“May and October, the best-smelling months? I'll make a case for December: evergreen, frost, wood smoke, cinnamon.” ― Lisa Kleypas, Love in the Afternoon
Is it just me or has every month in 2022 gone past even more quickly than the last? And here we are, month twelve with all the merriment and madness that comes at the end of each year. I absolutely love getting my house looking really Christmassy, so whilst I have been super quick to get my decorations out and up, I am very behind on buying any presents. Despite all the stress that comes with getting ready for Christmas, I do absolutely love the festive season and so many of my most favourite things happen this month.
This month I’m dreaming of
I had the most wonderful girls’ weekend away as a pre-Christmas treat with a group of six fellow Instagrammers. We were lucky enough to stay for free at the amazing Tunstall Road Farm, near Richmond in North Yorkshire. Situated on a working farm just outside the village of Tunstall, the three luxury 5-star self-catering properties are absolutely gorgeous and it was so wonderful to be in such idyllic surroundings for a little calm before the bustle of the festive season! We stayed in The Farmhouse, which is the biggest of the three options, and we all absolutely loved the décor, the spacious and light rooms and of course the outdoor hot tub! Massive thanks to Simone for orgainsing.
This month I’m loving
Adding decorations and little touches to my house is one of my most pleasurable pastimes and there is no greater time for this than Christmas. And this year, with our newly finished downstairs lounge, I have reason for not one, but two Christmas trees! The new lounge has been graced with the most gorgeous faux tree from The White Company. I bought this tree on eBay and have had so much fun dressing it up to match our new interior design. Take a look at my Instagram page for several posts and reels about the pink ribbon tree decorations that I made from beautiful rose and gold ribbons from Cox & Cox. I have a wonderful collection of tree ornaments that I have acquired over the years from Zara Home, John Lewis and Oh So Kel.
Upstairs in our main kitchen/lounge, we have really gone for it and managed to wrestle a 9-foot fir tree into the house! Whilst it was quite a job getting it up there, it is looking absolutely spectacular. We were given our fabulous tree from Methley Estate (AD/PR), which is a sustainable farming business near Leeds which grows, cuts and sells its own trees.
In addition to my fabulous trees, I also love making use of wreaths and flowers. I am a big fan of faux flowers and this arrangement from Everbloom London in the fabulous vase from CharlesTed Interiors hits all those winter notes. Check out Everbloom’s website for their fabulous wreaths and garlands. Last year, I made my own garland for our mantel piece which was lots of fun. Our double front door always has to have double wreaths to adorn them and I would just love to find the time to make my own. For those of you feeling creative, here is a fabulous guide and lots of design ideas from Gardener’s World with tips to help you do it yourself.
This month I’m working on
Present buying! With the house looking festive and ready for Christmas, I now really need to turn my attention to buying some presents!
And speaking of gifts…. Over on Instagram I am celebrating the beginning of December and all things Christmas! This special month, I am super excited to tell you that I am hosting a number of giveaways with some amazing companies. There will be hampers, vouchers, bubbles and other bespoke special gifts to win. Head over to my Instagram to find out more!
This month I’m looking forward to
The best bit about Christmas is of course all the family time. We live really far away from both of our families, and I cannot wait for everyone to be all together. I just love the relationships that my children have with their cousins and young children certainly bring the magic and sparkle into this time of year.
This month I’m planning
There is of course a whole load of expectation to manage at this time of year. In addition to the decorations and gift buying, it is hard not to also feel pressure to make sure that there are some festive family events in the calendar. It is always exciting to have a theatre trip planned in the run up to Christmas; we do all enjoy a pantomime, but this year Leeds Playhouse is running Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: The Musical, which really does look fabulous. Going to see some Christmas lights is another perfect family outing and we love the display at RHS Harlow Carr. Their annual Christmas ‘Glow’ is a spectacular light display where you can spend a magical evening following an enchanting trail to see the incredible gardens illuminated.
And things that don’t need booking or planning in the same way as just as important in building the Christmas magic. My children and I just love all types of Christmas crafting and the endless opportunities for making cards, decorations, baking and gifts. For inspiration and fabulous activities and crafting essentials, I am always sure to fit in a trip to Flying Tiger as they just have the best bits and bobs! We will also be going down south to see family and will make sure that we go and have a look at all the window displays and lights in London.
And to help with the anticipation and to countdown to all the fun and big day itself, are of course advent calendars. This year I have been working with Paperchase who make the most fabulous stationary advent calendars (AD/PR) that my girls will be wild with excitement for! Check out my Instagram page for a reel about these most fabulous calendars which contain £100 worth of the very best stationary.
This month I’m wearing
My excitement to be working with Hobbs has not dimmed! After the event I organised last month with Hobbs in York, I was delighted to receive three incredible pieces in time for Christmas. I can’t wait for a party to wear this gorgeous dark green Sally Fit and Flare Dress. This textured satin dress is so flattering, and I love the romantic layers and long sleeves. Similarly, the Viola Fit and Flare Dress also has a most gorgeous silhouette and comes in a beautiful midnight navy. And to wrap up in ultimate style is the black Florence short fur coat; this perfect layer seamlessly transfers from day to evening, is super chic and glam and I can’t wait to wear it!
This month I’m listening to
I have recently discovered this fantastic podcast JFDI with The Two Lauras. Each week Laura Moore and Laura Davis “share tips, advice, opinions, ideas and lessons learnt from decades of experience as freelance marketers”. I have learned loads about how to build my businesses and work successfully as a freelance social media marketeer and thoroughly recommend it.
This really is, in my opinion, the greatest time of the year and I am wishing you all a fabulous and stress-free build up to Christmas! Don’t forget to look at my Instagram page for a chance to win some fabulous giveaway prizes this month and my YouTube channel to see our other festive events and happenings!
Have the most wonderful Christmas everybody!
Love Caroline xxx