COFFEE TALK #16 - EAT WELL ON A STUDENT BUDGET



As you'll likely known if you're even a semi-regular reader of my blog, I'm right about to go into my second semester of my first year of university. I can by no means say that I'm yet an expert of the topic of uni life, but I feel that I'm comfortably in a place that I can at least give out advice on how to get through semester one with as much ease as possible. One thing I think I've become pretty well-versed on is how to live on more than just the typical student diet.

It's a common stereotype, and one that is almost universally held; you sign up to go to Uni, you sign yourself up to a 3-4 year diet of instant ramen noodles. However, this doesn't necessarily have to be the case. Don't get me wrong - it's always good to have a stock of instant noodles in the cupboard or on the shelf. They're an easy, filling and quite tasty meal that isn't really all that bad for you, given that they're a convenience food. That said, you don't have to make them your sole source of caloric intake. If you know how to shop smart, you can eat reasonably well at a cost not significantly greater than that of a noodle-only lifestyle. 

For me, the key to saving money on groceries is knowing where to shop. I know there can be stigma around more budget-friendly supermarket chains like Aldi and Lidl. It's important to remember, however, that cheaper doesn't always equal poorer quality. There are some areas where you can absolutely scrimp on price without scrimping on quality. Dried foods (think rice, pasta and lentils) and canned goods (beans, peas and tinned fruits) have long shelf lives and the cheaper versions are usually not all that different from their more expensive counterparts. The same is true of frozen foods - things like pizzas, ready meals and meats from the freezer aisles can easily be switched out with little to no difference in quality. In fact, the only place I'd say it's really worth spending the extra couple of quid is in fresher areas like meat and produce. 

Learning to cook will also be massively beneficial to you before you jet off to Uni. I lost track of the number of friends at whom I was appalled for their cooking skills - or, more appropriately, lack thereof - right before or upon arriving at uni. I'm by no means saying that you need to be Gordon Ramsay or Heston Blumethal at Fresher's age, but learning to make a few simple dishes will be of massive benefit to you. Stir fries and pasta bakes are filling, nutritious and easy to make. You can also find a plethora of easy-to-make and reasonably affordable recipes on websites such as this one, and in books such as The Student Cookbook (one I personally have and use frequently) and NOSH for Students, which has a second volume and a vegetarian version. There is also, thus far, one recipe for Chinese Style Chicken here on my blog and I plan for there to be more in the near future. Learning kitchen skills may be a pain but it's cheaper and better for you than living off convenience foods and takeaways - trust me, you won't regret it!

It's also mentioning the odd bevvie - after all, students wouldn't be students if we didn't enjoy a drink now and then. My best tip here is to keep your eye out for offers; if you're not to opt for the supermarket-own brand (admittedly, these can be hit-or-miss) it's worth making note on who has the best deals and discounts on drink. This includes pubs and bars; often times the ones nearest to the uni and uni digs will have student deals. And, of course, there's always the Union! 

NEW-RELEASE READING WISHLIST 2017

Hi there friends! I did originally consider making this post a 'TBR' but if I'm perfectly honest with you and myself, I don't know if I'll get round to reading all of these books this year. For a start, I've a small mountain of books I already own that I'm trying to get through. Also, I've discovered that Uni generally means two things; a tight budget and lots of textbooks. Although this list is short, whether or not I can purchase all of these books depends entirely upon how my financial situation goes over the course of the next semester. Instead, then, I opted to calling it a Reading Wishlist; a compilation of some of the new-release books I would like to read in 2017. Credit to Reading Books Like A Boss for providing a comprehensive list of 2017 book releases. Apologies to those of you to whom these seems like 'lazy blogging' - I have more exciting posts coming as soon as I get back up to Glasgow and back to my proper camera.

#1 FREEKS - Amanda Hocking 



Summary: Mara has become used to the extraordinary. Roaming from place to place with Gideon Davorian's Travelling Carnival, she longs for an ordinary life where nobody has the ability to levitate or predict the future. She gets her chance when the struggling sideshow sets up camp in the small town of Caudry, and she meets a gorgeous local guy named Gabe. But before long, Mara realises there's a dark presence lurking in the town threatening the lives of her friends. She has seven days to take control of a power she didn't know she had in order to save everyone she cares about - and change the future forever. 

Why I Want To Read It: A little known and highly strange fact about me: I've a great love for any story set in or around a carnival, circus or theatre setting. Perhaps it's my great fondness for Angela Carter - in particular Wise Children - seeping out. Whatever the case may be, I was tremendously excited to read the summary for this book. I also like that the blurb suggests something of a creepy horror/thriller element, as those are two of my favourite genres. 

#2 KILL THE FATHER - Sandrone Dazieri 

Summary: When a woman is beheaded in a park outside Rome and her six-year-old son goes missing, the police unit assigned to the case sees an easy solution: they arrest the woman's husband and await his confession. But the chief of Rome's major crimes unit doubts things are so simple. Secretly, he lures to the case two of Italy's top analytical minds; Deputy Captain Colomba Caselli,a fierce, warrior-like officer still reeling from having survived a bloody catastrophe, and Dante Torre, a man who spent his childhood trapped inside a concrete silo. Fed by the gloved hand of a masked kidnapper who called himself "the Father", Dante emerged from his ordeal with crippling claustrophobia but, also, with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and hyperobservant capabilities. All evidence suggests that the Father is back and active after being dormant for decades. Indeed, he has left telltale signs that he's looking forward to a reunion with Dante. But when Colomba and Dante begin following the ever-more-bizarre trail of clues, they grasp that what's really going on is darker than they ever imagined.

Why I Want To Read It: Dazieri is a critically acclaimed crime writer, and with good reason. As a lover of the genre, I've enjoyed many of his books in the past. From the summary of this one, it sounds like it will be no exception! 

#3 THE DEVIL CREPT IN - Ania Ahlborn 




Summary: Young Jude Brighton has been missing for three days, and while the search for him is in full swing in the small town of Deer Valley, Oregon, the locals are starting to lose hope. They're well aware that the first forty-eight hours are critical and, after that, the odds usually point to a worst-case scenario. And despite Stevie Clarke's youth, he knows that too; he's seen the cop shows. He knows what each ticking moment might mean for Jude, his cousin and best friend. That, and there was that boy, Max Larsen... the one from years ago, found dead after also disappearing under mysterious circumstances. And then there were the animals: pets gone missing out of yards. For years, the residents of Deer Valley have murmured about these unsolved crimes... and that a killer might lurking around their quiet town. Now, fear has been reborn - and for Stevie, who is determined to find out what really happened to Jude, the awful truth might be too horrifying to imagine. 

Why I Want To Read It: As I've mentioned time and time again, I'm a huge fan of the horror genre. While I've never read any of Ahlborn's works prior to now, I know she's rather lauded in the horror-fiction community and that her books have received high praise in the past. The ominous title and gripping summary of this novel have me hanging on the edge of my seat awaiting its release. 


#4 HER EVERY FEAR - Peter Swanson 

Summary: Following a brutal attack on her ex-boyfriend, Kate Priddy makes an uncharacteristically bold decision after her cousin, Corbin Dell, suggests a temporary apartment swap - and she moves from London to Boston. But soon after arriving Kate makes a shocking discovery: Corbin's next door neighbour, a young woman named Audrey Marshall, has been murdered. When the police start asking  questions about Corbin's relationship with Audrey, and his neighbours start coming forwards with their own suspicions, a shaken Kate has few answers and many questions of her own. Jet-lagged and emotionally unstable, her imagination playing on her every fear, Kate can barely trust herself. So how can she trust any of the strangers she's just met? 

Why I Want To Read It: I seem to remember having read one of Swanson's books - The Girl With A Clock For a Heart - a year or so ago, however I've since been unable to locate it. Perhaps it was lost in the moving process back in July, or maybe it was borrowed from a friend or a library. Either way, I' remember thoroughly enjoying it. Swanson may only have three novels published so far, but he's got the kind of thriller-writing skill seen in the greats like Gillian Flynn. I'm really anxious to get my hands on this one! 

#5 - CONTAINMENT - Hank Parker


Summary: When a gruesome new tick-borne virus breaks out near a major US city and is traced to an extremist group in Southeast Asia, the race to stop a global bioterrorism conspiracy is on. Government epidemiologist Mariah Rossi must leave the safety of her lab to help fellow scientist and covert CIA agent Curt Kennedy to track the disease back to its source. Their worldwide net leads them to an underground lab in the jungles of the Philippines, then to a deadly and climactic battle in the coral reefs near Malaysian Borneo and finally to London and back to America, where the virus must be contained. 

Why I Want To Read It: If you know me, or if we've ever had a discussion about books, you probably know that one of my all time favourite books is James Herbert's '48 - for which I have a full review on this blog. Containment intrigued me for the same reason '48 does; I'm a bit of a medical history nut, and I've quite the morbid obsession with the concept of biological warfare. Especially cool about this book is its author's origins; Parker is a former US Government advisor on agroterrorism, so he really is writing what he knows. This is his début novel and I thoroughly look forward to reading it at some point. 

#6 MY HUSBAND'S WIFE - Jane Corry 


Summary: What if your life was built on a lie? When lawyer Lily marries Ed she's determined to make a fresh start. To leave the secrets of the past behind. But when she takes on her first criminal case, she finds herself strangely drawn to her client. A man who's accused of murder. A man she will soon be willing to risk everything for. But is he really innocent? And who is she to judge? 

Why I Want To Read It: There seems to be a trend emerging, friends. I'll hold my hands up and admit - I'm a sucker for a good mystery story, and I particularly love a courtroom-drama. The deliberately vague summary was what really drew me in here. I can't wait to give this one a go. 


So those are the books off of RBLB's post that caught my eye most (trust me, it was tough to narrow down!) What's on your 2017 reading wishlist? Let me know! 


Happy reading, 
Jazz xo 

PRODUCT REVIEW - CLARINS SKINCARE


If you know me at all, you'll know my policy when it comes to beauty products is that, if made to choose, I tend to be more inclined to splash out on high end skincare, rather than high end make up. As someone who suffers with dry skin to the point of suffering from eczema, I'm keen to test out most anything that might help me. That said, Clarins has never been a brand I've known much about and, for whatever reason, I've never really looked into it that much. 

Please excuse the stray eyeliner sharpener-shaving so classily strewn in the middle of my setup. 
I was rather intrigued, then, when my mum gifted me this set of travel-sized goodies on Christmas day. The kit contains minatures of The One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser, HydraQuench Cream moisturiser and the Booster Detox oil in a generously sized and really rather pretty quilted white cosmetics bag. It's actually a great thing that has come in real handy for me, as it quite comfortably contains all of the make up that I use on the daily - including the Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette and all of my brushes. 

I've used the products that came inside the bag pretty regularly since Christmas and I feel I'm at a point now where I can give a pretty fair judgement on all of them.




I'll start with the product I had the most neutral feelings on. Initially, I was very excited about this face wash; it was grainy, but not overly so, which is generally the perfect type of exfoliating cleanser for dry skin. This one also contains orange extract and shea, both things that historically works quite well with my skin. However, I found this to be underwhelming at best. It does meet all of its claims - removing make up, cleansing pores and softening/brightening skin. It really is quite good. The issue for is the price tag for the full size product; at £21 it just doesn't do the things it does any better than cheaper face washes I've tried. If you're after a decent face wash and you really feel like splurging on one, then this one could absolutely be a good idea. However, if you're not looking to spend as much I'd recommend the Soap & Glory 3-in-1 Face Wash (usually £8, on sale for £6 at the time of me writing this post) as an every day wash, and the Nivea Daily Essential Facial Scrub (£3.99) as a deeper exfoliant once or twice a week. 



I was much more impressed with this next product! I'm something of a moisturiser junkie, and I'm always on the market for a new one. I switch my moisturisers out so often that I can't really say that I've got a 'holy grail', however my most recent favourite has been the Clinique Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator (£34). I generally like to use moisturisers for a month or so before I come to a final decision, but this one is well on track for knocking Clinique off the top spot. At £36 a tub, the difference between this and the Clinique one is nominal enough that I'd not feel at all guilty for switching them out. This one is similar to the Clinique one in that it is very lightweight and doesn't clog pores. However, they're very different textures; this is more of a traditional lotion-y moisturiser than a gel-cream hybrid. 


As far as I'm concerned, this Booster Detox is the shining star of this set. It's really been a game changer in my foundation game; I've recently fallen in love with the W7 Photo Shoot Foundation in Buff (£6.95). Although the foundation was already beautiful with great coverage and a good lightweight feel on the skin, I did find I had a little trouble getting it to blend over the dryer patches of my skin. 3 drops of this Detox oil make it blend absolutely seamlessly everywhere. I also find it incredibly useful for mixing with the HydraQuench cream. Like an idiot, I fell asleep in a full face of make up on New Years Eve and, as you can imagine, woke up with my skin feeling quite dull and angry at me. Four drops of this oil in the moisturiser after I finally got round to the bath really helped me join the land of the living again. I have no doubt that I'll drop £30 on the full-size when I run out of this one. 

I'm not sure if this set is still available, but I hope this review has helped you decide if you want any of these three individual products in their full sizes! 

Happy reading, 
Jazz xo 

COFFEE TALK #15 - GOODBYE AND GOOD RIDDANCE 2016.


Contrary to what this title may suggest, I'm not after dedicating this post to some woeful diatribe of how dreadful 2016 has been; I'm sure you're all as sick of reading all that as I am. Truth be told, 2016 has been okay for me. Of course, the Walking Wotsit and his Pencey little pal getting into power, as well as the loss of countless beloved celebrities, has meant that the year hasn't been so grand for the world in general. But I'm a firm believer in focusing on the positives and in my own personal life, those have far outweighed the negatives. Within the past twelve months I had an article published on a student website, won 'article of the month' for said article, passed my A-Levels (and passed them rather well, if I can say so without sounding boastful), started university at my first choice institution, got good grades on my end-of-semester assignments and had one of the best family Christmases I've experienced in years. While 2016 has been a hell of a year - and not always in the best way - I think that it's important that we remember the sun always comes up in the morning and things will be better when it does. God willing, 2017 will be the metaphorical sunrise, and we'll see things improve in the next twelve months.

Now that the sappy bit is out of the way, it's time for us to acknowledge that Lie To Yourself™ season has come around once more. It's at this time of year that we all promise ourselves we're going to eat healthier, hit the gym, do more charity work and call our parents more. Generally these promises last all of six weeks (if we're lucky) and, to be honest,  I don't usually buy into them. I'm really not a fan of the idea of 'New Years Resolutions', and I'm a firm believer that if you would like to better yourself you should just do it and shouldn't need the New Year as an excuse to do so. That said, I have set myself a number of goals for the coming year, and I'd like to share them with you; 

GOAL #1 BE A BETTER BLOGGER

If you read this blog on the reg you're undoubtedly aware that I'm a bit shit at posting a lot of the time. It seems I operate at one of two extremes; either I make post after post after post over the course of just a few days, or I go weeks without making a single one. I really do enjoy blogging as a hobby and I'm really going to use this year to try and make more of an effort to post very regularly with better and more creative content.

GOAL #2 MAKE A CONSCIOUS EFFORT SAVE UP MONEY

Something else I should put more thought into is my finances. Thing is, I've always been good with money; I'm not really what you'd call a 'spendaholic'. That said, saving up isn't something I've ever really put any conscious effort into, mostly because I've never really had to. Living at my mum's, the rent and bills and food shopping was always paid without me having to contribute too much. Since moving out, I've unfortunately kept the same mentality about budgeting and, while I'm not totally broke, I'm pretty skint because of it. In 2017 I'm going to try to consciously budget my money and hopefully have a bit extra pocket money as a result.

GOAL #3 GO TO EVERY SINGLE CLASS

Something I swore I'd never become guilty of, yet am a bugger for. I can't say that I've made a habit of skipping out on classes after an all-nighter or because of an annoying cold. However, it's something I've done on more occasions than I really care admit to. While it doesn't seem to have had a severely pejorative effect on my grades, I inevitably end up missing something of at least some importance - or something interesting. I'm going to make it a goal this year to attend absolutely every class that I'm capable of going to. 

GOAL #4 DO MORE CREATIVE SHIT

For as long as I can remember, I've been really rather into arts and crafts; I love making things, dying and painting and altering clothes, knitting, cross-stitch... you name it. If it's arty and/or creative I probably like doing it. The thing is, I've not had much chance to do so since I headed off to uni, and that's something I'd really like to change. I've had tons of crafty projects in mind for weeks, and I'm hoping that this will be the year I manage to get through them. 

GOAL #5 READ MORE OUTSIDE OF CLASSES

As you probably know by now, I'm an English Literature student at the University of Strathclyde. This, of course, means lots of mandatory reading. Being a bookworm, of course, I love this. However, in the past three months since moving up to Glasgow, I've fallen off the wagon of reading for the hell of it. I'm really going to try to get back into it in 2017, and I'm setting myself a goal of 50 books outside of my mandatory class reading. 

So these are my goals for 2017. Are you guys making any? Let me know in the comments! 

Happy reading and happy new year, 
Jazz xo 

SHOE REVIEW - JEFFREY CAMPBELL SPIKED HAWK FLATS

I'll preface this post with an apology if the photos of the shoes aren't the best quality. I left my proper camera back up in Glasgow and had to take them on my mobile phone. I also don't have the greatest lighting here, but I'll do my best. I bought these shoes way back in July with the intention of wearing them on a trip I took to London. However, due to a moderate fuck-up in ordering (entirely my fault for not reading the listing closely enough) they were about a size and a half too small when they arrived and there just wasn't any feasible way that I could've worn them trekking round the capital without my feet being rubbed raw.

That said, my mum jumped to the rescue and ordered a pair of wooden shoe stretchers from Amazon, and within a couple of days they fit comfortably. At that point I was still pretty much solely dedicated to my Essex Glam double sole creepers which I found on Amazon and which, I might add, have lasted remarkably for being so affordable. However, I left those behind in Cumbria when I moved away for university. Since arriving in Glasgow, my Hawks have pretty much been my every day shoe.




There's a few reasons these have become my favourite pair of shoes; the loafer-style means that they're easy to take on and off and comfortable to wear. I have no issues with them now that they fit properly and I wear them almost everyday, up and down the steep, steep hills of Strathy. It's also a simple shape and style, meaning they're very easy to pair with any outfit. However, the all-over spike design means that they're still a real statement piece and helps them fit much better with my personal style. While the spikes on the top and outsides of the shoes are incredibly sharp and will leave you with nasty scratches, if not full on cuts, the inside edges have flatter studs, meaning your ankles will be a little bit safer. I found them on Office's eBay store on a killer sale - down from £105 to £38.50 with postage and packaging included. Unfortunately, it seems like the spiked Hawk design has been discontinued, and I can't seem to find it anywhere online. However, similar sizes such as the Hawk ZN and Studded Martini are still available. It's also always worth keeping an eye on sites such as eBay, Vinted and Depop if you don't mind buying a pair secondhand - you'll probably get them even cheaper from these places as you would from a mainstream retailer!




In the UK, Jeffrey Campbell shoes are generally available in women's sizes 2-8. I'll include a size conversion chart below so that you can translate this into international/men's sizes if you want to.

Happy reading,
Jazz xo


BOOK REVIEW - THE LONEY

BOOK TITLE: The Loney
SERIES: N/A 
AUTHOR: Andrew Michael Hurley
GENRE: Horror, mystery
WARNINGS: Some violence, strong language, heavy themes of religion
MY RATING: 5/5


As a self confessed connoisseur of all things creepy and admittedly something of a snob about the horror genre, it's rare that I come across a horror novel with which I can find no fault. I tend more towards somewhat older books in the genre, when horror royalty such as Stephen King (horrible pun intended) and James Herbert and Ray Bradbury were at their peak. I picked up The Loney back in the summer, from Manchester airport, to act as poolside entertainment while in Mallorca. As it went, I actually didn't end up doing too much reading on holiday and totally forgot about reading it until fairly recently. 

The story follows a nameless narrator and his brother Hanny, a mute who suffers from learning disabilities. Following the death of their old vicar, the entire parish to which their family belongs takes his replacement on their annual trip; a pilgrimage to a rural, seaside town in the North and its shrine to Saint Anne, where they pray for Hanny to be 'cured'. Here the boys find the Loney, an isolated area on the sea front where they go to play and escape their mother's nervous and borderline-fanatical behaviours. A place they've gone to for years, the narrator confesses that the Loney can be a dangerous place, however, he and Hanny have never experienced any real threat there. Until their final pilgrimage. 

My only regret is that I didn't get round to it sooner. The Loney is well deserving of the 'Book of The Year' award it has won. Evocative of those older novels I hold so dear, Hurley creates an atmosphere that is genuinely unsettling from the novel's outset all the way to its disturbing conclusion. He also artfully crafts scenes that are legitimately terrifying and sometimes highly distressing. The Loney is well praised and with good reason. It also provides the kind of sickly twisted ending in which a character gets exactly what they want, just not quite in the way they might have hoped. 

All in all, The Loney is a fantastic, darkly beautiful, frightening novel, and definitely worth a read for anyone who's into horror. 

Happy reading, 
Jazz xo 

THE CHRISTMAS TAG!!

If things have gone well and I've actually managed to queue a post successfully for once, this should be going up on Christmas Day. As is the way with me and tags, nobody actually tagged me or asked me to do it. However, as I've not managed to get too many Christmas posts done I thought it was high time that I got some festive blogging in, right at the last minute - just my style, really. I'm not entirely sure who originated this tag, but I found it over at Make Up Savvy. She did the tag November of 2014 and did a fantastic job of it. If you do know who created it, please do let me know in the comments and I'll credit them fully :) 

1. What is your favourite Christmas Movie/s?

I actually made a post last year which listed my Top 5 Christmas films, which you can read here. The list is more or less still the same this year, and each one is pretty much equal in terms of how much I like it. However; if you were to really really force me to pick a favourite, it'd definitely be a toss-up between Frank Capra's classic 'It's a Wonderful Life', and the true cinematic artistry that is 'The Muppet Christmas Carol.'

2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?



In my family it's always, always been Christmas day. Once in my life, my brother and I were allowed to open one present each on Christmas Eve. This is partly because Christmas Eve is my mum's birthday, so we generally spend the day celebrating that. It's also partly because we're a somewhat traditional bunch in my family; Christmas day is the day we all get together and exchange gifts. There's never been any inclination to swap gifts the day before.


3. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?



As a whole, Christmas of 2010 was a pretty good one. One thing in particular that stands out to me about that year is my now eight-year-old cousin attempting to put various adults on the 'naughty step', after feeling that her own being put there was grossly unjust. The same year, my now thirteen-year-old cousin was gifted a rather elaborate Lego play set, which the entire adult population of the house that day struggled to build - to no avail.

4. Favourite festive food?



Unpopular opinion: I bloody love sprouts. I'm also a huge fan of parsnips. These are both generally considered to be 'Christmas dinner' foods, I know. However, both are pretty commonplace at regular old Sunday lunch in my family, so I don't really consider them 'festive' per se. With that in mid, I'd have to say that my favourite Christmas food is Quality Street - specifically the ever-coveted Toffee Penny. 

5. Favourite Christmas gift?


This was a difficult one to put my finger on; I've got the most fantastic, generous family and friends and over the years I've been gifted some truly wonderful things over the years. There were several I could have picked for this question; however, one particular stand out is the gift I got from my dad in 2011; if you knew me throughout childhood or early-teenagehood, you'll know I was unabashedly obsessed with Spongebob Squarepants. You can imagine my excitement, then, when my dad turned up at my mum's house that Christmas with this Spongebob guitar.

6. Favourite Christmas scent?

I assume that this is the place where I'm expected to gush over one Yankee candle or Lush product or another; however, my favourite is much more general. To me, anything that smells of apple and cinnamon is the absolute essence of what Christmas is.


7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?



As I've said already, Christmas Eve is my mum's birthday. Generally, we go out for dinner. However, this year is shaping up to be a little bit different; since we moved in July, there's nowhere that we can go for dinner within walking distance of our house, and driving would mean that my mum couldn't have a drink. Instead, we're going for coffee at a tea room not too far away at lunch time.

8. What tops your tree?

Our tree is far too tall for my short ass to get a decent picture of it, but for years now we've had the same white, glittery star atop our fir. However, as a child, I remember a rather pug-faced, pink-skinned fair in an awful sparkly frock making her perch there. I think we've Made a good swap! 


9. As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?



I don't really remember ever asking for anything 'crazy', 'wild' or 'extravagant', but I have very clear childhood memories of asking Santa for some kind of small furry pet every single year; something I was never given. I was, however, given several soft toys and one horrifying animatronic cat in lieu of the real thing, and my young self was completely satisfied with that. 

10. What's the best part about Christmas for you?



This is where I show my sappy side. Simply put, I love how Christmas and the build up to it brings out the best in people. In my experience, over the Christmas period people are more cheerful, more generous and kinder to each other in general. In short, I love the unity that comes about with the Christmas period. 

Happy reading & Merry Christmas, 
Jazz xo 
1. What is your favourite Christmas Movie/s?
Ah, there's SO many, I love National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, Home Alone, Elf, The Santa Clause etc. but one that I watch every year, without fail is The Snowman on Christmas eve. I absolutely adored the Snowman and The Snow dog. My dad bought me the little plushie last year, so cute.

2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
Always on Christmas morning (usually whilst scoffing Christmas chocolate) We usually get new Christmas Pyjamas on Christmas Eve, but we save the present opening for Christmas day morning.
3. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
My parents always used to go all out at Christmas. We'd come downstairs to presents, balloons, reindeer prints made out of glitter, red and white tape for the north pole, it was so magical as kids! 
4. favourite festive food?
Aside from chocolate...Roast potatoes during Christmas dinner, so many roast potatoes.

5. Favourite Christmas gift ?
I can't remember how old I was, but it was the year of the Furby. I'm sure there were small riots amongst the shelves in Toys R us. My parents pretended they couldn't get me one but then it was hidden behind the sofa! (anyone else hide theirs in the wardrobe at night, they were so creepy!)

6. Favourite Christmas scent?
Christmas dinner cooking, mmm or the smell of the Christmas tree! 
7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?
Just that it's family time, we'll usually all have wine, the fire on, lots of yummy food and sit down in our new pyjamas to watch Christmas films.

8. What tops your tree?
For years and years it was a little gold vintage angel, my dad always lifted me up to put it on the tree, when I was a kid... at the very end of decorating everything. She was always kind of wonky and worn looking, but it was tradition. These days it's a big gold glittery star.

9. As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?
Not in an ungrateful way. I mean, I used to circle half of the Argos catalogue!But every year I would ask for a dog, without fail. One year my parents brought it a huge box, with holes in and something was moving. I was certain it was a puppy...it was a rabbit ha ha Still one of the best pets I've ever had though. Then last year, I finally bought myself my own Christmas puppy :) Oscar on the 21sr of December. He was certainly worth the wait.

10. What's the best part about Christmas for you?
Spending time with my loves ones, friends and family, after eating Christmas dinner, watching Only fools and Horses episodes that we've seen ten times already. Watching the snow fall and generally having a lovely time. 
- See more at: http://milkbubbletea.blogspot.co.uk/#sthash.eOak9PKB.dpuf

1. What is your favourite Christmas Movie/s?
Ah, there's SO many, I love National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, Home Alone, Elf, The Santa Clause etc. but one that I watch every year, without fail is The Snowman on Christmas eve. I absolutely adored the Snowman and The Snow dog. My dad bought me the little plushie last year, so cute.

2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
Always on Christmas morning (usually whilst scoffing Christmas chocolate) We usually get new Christmas Pyjamas on Christmas Eve, but we save the present opening for Christmas day morning.
3. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
My parents always used to go all out at Christmas. We'd come downstairs to presents, balloons, reindeer prints made out of glitter, red and white tape for the north pole, it was so magical as kids! 
4. favourite festive food?
Aside from chocolate...Roast potatoes during Christmas dinner, so many roast potatoes.

5. Favourite Christmas gift ?
I can't remember how old I was, but it was the year of the Furby. I'm sure there were small riots amongst the shelves in Toys R us. My parents pretended they couldn't get me one but then it was hidden behind the sofa! (anyone else hide theirs in the wardrobe at night, they were so creepy!)

6. Favourite Christmas scent?
Christmas dinner cooking, mmm or the smell of the Christmas tree! 
7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?
Just that it's family time, we'll usually all have wine, the fire on, lots of yummy food and sit down in our new pyjamas to watch Christmas films.

8. What tops your tree?
For years and years it was a little gold vintage angel, my dad always lifted me up to put it on the tree, when I was a kid... at the very end of decorating everything. She was always kind of wonky and worn looking, but it was tradition. These days it's a big gold glittery star.

9. As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?
Not in an ungrateful way. I mean, I used to circle half of the Argos catalogue!But every year I would ask for a dog, without fail. One year my parents brought it a huge box, with holes in and something was moving. I was certain it was a puppy...it was a rabbit ha ha Still one of the best pets I've ever had though. Then last year, I finally bought myself my own Christmas puppy :) Oscar on the 21sr of December. He was certainly worth the wait.

10. What's the best part about Christmas for you?
Spending time with my loves ones, friends and family, after eating Christmas dinner, watching Only fools and Horses episodes that we've seen ten times already. Watching the snow fall and generally having a lovely time. 
- See more at: http://milkbubbletea.blogspot.co.uk/#sthash.eOak9PKB.dpu