OH HI it's the first Friday Favourites of the year!
The first week of 2017 has whizzed by and I have a sneaking suspicion it's just a sign of what's to come for the rest of the year. This year has started pretty well for me. My blog stats are off the charts, I'm going to Manchester for a girly few days in a fortnight and I'm talking about all kinds of future plans with all kinds of friends.
I also bought some new Christmas decorations yesterday because Morrisons were selling all their leftover Christmas stock off for 4 baubles for 50p.....so that'll be a nice surprise when I find them again at the end of the year!
Godddd doesn't Christmas seem like a long time ago? I last wrote a Friday Favourites (aside from my 2016 round up) on December 23rd and now it's all done and dusted and the tree is down and the decorations are packed away. Christmas was different this year and whilst I came away from it thinking I still have some work to do to make it feel like the Christmasses of old, I did enjoy it and obvs it was my favourite thing of the last fortnight. On the day I got up at 5.30am with Joss because he was off to work so I made us bacon sandwiches to start the day right and then we parted ways, him to his job and me back to my Mum and Dad's. I got home about 6.30am to a cuppa and my parents waiting for me and we spent hours slowly unwrapping our presents and chatting and seeing what eachother had. We facetimed my niece and brother and phoned our families and had a lazy morning of more breakfast and more unwrapping. After a turkey dinner and Christmas top of the pops my grandparents came over so we show them what we receive, swap presents and eat lots of Quality Street. In the evening we had turkey sandwiches and then I drove back to my boyfriend's parents house where Joss had finished work and we spent the evening with his parents, siblings, grandmother, cousins and uncles/aunties playing board games and swapping yet more presents! We ended the day with Love Actually and FINALLY me and Joss could share presents between us.
I mean, sure, giving presents at Christmas is my favourite thing but getting some ain't so bad either is it? I was astounded by how many presents I got this year, yet again everyone heard my 'more cheap and cheerful than small and expensive' call and I got A LOT of stuff. I got homeware, I got items for my new kitchen, I got lots of nail varnish and makeup, I got hats and scarves and tops (cheers to my brother's fiancé for the jumper of my dreams). I got cacti, I got hygge inspired things, I got books, I got art stuff....turns out people know me pretty well and I was spoiled. My main present off my parents was this gold watch from ASOS that I asked for inspired by a £1.00 one I bought on Ebay and I loooove it.
3. The Baby.
Christmas is just so much better with a little one around. It's back to being exciting and this year my niece was 18 months for her second Christmas so she knew who Santa was and that he brought presents and that she had to be a good girl and she was just a joy to have at Christmas. My brother's family spent Christmas with his inlaws so they came to us for Boxing Day and it was Joss' only day off over the festive period so we had a house full for 11 hours and it was ace. My parents, grandparents, Joss and I got my niece items for an Early Learning Centre range with people and vehicles and animals and she bloody loves it. She also hardly ever sees Joss because he works but she remembers him now and sat in her highchair giving him the biggest grin and waving and saying "Hi Joss' made my heart melt.
4. Quality Time.
On the 22nd of December I got together with 4 of my oldest school friends, people I've known since I was 11 at my friend's house down by the sea, a house and a family that hold SO many memories for all of us of house parties and mishaps and fun and god it was good to see them. We decided to have a Christmas feast and amongst the 018092974832 bottles of alcohol we had the most insane amount of food. We gossiped, we caught up (we don't see eachother very much cos lol we're all over the UK now), we pulled photo booth crackers, we played Cards Against Humanity and I went to bed at 3.15am. It was the stuff of dreams.
5. Sociable Bean.
As well as seeing my gal pals for an evening of food I was quite the sociable little child over the Christmas fortnight. On the Friday before Christmas and the Friday before New Years we met up with friends we haven't seen in forever at the local pub which was glorious plus meeting up before Christmas with Megan for coffee and a meal out after Christmas with some more school friends. It was SO good to see everyone and get some real facetime with old pals.
6. Pub Quiz.
So part of my evening in with my chums included alllll the Talking Tables crackers and plates and joy but the real fun came from the pub quiz. I was sent this as part of my summer surprise box and my Dad nabbed it and said we'd save it for Christmas and I didn't see it again until Boxing Day. Since Christmas we've played 5 round in a variety of teams with a variety of people and it's ACE. It's such a good variety of questions, the most simple format ever and great for teams, it got a mahoooosive thumbs up from the fam.
FYI it's worth mentioning that whilst this was sent to me for free as part of another post, I wasn't asked to talk about it, I genuinely loveddd the game.
Just after Christmas I decided to get all adulty and I sat down for an afternoon and changed my address so I've officially moved. I did driving licence, log book, phone, banking, doctors, dentist and opticians and I felt like the baddest grown up bitch to ever walk this earth.
So here's a fun fact, this photo is actually from December 22nd with my chums and not for NYE because turns out, I didn't take any photos. NYE was more of the same though, lots of good food, lots of family, Talking Tables decorations and lots of board games. Joss was working but my brother and his fiancé came round and my Dad won the most games as always and I took them home at 2am.
I wish this was my house, oh how I wish this was my house. We're in the middle of renovating our house and my mind (and every notebook I own) is filled with measurements and lists and questions to ask builders. I'm at that point where I want to get cracking with the painting and furniture purchasing but have to wait for the boring bits like electricity and ceilings but I'm excited to probably get cracking.
10. My Happy Place.
One of my favourite places on this planet is the massive greenhouse in my local National Trust property Dyffryn Gardens. Honestly I could happily spend an afternoon just there and whenever I go I wish I had one for my very own. We took my niece there for a very sunny afternoon out on New Years bank holiday and whilst she decided to take every stone out of the display, I filled my Instagram grid with cacti photos.
Yassssss by the next time I write one of these I will be back from Manchester. I've booked a train and I'm staying with my bestie Tania and we're hideously excited for a girls few days of swapping Christmas presents and allllll the shopping.
Happy Friday ya'll - have a fabulous weekend!