12 Days of Blogmas! Day Ten: My Christmas Eve

FROSTLINGS GET IT HERE!!!

Just a little post today, my Christmas Eve. I was due to go to our local Christmas market with my partner and my Dad, for some Christmas carols and mulled wine…unfortunately it was cancelled due to high winds, but no matter! There were festivities to be had everywhere 😙

I wore the glitziest of skirts, we took a walk through the park to spot squirrels and catch Pokemon, went to town to pick up some Christmas spirits (gin and rum), and decided to pick up some sausage rolls and mince pies to leave for the people at work who ended up working today, on the busiest of days. 

We then put a hunk of gammon and cherry Pepsi in the slow cooker ready for tomorrow – currently smelling like Christmas HEAVEN – wrapped some gifts, had lunch, and watched Monsters University. My boyfriend then took a nap on the sofa, and I read my little Christmas novel that I picked up from a charity shop, with a lovely crackling fireplace sound effect in the background. 

Then it was time for the traditional Lush bath, Winter pyjamas and Muppets Christmas Carol watching. One key difference between this tradition as a child and now, is that now I also have beer to drink while watching it. Divine 🎄🎄🎄

So it has not been as planned but still perfect. I am so grateful for today, and though there were a few stressed souls and smashed plates in town, I always like to think of everyone setting aside their differences and celebrating life tomorrow 🕊

I wish you all the merriest of Christmases 

Until the next day of Blogmas!

Rosie

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12 Days of Blogmas! Day Nine: December Traditions

You have returned, dear Frostlings!

Let us gather around the fireplace, at a safe distance of course, for the ninth day of our festivities. Today we will be talking about the little traditions I like to honour in December. Admittedly sometimes work gets a little in the way, but this year I will endeavour to prioritise the small moments that fill me with nostalgia and peace, because Christmas. As we all know, ‘because Christmas’ is a legitimate legal term and requires no further elaboration in any court of law. Special mentions to Christmas 2016 when we tried to make the concoction of egg nog a tradition, until we realised how much effort goes into nogging an egg, so that sadly didn’t make the cut.

1. The Annual Strictly Final Night

Now this little top came into my life via Etsy, many many years ago. I bought it from a Canadian lady who said it was her mother’s from the 80s, and the legitimacy of this statement aside, I love it to bits. It’s cropped so I can wear it over any of my dresses, it’s sequinned and tacky as Hell, and over the years it has become tradition for me to wear it on Strictly Final Night, when my fabulous friend Rachel comes over and we devour pizzas while yelling at the TV. It’s pretty musty and loses a few sequins every year, but it is my little December mascot and the Spirit of Christmas Fabulousness.

2. A Lush bath and a Christmas book

Starting several years ago but slightly marred by a few Christmas Eve shifts at work, this year I am free again to embrace this most serene of traditions. Each year on Christmas Eve I like to buy a festive book from a charity shop, and read it in the bath accompanied by candles and some sort of Lush bath paraphernalia. Then I simply donate the book back. This one was from Age UK, and I have a super old bubble wand thing, I can’t remember the name of it but it smells like cinnamon and cloves, a kinda mulled wine in a bathtub sort of scenario. I can’t wait for this. So much cute. Can the magic of Christmas bring them together? I just don’t know!!!

3. O Christmas Docs, O Christmas Docs, how lovely are your ribbons!

Behold! The Great Docs of Christmas. My sister gave these to me for my birthday last year, and they basically have Christmas written all over them. Each year I select a pair to festoon with ribbon in place of the laces, and they always look fabulous. Here the ribbons dont match, because they are offcuts from last year’s stock. We’re trying to do our Christmases in an old-school agricultural style, leaving the wrappimg box fallow for a year and using up the old mismatching bits and making way for years to come. So if your gifts look a tad haphazard, thats why. But dont they Docs look beautiful? Look at them THEY ARE DRIPPING CHRISTMAS GODDAMIT 🌲🌲🌲

4. It’s in the singing of a street-corner choir

One of the most accurate and beautiful adaptations of Charles Dickens festive masterpiece is of course, The Muppets Christmas Carol. Guaranteed to bring joy to even the Scroogiest of souls. I watch it every year, and it makes me feel like a kid again every time. COME IN AND KNOW ME BETTER MAN!!!

5. Cooking Christmas dinner

So it has become tradition for my partner and I to cook Christmas dinner at my Dad’s house. He very kindly foots the bill for the Big Food Shop, and we get to work with recipes and concepts and moodboards, honestly it brings us such joy to do it. Granted I have a super small family, if it were more of a Home-alone pre-kevin’s abandonment family scenario then I imagine I would be pretty stressed. Remember kids, the microwave is your friend. Things go cold at a remarkable rate when you’re plating up 18 different components to a plate.

6. Star Wars Fajita Night

We have not yet gotten round to this yet, but it’ll definitely be a beloved part of our December at some point. Each year my partner and I watch something from the Star Wars verse and make fajitas. Not a clue why, we just do 😅

Now I wish I could say my traditions were a bit edgier, like I smokes a Cuban at Christmas and a pipe at Easter, always has, always will. But I love them, and they bring me the utmost peace. What are yours?

Until the next day of Blogmas,

Peace and love, peace and love

Rosie x

12 Days of Blogmas! Day Eight: Christmas According to Salem Saberhagen

Konnichiwa Frostlings!

Welcome to the eighth day of Blogmas, and today your true love (me) gives to you (you) a little account of Christmas according to my eternal spirit animal, sarcastic familiar and supreme world leader, Salem Saberhagen. Enjoy!

When it’s 9am on Christmas morning and you’ve already cracked open the Quality Streets and pate on toast…

 When someone insists on having The Queens Speech on every bloody year, even though it’s always rubbish and she never tells any jokes, NOT ONE! I mean what this country needs right now is some bloody good cracker jokes delivered completely deadpan via a ridiculously imperative monarchic tradition, GET ON IT QUEENIE..

When you put a classic Christmas playlist on to get in the mood and a Justin Bieber song rears its ugly entitled head…

When you’ve already delved into your Christmas present for yourself because you’ve been working hard this year and self-love is underrated…

When the dinner is finally plated up and every bad experience you’ve had this year fades into a distant memory as you are reunited with your one true love…

When you’ve had three courses plus endless glasses of wine and may explode but there’s so much delicious festive food lurking around the house…

When someone suggests another round of Charades…

When you’re flicking through the TV and The Snowman & the Snowdog is on…

When you inexplicably end up on a traditionally tragic episode of Eastenders…

When everybody goes home and you’re left with the dishes to clean, the cards to recycle and the bitter reality of January being just a week away…

And when actually you sack the dishes off, remain in your pyjamas for a week and gain a stone in leftover roasties…

And I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Happy Holidays everybody!

Until the next Day of Blogmas,

Rosie

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12 Days of Blogmas! Day Seven: Christmas Planning

Greetings my tinselly little frostlings!

After a busy weekend I have returned with another festive installment, which is short but hopefully sweet. I simply present to you my bullet journal spreads for the months of November and December. I took these photos a while ago, hence the blankness. But fret not, I have been keeping up to date with all of my bullet journalling, because this hobby has become a beacon of self-support in the past couple of years. It’s the little moments of satisfaction of ticking off to-do lists or taking the responsibility to defer tasks to a later date if they aren’t realistic. As well as the general organisation of making consistent note of events, goals, ideas, budgets, all within one pretty lil notebook. 

Calcifer was my spirit guide throughout November, for obvious bonfire-related reasons. I like the idea of November being the month to reflect on what you would like to change in the year to come, throwing your regrets on a bonfire and bidding farewell to the self-doubts you experienced so far this year. Then it leaves December to focus on celebrating the experiences you have gained, and what you are grateful for in this year. 

Christmas 2017 has been planned in my bullet journal with great aplomb…gift ideas and budgets, the great Foodshop list, festive reads to find in the library, or to budget for buying full price (still trying to stick to this notion!), Blogmas ideas, etc. Just to clarify in case anybody is interested, I don’t post my daily spreads because they are a bit too specific and personal to share with the world…I mean I do share intimate details of periods and whatnot with y’all, but putting in my shopping lists would be crossing a line…

My December spirit guide is of course, Ron Weasley’s Christmas jumper, and all it represents. Being warm and cosy, feeling loved and given something unique to you, feeling like part of a family. How about that for some schmaltz! It’s also the perfect jumper to sit around the house and binge on Christmas leftovers in as you watch conspiracy documentaries, so yes I will most definitely be channelling Ron this season.

Until the next day of Blogmas!

Rosie

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12 Days of Blogmas! Day Six: Comfy Christmas Day Dresses

Bonjour mes petites frostleengs!

In staark contrast to Day 5, it’s time for a classic commercial Blogmas post, all in the name of being comfy and cosy on Christmas Day. You know the feeling, you want to wear something a little bit festive and a tad special but you also dont want anything pulling you in at the waist when you’re about to devour a massive dinner. As Stacey Shipman once quoted, “Dyou want something comfy or something sluttish?”

I personally would like to be comfy on Christmas Day. You’re milling around the kitchen and going on walks and rolling around on the floor on a sheer festive high, so I have picked some simple designs to keep you cosy and unbelted…perhaps paired with reindeer antlers, stripey elf tights, massive tacky earrings. You know the drill. Enjoy!

Boohoo Plus Martha Embroidered Ruffle Smock Dress £25.00

Tall Green Ruched Sleeve Skater Dress £20

Black & Ivory Heart Print Midi £30

Jersey Dress with a Lace Trim £19.99

Mesh Trim Floral Smock Dress £20.99

Red Spot Frill Skater Dress £24.99

Star Print Dress £12.50

Burgundy Metallic Chiffon Midi £29.99

Plus Katie Retro Print Smock Dress £18

Dawn Wine Velvet Swing Dress £38

I hope you enjoyed my little lookbook! Of course there is always the option of a) wearing something you already have b) wearing pyjamas or c) wearing a maternity dress to make room for the imminent Christmas bloatiness, but if you’re anything like me then you have a little thing for browsing pretty dresses at this time of year, then I hope this piqued your festive interest. Truth be told, I’m a bit skint to afford new clothes and I don’t really need any and it’s not really in the spirit of How Cruel is my Wardrobe…why am I doing this post again? Oh yeah, because it’s CHRIIIIIIIIIIISTMAAAAAAAAAAAAS

Until the next day of Blogmas!

Rosie

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12 Days of Blogmas! Day Five: Self-Care at Christmas

Hallo my little frostlings!

I am here to present to you my fifth day of Blogmas, and Day Five is slightly more special is it not?

Today’s little festive offering is about Self Care. Hopefully it will serve as a little reminder that one of the most valuable things we can do at Christmas is to make sure we’re taking care of ourselves and actively making the time to do so. If you’re anything like me you can get so swept up in the seasonal follies that you forget to be calm and centred. It almost seems selfish to me to do so, ironically. But thinking about it, surely what your family and friends want most is for you to be healthy and happy and ready to celebrate life together, and the best way to start is through Self Care. 

Today, I was discharged from CBT after completing a course of 8 therapy sessions, based largely on anxiety and self esteem. I can’t thank my therapist enough, she has been wonderful, and I will definitely miss talking things through with her. That’s not to say I feel I need to continue, but it was an entirely new experience for me to help rework the patterns of thought in which I felt trapped. It sounds bonkers, but i had never even considered the prospect of treating myself kindly, or considering forgiveness as a way to step forward and beyond what I have done to make myself feel so numb. In September I put myself in a situation where I felt completely out of control, and it was as though I was letting the world wash over me, and I didn’t care if I let go and lost myself completely. I realise this all sounds dramatic and  abstract and unrelatable but I don’t want to get bogged down in what actually happened, but I want to appreciate the gains from this experience: recognising there was a problem, and taking the initiative to address it.

There were plenty of resources available to me, I was very lucky. I understand not everyone will be able to access the same help as me, but I hope that in sharing this it may encourage you to try, if you feel you need it. One of the things I said I wanted to unchain and leave behind in 2016 was my tendency to self-harm. To me it felt like nothing more than a habit, as I didn’t feel particularly upset when doing it, or as if I was feeding into a wider issue, it was just an easy way of acknowledging my own mistakes, and feeling the need to punish myself for them. I would sometimes ‘save’ them up and use them when I arrived at a more private space, or sometimes I would feel unable to delay this, and have to resort to hurting myself in front of other people. It didnt have to be noticeable, usually just something to cause me some level of pain. This became a unique pain to me, after a while it didn’t hurt half as much and I would feel a strong urge to turn to more painful options. It was often verbal as well, simply berating every action and thought of my day became the norm. This carried on far into 2017, and I wish I had recognised earlier that I needed to try a different angle. It all felt like an accumulation rather than an effective coping mechanism, and was starting to govern every decision I made.
Talking things through with a therapist was a frightening concept for me, as I’m sure it is to a lot of people. All I can say, from someone who struggles to articulate herself on a daily basis, is that you will not feel judged or helpless. Each session I had made me think about how much of a bully I had become to myself, and how this can be stopped with practice. It was getting in the way of living. The awful words, the breath-holding, the scratching, the cutting, the biting, the burning, the slapping. I dont know how I got myself into this hole but I was starting to rely on it. It was comforting to hate myself with such abandon for everything that mattered to me, because I felt capable of it, and it was familiar. I had little tasks and methods to practice in between every session, and there was no pressure to achieve anything or to aim for a consistent incline in mood or capabilities…the most relieving aspect was that she made me realise that it’s perfectly fine to make mistakes, and to feel up and down, and to be inconsistent. 
I don’t expect there to be a flick of a switch or the twist of a bulb and suddenly compassionate thinking will be my permanent mindset. I accept there will be a struggle to wean myself off punishment, but it’s something I am more than prepared to do. I feel as though I have the tools I need now. And hopefully this will all ripple outwards, and these compassionate thoughts will extend to those around me. The other day at work, I made a mistake, which was usually my trigger to seize up and resort to a bullying mindset. I felt my fingers twitch as though ready to dig my nails into my inner arm. Instead I managed to take four deep breaths, not ignore the urge but acknowledge that I do not need to cave to it, and I chose not to. It sounds like the smallest moment but I felt so proud of myself for bypassing the start of what could potentially have been weeks of guilt. When I look back on 2017, it is these moments that I wish to celebrate. 

In the spirit of self-care, one of my modules was setting aside specific times for headspace. Doing something for myself, which makes me calm and energised. Having a long bath, going to the cinema, stretching, reading a loved book, etc. If I have a vague notion of treating myself to such a time, I often don’t get round to it, or rank it lowest on the hierarchy of what is to be done that day. I have instead started scheduling this headspace as if it were an appointment, or a social event. I tell myself that it is extremely important that I do this, at this set time, because looking after myself is so valuable. It can be a simple 10 minutes. I tell myself that I deserve it, and I do. Harsh thoughts will creep in, like “I haven’t worked hard enough to deserve this” or “You’re so selfish. Do something productive.” In these instances I will consider the opposite, and how much more beneficial it will be to my mental health. What if I have worked hard? What if this is productive? For the first time in my life it feels acceptable to offer praise to myself instead of hatred. The red welts on my skin are all starting to fade to a silver translucency. 

To conclude this post, here are a few photos from my Self Care sessions the past couple of days: Going for long walks in the snow, listening to music. I have never felt more capable.

Until the next day of Blogmas,

Rosie

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12 Days of Blogmas! Day Four: A Very Festive Menstruation…

Greetings my little frostlings, welcome to Blogmas Day Four!

Today I am here to bring to you a little day-in-the-life with a festive theme. In true TMI spirit, because this time of year is for sharing, this post is about being on your period during Christmastime.

If you are a menstruating person, chances are at some point during December you will get your period. This is a time of year when emotions are heightened, you may already feel stressed and overworked and skint, and you may think this is the last thing you need. Have no fear though, for there are ways of making it slightly less…y’know, inconvenient. This notion does seem to clash with my general mantra of being positive and open about periods, and I still feel that they should be talked about and not hushhushed or stigmatized. They are however, a bodily function that generally involves controlling a heavy blood flow and battling with rushes of hormones, and it can be pretty jarring from time to time. My post today is therefore a little compilation of how I’m coping with my festive gift from Mother Nature. (God those Mother Nature adverts were awful weren’t they?)

So to get things going in classic TMI fashion, let’s start with my EQUIPMENT.

The Mooncup was sterilized at the end of last month’s bloody installment but I like to give it another quick clean before the next time, just for my own peace of mind. As I’ve only just started my period things are pretty light, so I’m just going to team it with a super thin liner, which I think was from The Blue Meadow on etsy, and completely blends in with my underwear. I feel 100% protected at all times when I team up a menstrual cup and reusable liner, and even if I misjudge the flow sometimes (it happens), there will always be two layers of protection going on. I’m even wearing WHITE underwear, yes that’s right folks. It’s also nice to know that I don’t need to do the shop for tampons and such, as everything I need is already waiting for me in my drawer. Saving some essential Christmas pennies there! Cha-ching.


Next, clothing! I am going out today, but I also want to be cosy AF with nothing tight or imposing on my WOMB AREA like a high-waisted skirt. So, I have simply chosen this very snuggly long line cream jumper (Primark) and some toasty leggings, with these fluffy festive socks. All with a soft low-impact sports bra underneath. On a pretty chilly day, this is perfection.

Onto pain relief! Right, so even though I am on the pill and the pain I experience has been significantly lessened in the past few years, I still get bouts of pretty harsh cramping and my boobs get so sore sometimes it feels like someone has dropped an anvil on them. I’m trying to avoid using painkillers such as ibuprofen when I’m at home as they make me feel very tired, and more susceptible to wanting to nap all the time. I’m going to turn to my trusty microwave-heaty-uppy thing which was gifted to me from my Dad, and is a malleable lifesaver whenever I have pulled a muscle or am experiencing vicious cramps. I just pop it in the microwave for a minute or so and wrap it around my stomach. It feels fantastic! One new option I’m giving a whirl is this raspberry leaf tea, which supposedly is good for menstrual pains. If it doesn’t make a difference, I’m going to look into magnesium supplements I think. 

Skincare! My skin is so bloody cliche and always noticably breaks out when I’m on my period, without fail. So I like to give it a thorough going over, with a light milky scrub (Angels on Bare Skin), a rose-based cleanser that doesn’t make my natural pinkness arise quite so aggressively, a brightening serum, a little sun cream as it’s pretty bright outside today, a Dead Sea Spa moisturiser, and a lovely rich lotion to massage around the boob and decolletage area. Treat yoself!

Onto cravings. Now as it stands in our home, we are very blessed to have quite a few festive treats lying around, and don’t get me wrong I have indulged. However! In an effort to get my wholegrains in as well, I have simply added a tablespoon of peanut butter to my porridge this morning. My boyfriend bought us these gorgeous flavoured ones and they are DIVINE. Gives me that sugar hit and a toasty meal too. I’m already on the tea, and today’s is in the most appropriate mug, which my sister gave me for my birthday…it is from a fantastic company called No More Taboo, and it’s all menstrual cuppy! So cute!

Taking care of the mind and body! Before i head out im going to give myself 15 minutes to dip into Happy by Fearne Cotton, just a few pages to remind myself to be compassionately minded today, instead of letting my hormones dictate. Then a few stretches, mainly leg based as I dont think my abs can take anyhing strenuous today. I feel like something feral is chewing lacklustrely on my insides.

All to the tune of one of my favourite and most gorgeous females of 2017, Elle King.

And now we come to a point where daytime TV is becoming just too alluring, so its time to head out and get on with my day. Does anybody else absolutely FEAST on trashy sex stories like this when they’re on their period? Just me then.

To conclude this post, I will share my general experience of periods through the medium of Ross Geller. Enjoy.

When you notice you’ve started bleeding and all the bitch-ass moods, sugar cravings and abdominal pains suddenly make sense.

When your friends notice that shit’s going down, but you try to put on a brave face despite your hormones raging away.

When you struggle to get your Mooncup in at the right angle, and the stem keeps poking you so you need to pee 24/7.


When you can’t get the bloody thing to pop open no matter how much you twist it, and you’ve got to leave the house in 5 minutes.

When you show up to work and realise you’ve got to pretend you’re not writhing in pain for 8 hours.

When you get home and nobody understands your emotional needs, not even the weather.

When you decide to treat yourself to a Greggs and someone just bought the last festive bake.

When you run out of chocolate and RED ROSS rears his ugly head because you just can’t cope without sugar at this time.

When you can’t even have sex to ease the cramps because you think your partner finds you bloated and repulsive, even though he blatantly doesn’t and just wants to help.

When he’s a total beacon of support and goes to the shop just to buy you something to help curb your sugar craving and numb the pain.

And when you just decide to get on with it, because it’s going to happen every bloody month for the considerable future, and you remember that you’ve totally got this.

Happy holidays everybody! Don’t let the bleeding get you down! Wear bright red jumpers and dance like a madman to festive tunes! It will help the crampage!

Until the next day of Blogmas!

Rosie

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