Year In Review | My Favourite Posts Of 2016

2017 is so almost here and I must admit, as much as I don't want to say goodbye to Christmas I really can't wait to go back to normality in January! It's been a bit stressful recently what with work and travelling back and forward to see family over the festive season and as much as I've loved every second (well... not the work part, but still!) I can't wait to just get back to a normal daily routine where I know what's what. The only thing I'm not really looking forward to is the uni work, since I know that I can no longer use the excuse that it's Christmas to stop me from doing assignments and I definitely need to get stuck into my dissertation which wont be fun... ugh. But anyway, for todays post I wanted to reminisce a little bit on the past year, especially when it comes to my blog. So I've put together a little post showcasing some of my favourite posts over the year - I really hope you'll love going back and reading them as much as I did, it really was so lovely to look back and see how far I've come! It's been a bit of a crazy year for my blog and if someone would've said to me a year ago that I'd be sat here with 4,000+ twitter followers and over 57,000 blog views in a year I wouldn't have believed them! To be honest, I didn't even think I'd be able to keep it up for that long, but it really is all the support I've received that has kept me going so you definitely all deserve a big thank you - whether you read every single post I publish or if this is the first post you're reading! So yes, this is my last post of 2016, which is actually super scary to say! I've had such a good year, yes it's been full of massive ups and even bigger downs but I've still had such a good time and I've survived so that's the main thing, haha! I hope you've all had a lovely year too and I wish you all the best for 2017 - see you all in the new year for tonnes more posts every other day!

What I Got For Christmas 2016

I hope you've all had a lovely Christmas! I always hate this bit after Christmas, when the fun is over and it's time to go back to normality... although to be honest I'm glad work isn't going to be busy this week because I need a huge break! I had a really lovely Christmas though, despite being ill and barely being able to eat my Christmas dinner, I still had a lovely time with my family playing games and having a laugh and did actually manage to eat my weight in chocolate and pringles, of course! I'm super nosey so I always love reading What I Got For Christmas posts and I've decided to do my own one this year since I ran a poll on my twitter and you lot all seemed want one; so I've chosen a few bits that I thought you guys would be the most interested in. I have definitely been spoilt this year and I couldn't be more thankful for all of the thoughtful gifts I received! I'm sure I don't need to disclaim that I'm not bragging in any way just simply giving you a few bits to add to your own wish list - because I'm an enabler like that, haha! Apologies if this post is a bit different to normal, I'm still pretty ill and I'm ready for a nap so I must admit I'm writing this at lightning speed (and I just had to spend way too long taking the pictures for this post because the lighting in winter is just ridiculous - #bloggerproblems!) Anyways, as I said I hope you've all had a lovely Christmas full of family and food and I also hope Santa brought you everything you wanted! 

Update #13 | Merry Christmas... almost!

I feel like I need to apologise in advance for my lack of festivity in the post... because I'm actually writing this a few days before Christmas eve and I'm not feeling very festive to say the least! I'm sure I won't be saying that this time tomorrow though because I will finally be done with work and I can actually have a break - starting work at 4am every single day this week has been so tiring! I can't wait to finally sit down with a hot chocolate and start feeling really Christmas-y! So, for today's post, after the results of the poll I ran on twitter I've decided to write a new Christmas tag. (It was draw between The Christmas tag and Christmas baking and I literally have to time for Christmas baking.. so I took the easier option, haha!) I actually did a Christmas tag a year ago and surprise surprise it's super cringey... but you can read that here if you really want to! But yeah, I decided to write a new, updated one for obvious reasons - I'm also going to answer different questions (that I found here!) to switch it up a bit and my answers are definitely short and sweet because I'm super rushed for time! Feel free to answer them on your own blog but make sure you share me your link, I'd love to read them! I also hope you all have a lovely Christmas, filled with cosiness and loads of food! I won't be posting on the 26th, but I'll be back on the 28th so see you all on the other side! 

10 Signs You're Shamelessly Obsessed With Christmas

It's officially almost Christmas! I know I know, us Christmas obsessed elves have already been excited since Halloween ended, so we are more than ready for Christmas to happen now. Genuinely though I am a huge Christmas-aholic and I feel like if people would just accept my festive self and let me be my inner Christmas elf, my tree would've been up since November! I'm pretty sure that I'm not the only one who's this obsessed with Christmas too... yes I'm talking to you, I know you've already watched Love Actually three times this year, not to mention eaten your fair share of mince pies! So yes, scrooges should stay away from today's post because I am sharing ten signs that you are obsessed with Christmas - I'm pretty sure that I can relate to every single sign, which practically makes me buddy the elf right?! Let me know if you can relate to any of these things in the comments below and feel free to add your own ideas, I would love to have a read! 

Last Minute Gift Idea | AlumierMD Luxury Gift Set Review*

I hope you're all enjoying the final week of Christmas (how is it even a week until Christmas?!) but yes, it's that time of the Christmas month where you're quickly running out of ideas for what to get for people... and you realise that you pretty much just bought things for yourself on your last trip to town that was supposed to be strictly for Christmas shopping! Trust me, I know the feeling! Last minute gift idea posts are my favourite when it comes to the last week of Christmas and I spend ages browsing through them trying to find inspiration for what to get for my loved ones. So today, I thought I would share an amazing last minute gift idea that would be perfect for any of the lovely ladies in your life - particularly if you've suddenly realised that you haven't bought anything for Mum, oops! Anyone who has a love for skin care and loves a good pamper when it comes to giving your face a little TLC will absolutely love this gift I am sure of it.. even if you do end up keeping it for yourself - you deserve it, Christmas is stressful, haha! After using this product for around a week thought I pretty much want to buy the gift set for everyone I know

5 Christmas Gift Wrapping Tips (+ DIY Gift Bags)

The Christmas shopping rush is probably done and dusted now, maybe you still have a few little bits to get but you've officially started to think about the next task at hand - wrapping all the Christmas presents! Now, I'm no wrapping expert, but I at least like to think that I make an effort when it comes to making my gifts look good - even if the odd one does look like it's been wrapped by a 5 year old.. that's what ribbon is for right?! I actually really love wrapping presents though, I love just sticking on a Christmas playlist, grabbing all my supplies and wrapping for hours, haha! So today I thought I would share some of my favourite wrapping tips that I've learnt over the year to help you to make your gifts look amazing this year - forget the phrase 'it's what's inside that counts' because they won't even care what's inside when you give them a gift that looks this perfect! Let me know if you use any of these tips in the comments below, or feel free to share your own gift wrapping tips! 

Dear Santa | My Christmas Wish List

Every year I struggle with what I would like for Christmas to the point where my parents have to hassle me quite a lot to actually get me to tell them what I want, haha! So today I thought I would write a quick post where I share some of the things that I've finally thought up to put on my Christmas list. I hope you guys are enjoying the Christmas season so far by the way and that you're loving my Christmas posts! Tomorrow is my last day off before Christmas eve so you can imagine how Christmas-y I'm feeling right now... I also start work at 4am every day for a week - I hate working in retail over Christmas! So I'm trying my best to make the most of the festivity and I really can't wait until Christmas eve! I also need to try and squeeze the rest of my Christmas shopping into my schedule at some point which is why this post is quite a short one, so apologies about that! But yeah, I hope you enjoy my wish list, let me know if you would love to see some of these bits under your tree or feel free to add your own wish lists down below in the comments! 

Struggles Everyone Understands At Christmas

Don't get me wrong, Christmas is my favourite time of the year! Full of family and lights and cosy evenings tucked under a blanket.. it really is the most wonderful time of the year! But we all know it does come with its stresses and struggles, particularly when it comes to present giving! I am especially feeling the stress this year, having to tackle university deadlines and working in retail (don't even get me started on working in retail at Christmas, that's a whole other blog post.. maybe next year, haha!) - you can only imagine my breath of relief on Christmas eve when I can actually forget about all that and genuinely enjoy Christmas. But yes, my relatable 'struggles series' seems to go down well every time so I thought I would write a new one all about relatable Christmas struggles since I'm sure I'm not the only one feeling the stress this December! I do hope you're all having a lovely December so far though... despite the stress! Let me know if you can relate to any of these struggles and also feel free to add your own in the comments below, I would love to read them.  

20 Things To Do This Winter | My Christmas Bucket List

It's winter and I am stressed. I feel like Christmas just brings stress, it's inevitable really - my bank balance is low, work is getting super busy and the dreading uni deadlines are all approaching rapidly! But Christmas is a time to feel festive and I definitely don't want to dwell on the stress so the best way to take your mind off of the stress is to do Christmas-y things and start feeling festive again. So I've complied a list of 20 festive things I want to do on the run to Christmas in a effort to feel Christmas-y and forget about the stress. I did one of these for Autumn too actually, so if you want to have a read of that bucket list you can click here! Is it just me though or has this December been one of the quickest months ever?! Like Christmas is approaching at top speed and I've only just adjusted to the fact that it's December... let alone the fact that it's pretty much 2017 soon! Anyways, enough of that, haha! Here's my bucket list, I hope you enjoy! Also, feel free to add your own bucket list ideas for Christmas in the comments below.

Gift Guide | 15 Stocking Fillers Under £15*

I'm sure a lot of you are in full blown Christmas shopping mode by now but I always feel like every year I seem to hit a brick wall half way through my Christmas shopping and I just run out of ideas of what to get people and end up accidentally buying things for myself... that's where all the gift guides come in! I have definitely spent so much time over the last couple of days reading as many gift guides as possible and just browsing through all the different ideas for what to get your loved ones for Christmas! One thing that I definitely love reading through are stocking filler ideas since stockings are such a good idea, I don't know about you but I definitely prefer to receive lots of little presents at Christmas time! So I thought I would jump onto that band wagon and write my own stocking filler gift guide. (I actually wrote one last year, but as per usual it's cringey as anything.. you can click here and have a cringe and read it if you want though, haha!) My gift guide includes 15 stocking fillers under £15 so you definitely have no excuses when it comes to gift ideas now, most of them are more suited for the lovely ladies in your life though, since I always find girls easier and more fun to buy for - but I have tried to cater for a wide age range so you can get inspiration for your Mum, Grandma and younger sister all in one place! I'm hoping to also do a regular gift guide too, at some point in the near future, so if you're still looking for more inspiration pop back soon or follow me on twitter to keep updated! 

Christmas Decorating Haul (feat. John Lewis, Matalan, Asda)

All of my autumn decorations have well and truly been stored away.. which makes me a little sad, but it's okay because we all know what that means.... the Christmas box is out! Buying decorations for your tree and to make the house super festive is definitely just as fun as putting it all up and actually decorating the house in my opinion! Unfortunately, I bought a lot of my decorations for Christmas last year so I didn't have to go on a full Christmas shopping spree like last year, but that definitely did not stop me from buying a little bit too much... but who doesn't want to full on decorate their house and make it into a grotto at Christmas?! I have to say, I am so happy with all the decorations I picked out this year and how they all fit with last years decorations so I thought I would do a quick little haul to share a few of the bits I picked out this year (and a few of the bits from last year too - I did do a haul on this last Christmas but it's so outdated and cringey.. you can read it here if you really want to!) So yeah, here is my little haul -  annoyingly I've forgotten where most of the bits are from (it was a while ago that I bought it!) but most of it is from Asda, Matalan and John Lewis so if you're still looking to make your house a winter wonderland, look no further than all those places, haha! 

DIY Christmas Potpourri

There's nothing more festive than a sweet smelling orange am I right?! Just to add to that festive feeling, I was actually really inspired to do this from watching vlogmas (which I am SERIOUSLY loving so far by the way... it never fails to get me feeling Christmas-y!) but yeah, I was completely inspired by Tanya Burr's vlogmas where she was making Christmas wreaths and although I don't think I'm quite skilled enough to make a wreath just yet, I thought I might have a go at making the little dried oranges that went on her wreath and what better way to display that than in a pot - and there you have potpourri, haha! I haven't actually DIY-ed anything on this blog before (to be honest I haven't really DIY-ed much in my life!) but this was quite a simple little DIY and I'm glad with the way it turned out - so if I can do it, you can do it! Potpourri really is the best way to get your house smelling festive though by the way, not only when it's cooking but also when you put all the bits together in a little pot. We've got our sat on the coffee table and it smells like Christmas and I LOVE IT! So I thought I would share this little DIY, it's super super easy, all you need is a little patience and you too can have the best smelling house this Christmas, haha!

Update #12 | Is It Socially Acceptable To Listen To Christmas Music Yet?!

As I mentioned in my recent favourites post, I still can't quite believe that it is December and that Christmas is literally around the corner! I don't even know if I'm excited yet either, because Christmas coming quickly means that my dissertation deadline is also coming quickly and I've hardly even started it properly yet if I'm honest... ugh! I am however embracing the fact that I can now loudly play Christmas music without the guilt... right?! My tree is also up, in an effort to feel more festive and I've worked out that Christmas shopping is a brilliant, guilt-free way of procrastinating (I don't have to feel guilty if I'm buying presents for other people, right?! Haha!) But yeah, I thought I would write a quick update post since I haven't done one in while - it's also a great way to start off my Christmas posts, since I thought I would also share a few sneak peeks of what to expect this year! So yeah, let me know what you've been up to recently in the comments and I hope you enjoy this quick update! 

Honey, Garlic Chicken + Veggies | Hearty Slow Cooker Meal

It's finally December which means the slow cooker in well and truly out! We've been having hearty slow cooker meals for the majority of Autumn now, adding some sort of casserole or stew onto our weekly meal plan each week - and I can't get enough! Hearty meals are perfect for the run up to Christmas because they warm you up and they're just so comforting and yummy, they're also super easy since you can literally just chuck most of the ingredients into the pot and just leave it to do it's thing - perfect for busy days wrapping presents and online Christmas shopping, haha! I came across this recipe a few weeks ago when I was browsing for more inspiration with my slow cooker meals and I knew I just had to try it out for myself - I'm not going to lie, it was DELICIOUS, so I knew I had to share it with you! I'm not the biggest fan of soy sauce or honey, but it turned out so so good and it's definitely one to add to my little recipe book! If you try this out for yourself be sure to let me know, also feel free to share your own slow cooker recipes in the comments - I would love to read more and get more inspiration!