Creekside Christmas Trees up for review

I was asked by the lovely folk over at Creekside Christmas to review one of their beautiful real Christmas trees and of course I jumped at the chance! Over the years, we have had both real and fake Christmas trees but I have to say that for me, nothing but real will do for our main tree.

Creekside Christmas real Christmas trees (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

Creekside Christmas real Christmas trees (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

Nothing compares to that amazing smell of a real Christmas tree. I just love coming downstairs and being greeted by that smell every morning, it just wouldn’t be Christmas without it. I tend to go over the top with decorations every year and they have a tendency to spread to every room in the house, I just can’t help myself but the main tree in our living room will always be the centre point for us. We always always always decorate the tree together as a family and it is without doubt my most favourite night of the whole year. And then of course, it is there twinkling in the background until the big day itself when Santa leaves our presents under the tree!

Creekside Christmas real Christmas trees (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

Creekside Christmas real Christmas trees (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

Creekside Christmas have a great range of Norway Spruce and Nordmann Fir trees in all different sizes with prices starting at just £24.99. They have a great guide on their website if you’re not sure where to start, from choosing your variety of tree to how to take proper care of it. I chose the Nordmann Fir and it is an absolute beauty! It has a classic shape and green glossy needles that are said to be more children and pet friendly than other varieties. It has become the most popular Christmas tree in the UK as it holds its needles so well. Obviously there is no such thing as a 100% drop free tree but this is as near as you will get. Since our tree arrived on Thursday, I can count on my fingers how many needles have dropped so it doesn’t get much better than that. I am seriously impressed so far. Just look at it! I love it! A lovely height with a perfect branch for our fairy to sit on and it is just so full and bushy with amazingly thick glossy needles.

Creekside Christmas real Christmas trees (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

If ordering a Christmas tree online isn’t for you and you want thoroughly inspect your tree before buying, then you can visit them at one of their two locations in London. Creekside Christmas offer delivery for all of their beautiful real Christmas trees within central and greater London and this year they will have stalls in Greenwich around the Cutty Sark area as well as in Woolwich. You are welcome to have a browse and select your own tree and they will be wrapped on location, meaning that you can look before you buy and if you have no way of getting it home, they can also arrange delivery too.

A huge thank you to Creekside Christmas I love our tree so much!

(Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

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What I Wore: The Christmas Day Dress Edition

There is no greater honour than being chosen as The Christmas Day Dress. Surely it is the most important dress of the year? It is quite possibly the equivalent of being chosen to play Mary in the school nativity (although everybody knows that your mummy has to be the head of the PTA for you to bag that particular role) Except of course I don’t think that the dresses in my wardrobe have ever given it much thought. In fact they probably have no idea that it is such an honour to be chosen as The One. What with them being dresses. But, you know.

LaRedoute black lace dress - The Christmas Day Dress - (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

Last Christmas, I wore this lace dress from LaRedoute. I bought it a few months earlier and loved it so much that I earmarked it as being The One right there and then. I still love this dress to bits, in fact I wore it this Monday just gone when I went on a very rare night out with my sisters and stepmum. The lace is so soft and it has a full sticky out skirt which is always going to be a winner with me.

Baukjen sequin dress - Christmas Day Dress - (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

The year before, I wore this amazing sequin dress from Baukjen. I actually bought this with another very special occasion in mind but in the end I didn’t get to wear it. It seemed like a crime for such a beautiful dress just to sit in my wardrobe so I couldn’t resist wearing it on Christmas Day. It’s now back in my wardrobe waiting for an occasion to be worn again and will no doubt be rolled out again in a few years for another Christmas Day to come!

LK Bennet jersey dress - Christmas Day Dress - (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

Now the year before that, thanks to Facebook I know I wore this LK Bennett dress. Where would we be without sisters tagging unflattering photos on Facebook, huh? LK Bennett do the best jersey dresses ever and I’m so glad I bought lots of them while I had the pennies because they have been such a good investment. I still wear this dress often and it is still as perfect as the day I bought it. It’s not the best photo to show it off really but it was the only one I could find. The dress is in a gorgeous plum colour and has a lovely sash belt. P.S. How tiny are my girls here?!

Gold jacquard dress Marks and Spencer - Christmas Day Dress - (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

This year I didn’t think that I would be shopping for a new Christmas Day Dress and had planned to wear an old (but very much loved) leopard print dress from LK Bennett. But Mr Mostly surprised me and took me shopping yesterday *squeal* I knew straight away which dress would be The One because I have had my eye on it for ages. I know I should have been more practical and chosen something that I could get more wear out of but stuff it! Christmas comes but once a year and this dress had to be mine! The photo doesn’t do it justice, it is even more sparkly in the flesh and in a super soft jacquard material. It has a high neck so I went for a size up as I felt a little strangled in the size 10. Plus Christmas Day will be the first time that I have eaten a roast potato since Easter Sunday so I figure the extra room can only be a good thing. Good old Marks and Spencer, huh? It really is my dream dress.

Have you chosen your Christmas Day Dress yet?

(Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

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Sophia Webster for Birchbox up for review

For December, Birchbox have partnered with British fashion favourite Sophia Webster! Inspired by Sophia’s sparkling gemstone Suri shoe, the box alone is a must-have collectable for any fashionista. Inside you’ll find an exclusive to Birchbox coin purse, designed by Sophia herself, along with some amazing beauty samples. Such a treat!

Sophia Webster Birchbox (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

Sophia Webster Birchbox (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

 

So what’s in the box I hear you cry? Well first of all we have the Eyeko Fat Eye Stick which is actually a full sized product and exclusive to Birchbox. Mine came in a shimmering smoke colour and when applied it has a lovely glossy finish. I love these kind of eye sticks as they are just so easy to use and give a great smudgy finish. Next we have the Benefit Christmas Cracker which is another Birchbox exclusive. Inside is the High Beam liquid skin illuminator. This stuff is nothing short of a miracle I love it! Then we have the Electric Hair Hydrate Shampoo in a handy 30ml size. This would be perfect for popping in your overnight bag if you were going away over the holidays. It has a moisture rich formula and helps to repair damage and improve shine. It also smells amazing! Next we have the full size Models Own nail polish and mine was the Absinthe colour which is basically just Christmas in a bottle – sparkletastic! Then we have the Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil which is just divine. I am a huge convert to facial oils having tried them in previous beauty boxes. I love that just a couple of drops go such a long way and it can be used from face to feet for beautifully healthy skin. Next we have Elsor Firming Collagen Day Cream which is yet another Birchbox exclusive. I told you this months box was a cracker, didn’t I? This gives skin a plumping boost and has an ultra hydrating lotion which is wonderfully rich. And last but by no means least we have the amazing Sophia Webster Purse. Take a walk on the wild side with this leopard print pouch from the coverted designer and Birchbox collaborator. Plus there is an exclusive discount voucher for 20% off Sophia Webster online in December!

Sophia Webster Birchbox (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

Birchbox is a subscription service and for just £10 a month, you are sent a box of beauty and lifestyle goodies to enjoy. You can cancel the subscription at any time though, it is totally flexible. One thing that I especially love is that you can create your own beauty profile online so that the samples will be tailored just for you. Some products are sample sizes but there are often full sized treats too. You can also earn reward points each month which can then be used towards purchases in the e-shop where all of the products from the boxes are available to buy.

I absolutely love Birchbox and it has to be said that they really have pulled out the stops for December! It is such a lovely treat every month though and a great way of discovering new products. I subscribed myself after being sent a box to review here on my blog earlier in the year and I can hand on heart say that I have loved every single box plus the service itself has been faultless which sadly can’t be said for many other subscription boxes that I have tried.

(Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

Disclaimer: For the purpose of this review I was very kindly sent this Sophia Webster Birchbox free of charge. All opinions are my own. As are the sparkly nails and swishy hair. You’ll have to get your own. 
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It’s a wrap!

I am one of those weirdos that loves wrapping presents. I know. Give me a pile of presents and I will spend hours and hours happily wrapping away. I think I actually love it a bit too much though. No hastily wrapped gifts here with a name scribbled on in biro. Oh no. I spend an age deciding on a colour theme then carefully wrap everything with the best paper, bows and ribbons ahoy. Last year I discovered washi tape. Oh boy oh boy was that a good year for wrapping. But the problem is that I can easily spend hours and hours that eventually turn into days and DAYS wrapping presents and actually, in the spirit of having a stress free December, I decided that my time might be better spent.

Christmas gift bags (Mostly) Yummy Mummy BlogSo this year I have decided that I will still wrap our Christmas presents so I will still get to enjoy some wrapping. Well, when I say some it will still be an awful lot. I will have over fifty stocking presents alone to help Santa wrap and that’s before I get to the presents from us to the children hmmm… But everybody else’s presents are being ‘wrapped’ in a bag this year. We buy a lot of presents for a lot of people so I reckon I have at least halved my wrapping workload.

I picked these up in Ikea so they were as cheap as chips but they are really lovely strong gift bags. They’re a good size so I have been able to fit more than one gift in too. A bit of tissue paper, tied on a tag and job done! I made one up last week just to see how it would look while I still had time to change my mind and start curling ribbon like a demon but it was so easy and looked so effective that I ended up putting them all together in less than a hour. Then I spent the afternoon with my feet up reading my Christmassy book. Now that is time well spent.

Another advantage too is that when buying presents, I haven’t had to think about how easy it would be to wrap. Or even disregard gift ideas altogether because they would be impossible to wrap. Please say that I’m not the only one to do that? No it was simply a case of it will fit in the bag, I will buy it. And being a good sized bag this was easy peasy. From a practical point of view too, the way that I have written the gift tags means that I can see at a glance which present belongs to who making it really easy when it comes to handing them all out. Plus the bags are paper so can be recycled. Or even better reused of course. I fully expect to get at least one of them back next Christmas! Ha!

I rather like this whole stress free Christmas thing especially when it ends up looking as good as this. What are your shortcut top tips this year?

(Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

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John Lewis Christmas Decorations up for review

I was asked if I would like to choose some Christmas decorations to review from John Lewis.. err would I ever! Over the years we have amassed quite a collection of decorations as you can imagine but I can’t resist adding to them each year. I love that we have so many that we can actually pick and choose although the temptation to put up every single one is often all too much and we usually have decorations in every room! We haven’t actually put our decorations up yet but I couldn’t wait to show you what I chose.

John Lewis wooden advent house (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

First of all, we have this beautiful advent house. Christmas for us always starts on the 1st December as we begin to excitedly count down the days. This wooden house is laser cut and has soft white LED lights inside which glow through the shimmering window panes. There is a little numbered drawer for each day which is just big enough for a treat (or four in our case!) I love that it is battery operated which means that there are no unsightly wires and you are not restricted to where it is placed. I know that this is something that my family treasure for many many Christmases to come it is just beautiful.

John Lewis wooden advent house (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

Decorating the tree is something that we all like to do as a family but if you have ever decorated a tree with children then you might have an idea of just how haphazard this can be. Mine are that bit older now so it gets better every year but I long since gave up on aspiring to have The Perfectly Decorated Tree. Actually the pleasure I get from us all decorating it together is worth much more. That said, I do like to keep some kind of order, even if it is a haphazard kind of order, so I tend to choose a colour scheme to try to keep some unity. It’s always a good idea to have sets of decorations to tie the scheme together as well as those one-off special ones I think.

John Lewis gold shiny jingle bells (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

I plan to use these shiny jingle bells not only on my tree as decorations with ribbon but I also want to attempt to make a garland with them too to dress the shelves in my living room. I’ll keep you posted as to how I get on with that one so watch this space!

John Lewis Livingly geometric tree decoration (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

These gorgeous Danish designed Livingly geometric tree decorations come in packs of three and I think they will give a lovely modern touch to my tree this year while still sticking to my traditional mainly gold theme. They fold out to create this lovely geometric tree shape.

John Lewis glitter antique text star decoration (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

My living room has a soft colour palette of creams and greys and I want to try to incorporate that into my colour scheme for this years tree as well as traditional golds so these glitter antique text star decorations were just perfect. The soft colours are just the perfect match but I love that the pretty glitter edge will really catch the light when they are on the tree. I can’t wait to put them up!

John Lewis Christmas Past Heart and Bell Wreath (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

Last but by no means least we have this beautiful heart and bell wreath. We might not have our tree up just yet but I couldn’t resist putting this up on my living room door as soon as it arrived! The delicate heart is strewn with festive berries, fir cones and little cream bells. It’s so pretty. I have a feeling that I might ‘forget’ to take this down after Christmas it looks so lovely!

I have to say that I was really impressed with the huge range of decorations that John Lewis have on offer this year. It is well worth a look whether you are looking for basic baubles or something that little bit special, there really is something for everyone. Let the decorating begin!

(Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

Disclaimer: For the purpose of this review I was very kindly sent the wooden advent house and given the opportunity to chose the other decorations up to the value of £50. All opinions here are of course my own. 
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Happy Christmas to me

I remember about this time last year writing a post about grabbing some time to enjoy Christmas for myself. How I was determined not to be that mother who spends the whole of December running around like a headless chicken being too busy to enjoy any of it before finally collapsing in a heap on Christmas Day. Sometimes saying things out loud means that they actually happen and do you know what? They did. Simple little Christmassy promises that I made to myself really did happen. And I plan to do just the same again this year. In all honesty, this year hasn’t been the best. In fact, it has been a complete pigs ear for the most part and I can’t wait to see the back of it. All the more reason to squeeze as much fun and sparkle out of December as I possibly can.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

This is from last year. Promise. Our Christmas decorations aren’t up just yet. Honest. Although I suspect it won’t be long…

Having to watch the pennies means that I am actually scarily organised on the shopping front this year. Which is no bad thing of course and having less to do means that I can pinch a bit more time for me. I love shopping and especially shopping for the people who I love but fighting the crowds in December when you’re on a mission isn’t always fun let’s be honest. I still plan to have a wander around the shops though but just to enjoy the festive spirit without the pressure of having to actually shop. I have to confess that the promise of a sickly sweet coffee on the high street with a gingerbread man drowning in whipped cream doesn’t quite have the same lure as it once did for me but I definitely need to have a Pret Christmas sandwich at some point. That goes without saying. It’s the little things.

I’ve been recording all of the Christmas films that I’ve never seen before like It’s A Wonderful Life and White Christmas. No, I don’t know how I’ve never seen them either. But at some point before that last week of term when I am in school every other day and get swallowed up in the complete and utter chaos, I want to spend an afternoon or three snuggled up watching old Christmas films. I might even break out my secret stash of lebkuchen. Shhh don’t tell! Oh, and I need to natter Mr Mostly into us both watching Love Actually at some point. It doesn’t matter how many times I have seen it, it never fails to make me blub. It wouldn’t be Christmas without shedding big fat snotty tears with Emma Thompson.

Last year I read Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol for the first time since I was a child and do you know what? It was an absolute delight. And one that I would highly recommend. I promised myself there and then that no matter what, it would be a yearly tradition for me and so it shall be. I’ve also squirrelled away a couple of other Christmassy books by Jenny Colgan for myself too which I absolutely cannot wait to crack open.

Another of last years treats to myself was to myself was to download my ancient old Nutcracker CD to my iPhone so I could listen to it in the bath until the water went cold. I plan to have as many Nutcracker baths as possible. I really am that easily pleased. Seriously.

Sometimes, it is the smallest of things that bring us the greatest of pleasures. Taking that little bit of time just for you can go a very long way. There’s no escaping the fact that the weeks in December are the shortest of the year and it is hard to fit everything in I know I know. But if Christmas is feeling stressful then I’m sorry but you’re doing it all wrong. A stress free happy run up to Christmas is not too much to ask, is it? That’s what I’m planning on having again this year anyway.

Happy Christmas with love from me to me. Who’s with me?

(Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

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The one where there is definitely NO elf on my shelf

As far as I am aware, the whole Elf on the Shelf thing started as an American tradition but in the last couple of years, it seems to have crept in over here too. Well, when I say crept in I actually mean snowballed out of nowhere and every other bugger has adopted this tradition as their own. Or at least every other parent blogger anyway. I blame Pinterest of course. The place is awash with that creepy little elf. And I’m sorry but he really is very creepy *shudder* But Pinterest has a way of bringing out a horrible competitive streak in some people and all of a sudden everything (especially everything elf related) has to be BIGGER! BETTER! FUNNIER!

I confess that I have never read the book that comes with this elf what with never having bought it. But from what I can gather, he arrives soon after Thanksgiving (which we don’t celebrate over here. Or at least we didn’t the last time I checked but hey ho.) Anyway he sits on your shelf but you absolutely must not touch him as his magic will disappear. (A toy that you can’t touch? Err yeah, that sounds like fun.) Then this little elf reports back to Santa every night to help him out with his naughty and nice list. (Because that’s not creepy at all is it? Never mind the whole blackmailing your kids into behaving or else you will cancel Christmas. Except you won’t. So an empty threat then? Oh.) Then in the morning, you find the elf in a slightly different position than you left him in the night before so that you know that he has hot footed it back to the North Pole while you were snoozing. (Is it just me that thinks remembering to do that every night would just be too much pressure? Heck I struggle to remember my own childrens’ names at times.) Then on Christmas Eve he goes back to the North Pole until next year. Joy.

Definitely no elf on my shelf (Mostly) Yummy Mummy BlogExcept of course when you throw social media into the equation, the whole thing goes a bit mental. Obviously the elf moving a bit wouldn’t make a very interesting photo on Instagram. Let alone a whole series of blog posts. Who is going to repin that lame picture? Oh no the tradition has morphed into a whole new beast. Oh look! Our elf has been caught in a compromising position with Action Man! Aren’t I just hilarious? No. No you are not. I mean seriously, whose benefit is this for? Your kids or your followers? Oh look! Our elf has emptied an entire box of icing sugar all over the kitchen floor and has made snow angels! You know that you are the one who will have to tidy that crap up right? And how does being naughty teach your kid anything? Either you are missing the point or I am.

Do you know what, I love that families adopt new Christmas traditions. I’m all for keeping that magic alive. Heck, isn’t the magic of Christmas one of the very reasons why we all have children?! But this blasted elf seems to have a way of bringing out an awful competitive streak in a lot of people. Not all to be fair. But when it does, it ain’t pretty. Can I just let you into a little secret though? There is such a thing as oversharing (I do realise the irony in a blogger offering such a nugget. Trust me.) But honestly, NOBODY GIVES A FLYING FIG ABOUT WHAT YOUR SODDING ELF GOT UP TO LAST NIGHT! Well, hopefully your kids do, I mean this is for them right? But I’m guessing that they don’t follow you over on Pinterest what with being three and a half and all?

You can get up to all the high jinx that you like but here’s the thing, you don’t have to share every single movement that your creepy elf ever makes. A revelation to some I’m sure. You don’t have to share your antics every single day with the whole wide world on Instagram (linking to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Flickr just to cover all bases) before writing a daily blog post (and maybe even a weekly round up of the fun in a newsletter just in case anybody missed your eleventy billion updates.) Please please please spare a thought for the rest of us this Christmas. So no, there will definitely not be an elf on my shelf this year. Or any other year. In fact, I predict that by this time next week, I will have seen more elf pictures than any normal person should ever have to suffer in their entire lifetime. Ho ho bloody ho. I’m even considering setting up a support group over on Facebook, would you like an invite..?

(Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

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