Tag Archives: christmas

Christmas round-up

26 Dec

Happy Boxing Day! I hope you’re all suitably stuffed with Baileys and chocs and not regretting a thing.

Christmas this year was a simple affair. A mock Christmas was held on the 18th December at the home I share with my boyfriend. The broken oven didn’t get us down and we celebrated with a whole host of delicious delights; fig and walnut cheese, French loaf and Indian chicken pakoras were the savory treat whilst mini Swiss chocolates and millionaire shortbread provided a welcome sugar rush. Robin and I exchanged presents with Yankee candles providing a Christmassy anticipation.

Sat on the super thick rug in pjs and cuddled up under a floral patchwork quilt, we exchanged carefully selected gifts wrapped in metallic papers and finished off with soppy gift cards. Robin unwrapped books about everything from productivity to tailoring and I was presented with treats from Liberty:

Robin, ever the thoughtful one, also bought me Parisian Chic: A Style Guide by Ines de la Fressange; I’m in love! The book also came with a promise… of a trip to Paris!

I’ll be packing my Breton stripes and black shiny flats and heading off to Paris for my 23rd birthday at the start of May (if all goes to plan!) I want to cruise down the Seine, shop until I drop in all the chic boutiques and be held tightly as I stand at the top of the Eiffel Tower. Has anyone got any top tips for a romantic Paris break? Luckily for me, R speaks fluent French so I’m looking forward to sighing with romance as he orders brie and grapes for breakfast.

Yesterday was the main event with the little brothers, mum and step-dad in tow. Tip-toeing like a child into my mum’s room at 745am on Christmas morning, I awoke the whole house with a round of Christmas singing and childish foolery! At 22 years old, I was the most excited!

Sausage sandwiches and Christmas cookies kicked off breakfast as my brothers worked through pile after pile of boyish gifts. Squeals of shock and delight echoed in the room as I presented my little brother with a Justin Beiber mask (yes, really!) and I was chuffed to see they’d been given the One Direction album- think I’ll be having a sneaky play of that!

Then it came to me and, after a year of working hard, I was rewarded by the bearded man himself! Glittery purple wrapping paper played host to lavender room scents, Yankee candles, pore penetrating face masks and a rose gold watch. And clearly Santa knows what a beauty junkie I am! Piled under my tree right this second sits products from Philosophy, enough Elemis to make my own spa, the Soap and Glory bag set and a Leighton Denny set which took my breath away. Hurrah!

I’m armed with a little cash to hit the shops tomorrow and I’m on the hunt for some new jeans, a sexy black leather jacket and a whole host of fashion magazine to swot up on trends before I head to do work experience with More magazine in 3 weeks!

I hope you’ve all had a lovely Christmas filled with laughter, family, friends and vino!

Update: Keeping Calm and Staying Cosy

4 Dec

I hope that, by now, you’re all snuggled on the sofa in your favourite pjs and slipper socks and ready to watch the X Factor in all its full on craziness. December brings a lot of positive thoughts for me, although that’s not always been the case. Surprisingly, for many years, I was always of the “Bah! Humbug!” clan but recently times have changed and I am decking my halls and tucking into mince pies like there’s no tomorrow.

I love the positivity of Christmas. The sparkling wrapping paper, the first flurries of snow and the whimsical delight in getting a Starbucks Christmas drink. For me, nothing says Christmas like a good old fashioned turkey sarnie and an afternoon of card writing in front of me.

This year has been an odd one for me. “Year of the Brain Transplant”, I’ve been calling it. You see, long gone is the disorganised chick who leaves her lecture notes at home and forgets to always have change for the bus. Nope, I am now a fully fledged member of the Grown-Up Girls Society (if such a thing exists!)

This Christmas I am celebrating the difference between myself last year and myself now. This time last year I started to notice my body not working right- I was so tired it was unreal, I’d constantly be hot, have trouble sleeping and would experience worrying hair loss. For the sake of my barnet, if nothing else, I finally took myself to the doctors in January. After almost twelve months, I can safely say I am done with blood tests and operations. Thanks to a few doctors who actually believed me and the warmth of friends and family, I am confident that I won’t let menopause get me done. And yes, you read that right. At age 22 and a half, I’m going through something women twice my age go through. Whilst I’ve dealt with the issues surrounding fertility, it’s often the smaller things that get me down. I find myself crying when Little Mix sing a ballad or when we have no hot chocolate left. I feel sad every single time I see more hair falling out and I am so sick of waxing my legs that, quite frankly, I’d happily look like a gorilla for the rest of my life.

Quite a few people have told me to write about it but I’ve always been concerned it would hurt me to much to speak out. Whilst I don’t intend on turning Florals and Cupcakes into a blog for me to moan about hot flushes and the lack of Dairy Milk in the fridge, I do intend on upping the pace into the new year.

2012 holds some remarkable things for me. First off, I’ll be celebrating five years with my other half of the 6th of Jan. I think a good Italian meal and breakfast in bed is in store! The 7th of January will see me wave goodbye to my love as I head off to London for two whole weeks to intern at More! magazine. And then there’s the holiday in September, not to mention a planned spa day in March and the inevitable fun of summer.

I feel like I’ve left Florals and Cupcakes to the side a little, lately. And for that, I feel bad. But I’m still here and still want to bring you some beautiful finds from the high street and online. I’m always available on Twitter (@hollieanneb) and there’s the Floral Wishes Tumblr too (www.floralwishes.tumblr.com)

And as there’s still a few weeks until Christmas, I’m going to be compiling some gift guides to get you through (including a super-luxe gift guide for all those dreamers, like myself, who love a bit of excess!)

Wishing you all an enchanting Christmas!

24 Dec

It’s 10:30 on Christmas Eve and I’m sat in my new super-soft pjs and sipping a rather strong Bailey’s hot chocolate. My brother’s are in bed, the candles are lighting the room and there’s holly here, there and everywhere. I’m missing my beautiful boyfriend terribly but I’m comforted knowing he’ll be spending the day with his children and parents. If you can’t be with the person you love this Christmas, share a heartfelt smile with those you’re with!

Image from weheartit.com

I’d like to wish everyone a really happy Christmas and I hope you all have a wonderful few days to come! I’m really, really thankful for all the support everyone has given Florals And Cupcakes and I’m really looking forward to sharing some inspiring finds with you over the next year.

Christmas Gift Ideas #6

8 Dec

This Christmas Gift Idea comes from a personal recommendation, or rather, the recommendation from my other half! I bought my boyfriend this Paul Smith silk scarf last year. If I remember correctly, it was one of those gifts just because I loved him and no other reason and he adores it!

Please you hubby/father/bloke you fancy this year with this sophisticated, stylish and classic Paul Smith scarf. With the signature Paul Smith stripe, it’ll brighten up his grey and black business suit. And, just so you know, it’ll also look fab with your jeans and a tee if you manage to steal it!

It costs £79 and you can buy it from the Paul Smith website or selected Paul Smith stockists.

Christmas Gift Ideas #5

8 Dec

If you’ve got a little girl to buy for this Christmas, I’ve picked out something so gorgeous that there won’t be a bratty tantrum in sight!

Whether it’s your niece, cousin, little sister of friend’s child, stay clear of girly Barbie and boyish computer games and go back to a more simple time with this Cath Kidston kids knitting set. Complete with 3 balls of yarn and knitting needles, it comes in a delightful rose carry case.

Priced at £16, I reckon it’s sure to put a smile on the face of the lucky recipient!

Christmas Gift Ideas #4

8 Dec

On a bit of a budget this year? I’ve found this super sweet pink alarm clock from Aspire Style for under a tenner! I love the vintage look and the “Wait a minute” slogan- perfect for those snoozy princesses who are always hitting snooze!

You can pick one up for £9.99 from Aspire Style.

Christmas Gift Ideas #3

3 Dec

Winter should be a time for hearty casseroles serves with rustic bread and a glass of red wine. I love slaving over the oven for several hours whenever I get the chance and cooking up something incredible for my boy and I to enjoy in front of the TV.

When I saw this Orla Kiely casserole dish in a magazine recently, I was in love! And that’s why it makes the perfect Christmas gift! If you’ve got a domestic goddess to buy for or perhaps a friend who has recently moved into a new place, then you won’t fail to delight with this retro influenced beauty. Available in two patterns, I’m loving the Multi Stem print.

The Orla Kiely casserole dish is priced at £55 and available online. And, hey, it’ll also give you a sure-fire invite to the next dinner party!

Christmas Gift Ideas #2

3 Dec

A few years ago, for my birthday, I was presented with the notebook of my dreams. I was given an orange Smythson notebook with “Follow Your Dreams” stamped onto the cover in beautiful gold lettering. To this day, the notebook remains unwritten in but rather still in its box which I unwrap every now and again and remind myself I need to listen to the printing on the front.

This bliss list notebook from Smythson would make the perfect gift for a close friend or a sister. If, like me, she’s forever writing down wish-lists and dreaming of that designer purchase then she’d certainly love this, especially with the uplifting fuschia colour. Just make sure she writes in hers!

Available for £30, you can buy your bliss list notebook from Smythson online in time for Christmas.

Christmas Gift Ideas #1

26 Nov

With Christmas fast approaching, the inevitable Christmas shopping panic appears to get stronger by the day. I’m compiling a whole host of Christmas gift ideas (with a few sneaky treats in there for yourself too!). Whether it’s the boyfriend who has everything, the bratty brother or the picky mother-in-law, I’ll be helping solve all your Christmas gift woes with some inspiration from some brilliant brands.

First up, I’ve selected an item so universal that you simple cannot go wrong. This classic bead necklace with satin ribbon tie is the perfect for any female in your life. Mums, grandmothers, stylish sisters and even the boss will fall in love with this statement necklace from Hobbs. And, even better, Hobbs are offering 25% discount this weekend so this cream bead necklace can be yours for £41.25 if you snap it up before Monday.

Statement Belle Necklace by Hobbs is available in store and from the Hobbs website.

Handmade Christmas Robin Brooch

19 Nov

I’m loving this handmade brooch by Claire Hurd Designs– not only is the cute little robin perfect for adding a little festive cheer to any outfit but he’s bound to look cute all year pinned into your hair or on a jacket.

Personally, I fall for anything that has a robin design (Robin is the name of my other half!) so I’ll be hoping this arrives in my secret santa parcel!

You can buy your handmade brooch from Not On The High Steet for just £7.50