Happy Me Day

Lifestyle

This year, I have decided I am rebranding the dreaded V day, from now onward, it will be called me day. So Happy Me Day!

Yes, there’s bound to be plenty of posts today preaching self-love, that you don’t need another half to be complete and I would be lying if I said this wasn’t one of them.

You can totally justify disliking Valentines because it’s commercialised, all for making money and insignificant in the grand scheme of things. But we wouldn’t want to ruin this momentous holiday for all the loved up couples out there that aren’t bitter about spending it alone.

I truly believe the 14th February is actually a really beautiful day. There’s something lovely about dedicating a day to one another to show how much you care. Undoubtedly, this should be every day but it is so easy to get wrapped up in life that you forget how important showing love is.

Not only is this true when you’re in a relationship, but it’s also significant when you’re alone. A lot of us get so caught up in busy day-to-day life that we forget that sometimes, we need to treat ourselves with a bit of TLC.

Granted, almost every day is a treat myself day with my insatiable shopping habit but still…

Today, I bought myself everything a typical Valentine would buy for you. This was ideal because everything I got for me was perfect – just what I wanted!

I bought a Kate Spade watch – possibly the most beautiful thing I have ever received from myself. It’s a well-known fact that you can’t go wrong with jewellery on Valentines, so I did pretty well with this one. I managed to find it in TK Maxx for £130, a dream price for a Kate Spade statement piece. Well done me.

I also got myself some Ardell faux mink eyelashes. I was pretty impressed with myself considering I haven’t been able to find these anywhere and have really wanted to try them out. I love Ardell lashes and wanted to try something a little different to my usual demi wispies.

Perfume is another must must. Usually I would opt for Narciso Rodriquez or my classic Jimmy Choo but I decided to be a little unconventional. I got this gorgeous Ellie Saab Girl of Now perfume. It comes in the prettiest bottle and literally smells like sweets, marshmallows, daisies and rainbows. New scent new me and all that.

Lastly, I had to get flowers and chocolate. I just wouldn’t have been a legitimate Valentine if I didn’t.

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x

P.S. after writing this post, my lovely manager gave me a Hummingbird cupcake and a card. Boyfriends/Girlfriends, who needs them!?

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Galentines Day

Lifestyle

Valentines has well and truly crept up on me this year. It feels like only yesterday I was bringing in the new year with one too many jagerbombs. Sadly, I will yet again be spending the 14th without a significant other.

Thankfully, I had my brother’s gorgeous girlfriend Ciara come to visit me in London and we had an impromptu/unintentional Galentines day on Sunday. It consisted of chocolates, flowers and cocktails – really the only way to spend time with a loved one. Yes, I did spend Galentines with my brother’s girlfriend – sharing is caring right?

 

Columbia Road Flower Market

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First we went to Columbia Road Flower Market. This is always somewhere I have wanted to visit because of my love for all things floristry. I was hoping to write a post dedicated entirely to the wonders of a market just for flowers but unfortunately, it didn’t really live up to my expectations. It was far too busy to have a nice stroll and look at all the pretty blooms and the vendors were shouting so loud it kind of ruined the tranquil atmosphere I was going for. But all in all, Ciz bought me some beautiful flowers which is far more than I can say for anybody else this year.

 

Dark Sugars Cocoa House

We then headed towards Brick Lane because a Sunday just wouldn’t be a Sunday without a trip to Shoreditch. How on earth I could have missed Dark Sugars in all the million times I have been there I do not know. Ciara spotted this incredible chocolate shop whilst walking down Brick Lane and honestly, I think it’s what heaven looks like. There were literal slabs of chocolate in the doorway and pretty much every flavour you could possibly imagine. They even had alcoholic chocolates for the slightly more boozy (i.e. me) like gin and lime and vodka and orange. The slight downside is that 6 teeny tiny chocolates cost £12 but undoubtedly, they would be worth it.

 

Hoxton Square

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After a very taxing day leisurely wandering round London, we decided to top it off with a couple of cocktails and a ton of food. It was surprisingly difficult to find a cute place to eat and drink in central London on a Sunday – pretty much everywhere was closed or eerily quiet. After walking for what felt like an eternity, we ended up at a place called Zigfrid von Underbelly (?!) Me and Ciz being our obnoxiously confident selves obviously made friends with the bartenders. We ordered ridiculous amounts of sides to eat and had cocktails that tasted like flowers – rather fitting considering our day. After tormenting the staff, giggling like little girls and eating way too much food, we finally brought Galentines day to an end.

After a slightly rocky start to my weekend, I finished it in the most positive way possible, with my lovely friend and sister.

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x

 

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Real Talk: Relapsing

Lifestyle
relapse
rɪˈlaps/
verb
gerund or present participle: relapsing
  1. (of a sick or injured person) deteriorate after a period of improvement.

I could very easily pretend like this weekend didn’t happen, and that it was all flowers, fairies and family (which 30% of it was may I add). But I also need to acknowledge the fact that the rest was not.

On Friday I had one of my most significant relapses yet. Everything felt like it was going wrong; I was tired, depressed and extremely alone. I suddenly had this overwhelming feeling of helplessness wash over me. Granted, a simple wrong direction can have my world spinning upside down but this time it was far more prominent.

Whilst I’m at work, I keep myself busy. I don’t have time to over think things; I have like-minded people around me to talk to and keep me company. I really love my work and who I work with! But let’s not lie, unless you’re very lucky, there will always be some sort of boundary between work friends and actual friends.

On Friday it suddenly dawned on me just how alone I am. I have one friend in London who is usually too busy living his normal young adult life to fit me in with my work hours – which I don’t blame him for! I would too if I could. The closest family and friends I have are at least 2 hours away from me. It doesn’t matter how much I can pride myself on saying I’m independent, capable, adult etc. everyone needs someone.

Anyway, I came out of work to a completely normal Friday. I’m used to seeing everyone together having drinks in bars, eating food and laughing whilst making my way home. It doesn’t usually affect me but there was something about it that made me feel sick to my stomach. For some reason, I just cried… And cried and cried.

Then I went on to do things that the old me would have done, I walked down dark alleyways in hope that I would be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I crossed every road without bothering to look, unconcerned about the cars and buses just meters away. I went through Shoreditch hoping a sleazy man would pay me some attention. I walked for an entire hour in the freezing cold, found a canal and just sat next to the water in the dark. I went into full on self-sabotage mode.  And you know the worst thing about it all? Not one person looked my way.

I find it more difficult to contend with relapse when I have been doing so well for so long. You feel like you’ve worked so hard for what? I also find it tough knowing therapy hasn’t helped me and I’m on the highest dose of medication I can get. What now? Is this really my life forever? A couple of months of feeling ‘normal’ then a weekend of self-pity and you’re back to square 1.

It’s tough as hell having to accept that you might go through this for the rest of your life. But after really thinking about it, there is nothing I can’t handle. Relapses don’t last into infinity. If they did, I wouldn’t be alive to write this post today. You can think that there’s no hope and you’ll be like this forever. But if you’ve relapsed, that means you have got better.

As much as we would like it to be, life is not linear. Our ups and downs, as painful as they are, teach us a new way of coping every time.

This time taught me – always wear a coat if there’s a possibility mental breakdown.

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x

 

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Shoreditch, LDN

Lifestyle

 

I have previously said my favourite place in London is the Kings Road, Chelsea and I stand by that. However, my second favourite place to spend my free time is Shoreditch.

Yes, these two places are polar opposites so it’s kind of hard to understand why I would love both places so much. They’re just both so niche and unique, wherever you walk you’re sure to find something beautiful.

Last weekend I put on my most indie outfit and headed to E1. My new flat (post still to come) is located only 20 minutes down the road from Shoreditch which is a blessing; whenever I fancy playing chess for fun, I am only a bus ride away…

 

 

I always head for Brick Lane, but of course I end up browsing Petticoat Lane market for high street bargains and going to Spitalfields to see the pretty jewellery stalls. When I do finally end up where I intended on being, I go straight to Brick Lane’s vintage market.

As you know, I am a self-confessed shopping addict but I definitely don’t feel as guilty when I’m not on the high street. I love the vintage market because you never know what you’re going to find. Even if you’re not looking to buy anything, it’s all so pretty to look at. Obviously, I couldn’t leave empty-handed and therefore ended up walking away with 3 new pairs of sunglasses and the cutest headband. If you’re looking for that Instagram chic, this is definitely the place to be. As well as proper vintage clothing (old-fashioned flowers, frills and everything) they have all the cool stuff you see on girls on pinterest at half the price of all the online boutiques.

After plenty of time pottering round looking at vintage Burberry and various types of artwork, it’s always a good idea to head to the nearest doughnut shop. My very favourite is Crosstown – nothing fancy, just really good. I always go for a simple glazed doughnut and a hot chocolate because I am basic as heck. But if you’re looking for something a little more fancy, Doughnut Time next to Old Street station sells all sorts of sugary monstrosities.

 

 

You can’t miss all the artwork in Shoreditch; there isn’t an clear wall in sight. Unlike the majority of London, it isn’t graffiti, it is actual ART. There are some crazily talented people out there.

Ordinarily, I don’t tend to stray much further from Brick Lane and the close surrounding areas. But in an attempt to find my way back home, I stumbled upon some more cute individual shops. I first came across Boxpark, a pop up mall with lots of small and random traders including The Ordinary – an affordable skincare range supposedly recommended by Kim Kardashian herself. I then found an even cuter store called AIDA. It’s actually both a coffee shop, clothes shop and gift shop which I love – it is literally a day out in itself. The clothes they sell are on the pricier side as they’re all quirky brands, from distinct vintage to contemporary and modern. Me being me, still managed to bag a Selected Femme wool jumper in the sale for £23 (money-saving expert eat your heart out).

How to Live Your Best Life This Year

Lifestyle

Last year I achieved lots of external goals; I moved out, travelled and got a proper job but despite this, I still haven’t – yes it sounds cliché  – found myself. In terms of understanding and loving myself, I’m not quite there, so I have decided 2018 is going to be my year for internal goals.

I feel as though the majority of us go through the year expecting big changes and big achievements, but self-development doesn’t have to mean losing 2 stone or moving across the world, it can be as simple as getting up in the morning without hesitation (ironically this would be a huge achievement for me).

I’ve written a list of things that I am going to try to do this year in order to better myself, they’re not resolutions, just healthy habits that can help to positively affect us all!

 

  1. Begin learning something new – learning is exciting and can help you to find enjoyment in things you might not have thought you would.
  2. Always have a fresh manicure – trivial and perhaps a little extra, but keeping fresh and clean always makes you feel flawless!
  3. Buy coffee for a stranger – although I do believe in selfish acts of kindness, that doesn’t mean it’s bad. By buying something for someone in need, you’re helping them whilst also allowing yourself to feel like you are here for a reason.
  4. Keep track of your finances – there is nothing worse than worrying about money, but also it can be pretty rough to put yourself on a strict budget. Just keep an eye on your spending habits so you know you can afford to do delightful things.
  5. Wear what you want! – live life like the party that it is, every day is an excuse to dress up. Wear things that make you feel happy, confident and ready to take on the world.
  6. Avoid procrastinating – I’m the worst at this one, but the less time you spend dwelling on doing something, the more time you’ll have to feel fulfilled once you have done it.
  7. Have a good chat with a family member at least once a week – life can get a bit hectic but always make time for the important people in your life.
  8. Nurture your relationships – I am particularly bad at creating and maintaining relationships with people which seems selfish and arrogant. But understand that some people struggle more than other and good things take time!
  9. Take your vitamins – a simple vitamin D tablet can do the world of good.
  10. Buy fresh flowers – it’s pretty much impossible to avoid technology but still make time to appreciate nature!
  11. Have a signature scent – find a perfume that as soon as you put on, you feel ready to take on anyone and anything.
  12. Manage your time wisely – by being in a rush, you are far more susceptible to anxiety. Always make sure you are organised and on time, no matter what the occasion.
  13. Wear floaty clothes and fabrics – the only way to look like a Princess is to feel like one. Treat yourself to cashmere and silk every now and again.
  14. Value a good nights sleep – make sure you get enough sleep but don’t follow the ‘nap queen’ trend! It may seem like a good idea but there is a wonderful world out there! Enjoy it!

 

In the words of Ron Swanson – don’t try too hard. Sometimes we focus ourselves so much on one thing that we forget the bigger picture. Let things come naturally and you’ll do great.

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x

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Food for One

Lifestyle

Something I have really struggled with since moving to London is food; I didn’t realise how difficult it would be to go to the supermarket, buy groceries and think of meals everyday. I definitely took home-made meals for granted – for the past 4 months I have eaten Sainsbury’s meal deals, soup and occasionally treated myself to pasta every now and again.

For quite a while I have had an issue with food, in the past I have really struggled with starving myself, then binge eating which is a major reason as to why I get down. I love the way healthy food makes me feel and I know that by having a more positive lifestyle I would feel far better in myself but chocolate has and probably always will be my vice when I’m in need of comfort.

Last night I finally realised that my bad habits needed to stop. As good as the oreo, nutella and banana waffle I ordered from Deliveroo was, it definitely wasn’t the epitome of a nutritious dinner.

One of my biggest problems when it comes to making meals is that after being at work and spending 12 hours out of the house, I just can’t be bothered. It’s far easier to order a Dominos, chill for 20 minutes, then have it on my doorstep. But honestly, I think my flatmates are getting fed up of hearing the intercom buzzer going off at the same time every evening, so something needs to change.

Tips:

  • Plan meals week by week so you know what you have to do as soon as you get home. Personally, I don’t really like the idea of ‘meal prepping’ as such. I can barely make one meal at a time let alone a weeks worth. Instead, I like the idea of just knowing what I am going to eat when I get home from work, so I can have the ingredients ready and plan my evening around cooking it. By doing this, I can psych myself up for the process so it’s slightly less painful.

 

  • Don’t go food shopping on the way home. By the end of the day, I am usually moody, hungry and exhausted. As you can imagine, that isn’t the best state to go food shopping in because I pretty much want to buy the whole supermarket. Whenever I go shopping after work, I always end up getting the quickest/most unhealthy option (hence the reason I have been eating so many Sainsbury’s meal deals).

 

  • Limit yourself to a certain amount of meals out a week. It’s understandably difficult to eat well when your entire life revolves around going to different interesting places to eat, especially in a big city. There are so many food choices in London, I want to try them all. But for the sake of my bank account and my health, I have decided to limit myself to 2 ‘meals out’ a week; it’s going to be tough considering brunch and afternoon tea are my favourite pastimes.

 

  • Don’t make things too complex. Unbelievably, despite all the fitness blogs and Instagram’s out there that portray otherwise, healthy food doesn’t have to be fancy, photogenic and pretty, and you don’t have to take out a mortgage every time you go to the whole foods supermarket. Simple, quick and easy meals can be good for you too – pizza isn’t the only answer!

 

Anyway, that’s about all the motivation I can give myself today. Please let me know if you have any more tips.

Now I’m off to have a hot chocolate.

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x

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Local Hero

Lifestyle

Happy 2018 everyone! Yes, I am slightly late but really, it’s an achievement I even made it out of bed to write this post.

Since coming back to London from my wonderful home in Kenilworth after seeing family for Christmas, I have felt super sorry for myself, hence why I have gone back into hiding and not written for a couple of weeks. I can’t believe I ever hated my home town so much, it’s quiet, calm and there’s nothing to do but go for dog walks and drink tea – IT’S LITERAL HEAVEN.

But, in an attempt to pull myself back together and into the real world, today I did the only thing that I thought could cure it – brunch.

I wasn’t feeling too adventurous so I just went down the road from Wimbledon to Kingston upon Thames. After a long walk bypassing about 3 Costa’s and 4 Pret’s, I luckily came across Local Hero – a coffee shop cool enough for me to sit in with my brand new Mac. Yes, I am officially a Londoner, I sat in a coffee shop with my Mac out looking as if I was busy concentrating on some heavy work – I hate myself.

Being the generic white girl I am, I ordered poached egg and avocado on sourdough bread. I’m not going to lie, if I go on to review my food it will literally just be identical to my last brunch post because really, every avo on toast tastes the same. Anyway, it was good and healthy which is the main thing considering the amount I have consumed over the past few weeks. I also had a hot chocolate which I will rate, because everyone deserves to find the best hot chocolate in the world and I want to make that happen for you. Overall, the bev was nice. A 7/10. Could do better. (I actually grabbed a Mcdonald’s hot chocolate before coming home and it was far preferable but obviously not as pretty).

Speaking of Local Heroes, whilst walking through Kingston and trying to avoid the Topshop sale *control yourself Abs* there were a group of guys busking. Obviously this isn’t out of the ordinary but I happened to read the sign they had written and it said they were busking for 24 hours in order to raise money for the charity Calm, an organisation dedicated to preventing male suicide. I really admired what they were doing, and being a cause close to my heart, it made me happy to see there is some good left in the world.

Now, I am going to go back to my cold, sad, little flat in hopes of mending my broken window and making the wifi actually work so I can continue pitying myself whilst watching Parks. Wish me luck!

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x

P.S. Someone please tell me to snap out of it.

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3rd Day of Xmas: 2017 Breakdown & 2018 Goals

Lifestyle

I wasn’t sure whether this post was a bit premature but you can’t be too prepared so…

Last year I made a flow chart of things I was hoping to achieve in the near future. Without even trying, I actually managed to do quite a few of them! So I am going to try again this year. Some of my 2018 goals are short term and simple whereas others are looking further into the future. I’m sharing them to document it for myself (& I feel like if people know about my plans then I am more responsible for making sure they happen). I also wanted to share this with you because I hope it inspires you to create some goals that can motivate and inspire you to live life to the fullest in 2018!

2017 Breakdown

  • I have done 8 weeks work experience at ITV.
  • I have moved to London on my own, fulfilling my dream of living in the city.
  • I have recently started a job with a huge film and TV production company
  • I started this blog where I have found some real interests and hobbies.
  • I have earnt money to go travelling with my big brother.

The only thing left on my list is to get my very own pup! But that feels unlikely at the moment, so I think I’m just going to have to stick to Borrow My Doggy for now.

2018 Goals

Personal Growth 

  • I really want to get back into reading in 2018. 6 months ago I would literally go through a book in a couple of days but now, I’m always so tired I just want to watch Parks and Rec and fall asleep. I’m setting a goal for myself to read 2 books a month and every 1st of the month, I will write a blog post on my favourite one!
  • At work, we are given a £200 allowance to spend on personal growth. A few of the other guys were telling me what they did with theirs; some had personal training sessions, one learnt Japanese and another learnt how to knit! It made me wonder what I could do to improve my skills. After a bit of research, I found a really great creative writing/children’s story book course. In the new year I hope to have time to do this because I think it could really help my blog writing skills and eventually, could help me in children’s TV.

 

Health & Fitness

  • One thing I recently realised was that despite making my dreams a reality, I do need to focus on the basics too. For example, I have been so busy with my new job and settling into my home that I didn’t realise that I have completely neglected my health. I never have time for breakfast and for dinner I almost always grab a meal deal on the way home. This is such a generic goal but in the new year, I am going to make time for the gym again; I loved going when I lived at home as it really helped my mental health. I’m also going to try to have a day dedicated to prepping proper meals – perhaps even be more serious about practising veganism.

 

Create a YouTube Channel

  • For the past few months I have been piecing together my idea for a YouTube channel which I hope to have created by the end of 2018. I’m not going to go into too much detail now but I will let you know when I make some progress!

 

If you take a look at my first ever post you would probably think it was a completely different girl writing. Over the past 8 months I have really grown as a person. A year ago I could never have dreamt of being where I am now. Here’s to 2018.

Things will get better. 

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x

 

If you’re interested in the other things I’m getting up to follow me on Instagram.

Or take a look at my previous Blogmas posts.

 

1st Day of Xmas: Peggy Porschen Cakes

Lifestyle

My gorgeous parents came to visit me today so obviously, I had to take them to the prettiest/pinkest place I could think of: Peggy Porschen Cakes.

As soon as I saw Peggy’s whilst wondering the streets of Chelsea, I knew I had to take my Mum. There is no denying that it is probably the most Instagrammable corner in London and it was only made more magical by the Christmas market down Ebury Street, where the cafe is located in Belgravia.

 

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My lovely Mum & Dad!

 

Despite the fact that I love Star Wars and GTA I am still a huge self-confessed girly girl so this place was literally a dream come true for me – afternoon tea is my favourite pastime in the whole world.

We had to queue for about 20 minutes before there was a table available because it is so popular. When we finally got in, we were met with a slightly chaotic, but very cosy atmosphere. There was a buzz from the mixture of people crammed into the small space and Christmas songs playing in the background.

 

 

Whilst waiting for our orders, I got the chance to take some pictures to show you lot. I was so excited I took photos of everything with absolutely no shame. I imagine it looks gorgeous all the time but with the extra sparkle of Christmas in the air, it felt even more special. The windows were dusted with snow, there were Christmas trees covered with sugar cookie baubles and gingerbread houses scattered everywhere. Everything matched one theme: pink. I have never really considered pastel pink to be overly Christmassy but altogether it worked – I felt positively festive.

Aside from the decor, the most important part of afternoon tea has to be the cake. Peggy’s has the most amazing array of cakes and biscuits, I was well and truly spoilt for choice. They had every flavour of cupcake imaginable, macaroons and even champagne flavoured cake. Naturally, I had to go for the biggest slice. When in Rome do what the Romans do right? I went for the lemon, raspberry and rose flavour with a cup of tea (I even forgot to take a cute picture before I started, that’s how excited I was). It was amazing. I felt faint afterwards due to the amount of pure sugar I had consumed but it was definitely worth it.

 

 

I left Peggy’s feeling warm and fuzzy with pink-tinted sight. It was  a really wonderful afternoon spent doing my favourite thing, in a lovely place, with my favourite people.

If anything this Christmas, you have to find a friend or a family member and take them to Peggy Porschen’s Cakes. I’m not being dramatic when I say, it was literally a dream.

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x

 

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Festive Flat Decor

Lifestyle

This year will be my first year without spending the weeks coming up to Christmas at home. That means no tree decorating whilst listening to Christmas music and eating my dad’s mince pies ☹️. In an attempt to make myself and my flat feel a little more festive, I went on the hunt for some cute decorations this weekend. I thought I would show you what I found.

I recently mentioned that I wanted my decor to be ‘shabby chic’ ish in my previous post. I had this vision in my head of it being like all the Pinterest posts with a holly covered mantelpiece and lights on every inch of the walls. Unfortunately my room is approximately the size of a large cardboard box so this was a long-shot, but I did manage to find some pretty cute things.

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I bought this ridiculously tacky silver foil garland because it was only £1 and honestly, what is more festive than a string of snowflakes hanging from your curtain pole? As ugly as it is, I actually kind of love it. You can’t go wrong with tacky at Christmas, it’s definitely the best way to be.

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Every year I get a Poinsettia; it’s such a beautiful plant, the colours are so rich and festive and bright. As soon as I popped it in this classic Ikea pot (I’m pretty sure everyone in the country owns at least one of these) it automatically cheered up my room. If nothing else, you definitely need one of these at Christmas time! They’re super cheap too, I bought this one from Morrison’s for only £1.50.

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I miss my little pup so much, so when I saw this little sausage dog decoration I knew I had to get it. I’ve put it on my lamp so I can see it and to remind me that it’s only 10 days until I see my little fluff! (Yes, I’m a saddo). I bought this from Wilkinson’s for £1.

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I also bought these super cute lights from Wilkinson’s for £6. They come as a set of three little jars with snow balls and holly in them. How adorable are they!? As soon as I saw them there was no way I was leaving the shop without buying them so I didn’t realise that they needed to be hung from somewhere and that you need a screwdriver to open the battery box. Luckily for me, I’m a DIY expert so I used my tweezers to open the box and taped them to the wall using boob tape – genius.

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Lastly, I bought this XMAS light up sign. It’s probably the only thing I got which remotely suits my shabby chic theme (I tried my best). I put it next to this pistachio chocolate scented candle that I was given as a gift last Christmas to make it extra festive. This was £9 from… you guessed it, Wilkinson’s.

All I need to do now is make myself a hot chocolate and watch Elf.

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x