20 Ways To Stay Calm At Christmas

Christmas is such a fun and festive time of the year but things can get quite frantic too. There is just so much to do! Present buying, gift wrapping, writing cards, office parties, family get-togethers and making sure you haven’t forgotten to buy that turkey, to name a few! Oh yeah, not forgetting Blogmas! I dunno how you people do it. Sometimes we get so caught up in the festivities we forget to take time out for ourselves. Then we wonder why we feel stressed out and on-edge when we should just be enjoying the most wonderful time of the year. So, before you add another task onto your Christmas to-do list, here are some ideas on ways to stay calm at Christmas whilst getting everything done!

plan ahead – schedule in time to be productive and time to just relax.

brainstorm – make a list of everything you want to do and prioritize.

online shopping – avoid the crowds and have a one-click Christmas.

carry some blank Christmas cards – in case you forget someone last minute.

say no thanks – you don’t need to accept every invitation at Christmas.

go for a walk – fresh air and gentle exercise can do wonders for stress levels.

get creative – baking, art and Christmas crafts can be quite therapeutic.

pin it – Pinterest can be great for Christmas inspiration if you are feeling stuck.

treat yourself – why not book a massage or have a haircut for some real chill time.

play music – festive playlists, feel good classics, chill out tunes – Spotify has it all.

christmas calories don’t count – the gym is always there for you in the new year.

family fun – a pack of cards, board games and quizzes can keep everyone relaxed and entertained.

have a bath – a hot bubble bath with candles & some soothing music is simply blissful.

take a nap – a quick power nap can give you a refreshing energy boost.

write it down – journaling, keeping a diary, blogging can all help reduce stress and anxiety.

do yoga – however you feel, yoga can make you feel so much better afterwards.

digital detox – switch off your phone for a few hours and have some downtime.

buy extra sellotape – best Christmas advice ever.

don’t panic – the Co-Op opens again on Boxing Day, you won’t starve.

just enjoy yourself – it is the most wonderful time of the year, after all.

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Brighton At Christmas

Brighton is probably one of my favourite places to visit for a day out. It is crammed with cool and quirky independent shops, tons of delicious places to eat – all being a stones throw from the seaside with its iconic pier. My family and I took a little trip down to Brighton one rainy Wednesday in December and here are a few snapshots from our very enjoyable day by the sea. I say little, it is a two hour car journey. But well worth it to visit this unique town on the south coast of England.

Food For Friends

Sitting in a car for hours can make you quite hungry! When we arrived we headed straight for lunch at Food For Friends. This is Brighton’s original vegetarian restaurant (since 1981). My mum and sister are both vegetarians and I have eaten here before, so was quite happy to visit again for a spot of tasty lunch.

Food For Friends: 17-18 Prince Albert St, Brighton, BN1 1HF

The festive menu looked so appetizing but I knew from past experience their coconut and butternut curry was pretty amazing, so that is what I went for again.

My sister Vicky and I waiting patiently.

My mum looking pretty happy with her elderflower fizz.

Vicky with her hot ginger and spice non-alcoholic beverage.

This is the coconut and butternut curry – grilled baby fennel, romenesco, thai basil served with black sticky rice & plantain crisps (GF/V). So delicious!

Brighton Pier

When in Brighton I think visiting the pier is a must, even if it’s pouring with rain and the wind nearly blows you into the sea.

A pigeon ready to take your order.

The famous Brighton Pier.

The tinsel on the pier was a nice festive touch.

I’m sure seagulls in Brighton are bigger than regular seagulls.

A bit too cold for Brighton rock today.

Town Centre

Festive scene.

The light up igloo in the town centre.

Vicky, mum and myself looking absolutely freezing.

Posing in the igloo.

Graffiti and a random pair of shoes?

I love the street art around the city.

Coffee Tree

After a little exploring, we stopped for a much needed cup of tea and piece of cake at Coffee Tree in the North Laine. This is their very mouth watering caramel layer cake.

Coffee Tree: 47 Gardner Street | North LainesBrighton BN1 1UN

North Laines

A trip to Brighton is not complete without walking down the laines. There are 400 independent shops, cafés and entertainment venues in this unique and vibrant part of the city.

So many interesting shops.

Cakes in the window of Cloud 9.

Brighton is such a colourful city.

Brighton Guitars.

I loved the little festive touches dotted around.

There is really something here for everyone.

Brighton flowers.

I hope you enjoyed a few of my snapshots from the day. Have you visited Brighton before? What is your favourite thing to do whilst you are there? Let me know what you thought in the comments!

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The Top 20 Christmas Films Of All Time

Christmas isn’t Christmas without a few festive films to really get you into the seasonal spirit. Shaun and I decided in late November to tackle the mammoth task of watching and reviewing all the Christmas films we could find (afford) to compile a list of the top 20 Christmas Films Of All Time and share our thoughts with you all. Crazy, maybe. Fun? Defo! I have also teamed up with Panasonic to bring you this fantastic festive film collection. Panasonic have recently released the Panasonic Oled 4K TV with a sleek design and ultimate picture quality to really bring the Hollywood experience right into your very own home. So get ready because here comes The Top 20 Christmas Films Of All Time… (in the order watched)

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Online Christmas Charity Appeals 2017

As part of my 12 days of Blogmas, I thought it would be nice to share with you a few of this years online Christmas charity appeals. There are tons of worthy causes out there and its always hard to pick a selection, however, here are a few of my suggestions if you are looking to give a little extra this year. After all Christmas is a time for spreading the love, am I right? Please feel free to share other charities you support in the comments below!


Rethink Mental Illness Christmas Cards

If you haven’t sent your Christmas cards yet, Rethink Mental Illness have a nice little selection of cute cards which you can order online here.  Rethink Mental Illness is a charity that believes a better life is possible for the millions of people affected by mental illness. For 40 years they have brought people together to support each other through their services, groups and campaigns. At the moment you can buy 10 Little Penguins Christmas Cards for £2 – so adorable and such a good cause too! Twitter: @Rethink_


Oxfam Unwrapped Charity Gifts

When disaster strikes Oxfam’s priority is to start saving lives, then it is to help people come back stronger. They enable people to access clean water to drink and decent sanitation and then to help rebuild communities. This Christmas you can order a life-changing unwrapped gift online, getting to choose from thousands of brilliant gifts including goats, chickens, safe water, and school supplies. Oxfam launched the gift catalog in 2004 and it continues today as it has been such a great success. Click here to view the full range of gifts.   Twitter: @oxfamgb


The Great Christmas Get Together

#MincePieMoments is a movement to help fight loneliness at Christmastime. It is a campaign by The Great Get Together inspired by Jo Cox to build closer communities through positive connections by sharing mince pies with each other. To join in all you need is to choose a time between 24-26 December, bake or buy some mince pies, head over to a neighbours or wherever you are sharing mince pies and post your photos on social media using #MincePieMoments. If you don’t like mince pies there are tons of other ways to get involved. Click here to join in! Twitter: @great_together


Pack A Shoebox Online

Samaritan’s Purse UK is a Christian relief and development organisation working in 18 countries across Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia. If you don’t have time to fill a shoebox this year to help the appeal, you can choose to do it online. It’s so straighforward and takes no time at all. For £20, you can fill your own shoebox by selecting the age and gender of your child. Then you can add a large toy, three small toys (such as a harmonica, etch-a-sketch and yo-yo) and accessories (such as sunglasses, calculators and hair accessories) and include a personal note to your child. Since 1993 there have been 146 million shoebox gifts and each item can significantly change a child life for the better. Click here to start filling your shoebox! Twitter: @OCC_UK


Present Aid

Present Aid is Christian Aid’s charity gift shop. When you purchase an ethical gift from Present Aid, you will be helping to fund Christian Aid’s vital work to end poverty around the world. You won’t actually receive a duck, or a bicycle or a well, but you will be helping families in countries such as Ethiopia, Haiti, Bangladesh and many more places in need of support. Your money will go towards the seven funds: 1. Agriculture and livestock, 2. Emergency and disaster preparedness, 3. Healthcare, including HIV, 4. Training and education, 5. Water and environment, 6. Basic needs, 7. Climate change. Click here to give a gift that just keeps giving! Twitter: @christian_aid 


Reserve A Place At Crisis At Christmas

For £26.08 you could give a homeless person the following:  1. A hot, delicious, nutritious Christmas dinner, 2. Advice on housing, benefits, finances, employment, as well as legal matters, 3. Healthcare, including TB and hepatitis screenings, 4. Dental treatment and eye tests, including glasses, 5. Hairdressing and massage treatments, 6. Learning and skills opportunities, internet cafés and IT workshops, 7. Specialist centres providing safe accommodation to rough sleepers, women and people with dependency issues and 8. PLUS access to Crisis’ year-round services for training and support in the year ahead. The advice and support Crisis offers has helped thousands of people out of homelessness and on to whole new lives already. Click here to make a donation. Twitter: @crisis_uk

These are just a few of the Christmas 2017 Appeals. Feel free to share more great causes in the comments below!

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