Christmas Day (in pictures)

(For the vlog on this page, scroll to the bottom of the post.)

 

Happy  (belated) Holidays everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday period spending time with people you love and that you got to take time out of your busy lives to relax. I certainly did as I pretty much swore off of social media over Christmas to spend more time with friends and family and to stop pressuring myself so much about posting.

I always go to my Mum’s house on Christmas Day and I spend it with her, my little sister Jazmin and my Nan. Josh usually arrives in the evening once he’s had dinner with his family and it’s his birthday on the 25th too so it’s always a lovely day. Though we aren’t at all a well-off family, we tend to get each other some very thoughtful and important gifts because it’s the one time of year where we treat each other. The holidays for us aren’t about spending tons of money on extravagant details, they’re about quality time with the people you love and spending a day being kind to ourselves and one another.

 

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Nothing beats my Mum’s cooking – she’s who taught me what I know about food! We had a lovely day listening to music, watching a film and playing games well into the night and I did manage to grab a few great moments on my camera that I didn’t post online at the time. I love rewatching all of my family’s reactions (including Lenny the dog) to their special gifts in the vlog below…

 

Did you enjoy the holidays?
Did you do anything special?

Let me know and leave me links in the comments below.

Jenna
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Keep up to date with my latest posts on:
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If you liked this post, you should check out:
Christmas Family Fun Day with Lisa and Ofelia – Me, my sister-in-law and my niece had a fun festive day and I vlogged it!
Why I’ve Been Invisible on Social Media This Christmas – Find out why I didn’t post over the holiday period…

adventures: Christmas Family Fun Day

(I know this is a bit late but if you want to read why I didn’t post over the Christmas period, see here. For the vlog on this page, scroll to the bottom of the post.)

I am proud to be called an Auntie to three amazing children – Ofelia, Erin and Logan. Despite usually finding it difficult to bond with peoples’ kids, these three are very important to me and I try to dedicate as much time and energy into spending time with them and their parents as possible.

Just before Christmas, I planned a whole week of seeing my nieces and nephew because the magic that children see at that time of year is the best. Unfortunately, I got tonsilitis and wasn’t able to see Erin and Logan until recently but me, my sister-in-law Lisa and little Ofelia had a really fun and festive day just before I got ill so I thought I’d show you guys what we got up to!

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First on the agenda was visiting a local garden centre because their Christmas displays are always gorgeous. We went to Haskins in Ferndown and Fee was instantly enamored with all the soft and sparkly seasonal stock.

 

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There were some beautiful ornaments, some of which had moving parts that we really liked but it was important not to touch them!

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The trip made me really wish we had our own place so that I could have got some nice decorations but this time next year, I’ll definitely be going back. After a quick bit of ‘ladies who lunch’ we went next door to Hobbycraft to get some gifts.

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ofelia_lisa_toddler_shopping_hobbycraft_mumNext stop was the supermarket to grab some ingredients to make Christmas cookies. Fee really enjoyed doing this but kept asking “Can we eat them yet?” before we’d put them in the oven!

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While baking the cookies, we opened Fee’s Peppa Pig advent calendar.

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Then we made some Christmas cards using some of the bits we got from Hobbycraft. Lisa helped Ofelia to make cards for her grandparents and one for me and Uncle Josh (“Make sure Uncle Josh gets my card!” she said…)

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We had lots of cuddles and playtime then snacked on our cookies – delicious! It was a really fun day overall and we did it all on a budget.

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Below is my rather poorly cut together vlog from our day. It is best watched in 720pHD with the sound on.
Please bear with me as I still get to grips with the camera, the editing software and basically everything!

Did you do any fun activities for the holidays?
What children’s activities do you do on a budget?

Let me know and leave me links in the comments below.

Jenna
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Keep up to date with my latest posts on:
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If you liked this post, you should check out:

Why I’ve Been Invisible On Social Media This Christmas – I went offline in order to spend the holidays with my loved ones…

#TLSXmas Blogger Gift Swap

(I know this is a bit late but if you want to read why I didn’t post over the Christmas period, see here.)

I just love taking part in gift swaps! Not only does it really make you think about what to get but it’s a great way to link up with other bloggers and to get to know them. Katy at The Lilac Scrapbook organised a fun gift swap just before Christmas. She paired us up and then we had to agree a budget and a posting date between ourselves. I liked doing that because it meant less pressure to post by a certain time and also gave you time to follow the other person’s content to get to know what they like.

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I was paired with Sophie from Essential Twenty and she was really sweet. A fellow student, she and I agreed to spend no more than £15 on our gift boxes and we told each other a bit about what we like. Sophie’s box for me was just perfect and she had wrapped it in hand-drawn cute paper which was a really nice touch! As well as that, each gift had a little clue as to what might be inside.

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Never try to take blog photos with Trixie around…

Inside my #TLSXmas gift box, there was:

* An adorable Hello Kitty colouring set for when I need some stress relief.
*A Lindt chocolate bunny and a candy cane (apparently very difficult to wrap!)
*Some festive and comfy Christmas pudding socks
*A gorgeous Mulled Wine scented candle
*Two Makeup Revolution Amazing Lipsticks (in Dare and Dazzle)
*A No7 Gel Finish nail colour in Red

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Thankyou so much to Sophie for such a personal and thoughtful package and I’m glad you liked your box from me too! Thanks also to Katy for organising such a great swap.

Have you taken part in a gift swap or do you want to in the future?
Did you get anything nice over the holidays?

Let me know and leave me links in the comments below.
Jenna
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Keep up to date with my latest posts on:
| Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Google+

If you liked this post, you should check out:
#BloggerSecretSanta – I got a cute, anonymous parcel for Christmas as part of Char’s gift swap…

#BloggerBoxSwapLynsey Emily and I exchanged some gifts earlier this year as part of Becky and Ms Mistry’s gift swap…

Why I’ve Been Invisible On Social Media This Christmas

(I’d like to stress that I am not begrudging anyone who did schedule posts/tweets or share pictures/videos of them or their loved ones over the holidays.

That is completely your choice and if it’s what’s right for you then that’s perfectly fine.

This is not an attack piece!)

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As 2015 ends I think it’s safe to say that this year my blogging skills have vastly improved. I have taught myself basic Photoshop and video editing techniques, I am now the proud owner of a decent camera (thanks Josh!) and I have learnt a hell of a lot about social media marketing and personal relations from some other fantastic bloggers and web types.

Upon reflection, I also noticed that in 2015, I spent a ridiculous amount of time ensuring that I had a presence online. I joke about it with my friends and family but I am always trying to make sure that I am posting statuses, photos, check-in’s, pins… I am trawling through hashtags and chats trying to follow and find followers relevant to my blog’s ‘brand’ – the lovely Antoinette has a great video elaborating on whatever the hell that is?! … I would schedule posts to try and free up my day or if I knew was busy that day, only to then realise that those posts would still need sharing, promoting or responding to…

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love blogging and writing online. I love the community of kind and supportive people that I have met through doing such things. I am inspired of and in awe of so many great people that I follow daily and I’m always interested in what they’ve been up to or how they’re feeling… It’s just that at some point, without realising it, I had made social media a necessity, rather than a tool. I’m more than aware of how a great online presence is essential to these kinds of things and I’m not swearing off it completely but there are people out there who do and that’s okay too.

 

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What I guess it comes down to is that I simply decided that over the Christmas period, I would make my physical presence my priority and not my social media oneAfter all, who could be staring at their Twitter feed when there’s beautiful, magical moments that might get missed, like my niece Ofelia smiling?

Not me.

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That being said, I’m now working on a couple of posts with pictures and videos of what me and family did so there is more smiley Fee to come! This is partly because it’s nice to go back through the photos and footage and remember the fun, but also because I want other family members and friends who I couldn’t see for whatever reason to be able to see what went on.

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This is why as I said earlier, I don’t begrudge anyone who did post over the holidays. Whether you did so to keep in touch with other loved ones or to preserve some special moments, or simply because you’re super-organised and scheduled a bunch of content, that’s awesome and you shouldn’t ever feel guilty for any of that. I was (virtually) invisible on social media over the holidays because I had spent most of the year feeling guilty for not being online enough! I now see that wasn’t necessary and in the New Year, I’ll be making sure that I make the moments matter instead.

 

Have you ever taken a break from blogging/social media?
Did you post over the holidays?

Let me know and leave me links in the comments below.

Jenna
X

Keep up to date with my latest posts on:
| Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Google+

If you liked this post, you should check out:


why selfies are inherently feminist – how posting a selfie is really about self-love and that’s okay!

Fear of Missing Out: why your feed is making you miserable – a piece I wrote for Zusterschap about social media making us want more

#bloggersecretsanta unwrapping

So the lovely Char from t*rexes and tiaras set up a Blogger Secret Santa whereby each person sent and received a gift from an unknown person. You could choose to keep your identity completely secret as Char assigned the givers and recipients herself.

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This is exactly what my Secret Santa did! It’s so exciting to open an unexpected treat, especially when you don’t know who it’s come from.

My lovely parcel recommended that I listen to Kids In Glass Houses – Secret Santa whilst opening it. It’s one of my favourite songs at the moment… how did they know?

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Inside the parcel was a cute little card with a fluffy, beardy Santa on the front and an anonymous message. It’s killing me not knowing who sent it!

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They also sent a lovely selection of stationery, perfect for keeping  me organised with my university work next term.

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They’re so nice, I don’t know if I can bring myself to use them…

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Thankyou ever so much to my Secret Santa for my thoughtful selection – whoever you are!

Have you taken part in a Secret Santa gift swap or similar?
Did you keep yourself anonymous?

Let me know and leave me links in the comments below.

Jenna

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Keep up to date with my latest posts on:
| Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Google+

If you liked this post, you should check out:

#BloggerBoxShareMs Mistry and Becky from Blogger and the Geek organised a gift swap… see what I got from Lynsey Emily!

#TLSXmas Swap – See what cute Christmas goodies Sophie sent me as part of Katy’s gift swap…