Christmas Playlist

So today I wanted my post to be short and sweet as I feel like this whole posting everyday thing (#blogmas) has made all my posts somehow longer, so I thought I'd  share some music with you.
This time of the year is all about Christmas music for me and probably you too, right?  Everyone has their favourite festive songs and I thought I would share a playlist that I made with all my favourites and the versions of them I love.
 
So click and have a listen or even follow the playlist if you fancy too!
 
I hope you enjoy
 

Book Review - Trying To Float by Nicolaia Rips

 

Trying To Float* - Nicolaia Rips
"Allow us to introduce you to the Rips family: Michael, Sheila and daughter Nicolaia, the last denizens of New York's famous Chelsea Hotel. Better yet, allow Nicolaia to introduce them since it's her earnest, wry, occasionally wicked, but always affectionate observations that you'll find in her memoir, Trying to Float. Not only a coming-of-age story set in an enigmatic New York landmark, this is also the clever love story of a family, navigating the curiosities of their home."


The minute you open this book (or virtually flip the page of it in my case) you are given  access into a world that is exclusive to only a handful of people- The Chelsea Hotel in New York City.  This was the home to so many famous artists, writers, film stars and notorious icons.  It was the birthplace of so many of our favourite books, songs and goodness knows who or what else.  Its history and influence on pop culture is vast and it's always been somewhere that has intrigued me so much and over the years I have read so many different accounts of what the Chelsea was like in years gone by so I was so excited to finally read about what its like now from someone who calls it home.

Nicolaia Rips was 17 when she wrote this book (I'm guessing she is only maybe a year older now?) and it's about her life growing up in the aforementioned hotel with her eccentric parents and fellow residents.

The book is in essay form, each chapter a different story about Nicolaia and her world.  It takes you from the story of how she came into this world to present day.  Each chapter not too long and with a rhythmic flow that makes you just want to keep turning the page.  Nicolaia writes with such humour that it makes the book such a joy to experience, her words and stories will keep you laughing, smiling and nodding along to her familiar teenage awkward experiences.

I love memoirs, but up until a little while ago I had never read one from someone I didn't know and when I say 'know' I don't mean actually know, i mean recognise their face off of the TV or a magazine, so I went into this with trepidation but i can't stress how glad i am that i took a chance and gave it a read as i have loved every bit of it and I've actually bought a couple more memoirs of people unknown to me to read now as i was so enamoured by this one.

This is a really gentle paced, funny and interesting read.  It paints the hotel in a way that I've never read about it before, it makes it feel like a home filled with the most wondrously crazy family of misfits, legends and heroes.  Nicolaia makes you feel welcome in her world and your left at the end of the book with her on the brink of adulthood, and you get a sense that her life is going to have a lot more than one book in store for her and I can't wait to read the next one....

You can buy the book on Wordery and get free delivery too.

Pretty Xmas Cards

 

 Ah I can not believe it's only like 3 weeks away from Christmas Day, I mean how does that happen? December seems to just fly in every year doesn't it?

Like I said yesterday I want every day of my #blogmas to feature something you will love and I really hope you love this website that I'm going to share with you today as much as I do.

I love to hand-make most of my xmas cards that I give out for Christmas as I think it adds such a unique touch to your gift but when I can't get around to that or just don't have any time I want the cards that I give out to still be as pretty and special but not crazy expensive either (I've worked out most of the designs on this site are around £1.50 to buy in paper format) so when I found out about Paperless Post I was like 'yah'.

It's basically a website that lets you create online and offline paper products.  Send beautiful designed products that you can personalise online and then buy the exact same design and get it delivered to you in paper format that you can give out too.  I love that aspect of it and its the first time I've ever seen the online and offline design format which I think is such a great idea as there are just some people in your life who your never going to send an Ecard to, right?

Anyway my favourite thing about the company and why I really wanted to share it on here with you is because they sell some of my favourite designers on there that you can actually personalise too.  Y'all know how much love I have for Kate Spade and they sell so many of her designs and they also sell The Rifle Paper Company which I think the Internet is pretty unanimous on being in love with.  They have tons of other designers on there as well and I think that gives the site a whole luxe feel to it.  The website is also really easy to use and work as well so it's a really quick process to do (unless your me and take like 5 hours to decide between which deisgn you love best haha)

I really can't wait to try out some of the Kate Spade designs, they just look so pretty and I can't wait to see what they look like in real life (no pun intended haha)
I hope this helps you if you were stuck on where to buy your Christmas cards this year and I hope you have fun coming up with designs if you use Paperless Post too.


P.s. Even though they are an American company they ship to the UK too. The shipping is a flat rate of $10 and all the duties and taxes are included in that price so no surprises at the post office yah!!

*This post is a partnership with Nakturnal

Helping at Christmas

 


Welcome to the first official week of #blogmas.  I'm super excited to be joining in this year.  I'm tweaking it a little bit but basically it means that everyday Monday-Friday on my blog you will get a new post!  So just remember to check back everyday to see all the new posts, I'm so exicted to share them all with you.

This year I have decided not to do any gift guides, instead I'm just making sure that every single thing I post would work amazing as gifts or just buying them for yourself.  That way I will still post all my normal content and it's not too Christmas heavy in case your not a fan of the holiday season but you will also be able to hopefully get some fun ideas for gifts too if your looking for any.

So first up for #blogmas is a bit of a different post for me.  When I was googling what charities were looking for help or donations at Christmas time I found it really hard to work out which would be the best charity to give money to and which would be the best way that I could help them the most so in case you were wanting to do the same this year I thought would make a post about it.  I  know a lot of families donate to charities rather than give gifts to each other or even if your someone who just wanted to give a couple of pounds, its hard to know how to go about it sometimes so I hope this might help.

The charities that I have picked to feature in this post are the ones I want to help out this Christmas and are close to my heart. 

Shelter - Shelter have a lot of things going on this Christmas that you can get involved in.  You can donate, volunteer and buy Shelter Christmas cards too.  Shelter Scotland are also opening a boutique in Byres Road in Glasgow where you can buy an eclectic mix of designer, vintage and one-off items on sale with all proceeds going to the charity.  My favourite thing that Shelter is doing this Christmas though is a social media campaign called 'Social Media Santa'.  It's the 5th year in a row that this has been running and here is how to get involved in the campaign....

"Kind-hearted social media users are urged to buy presents suitable for boys and girls from six months to 16 years old and either post them or have them delivered directly to

Social Media Santa,
Shelter Scotland Edinburgh Community Hub,
Scotiabank,
6 South Charlotte Street,
Edinburgh
 EH2 4AW.

People are asked not to gift wrap their presents in order to help identify appropriate gifts in terms of age.

Everyone who buys a gift is encouraged to post a photo of it on social media using the hashtag #SocialMediaSanta and to tag the Shelter Scotland account (@shelterscotland on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter). Social Media Santa runs from 17 November to 9 December."

Shelter is focusing on child homelessness this Christmas and the charity says that around 5,224 children will be homeless this Christmas across Scotland. Some of these children are from families that are in employment and even then still can't afford to pay all their bills and rent.  The work that Shelter Scotland does is phenomenal and to think that if they get enough gifts every one of those children they support and work with will be able to get at least one present this Christmas, that is amazing to me.  To know that the charity work with so many people from different walks of life who are either homeless or have the threat of being homeless looming over them is so important and I just think the work they are doing to help people is really inspiring.

Shelter Scotland is obviously the Scottish based version of the charity but if you go on the Shelter website you will find out how to help in your local area too if you'd rather that.

Glasgow Children's Hospital Charity - Yorkhill children's hospital has been the hospital that has helped sick children in Scotland for over 100 years.  It has now moved buildings and got itself a new name.  Now known as Royal Hospital for Children the hospital is still the main place that helps all children in Scotland.  The charity that helps fundraise for the hospital is called Glasgow Children's Hospital Charity and they have launched their new Christmas appeal. Here it is...

"This Christmas we need your help to raise £200,000 to fund a neurological endoscope, which will be used to provide life-saving surgery to children.
The equipment would be the first of its kind in a children’s hospital in Scotland, and one of only a few in Europe."

It sort of blows my mind a bit that it would only take all of us raising £200,000 to be able to buy such important equipment for the hospital and it just feels like such an amazing thing to be able to help with this Christmas.
To donate you can either get in touch with the Charity HERE to help think up ideas on how to fundraise for them or you can Text CHILD to 70707 to donate £5 to the appeal.

So there you go, just a couple of things that might catch your eye if your looking to help out this year at Christmas time or even donate in someone's name instead of giving gifts.  Thanks for taking time out to read this post as I know its something really different to what I normally write about on here but I just feel so passionate about these charities and really wanted to share them with you all too.


Bringing the beauty of nature into your home

 

 
If there is one style trend of the 21st century that looks like it is here to stay, it is the idea of having natural elements within your home. Perhaps this has arisen because of a need to add soft edges to contemporary designs, or perhaps it is because of a desire to reconnect with nature. Whatever the reason, the beauty of nature can be brought into your home and can make it a better place to be.

Setting a theme

You may want to set a theme for your interior design that incorporates natural elements. For example, you may opt for an interior that reminds you of the seaside, using blue to represent the sea and sky, and white to represent the waves breaking on the beach, or possibly even the hue of the sand. This fresh colour scheme can be accented with natural items that can be found on the beach or that are washed up by the sea, such as pebbles and shells, or large pieces of driftwood. This latter can look particularly impactful when placed in isolation, such as standing in a corner of a room, or for smaller pieces, on a shelf.

Furniture

There is a reason why natural materials remain popular choices for furniture: it is simply because they look fantastic and last for years. Wooden furniture, particularly oak, is a great choice for dining tables and coffee tables, because whatever colour the oak is, whether light, medium or dark, it is certain to complement any colour scheme and even other non-oak pieces of furniture. The natural grain of any wooden piece of furniture needs no further adornment – it is simply gorgeous to look at as it is. Other natural materials for furniture include wicker and willow, though these may be more suitable for a conservatory or as garden furniture.

Ornamentation

Perhaps the easiest way to bring nature into your home is through ornamentation, and there is no better ornament for a room than fresh flowers or plants. It is essential, though, that they are put in a suitable container, one that sets off their natural beauty, and that can emphasise through colour your overall theme. For example, small bouquets of flowers, particularly wild flowers, would look lovely in these flower bottle vases, which also have a flower motif in their glass. Green plants look best in ceramic pots, and tall plants can fill an empty space beautifully. Your kitchen is a great place to have pots containing all those herbs you use in your cooking.

Soft furnishings

The nature theme can also be extended, in spirit if not in actuality, in your home’s soft furnishings. For example, your cushion covers could be animal prints or depict countryside scenes, or objects from nature, such as leaves or trees, while the rugs you lay on your wooden floors could be made out of sisal or seagrass.

You can bring nature into your home, and improve your mood and sense of wellbeing in the process, by selective placing of natural objects for decoration and using natural materials for your furniture and soft furnishings.


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