It's the last Friday Favourites of the year. Of the entire 2016. The last one. The end.
I'm freaking out.
If you're feeling particularly indulgent you can check out my Friday Favourites from the whole year (and last) on this handy tab but ya know, there are about 60 of them so I understand if you have better things to do with your life this close to Christmas.
I feel like I should be writing some sort of momentous speech or empowering statement for the last FF of the year but it just isn't happening, it just doesn't feel like it's actually Christmas or NYE anymore. I think I got festive so early and this week have so much life admin to do I have lost my buzz. I need to clock off I think, to turn off the business and the blog and do my errands earlier so I can have a proper break and feel like something special is happening like I did breaking up for the holidays at school or uni. Hindsight is a beautiful thing, there's always next year.
As for the momentous speech? Wait till tomorrow.
1. Santa's Grotto.
My Christmas decorations have been up for a fortnight now and it's basically a grotto. There's 2 trees, there's lights, there's baubles and there's a whole lot of Santa related ornaments. In my opinion a house really looks a home at Christmas and I'd happily leave them up all year round but I spose that kinda spoils the magic (and imagine dusting round everything??) You can read more about my decorations and my festive little rooms here.
2. Late Night Date Night.
Well that sounded a lot seedier than I imagined. On the night we put up our decorations Joss and I had an at home date night in the form of an early Christmas meal and movie. This was basically the start of our celebrations and we have since moved onto plans for Christmas Eve & Day (he's working both so it's hard to formulate until we know his shifts), starting Christmas Day with bacon butties and we had planned a festive mac & cheese dish for tonight but now we're going out with friends so we're having a chippy instead beforehand. All the new traditions.
3. A Day Out.
Last week (feels like a lifetime ago) I spent the day in Bristol catching up with my flatemate from uni. She now lives a mere 35 minutes away on the train so I hopped on for the day and went to see her new house, catch up, gossip, eat a HUMUNGOUS meal and generally have a cute little day. Admittedly this photo is from Cardiff because I went to buy a meal deal before my train but you get the idea, the day was adorable and festive and just what I needed.
Omgah. Homesense. Whilst I was in Bristol we went to Homesense and it was my first ever time visiting. The Cardiff branch is a proper trek from my house, like the other side of the city and I'd have to make a real effort to get there so Bristol was my number one. Our Christmas present to each other was a giftcard to spend there shopping together and I got a cute wooden letter rack and cutlery draw for our new house and these adorable thank you cards for after Christmas. And then, as if I needed another notebook this one just fell into my basket. It says vintage blog. It's pink. It's gold. It's monochrome. It is me.
5. Secret Life Of The Zoo.
100% one of the best things on tv right now - except the newest series just finished. Soz. Secret life of the zoo is a channel 4 doc narrated by Olivia Coleman (bae) about what happens behind the scenes at Chester Zoo, somewhere I have been 4 times in 4 years due to it being down the road from where I went to university. If you haven't seen it you need to catch up on demand because it's one of the best, insightful, hilarious, heartbreaking things I have ever watched. If you need any more convincing, in one episode the orang-utans escape and go off on a jolly.
6. Forgetting Responsibilities.
Firstly this photo has legit nothing to do with the story I am about to tell but it is my cat on our roof staring at me which I think is highly irresponsible of her so it kinda ties in right? Last Friday Joss was off work and we planned an evening of basically nothing and TV and something to eat and that something ended up being party food. We had an entire meal out of cocktail sausages and sausage rolls and pork pies and scotch eggs and tiny skewers of chicken and I felt 1. Like we were children not real adults adulting and 2. Full.
7. Family Road Trip.
On Monday Joss' family and I made the 6 hour round trip to Birmingham for 3 hours with his extended family for our Christmas get together. We swapped presents, we talked, we drank, we laughed, I played lots of games of Frozen themed snap and imaginary ambulances and it was glorious. I haven't quite recovered yet, we took my car and Joss drove up and I navigated and then I drove back at he did sweet FA and I memorised the route I HAD NEVER TAKEN BEFORE and got us home without a single wrong turn. Navigating is not his forte. We got home at 11 and I felt like we'd been out about 26 hours but it was gorgeous. It's worth all that drive for such a short amount of time with people you love at Christmas right?
8. Learning To Talk.
My little pal has learnt to talk and not just talk, hold a conversation in her own little way. My niece is 18 months old now and no longer speaks in the one word answers she knows, now she answers questions logically when asked, she goes "hmm think" when she's contemplating something, she picks up on EVERYTHING you say and has turned into a right cheeky toddler. Long gone are the baby days where I could rock her to sleep in one arm, she's a heavy little monkey with a wicked personality and she's a hell of a lot of fun to be around.
Yup in the New Year we are shifting our belongings down the hallway and creating a home within a home - no I know it doesn't make sense but I can't even begin to explain. We're having some renovations done and they started this week by knocking a huge wall down on the RHS of this photo and this is basically the space that will become my kitchen. It's pretty huge but I now have a much clearer idea of how it's all going to look and fit together and whilst not keen on parting with cash, I am excited to get it moving.
10. Bloggers NYE Box.
They did it again, when I was least expecting it the lovely team at Talking Tables sent me a surprise parcel just before Christmas. The bloggers NYE box landed on the doorstep of mine and a few other bloggers homes yesterday and it was SO lovely. Filled with party stuff for New Years like candles and lights and plates and a table bomb (idk either but I am excited to try it out) there was also a hand written card thanking us for our work over the past few months and honestly, it's those personal touches that make all the difference when collaborating with a brand. Merry Christmas Talking Tables you babes <3 <3 <3
11. Christmas Party.
So because it's this close to Christmas and life has a habit of getting in the way I am actually writing this on Thursday morning to get it scheduled and so I can't actually say a lot about this one.... As you're reading this, last night I met up with some of my school friends for food and drinks and a big old life catch up but as I'm writing this in advance...well I haven't actually been yet. I know it's making it to the favourites list because I am so insanely excited to see them all, we're all spread out around the country and it feels so good to be back in a house that holds so many memories of houseparties and sleepovers and laughs with girls I've known since I was 11.
12. The Big Day.
Yesss I had to end here didn't I? Obviously I'm excited for Christmas even if I don't quite have the same buzz (does anyone over the age of about 12?). I am excited to get all the life admin done today and crack on with family time and presents and Quality Street and turkey sandwiches and I'll be sure to do a full report in my first Friday Favourites of 2017!
So that's it - another year of Friday Favourites done and dusted and onto 2017. Hope you have a magical Christmas weekend.