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The Christmas Tag

November 27, 2014
I know, I know...it's not even December but I just couldn't resist bringing a little festive sparkle to the end of November. This tag was started by the lovely Becky.


1. What is/are your favourite Christmas movie(s)?
There so many so this is a tricky one, but I've settled on two. The first is Elf. I just love it. It's funny, festive and just gets me in such a Christmassy mood. The second is Love Actually- I love the mix of characters and story lines and the music is so good. I remember seeing it in the cinema the day we broke up from sixth form for Christmas and everyone was SO happy.

2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
We open the majority of them on Christmas morning - usually first thing as we just can't wait. We have one present (usually pjs) on Christmas Eve and then we also get a 'book on the end of the bed' to open as soon as wake up - this was a great tactic from my parents to keep us in bed for longer on Christmas morning! Haha.

3. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
It has to be our typical Christmas morning. My brother, sister and I would all pile onto my Mum and Dad's bed with our sacks full of presents. We'd wait for my Mum to get her cup of tea and then get opening our gifts. We'd just be so happy that we'd survived the night (we could never ever get to sleep, much to my parents dismay) and so excited about the whole day of fun ahead of us.

 

4. Favourite festive food?          
Ooh this is a tricky one. Obviously love the copious amounts of chocolate but I am also a big fan of stuffing - chestnut and sage, mmmm. I remember at school being the only one who seemed to like it and everyone would end up giving me their portion - it was amazing.

5. Favourite Christmas gift?
I've had so many lovely presents but the one that stands out is when I was bought a hamster. I was 10 years old and knew that my sister was getting one as had been looking at them with my parents, and had secretly (or maybe not so secretly as think it was quite obvious!) wanted one too. We came down on Christmas morning to find two Rotastak cages with two cute little hamsters inside. I was so genuinely surprised and happy.

6. Favourite Christmas scent?
It has to be the smell of a real Christmas tree. You just can't beat it!


7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?
Usually we go out for an early dinner and then come back home for a cosy night in. I've never ever gone out on Christmas Eve as the thought of being hungover for Christmas Day is not appealing and for me it's all about the family time. We open our Christmas Eve presents which is usually a pair of pjs and get all snuggly in them. I think hot chocolates are usually part of the evening too!

8. What tops your tree?
Chris and I sadly don't have anything for the top of the tree! Need to get that sorted, pronto. My parents have a nice, traditional angel.

9. As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?
Like Becky, my brother and I used to have a serious session of going through the Argos catalogue circling one thing from each page that we wanted. So funny that so many people seemed to do this! I don't think I've ever asked for anything crazy but I think every year I had a Mr Frosty on my list and it was never bought for me!

10. What's the best part of Christmas for you?
Without a doubt, the family time. I love all being together and spending time doing lovely festive things. I also really enjoy giving presents now and can never wait for my family to open their gifts from me.


Let's talk about...Florida

November 16, 2014
I feel like this blog needs a bit of a change and so I'm going to try and start writing a few more wordy posts. I've always loved writing. When I was seven I started filling notebooks with stories and I carried on with them way into my teen years - they never really got anywhere but I loved coming up with ideas and characters. 


L-R clockwise: On Expedition Everest in 2008; our wonderful villa; Hollywood Studios in 2008; Animal Kingdom in 2008.

Today I thought I'd write about one of my favourite topics in the world - Florida. Specifically, Orlando in Florida and why I love it so much. My first trip to this wonderful part of the world was in the April of 1999 when I was a scrawny little 12 year old overcoming chicken pox (we almost had to cancel the holiday, it was horrid) and I had never been so excited about a holiday. The two weeks we spent there were crammed in with the theme parks, shopping, restaurants, early buffet breakfasts and late nights. My parents thought it was going to be our once in a lifetime holiday so wanted to do it all. Little did they know that we would be going back again and again! I still look back at that holiday and can't believe that we would get up at 6am and be at a park till 11pm - I couldn't do that now and I have no idea how my parents did it!

After the first visit we came home, and ended up booking to go back the following year with my cousins. We then went again during my first year of Uni, after I finished Uni and then in 2013 and 2014. 2013 was the first year that my boyfriend Chris joined us and I didn't know what he was going to think - he's never been overly into rides and theme parks and didn't understand why we talked about Orlando all the time. I thought he would enjoy it but didn't know if he'd love it like we did. Oh I was so wrong. I have never seen someone so excited about a holiday! He loved every second and now wants to go back as much as possible.


L-R clockwise: In the villa in 2013; Jess and Chris at Seaworld this year; Pixar Land in Hollywood Studios this year; waiting for our Cheesecake Factory reservation in Mall at Millenia

We have always stayed in offsite villas as think a Disney hotel would be a bit much for us, and we like having our own space to chill out properly. Since 2000 we have always stayed in the same villa so it really is a home away from home, and having our own pool is perfection. We have been to all of the parks but the current favourites seem to be the Universal offerings, and we loved Busch Gardens this year too. A big surprise for us this year was Aquatica - we thought it was an amazing waterpark with so many slides to try. Disney is of course where the real magic happens and although I feel I've done that side of it now, there's always room for a Disney park visit!

After coming back this year, we reluctantly decided to have a break from Orlando and so think that we will planning our next visit for 2016. I am already excited just thinking about it - half of the brilliance of the holiday is the planning and talking about what we'll be doing. 


L-R clockwise: the best kind of balloon in Magic Kingdom 2013; Magic Kingdom fireworks this year; Olly, Mum and Jess trying on the mouse-wear in 2013; Animal Kingdom in 2008

I don't know what it is about the place that makes it just so addictive! It has this impossible lure which makes you just want to go back as soon as you've come home. Usually I am ready to come home from a holiday but with Florida I never get that feeling. I know that lots of other people feel the same about it which makes me want to know exactly what it is that makes it such an incredible holiday! Is it the parks, the weather, the customer service, the atmosphere, the shopping, the indulgent food? I guess it's everything just rolled into one amazing holiday. 

I would love to hear if you are a Florida fanatic like me - and what your favourite thing about Florida is?

You can also read more posts about my 2014 Florida holiday here.

12 Instagram Images To Represent Me

November 13, 2014
I thought I'd do more of a 'get to know' me post today and came up with an idea of finding images from my Instagram that represent parts of my life- I found the 'categories' on one of my private blog posts from ages ago. It's probably a bit random but I love knowing more about people so thought it might be quite nice.

Here are 12 images that kind of sum me up...feel free to do this too!


1. My name
2. Where I live
3. My love


4. Favourite colour
5. Favourite food
6. Favourite animal


7. Favourite drink
8. Favourite vacation
9. One of my hobbies
This is blogging, not looking at dogs - although looking at dogs is also a v.valid hobby!


10. My biggest vice
11. What you love most about life
This is representing just how beautiful life is - I don't love fields the most in life- haha!
12. One picture to describe you
I chose this one as I am pretty happy and optimistic- like a double rainbow!

All images have been taken from my Instagram - @cherrydelights

Monthly Summary: October

November 11, 2014

Doing:

  • Having some lovely chilled weekends with Chris. One was spent visiting the Imperial War Museum and trying out Ping Pong (wasn't overly impressed, sorry Ping Pong!).
  • My Mum came to stay and we had a great time. Went to watch Lord of the Dance at the Palladium, pottered around Covent Garden with my brother and his girlfriend and visited the amazing poppy installation at the Tower of London. 
  • Saw my friend Holly who was over from Australia. Was so nice to see her face again and have a good catch up over pizza and doughballs!
  • Had a family Halloween party at my parents house. We all dressed up and played lots of silly games including a hugely entertaining game of Sardines. 
Reading:
  • I have not been reading many books and need to get my kindle charged up and get back into it. Any recommendations?
  • Loving Ideal Home magazine at the moment. Last month it came with 16 free chalkboard stickers (see them on my kilner jars above!).
Watching:
  • Gone Girl. I loved the book and loved the film too. It was so tense and creepy! I thought they did it so well and Rosamund Pike was fantastic. I couldn't watch a certain scene though (you will know which one if you've seen it!). 
  • Made in Chelsea and The Only Way Is Essex. Such trash but I love it.
  • X Factor of course. My faves are Lauren, Andrea and Ben.

October Favourites: My Top Three

November 09, 2014

I am very sorry for my complete lack of blogging at the moment. Most of my energy is going into my day job at the moment but I am hoping to get a few posts written this weekend as have a lovely quiet one planned. This weather is definitely encouraging PJ days!

A little belated but here are my three favourite products from October...

 Schwarzkopf Gliss Ultimate Colour Shampoo - I feel that Schwarzkopf are a hair brand that aren't talked about much however I really like them. I first used one of their shampoos at Uni when one of my flatmates had it and so I had a sneaky try (and loved the results). I often pick these up from pound stores as they are always in there and this was the first time I'd try their Ultimate Colour shampoo. This is ace. It has made my hair look way more vibrant, healthy and volumised. Even Chris asked if I'd done something new to it. 

♥  Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation - I have been wearing this every day and really love it. This is such an easy foundation to wear- a perfect one for work days. It blends in so easily and just gives a really flawless coverage with a very fresh finish. I have it in the shade 100 - Ivory and it's a great match.

Seventeen Stay Pout Lipstick in Just a Fling - this was a purchase enabled by Lily Melrose and her blog post featuring two Kylie Jenner inspired lipsticks. Everyone is wanting that Kylie Jenner look at the moment and I've been sucked into the hype. This is such a beautiful lipstick - it's a brown-nude colour and it is so easy to apply and moisturising (I am not one for a fiddly lipstick). It's also a bargain at under £5.

What are your favourite products at the moment?