Showing posts with label christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label christmas. Show all posts

Small, happy and what I love about being home for Christmas.

Can't believe it's the most wonderful time of the year. I am back at the family home in Sheffield and here is a little list of the things I love about being home at Christmas time:

* Watching all the Christmassy TV: The Holiday, Love Actually, Home Alone, every TV Christmas special, I particularly love the Gavin and Stacey Christmas one!

*Wrapping presents. Each year I try and step it up and I think this year I have out done myself! The woman in Paperchase asked me what my 'theme' was which filled me with dread but I mumbled something about liking silver and the result was the picture above which I am very proud of!

*Watching Harry Potter and the philosopher's stone. This needed its own post because it's just so good! I'm on my second viewing in as many days and it just makes me feel so festive every time!

* No alarm. This needs no further explanation.

*Writing Christmas cards. I love writing any type of card so Christmas is the ultimate opportunity to buy and write so many!

*Family time. Yes, I may get saturated with my dad at points but I love being with my family at this time of year as I love in another city to everyone so we don't see each other as much as we di. In particular I love seeing my sister who is basically my bestie!

*Everyone's general joy and excitement! It's just a more loving, sparkly time of year isn't it!

*The carols and the nativity. While I am not religious myself I love remembering why we are lucky enough to have this time off to be around our loved ones and particularly being a teacher carrying on the story of the nativity to the younger generation is one of my favourite things about this time of year.

*The food. I can show my love for brussel sprouts loudly and proudly in December and NO ONE CAM JUDGE ME. Well, not as much.

So that's what makes this time of year extra special for me, how about you? What's on your Christmas list? Any last minute shoppers out there?

Sophia x

Small and Happy's Instagram round up!

I am currently in bed watching Romeo and Juliet (how did I forgot how beautiful and angelic 90s Leo is?!) so my current activity is presently a big fat zero.

However, I have been a busy bee recently so I thought I would round up what I've been doing through my Instagram! 

1. My tree, isn't she pretty?! I have had her up proudly since the end of November and I am loving the twinkly lights every evening when it's dark outside.

2. Standard blogger Lush shot. I want the sparkly star and I don't care that I am a full blown adult.

3. One of the best things about Christmas is surely all the shop displays, no? This beauty was spotted in Altrincham.

4. Some amazing Christmas card envelopes decorated by hand by my very talented friend!

5. Found a Sailor Venus comic. Didn't buy it. This story has a sad ending.

6. PJ day a few weeks ago for Children In Need, hands down the comfiest Friday ever.

7. Hunger Games!! I waited so long for this one and it did not disappoint.

8. A recent wonderful sleepover with my sister. My best friend :)

9. The Trafford Centre managing to look Christmassy despite the palm trees?!

Anyway, there's a little snapshot into my life at the minute. I just love Instagram and I would love to follow more people so please leave your usernames below! Mine is @sophiacristina is anyone wants to follow on! 

How are we all? Hope you're having s lovely weekend and you're not caught out in the rain!

Sophia xxx

Small and Happy's Christmas!

Merry Christmas one and all!

I hope you had a fabulous, delicious and restful time with your friends, families, pets, partners, whoever and are enjoying this weekend (extra time off!).  We've had snow here so today entailed a trek to Morrison's (for emergency almond milk and carrots!) and more shovelling than a murderer on a dark night!

I shall move swiftly away from that slightly morbid comparison and back to the festivities!  I didn't take many pictures because I'm not a picture person at the best of times but also because I was spending quality time away from my phone and with my favourite people (and my family too....hehe!)

As an adult child of divorce, the festive period can appear to be a tricky sea to navigate but luckily my family is at a place where we can still all spend it together and these last few Christmases have been some of the happiest we've ever had.  I genuinely mean that, I'm not sugar coating it and saying that it's all perfect, but everyone is in a much better place and that has a knock on effect with us all.

Despite this, I know my sister (the taller one, obvs, hence the blog name!) wouldn't mind me saying this, but she is not in the best place with her own mental health and personal worries at the minute so the fact that everyone can come together and get on and enjoy each other's company was honestly the best gift I could have hoped for!!  But alongside that I got some lovely books to sink my teeth into (The Luminaries, The Miniaturist to name a few),some domesticy presents and some of these fabulous adult colouring books that are taking the world (well, Waterstones, so my world in effect) by storm to do in my spare time.

I also aim to treat myself in the sales at some point but it will all be happening online because I can't stand shopping at the best of times!  Helloooooo ASOS petite..

Anyway before my bank account takes a hitting, I have movies to watch and blogs to read so I'm going to stop rambling on!  How were your Christmases?  Any amazing gifts?  What was the best part of your Christmas dinner?  Any plans for NYE?

Sophia x

Small, happy and the things that make Christmas!

It's Christmas Eve!! 

Are we getting excited yet?! I know I am! I've been desperately trying to shift a cold alongside going to the dentist so it's not been the most jolly and festive of run ups but I am a determined Christmas celebrator (is this a word?!)  so I thought to help send my Christmas excitement into overdrive I would list some of the things that really make me feel jolly and goodwill to all men-y...

1/ Seeing the tree and all the beautiful decorations. Everywhere just looks nicer at this time of year and it makes me feel all magical and sparkly and excited inside. Even the most mundane places look a bit snazzier and it always makes me think about the people who took the time to make their office, supermarket, post office or wherever look a little bit shinier and bright and I think it's so nice that collectively we all enjoy doing that. 

2/ Planning and buying (and wrapping!). While this is arguably the most stressful part( have I remembered everyone? Aaah my budget has disappeared quicker than a mince pie out in front my grandma!) once all the presents are bought I usually sit back and think, no matter whether they love these presents or not the most important thing is that we will all be together and enjoying each other's company and that always calms me. I suppose it's the perfectionist and ultimate nurturer in me that wants everyone to be as happy as can be and to enjoy what they've received and avoid the awkwardness of having to pretend they like gifts but I need to remember that that is not all of my responsibility!

3/ The music! Buble! Obviously one cannot live on Michael alone (though many would try) so I have really enjoyed cultivating a more varied Christmas playlist this year meaning I can still enjoy all the classics but perhaps I can intersperse them with some different cover versions and artists so I can maximise festive listening without getting bored!! It really just gives a bit more of a Christmassy atmosphere listening to songs waxing lyrical about snow and love and chestnuts roasting and all that jazz, don't cha think?

4/ The food! All of the cooking shows offered up by our various chefs get my beyond excited! Even though I am nowhere near taking on Christmas dinner duties I have officially been given Brussel sprouts responsibility so perhaps this shows that I am truly on the first rung of the festive cooking ladder... It is always so exciting going to my grandma's because while she is too old (read lazy) to do everything from scratch (her words not mine by the way!) she can set a table so well it's as if the one and only Martha Stewart has possessed her and the confetti fairy has come along to visit too. If this wasn't very clear, basically she makes a rocking table. This holds true for Easter and any important family occasion.

5/ The general family experience! That old chestnut eh? No one's day goes perfectly, despite what their tweets, instagrams or Facebook updates wish you to believe. Putting different generations together along with a combination of alcohol and high expectations always leads to a few awkward riffs or two, or even a blowout if you're really unlucky/inebriated. However, in my experience there's nothing a good sleep whilst watching some festive tv can't heal. My advice if you have a family like mine is, keep the men away from the kitchen and your mother away from the wine!
(Sorry, mum!) Whatever happens on this day, try and appreciate being together, it is so rare for most families and especially if you have older relatives, be extra loving and caring. We never know how long we have with the people who are closest to us so never end a day full of anger or hate towards someone (even if they did cheat in that last round of cluedo..)

Anyway, I am now feeling fantastically festive (and alliterative apparently) after thinking about the things that really make Christmas and I can't wait to chill out today on the sofa before celebrating the big day tomorrow!

What makes Christmas for you? How do you celebrate? Any cute, quirky traditions in your family? If love to know!

Merry Christmas to all, may your days be merry and bright!


Small and Happy Christmas! (cards) The Paperchase edition.

I don't know about you but I am obsessed with buying cards. Birthday cards, Christmas, Valentine's,  get well soon, thinking of you, everything. If there's any kind of teeny occasion that could warrant a card, I'll buy one. So when Christmas comes around and I have a bunch of people to get cards for, for me it is, for want of a better phrase, like Christmas come early! With no doubts in my mind, Paperchase is my first port of call, they always have so many gems and the festive season is no different.

I love the Gemma Correll card, she's always so funny and her cards are so brilliant. Cute and quirky for people who don't love the more mushy, cheesy cards. Any fans of Elf will love the 'Santa, I know him' card so that works for pretty much everyone! I particularly love the 'Have yourself a merry little Christmas' card. It's simple and elegant and it reminds me of one of my favourite Christmas tunes. This card would be perfect for any friends who have those kind of all white, pinterest kind of beautiful rooms where you feel bad introducing any kind of garish colour! Anyone else have any of those kind of friends?

This advent calendar house card is so beautiful, it has little advent windows as well so this is definitely the card that keeps on giving. I might even buy this for myself, I don't have an advent calendar yet after all! Couldn't get over this troll card either, remember thirds little guys?! So cute! God, why is it not socially  acceptable for people send themselves cards yet?! I want them all.

Dad is much more into cheesy cards then my mum (go figure!) and I reckon he'd like this card, anything with a cartoon on and he's sold, yep he's never grown up. My favourite people to buy Christmas cards for are my sister and boyfriend as I have the most private jokes with them so I can always try and get something really quirky and the kind of card and everyone else looks at like 'eh?' But you just give each other a knowing look and smile!

Where do you buy your cards from? How are you getting on with your Christmas shopping? If anyone knows any cute card online stores please tell me, I have a slight card addiction as you're probably well aware by now...


Small, happy and the Christmas tag!

1. What is your favourite Christmas movie?
I love anything festive themed, but my two favourites are The Holiday and Love, Actually.  These movies combine Jude Law, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant for one and are also romantic, funny and feel like a warm hug every time I watch them.  Jude Law's Mr Napkin Head cracks me up to no end.  If you don't know what I'm talking about then you seriously need to watch this film!

2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
Christmas morning!  Although to be fair we spread it throughout the whole day because I open mine with my mum and sister and then we head over to Dad and my grandma's to do theirs and then I see boyfriend late afternoon and we open each other's.  It's a wonderful way to spread the joy of Christmas throughout the day!

3. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
That's a hard one, I always have fond Christmas memories, but last year spending Christmas morning watching Disney movies with my sister stands out as one of those moments where I just stopped and thought, "yep, this is perfect."

4. Favourite festive food?
Roast parsnips, absolute fave.

5. Favourite Christmas gift?
Again, nothing specific, I do enjoy getting money and vouchers (boring, I know) because I love going on shopping sprees as I never treat myself!

6. Favourite Christmas scent?
Cinnamon, heaven on Earth, although to be fair I'll have cinnamon candles going all year round!

7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?
Usually I'll cuddle up in bed with my sis and we'll watch something Christmassy, last year it was all the Vicar of Dibley Christmas specials.  The one where she goes to all the dinners is a classic!

8. What tops your tree?
An angel at home, but in mine and the boyfriend's new place I'm hoping to get a nice, huge, in your face star.  No, I'm not kidding, I love all things twinkly!

9. As a kid, what was one (crazy, wild, extravagent) gift you always asked for but never received?
A pet!  I wanted to get a little spaniel in a box like in Lady and the tramp!  To be fair I'm glad I didn't get it, but I always, always asked for some kind of animal!  Now, it's a kitten...

10. What's the best part about Christmas for you? 
Being with family and just having some down time.  Also being able to share moments like seeing someone open a present and love it or just enjoying the festive tv without the guilt of having anything else to do that day.  Mostly, it's just the feel that everything and everyone has over Christmas, a little sparkle!

Anyone else done the Christmas tag?  I'd love to read your answers!  Also I must say thank you to the lovely Victoria over at Lily Loves Lola and Milk Bubble Tea as I borrowed this from them!


Small, happy and currently... #2

Happy Monday everyone! Another week closer to Christmas! (Sorry I'm not sorry..) here's what I've been loving, doing, lots of other verb-ing recently!

Eating: Muller light greek yoghurts, in all flavours (apart from toffee, too far for me).  They are all soooo delicious. I like to eat them and imagine I look like Nicole Scherzinger whilstdoing it. Although sadly I feel like I'm not quite mullerlicious yet seeing as I'm usually eating them slouched on the sofa with my dressing gown on.  Like right now...mmm raspberry...

Reading: North and South (still!) but also the new Christmas Cosmo with the one and only T Swift on the cover!

Watching: Homeland. Thinking: WTF Carrie?!

Wanting: to start getting seriously festive. The Buble album is itching to come out!

Hoping: for some permanent jobs teaching in my area to come up, fingers crossed.

Deciding: to be as positive as possible, count my blessing not my burdens etc.

Doing: a TON of exercise, between Zumba, step class and this weekend's hour and a half walk I'm feeling pretty fit!

Buying: people's Christmas presents, it's happening, I am getting organised.

Looking forward to: going back home to Sheffield in a few weeks to see the Northern ballet's version of Cinderella at the Lyceum. It's set in Imperial Russia people, think of the costumes!

What are you all up to at the minute? Anything exciting (other then Christmas obvs!) on the horizon?

Hope you've all had a nice, happy Monday, the week only gets better from here!

Small, happy and smelling fruity and nutty.

1. Mango Festive Picks £17 2. Nutty Sweethearts £12 3. Cocoa butter lip care stick £4 4. Glazed Apple body butter £13 5. Satsuma shower gel £4

I know the blogging world is obsessed with Lush. Every blog I read is reviewing their Christmas range and yet, I have always loved The Body Shop, me and their body butters go waaay back. So because I feel like I'm the only fan in this blogosphere I felt like I should give it some digital love with a selection of a few of the things I'm lusting after this festive season.

1. The mango festive picks - I love the smell of this, so fresh and fruity and not sickly so having a full set of all the best mango goodies would make a perfect gift. This is a great scent if you're not too sure if they're into sweet scents, it's nice but not overpowering.

2. Cute packaging and some really nice smells,  coconut is my favourite out of these nutty, more neutral scents.  Plus, three body butters for £12?!  Amazing.

3. Great as a stocking filler or a gift from you to you, this cocoa butter lip care stick stick makes your lips taste so nice and chocolatey and it smells great! Totally addicted to this stuff.

4. I can't say too much about this as I haven't actually tried  their new glazed apple range but I am absolutely desperate to and I am confident that it will smell delicious and festive. There are cranberry and vanilla ranges which are limited edition too so if you like any of these Christmas smells get your (ice) skates on and get to the shop!

5. Another great stocking filler or secret Santa I love the satsuma range as well and this is another nice present if you're not sure what their specific tastes are. Body shop's shower gels are great, if you've not tried them I would really recommend them, they last for ages! 

Anyone else love The Body Shop or are you all Lush ladies through and through? Have you tried the glazed apple or other festive ranges?


Small, happy and making lists #November


I know this is the cliche thing to say but I still cannot believe where October went.  I mean I know September draaaaaaaaaags on and from there the rest of the year flies by but still this October took the biscuit (and did so very quickly I might add).  So anyway, here is November then and because time is just flying on by I feel like I need to organise my life and make a note (who can resist a good old list?!) of all the things I would like to do this pre Christmas month.

1. Go to our local farmers'  market.

I know right, could I sound more like a 'blogger' going to markets and what not.  But our market in Altrincham is just amazing and every weekend they have something different going on.  As much as I love the vintage markets this weekend is the first chance we will have to go to their FARMERS market which means one thing and one thing only: FOOD.  And lots of it.  Can't wait to see what they have on offer!  If you live in the Cheshire/Manchester area I would seriously suggest hitting this place up.  Also if you're near me, leave me a comment!  I'm still relatively new to the area and I'm always on the lookout for more places to discover.

2. Finish my book.

This one kind of has a time limit on it purely because I've already renewed it at the library once plus I really just need to get it done but life (okay fine, tv) just seems to be getting in the way.  It's North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell and I am enjoying the story, I am, it's just the writing style that I'm finding a bit convoluted.  But anyway, I will persevere, mostly because a) I want to see what happens and b) I'm not allowing myself to watch the BBC version until I'm done!

3. Do lots of job applications and school visits.

The aim to get something more permanent for January in the teaching world is still very much at the forefront of my mind.  While I know you can't rush these things and I need to find the right place for me, more and more opportunities are coming up so I'm going to grab those by the horns and get going so hopefully I can rely less on supply and get something more structured.  I'm a Taurus so I crave structure!

4. Have a date night to see HUNGER GAMES!

This has been pretty much the highlight of November 2014 for me ever since the release date for Hunger Games: Mockingjay was revealed.  If you're as big a fan as me you'll know that we've known this date for a while so you understand how long my excitement has been building.  Boy and I will be booking tickets very soon and will be preceding the event with a date to Nando's.  We love our fancy food and we've been coking up a storm recently but I have Portuguese blood within me and sometimes we just need a Peri-Peri treat!  We've also stopped ourselves from going for ages to really enjoy it this time haha, sad?  Perhaps.  #itsamediterraneanthing

5. Get my Christmas shopping done.

Yes.  I'm serious.  I say this all the time but I genuinely feel like this could happen for me this year.  My family have all been quite organised this year and I know what they want and I have planned what I can get other people.  Boyfriend and I will probably be spending our money on each other by planning our trips next year so that's easy too, so I really could get this done.  This will make December full of fun and stress free so I can just spend my time watching Love, Actually, The Holiday and roasting chestnuts!!

So I feel like these are all either good goals or great things to look forward to in the month of November.  I feel confident that it will fly by and I'll be decorating for Christmas before I know it so I'm making a conscious decision to make the most of November and whatever little we have left of 2014.  

Anyone else got any November goals?  Anyone already done their Christmas shopping?!  Go on, tell me you have and make me feel bad!


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