight loss, keep fit and it is so refreshing to see someone wearing their heart on their sleeve. Amanda is an avid BE KIND promoter and you will quite often find yourself just getting a smile on your face when you are reading her posts! I follow Amanda’s blog, twitter and instagram – but she does have a facebook page too.

Blog: http://amandaleightyson.wordpress.com/

Twitter: @amandatyson

Instagram: @amandatyson

So why not take a read or watch a video 🙂 I always recommendations for blogs to read or people to follow – so please send them in!

Hope you are all doing ok – don’t forget to keep up with my instagram for my December Photo Challenge!

Stay Festive

Emma xxx

Twitter: @PrincessEm_Ma

Instagram: @emma_pink88