About Me: The Christmas Tag

Pretty Confused Christmas Tag
I spotted this tag over on Youtube and, because I love answering these types of questions, I thought I would join in. Here we go.

1. Do you prefer a real or synthetic tree? We always had real trees when I was growing up and I used to getting in the car and going out to choose one each year with my Dad, then lying underneath it after it had been decorated. watching the light and smelling the scent of pine. We switched to a plastic tree a few years ago and I was pretty disappointed, especially because of the smell. Luckily I found a fantastic pine scented oil and now we have that under to tree behind the presents so despite the fact the tree is fake I still get to enjoy the smell.

2. You are in a coffee shop, it's December, what do you pick? I'm not a big fan of flavoured coffee so I would probably just go for my usual latte during the day or a nice herbal tea in the evening, I'm really enjoying stuff with ginger in it at the moment. 

3. What is your favourite colour scheme for decorating the tree? I'm pretty traditional when it comes to Christmas decorations, red, green and gold are the main colours on my tree. I'm planning on starting a collection of birds this year though, we have a whole bunch of them on the tree at my parents' house and I would love to start my own. I'm hoping to find the perfect owl or robin in the sales later this week.

4. Getting presents or receiving them? Neither? Both? I think it all depends on the person and the present for me. There is something so satisfying about finding a present that is just perfect for someone and knowing that they will really appreciate it. On the other hand, when you have spent three hours trying to find something right for that one person it can be so demoralizing. I get the same thing with receiving presents, I love getting something I really want but I also feel so guilty if someone spends money on something I am not that keen on.

5. Mince pies? Yuck, no thanks

6. What is your traditional Christmas lunch? My family like to go all out for Christmas lunch, we're talking turkey, some kind of fish for my Mum and all the trimmings, washed down with some fizzy wine and followed by a big box of chocolates to share. We generally have people over for Christmas dinner, especially people we know who don't have any one else to celebrate with, so it usually turns into quite a drawn out, fun filled affair.

7. Describe your Christmas day fashion. I used to always keep my pjs on for most of Christmas day, at least until it was time to eat, but now I have the dogs to get out first thing I tend to go for my skinny jeans and a Christmas jumper for the first half of the day and a comfy but pretty dress for the second half, something with room round my belly for when it swells full of food.

8. What is your favourite Christmas song? Sleigh Ride! I don't know what it is about this song but it gets stuck in my head for the whole of December - so good!

9. What is your favourite Christmas film? There are just so many! Love Actually has probably been my favourite to watch this year, but I've got a full list in this post

10 Open presents before or after lunch? After a late breakfast but before Christmas dinner. Because we generally have people over at Christmas we do presents first as a family. I'm planning on staying at my parents' house tonight so we'll also have stockings first thing in the morning too.

I cannot believe it is Christmas Eve already! This year has just gone without a trace, and I'm left wondering where it disappeared to. I hope you all have a wonderful day tomorrow, whatever and however you are celebrating. Oh, and lots of love to you all too. 

Monday Link List: 060

Pretty Confused Monday Link List 60
I've seen so many cute tea light holders lately, this one of the Stockholm skyline is absolutely beautiful and is available on EtsyPretty Confused Monday Link List 60
These biscuit decorations from Nigella look gorgeous, I might try and make some this weekend to add to our tree
Pretty Confused Monday Link List 60
I love this photo from the I K N O W A/W Collection
 Pretty Confused Monday Link List 60
Everyday Sexism reached 50,000 stories today so I thought it was pretty appropriate to share this t-shirt deign available on Red BubblePretty Confused Monday Link List 60
Another gorgeous photo, this time from TheHouseOfHandmade. for this gorgeous faux fur stole
Pretty Confused Monday Link List 60
You can get a print out and instructions on how to make this lovely 2014 calender on Always RooneyPretty Confused Monday Link List 60
How ridiculously cute is this melted snowman cake from Handmade Charlotte?Pretty Confused Monday Link List 60
This shade of orange may be more typical for Autumn but I think it would be perfect for Winter too, so bright and cheerful, from Maddinka
Pretty Confused Monday Link List 60
Alli from Our Misfit Isle shared the most beautiful snowy photos as part of her Northern Living seriesPretty Confused Monday Link List 60
I think this outfit is the perfect level of Christmassy for me, whenever I wear red and green I just look like a Christmas tree but somehow Lauren has managed to pull it off perfectlyPretty Confused Monday Link List 60
I'm not a big fan of Christmas Puddings so I love the idea of recreating the look with cupcakes instead!

How To Make A Kawaii Fox Pouch From Felt Tutorial: This fox pouch would make the most adorable cover for my phone, and maybe protect it a little when I inevitably drop it again. I think I would make it out of dark orange rather than brown though. 

I've Been Thinking About This: Sydney posted about the reality of blogging and what a slim bit of our lives it is. I try and blog as honestly as I can, I enjoy sharing little bits of my life with you guys but it is still only a tiny sliver of what makes up me. I think we can sometimes forget that, especially because now we can be so connected to the bloggers we follow through social media. It's easy to forget it is still only a glimpse.  

Operation Living Christmas Tree: We've got a fake Christmas tree this year but in the future I love the idea of buying a living tree so we can plant it after Christmas. Bekuh did it this year and the tree they chose looks so fluffy and healthy. I'm so happy to know it'll have a long life into next year too. 

Seven Reasons I Am Not A Cool Girl Friend: Caitlin's post about not being a good girl friend kind of resonated with me, I love some girly things (I'm an awesome person to have on a charity shop spree) but other stuff I just don't get at all.  

What Does It Even Mean To Be A "Needy" Girl? The idea of the needy girl comes in lots of guises, I think every woman I know has been told some variation of it by their partners. It goes hand in hand with the idea of women being 'crazy'. It's funny that the older the less being told things like this upsets me, and the more I feel pride at knowing what I need. Although it does kind of sting when someone you care about says it off-hand. 

Why Do I Blog? I love hearing about how and why people got into blogging, I've been doing it for a few years now and I still sometimes wonder what exactly drew me to it in the first place. Hearing about why Kayte started and the connections she has made is a lovely post. 

My Editing Process - How To Edit Photos In Photoshop: I'm pretty lazy with my editing process, I've got a couple of free actions that I've picked up over the years and other than that I tend not to do too much. It was really fascinating to get a look at Jess' slightly more in depth process. 

How To Be A Woman In 2014: I love how Melyssa takes those posts that kind of annoy me most of the time and turns them on their heads. This one about how to be a woman is no exception. I love number 2 'there is only you on your own road'. 

Favourite Holiday Tradition: I've absolutely loved following this series of posts about favourite traditions. I love the variety of things that people treasure most about this time of year, although personally I can never really choose just one thing. 

A Happy List: Such a sweet list from Some Girl and so many happy things that I can relate to at the moment. 

Sparkly Liner Tutorial For The Holidays: Savannah shared the most beautiful party make up tutorial on her blog, I love the end result, with just a little bit of sparkle above the eye liner, for a not too over the top, but still fun, party look. 

Monday Link List: 059 (On A Wednesday)

Pretty Confused Monday Link List
My Norway obsession continues, this photo of Telemark is absolutely stunning!
Pretty Confused Monday Link List
This flameless fire pit DIY is absolutely gorgeous, it would've been perfect for the unusable fireplace at our last flat (via Elycia)
Pretty Confused Monday Link List
This bee embroidery is lovely, I've got so much thread kicking around the place seeing this has inspired me to try some free hand stuff (via KaelahPretty Confused Monday Link List
I wish I could find a source for this gorgeous John Green quote, the photo is just so lovely. Pretty Confused Monday Link List
This print by aarrekid is just so fantastically whimsical! Pretty Confused Monday Link List
This wreath from the ladies at Oh So Lovely is so beautiful but easy to make at the same time Pretty Confused Monday Link List
I love this outfit from Rebecca at The Clothes Horse,  Pretty Confused Monday Link List
Every year I have great plans about embroidering my gloves and each year I never do it because I don't want to ruin my one pair of matching gloves. This year I'm hoping to make these star design ones from long socks. Let's see if I actually get round to it.
 Pretty Confused Monday Link List
This card set from Moorea Seal's shop is absolutely adorable!
Pretty Confused Monday Link List
I love this Winter play on the floral crown, isn't is gorgeous? In fact this whole series from Beth Photos is absolutely stunning Pretty Confused Monday Link List
This painting by Phoebe Wahl is absolutely gorgeous, I really hope we get some snow this Winter
Pretty Confused Monday Link List
It's amazing how many blogs I find through Pinterest, the latest is Emily's where she shares DIYs, lifestyle stuff and the most amazing free art prints, you have to sign up to join her archive to download them. I signed up to get her awesome Autumn and Winter essentials prints but there is all sorts of lovely stuff in there.
 Pretty Confused Monday Link List
I'm still suffering quite badly from whatever flu like virus I've picked up. It's taken me several hours since I started this post on Sunday to get just the images together, so although I have a bunch of text based posts to share with you too I'm going to wait until next week instead. Staring at this screen for hours on end is not doing me any good and my brain is feeling seriously loopy right now, so I'm really just hoping what is here will make sense to you. Hopefully I will be well enough to post again over the weekend, and I really hope you are all having better weeks than me. 

November Favourites

I've been watching a lot of YouTube videos lately and other than 'everyday make-up routines' I've really enjoyed watching as many 'favourites' videos as I can. Before I knew it I had a running list of things in my head that I've been excited about. It's a real mixed bag that I put together, I've included lifestyle, fashion and beauty stuff. I don't think I've ever written about beauty before so it's a kind of new area to explore for me too. Very exciting. Anyway, on with the list. 
Pretty Confused November Favourites
Twinings Camomile and Spiced Apple Tea: I come back to this tea every single year, it's just so warming and invokes the whole feeling of the tail end of Autumn for me. I actually stocked up on this so much last year that I still have an unopened packet left. It's perfect for coming home to after a cold walk with the pups. 

Coley & Gill Pillar Candles: These candles have been on sale in my local Poundland for the last few weeks and I absolutely love them. The ones in the photo are unscented but they also have a whole bunch of Wintery ones including ginger bread, winter spice and plum, I've been switching between the three depending on my mood, although they don't have a lot of staying power. It's become a nice tradition lighting a couple of them as the sun goes down each afternoon. 

Superdrug Coconut Oil: I'm not usually a big fan of coconut oil because I find it can be a bit greasy but I picked some up incredibly cheaply (less than £1!) 2 weeks ago and it has been a life saver in this cold weather. It makes a fantastic  hair mask for in the bath, I just rub it into the ends and leave it for about half an hour before I shampoo and condition. I've also been using it on my knees and elbows to combat that Winter dryness. 

Chunky Knits: I've thrifted 2 chunky knits lately, one pink jumper (the background in the photo above) and a terracotta cardigan and I don't understand why I didn't have more in my cupboard already. They are the perfect thing to throw over any outfit before heading outside and I'm looking forward to picking up some more this Winter. 

Primark Thermal Tights: These are seriously the warmest tights ever, they are unbelievably cosy and great quality for the 3 quid price sticker. I'm actually still using the pairs I bought last year so they have lasted pretty well too. The only downsize is they are a little bit shiny so I usual layer them underneath a thin matte pair. 

Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula Moisturising Lip Balm: I've been carrying round an old Vaseline for the last few months in my bag and I knew I needed to replace it. I'm so glad I finally did, this product is so much better for me. It can be a little greasy going on but after a couple of minutes my lips feel fantastic, perfect for the icy winds we've been having. 

MUA Bronzer: I've never tried bronzer before but after being ill a few weeks ago I figured anything that can make me look less pallid was a good thing. I've just been dusting a tiny bit on my cheeks underneath my blusher but I'm looking forward to trying out contouring with it too. Hopefully I won't end up looking like a tiger. 

Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer: Yeah, this one really proves how far behind I am in terms of beauty products, it's definitely worth the hype though - you can barely tell I only had a few hours sleep last night. It's a lovely thick consistency but it can look a little bit cakey if you put too much on. 

Mashed Potatoes: Aside from soup, which I eat for lunch most days anyway, there is no food I appreciate more at this time of year than mashed potatoes. They're just so easy and tasty.

Well there we go, I actually had so much fun writing this! I think the only similarity between them all is that they are all nice and affordable, although I doubt you expected anything different from me. What products have you loved this November?

My Favourite Christmas Movies

The Harry Potter Series Admittedly I adore Harry Potter all year round, but I definitely associate it most with Christmas time. I used to always re-read the books during the Winter break and it's one of the first Christmas traditions LF and I have created. We've already started this year (we're watching Goblet of Fire tonight) and it never fails to get me in the mood for the holidays.
Love Actually As far as I am concerned this is the ultimate combination of Christmas film and romantic comedy, it's a fantastic intertwining story with an absolutely incredible, star filled, cast. There is something for everyone in there somewhere. Perfect for a girly night in with mulled wine and mince pies.
Die Hard (I & II) From girly to action, this is one Christmas film the men in your life won't mind sitting and watching with you. Not the most traditionally Christmassy film but a great action film nonetheless. It gets bonus points in my book because it is yet another Alan Rickman film (have you noticed the little theme in my first 3 films?)
Home Alone This film made home invasion look like way too much fun when I was a child and introduced to me to idea of sledding down our stairs, luckily my parent's still let me watch it multiple times each year. I think I will always see Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McAllister, and never be able to trust anyone with a gold tooth.
Elf I have a love/hate relationship with this film, some years it is just a bit too much for me, while other years I absolutely cannot wait to watch it again. It's totally mad and heart-warming and laugh out loud funny. It's a nice departure from Will Ferrell's usual roles and also includes a very blonde Zooey Deschanel. C'mon everyone the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.
Gremlins Another slightly untraditional Christmas film but really I'll use any excuse to watch this film. It's definitely a bit of a kids film for adults and I definitely enjoy it even more now than I did when it was a child (because, let's be honest, it kind of scared me). It's so much fun and was actually the first film on the list we watched this year, starting it at midnight on the 1st.
Miracle On 34th Street I've got to admit I am partial to the 1994 version (Mara Wilson and Richard Attenborough are fantastic) but both are amazing. I always kind of hoped that the Santa at the zoo (we went on Christmas Eve each year when I was little) was actually Kris Kringle. I've got a day off and a friend coming over for the afternoon tomorrow so we are going to watch this and make some Christmas cards. I can't wait!

I could have included so many more films in this list, The Santa Clause, It's A Wonderful Life, Lethal Weapon, The Muppet Christmas Carol, there are so many good movies for this time of year out there. What are your must watch Christmas films?

Monday Link List: 058

ninjandninj on etsy
I love this print from Ninj & Ninj on Etsy, it would be perfect for the front of my diary!
Amanda at Little Lady Little City shared the most adorable illustrated Thanksgiving message her husband Will made. Isn't it amazing?
Katie from Happy, Honey + Lark shared the most fantastic outfit, I love the colours. Is anyone else not ready to put away their Autumn coloured clothes quite yet?
Cookies Cream Frozen Hot Chocolate from A Beautiful Mess. I've got to admit the name kind of put me off, mainly because I am not a fan of hot chocolate. Once I worked out it was cold though I was all for them, they look delicious. 
I love this cosy looking outfit from Katie at Skunkboy Creatures, the thick knit cardigan and knee high socks looks like an amazing cosy combination. 
Bonnie from Flashes of Style was up in the Yukon recently and gave a sneak preview of some of her photos - doesn't it look just incredible?
I used to collect snow globes when I was little so I love this mason jay DIY from Deer Circus
This photo really makes me want to buy a RV and just drive away for a couple of months, it's fantastic. 
This list of plants bees are attracted by could serve as either a lesson or a warning, depending on your feelings towards bees, but either way it is beautiful
free iphone background from The Caroline Johnson
As soon as it turned into Advent I started hunting out a new lock screen for my phone, eventually I decided on this one from Caroline Johansson. It makes me smile every time I look at my phone. 

Sunday Morning: I loved Sarah's post about blogging breaks, blogger guilt and why that's ok. I'm definitely sorry Sarah isn't posting as often any more, but if there was ever a reason to stop her's is a fantastic one.

Step Back: Elizabeth also posted about stepping back from blogging recently but in a different way. I think we have all felt a bit sucked up into the vastness of the internet and I love how she plans to combat her feelings of isolation but cultivating her real world community.

Clothes I Am Thankful Are No Longer In My Closet: We've been inundated with thankful posts lately, but Hannah's was definitely one of the most amusing. I think I might have owned that wind breaker on the left.

34 Free Christmas Printables: For those of us planning a cheap Christmas Mrs Thrifty has a bunch of free downloads of everything from present tags to Christmas cards to decorations. I think the Fox card would be perfect for some of the younger people I know.

Experimenting With Tea Blends:Courtney's post about making her own tea blends got me really excited about expanding my loose leaf tea collection. I'm a big fan of tea bags for convenience sake but I do worry about the them bleaching the bags and what else they stick in there. I love the idea of trying to recreate my favourite pre-made blends with loose leaf and making it just to my taste.

Welcoming Winter: Tieka's post looking back at Winter's past got me so excited for the month ahead. Look at that snow and all those cosy outfits!

Tiny Lists: Is it weird that one of my favourite things about working in an office is all the sticky notes? They are just so incredibly helpful, I swear I use them for everything. I'm glad I am not the only one who is crazy about them, Bianca's lists seem to be much more fun than mine unfortunately.

The Merry Scent Of Christmas: Sophie posted about how smell invokes certain memories and why plastic pine trees will always make her think of Christmas, such a sweet post. 

Gift Of Thrift: Lisa posted about how she is thrifting her way through Christmas and has a great list of present possibilities if you want to do the same thing. 

Dear 16 Year Old Rachele: I don't know why but I have never got round to writing to my older or younger selves, I love reading what other people would say though. It's such a cool insight into someone else's mind and history.