Another Christmas is over for this year. January has crept in like a sinister sister to the joyous December. People are broke, days are dank and dark. It also marks my birthday, another year older and slightly wiser.
My birthday does not excite me as much as Christmas does. It is not because I am older, I can handle that. I think of it as just another day.
Why do I find birthdays hard to celebrate?
The reason for this is possibly due to the demons that circle my mind. Why would people want to celebrate the day I was born, what is so special about me?
With one of my goals for 2019 is to develop my mindfulness practice at home. I need to recognise this automatic negative thought; to turn the thought around in my head and practice kindness to myself.
If I live under the belief that everyone is special, unique and just as worthy to grace the planet as anyone else, then a birthday should be celebrated.
Changes are afoot
This year, I will revel in my birthday. I will enjoy marking the day of my birth because there is only one of me. I am unique and worthy to have the day to indulge myself.
I love to read present posts, it gives me an idea of the qualities of a person by the items bought for them as gifts. I will post this list of gifts I received for Christmas and my birthday out of gratitude to the people that I love.
I am truly grateful for all of these gifts and this post is in no way a form of bragging. I am conscious of how blessed I am.
This might not appear to be a gift to some people but I am happy to be able to purchase this. We have been needing a new Hoover for a while as our current one does not do the job.
Since I discovered Mrshinchshome on Instagram I have become slightly obsessed with cleaning. As mentioned in my post Mrs Hinch Made Me Do It, I have come to realise a clean house helps my mental health greatly.
I was fortunate to be able to put some money together to buy this in the Black Friday sales. I wanted a cordless stick hoover for ease of use and practicality. This hoover wins on every aspect and it has made hoovering so much easier than before.
This was at the top of my wish list. As I have said before in numerous posts I love elephants. They are my spirit animal. I have recently been wearing different necklaces lately and I wanted one to show my love for elephants.
Having looked at elephant necklaces all throughout the year, I decided on an origami-style one. I had originally seen one on Amazon and put it on to my wishlist. My husband informed me that there had been a problem with that particular necklace and he would not be able to get it. This was a disappointment.
I began looking frantically for an alternative. Being an item I desperately wanted. Eventually, I discovered the site Le Menagerie. These necklaces are stylish and I love that you can get lots of different animals. I shall be sure to look at getting some more in the near future.
Again, my love of elephants does not just extend to necklaces. I also have many elephant statues around the house. I particularly like wooden statues as they have an authentic quality to them and have a more natural feel.
I received two elephant statues; one ceramic and one wooden. Both of them are candle holders is a bonus. I am blessed that my husband and my friends know me so well with their choices in gifts. In my opinion, you can never have enough elephants in the house.
The same can also be said for Buddha statues, I can never have enough. I have always been interested in the Buddhist religion since a teenager. The image of Buddha has always reminded me to ground myself and take the time to relax.
Again, my friends know me well and I am so happy to welcome another Buddha into my house. This stone head is now in pride of place in my living room with my other statues. Incidentally, my first ever Buddha statue was bought when myself and Mr T moved into our current house together. That was twelve years again and I have about eight now.
Buying a new handbag tends to happen annually. Last year I purchased a lovely small mustard handbag which I will still use. This year I wanted something different from my usual style. I have never had a red handbag. I would always usually get a green handbag because it is my favourite colour.
Growing tired of the same colour handbag, I experimented with the mustard bag. I came to realise that I did not have to match every colour I wore. This has been reflected in my wardrobe choices recently. I as I become bolder with colour, I have started to enjoy wearing different outfits.
This bag was purchased from TK Maxx online. I have always wanted a quilted style handbag as they have a designer quality to them. I also liked the gold detailing on the front.
However, I am not as keen on the strap for the bag. I did not think that the majority of the strap would be a chain. It will just take some getting used to.
Slay All Day Setting Spray
This setting spray is one of my all-time favourite products. I absolutely love the smell of the peach spray.
The main thing I love about this setting spray the refreshing feeling it gives my skin. It is the perfect wake up call for my skin. The spray is so fine and it distributes perfectly across the face.
I did my makeup for my birthday and was so impressed with the staying power. I sprayed between layers of my makeup and found that after twelve hours, it was still perfect. This product is one I cannot do without.
Jenny glow orange blossom perfume
Having discovered Mandarin and Basil perfume from Primark I started to look for Jo Malone dupes. I discovered a company called Jenny Glow that did affordable dupes of the Jo Malone fragrances. At first, I purchased Blackberry and Bay and the Mandarin, Basil and Lime perfume. I have nearly used up the Blackberry and Bay which I would recommend for an autumn daytime scent.
Having always had a love for citrus based scents, I saw this and wanted to try it. Jenny Glow is not readily available in the UK so I bought some online. I have had this perfume sitting in its box until Christmas. I have only tried it once, at first I hated it, the smell was extremely bitter and strong. However, after it dried down, I became to like it. I will have to use it some more to be able to give a full review.
Boohoo dress and Jersey trousers
I had never shopped at Boohoo before, I am impressed by this site. Re-vamping my wardrobe meant I was in search of a red dress to wear on Christmas day and came across their plus size collection online.
I managed to get both these items in the Black Friday sales; the site had 30% off all items. Knowing that a V neck dress would suit my frame better, I opted for this maroon dress with black spots. When I looked at the dress I did not consider the bow at the front, it is not my usual style. The dress fit perfectly and is comfortable to wear. The bow, however, does not suit my frame, being blessed with ample assets, the bow draws attention to them. However, I do not think they make the dress unwearable.
I also purchased some black Jersey trousers. Being a teacher and being a larger size, I need comfortable trousers for work. I prefer to wear wide leg style trousers and palazzo pants are perfect. I bought these trousers in my dress size but some realised I needed a size down as they are generous in size. I have kept the trousers with the intention of sewing them in at the waist. I have also bought a pair in the next size down as you can never have enough black smart trousers.
As previously mentioned, I love using my bullet journal to document my life, plan and be creative. Currently, I am halfway through my Lamone journal. I had heard that Scribbles that Matter were the best bullet journals around. It was added to my wishlist in a beautiful purple colour.
My fingers are itching to use this journal. However, I cannot give an indication of what it is like until I get the opportunity to use it. I might be sneaky and use up some of my pages in my current journal quicker. This is so I can crack this open sooner rather than later.
This present was a total surprise and I did not expect it. Since I discovered the joys of bullet journalling, I have been using the pens and materials left over from my crafting days. Apart from new fine liners, I did not feel the need to buy any new pens.
However, when I saw everyone in the bullet journal community using Tombow brush pens I jumped on the bandwagon like the sheep that I am. I added them to my wishlist in the hope I might one day get to try them. Thankfully, Mr T did well and got the galaxy set for me to try.
So far, I am happy with these pens. They are better than my Stampin Up brush pens which are old. I hope to get some more sets in the future when I get a case that I can hold them all in and keep them organised.
Little Shop of Horrors Funko pop
This was a bonus present that I bought months ago and forgot about. Little Shop of Horrors is my favourite musical, it has everything I want in a musical.
Audrey 2, the plant has to be one of the things that makes this musical so great. When my husband informed me of the Funko pops and the chance to own my own Audrey 2 I had to buy it.
This plays homage perfectly to my love of musicals and theatre as I would often sing this as a teenager. I did once audition for Audrey in an amateur production, however, I failed to get the role. Looking back I would prefer to play Seymour.
I identify with the character of Seymour as I can be considered a nerd who finds it hard to navigate this ‘Dog eat dog’ world. Hopefully, the song ‘The Meek Shall Inherit’ will ring true in my life; although I do not want to be eaten by a plant.
Primark jumper, leggings and dress
With the weather getting colder, I needed an injection of warm clothes to get me through winter.
The jumper was bought mainly for the slogan. I looked for a warm jumper to wear around the house. The colour is perfect for my wardrobe and will go with most things. Also, the slogan sums up life perfectly and how we should live it.
The dress was bought when I saw a YouTuber called brummymummyof2 wearing it. She is a similar age and size to me and I look to her for fashion inspiration. Since I’ve been watching her I have been paying much more attention to fashion and looking smart.
This dress is perfect for just throwing over a pair of leggings or tights. It looks smart without being too flashy and it’s also comfortable and warm.
The last item is a pair of leggings with fur insides. I purchased these to keep myself warm in the house. I had seen them on Mrs Hinch’s Instagram and thought they were perfect. I was excited to try these but I have found them ever so slightly too tight. I do still wear them and hope that the elastic will stretch. These are the problems I have being a plus size girl.
An Evening with Eric and Ernie at Christmas
This surprise amazed me. I am so grateful my husband knows me so well. I had been certain that he had booked for me to see a musical. I had no idea about this until I worked out that it was at the Lowry in Manchester.
I have always loved Morecambe and Wise. They are comedy legends. The jokes Eric Morecambe would tell remind me of my Grandad. Would always watch the repeats of the Christmas Specials with my favourite being the one with Andrew Previn.
I think the world should be a bit more like Eric and Little Ern. Singing tunes like Positive Thinking and Bring Me Sunshine while not taking life too seriously. This was the funniest two hours I had seen onstage; My mouth hurt from smiling too much.
I hope you have enjoyed seeing the presents that I got. Did any of you get anything similar? I would love to hear what you think about them in the comments.
Ciao for now beauties xx