I didn’t plan to blog about volunteering at Victorian Christmas, until the last day finished. I talked with my husband about it, being so excited about everything I’ve done, so I thought it’s a great idea to blog about it. Of course, I need to be quite vague about it to keep the magic alive for anybody that might read this post, but to share a lot of things, to make it exciting.
Isn’t this outfit amazing? I love it.
Unlike other Victorian Christmas organized by other museums and trusts, the one I’ve been involved in, at Croxteth Hall, is very different. Volunteering at Victorian Christmas at Croxteth means playing a role, but, the children are involved too, it’s a hands on experience for them. Around 1,500 children enjoyed a special and magical experience at Croxteth this year and I’m happy to know that I’ve been a part of that.
Because it was my first year, I had to learn quite a lot, but all the other volunteers were so helpful that it proved to be something easy to do in the end. There are groups for outdoor staff, like Stable hands, Wood boys, and Gardeners. I’m yet to shadow those roles, but I will do it next year if I have the chance. Other children are grouped in Guests, Butlers, Housemaids, Kitchen maids, and Dairymaids.
I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 10 years, and I know how puzzling can be for others to cater for a vegetarian. So, I’ve made a short list of Vegetarian Christmas Ideas, if you are struggling with what to do for your veggie guests. All the recipes I talk about are on my food blog CookStyle. I’ve talked about my menus for Christmas 2016 and Christmas 2015.
There are 9 meal ideas. Some can be made as a starter or as a main. Besides all these savoury ideas, most vegetarians (if not all) like a good dessert too. Most desserts are vegetarian anyway. The ones that aren’t use red food colouring and/or gelatin. There are options when it comes to both colouring and gelatin. If you are buying have a look on the package to see if it’s suitable.
I went to the Peak View Tearooms before, for my birthday a few years ago. I thought it will be nice to stop there again. There is a pub too, but I prefer the views at the tearooms, so instead of going to the monthly pub, we went to the tearooms. This means that I finished my challenge to visit a pub each month. Needless to say, this is a challenge I’m going to keep doing next year too. It was lovely having drinks or meals in old pubs, so I want to discover more.
The food was just as delicious as last time. The staff was very friendly too. I would recommend them without a doubt. We had vegetarian options, obviously, and both of them were delicious. I think it was good value for money too.
I’ve started with a glass of mulled wine, while my husband had a tea. I love mulled wine and I wasn’t the one driving, so happy days. The wine had a lovely flavour, I enjoyed it.
For most people, snowing is just fun. For me, it’s one of the things I miss most. While I love the British weather, never too cold, never too hot, I was used to heaps of snow in winter. With all the amber code for snow these last few days, I wanted to see the snow. Liverpool is a place where seldom snows and, if it snows, it’s not cold enough to have snow on the ground. The only thing we could do was to get in the car and drive a bit over an hour to Peak District.
Today I’m going to talk about Why I think that self care is important. I thought of this post for a while. I’ve seen many posts and comments where self-care was synonymous with SPA days, weekends away at expensive hotels, fancy meals in posh restaurants. I don’t think this is the case, I don’t think self care means a SPA day. You can relax at a SPA, of course, why not. But, if you can’t afford the SPA day, it only can mean two things, not going and feeling the added peer pressure because someone else from your group is going. The other thing is to spend the money on credit card, that leads to financial pressure, that is the opposite of self care. I love going to a massage, it’s relaxing, but I wouldn’t pay with the credit card for it.
For me, taking care of oneself means making a cup of tea/coffee/hot chocolate, cuddle up on the sofa with a good book. A hair mask and a Homemade coffee body scrub can make you feel amazing. Going to bed early at 8 or 9, reading a bit or doing a Sudoku, relaxing before sleeping. All these things mean self care.
Anther thing I think is very important is to eat healthy. Cake is amazing, chips are fab too, they are great to eat, but making a healthy and nutritious meal that is tasty too (even if not as tasty as the cake and chips are), means self care. If we can go past “treats” as in sugary and/or fatty, unhealthy pieces of food, we might discover a world of tasty dishes that are healthy too. Taking care of your body means, in my mind, eating good just as important as applying moisturizer in the mornings or brushing my teeth. Breaking away from the “norms” of sugary hot chocolates generously topped with whipped cream as self care can make a huge difference. A healthy smoothie can be just as exciting if you are thinking of it as something you are doing for yourself instead of something you “have” do to.
Taking the time to remove the makeup, to apply a moisturizer, a lip balm, a foot balm. All these things are easy to make and they don’t take a lot of time. Many times I hear from friends or just women I interact with on social media that they don’t have time to do that. I think making sure you follow a basic skincare regime that takes less than 5 minutes is much more important than spending 30 minutes on Instagram or twitter to catch-up.
Everything you do for you that is actually good too, will make you feel even better. Loving oneself brings more happiness and less stress. If you are a mother, you would like your children to take care of themselves, so, being a role model is a great way to do that. For me, self care is not selfish, is just the opposite.
I hope I have inspired you to do a bit more today for you, to take a few more minutes to do something good for you. Do you think of other things that mean self care without having to spend lots of money?
I though it would be nice to make a post with 10 items I loved this year from the goodie bags. While I’m delighted with many other items, I had to pick only a few, and that was difficult. The items are not ordered in any particular way. They vary from beauty products to mugs, from tea to makeup. For some of the products I’ve already made posts, so I will link to those, for the rest I’m going to talk about them. I think I will make a post about the last item, a face cream, next year, after I use it for a bit longer.
There are only 9 items in this picture, but the studs are shown below too. I received these goodies from different events, both BlogOn events, in May and September, some are from Paladone events, others from Very, Metquarter and a couple more from The Body Shop, at a fashion event.
01. Vitamin E Moisture Cream from The Body Shop, review here. It is a face moisturizer I love. Now I’m at my second one and I still enjoy it a lot. I think it’s good value for money too.
02. English Tea Shop – Silent Night, as Pyramid Sachets. I have this tea when we have “Winter tea” in the advent calendar I’ve made. I like it a lot, it’s Christmasy and lovely. I would buy them without a doubt.
03. Peppermint Intensive Cooling Foot Rescue, second item from The Body Shop, review here. I’m very happy with this cream, it’s moisturizing and lovely.
04. Mickey Mouse Luminart, that is now hanging on my kitchen wall. I like the vintage feel of it. It’s not something I would have thought of buying, but I’m so glad I’ve won it at a Paladone Gamesnight. I think it looks beautiful.
05. ChloBo stud earrings. I love nature inspired jewellery, most of the jewellery pieces I have have natural shapes and form, represent flowers, butterflies, geckos, and leaves.
06. NYX matte lipstick. I received this at the Very Holiday event. I never heard about the NYX brand before, but I was delighted to try it. The lipstick is long lasting and has a very nice colour. I would buy from them, amazing value for money.
07. Sweet Freedom Choc Pot, a product I received in the goodie bag at BlogOn in May. I’ve used Sweet Freedom products even before seeing the brand at BlogOn, but I didn’t try their choc pot. It’s delicious and very low in calories. I liked it a lot and I bought it again, from the supermarket.
08. Star Wars mugs, from Paladone, another item on my list of things I loved. My husband and I use these mugs often. I like having tea or hot chocolate in them when we play games.
09. W7 vegan makeup. I bought two palettes of W7. It’s a good quality makeup, considering the price. Now I received a W7 palette and I love the colours. It complements the palette I bought and I’m very happy with them. It’s not a high end brand, but, when it comes to makeup, I’m happy to pay less. Working from home has its advantages, including that I don’t need makeup that stays on from 8 to 7, but it’s enough for a few hours when I’m going out.
10. Skin Doctors Potent Vit. C Day Ampoules, from Very Christmas Party. I started using this cream a few days ago and I’m very happy with it. I might make a blog post about it, as I said earlier, but I need to use it for a bit longer. So far, it looks like my skin is moisturized and happy.
These are the 10 items I loved this year from the goodie bags. Are you a blogger? What items did you love from the goodie bags you received at events?
This year I went on a quest to find the Best Luxury Mince Pies. To find them, I made a comparison of 4 supermarket own luxury brands. I’ve compared Sainsbury’s, Asda, Tesco, and Co-Op. Basically, I found a way to justify eating 24 mince pies almost a month before Christmas, with the help of my husband, luckily.
It was hard to pick our favourite. To make sure we were as objective as possible, I made up a list of things we should rate. We each gave a mark from 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. Because not all aspects we’ve marked were as important, I’ve opted for an weighted average.
We’ve started with the packaging. We took into consideration how the pictures look, the thickness of the cardboard, any details they have about the product. For example, the picture on the package was the best on the Co-Op’s box, and the “V” for vegetarian looked better too. Unlike the other three, the ones from Sainsbury’s had an extra wrap. Both my husband and I gave it 5 points. The package we didn’t like was ASDA’s. I gave only 2 points, it wasn’t Christmasy at all.