Visiting Santa in the Crescent Shopping Center was one of our many Christmas traditions so I thought I’d embarrass myself and my brother (sorry Conor) and share our Christmas pictures with Santa through the years.
1995 – My First Christmas
1996- Like Butter Wouldn’t Melt
1997- The Devil Year (I’ll explain later)
1998- Green Must Have Been In This Year
1999 – Aren’t We Sweet?
2000 – The Year of the Hideous Bob
2001 – The Year Mam Knitted Myself and Her Matching Jumpers…
2002 – The Year I Was Finally Allowed Grow Out The Hideous Bob
2003 – Clearly I Wanted To Dress Like Santa
2004 – The Year the Magic Ended
So back to 1997 being the devil year. If you haven’t already noticed Conor and I took pictures on the same side of Santa every year except 1997 hence why I call it the devil year. For my 18th birthday my mam made me a lovely “Your life in Pictures” book with a 2 page spread of these photos and 1997 ruined the flow of pictures (OCD much?).
In recent years we have been tempted to visit our old pal in the Crescent and recreate some of these pictures but I imagine we would get some strange looks from confused children.
As Christmas is looming I thought I’d do the generic Christmas tag most bloggers do around this time.
What’s your Favourite Christmas Movie?
It has to be either The Grinch or Elf.
Have you ever had a White Christmas?
Ireland doesn’t bring many white Christmases, we barely get snow but I do remember one Christmas when I was younger and we had quite a bit of snow, myself and my brother were building snowmen with my next door neighbours and as we went to collect snow for I went with one of the girls and started steeling the snow she collected cause I was too lazy to collect my own!
Where do you usually spend your holiday?
Usually we spend most of the day in my parents house, we’d call to visit my dad’s mam and his brother but most of the day is spent at home.
What’s your favourite Christmas song?
There’s just too many to choose from, but I think it would have to be Fairy tale of New York -it’s a classic!
Do you open presents on Christmas Eve?
Nope we never open presents on Christmas Eve, I usually get a new pair of pyjamas on Christmas eve but that’s all that gets opened
What holiday traditions are you looking forward to this year?
Christmas is slightly different for us in recent years as we’re “grown up” but I think my favourite tradition will always be going to my granny’s house after dinner and getting so see so much of my dad’s family in the one place.
Is your Christmas tree real of fake?
We always have a fake tree.
What’s your all time favourite Christmas food/sweet treat?
It has to be either my Granny’s stuffing or her Christmas Cake (which never actually makes it to Christmas Day in our house…)
Be honest: Do you prefer giving or receiving gifts?
Now that I’m earning money and can actually afford to buy nice presents I definitely prefer giving!
What is the best gift you’ve ever received?
I’ve gotten so many great gifts over the years some of my favourites have been:
My dolls house (which I was super excited to get because it was the same as my friends one)
Fluffy (My soft teddy cat who came in his own cage, with loads of accessories, including a trophy cause clearly he was a winner, Fluffy is now almost 20 years old and definitely isn’t as Fluffy as he used to be!)
My Pink iPod Nano was definitely the top of my wishlist the year I got it but this little engraving my parents ever so kindly put on the back of it was not. I think everyone who knows me knows I can’t sign but it still doesn’t stop me! 😀
Where is your dream place to visit for the holidays?
The holidays for me are all about being at home with my family, having said that, I don’t think I’d refuse a trip to New York at Christmas 😉
What’s your most memorable holiday moment?
I don’t think I have any one particularly memorable moment that stands out to me. I have so many happy memories of Christmas Day in my Gandparents house surrounded by my aunts, uncles and cousins, so much laughter and so much good food. I get the warm fuzzy feelings even just thinking about it. I also loved when my Granddad on my mam’s side came to our house for St. Stephen’s Day dinner, it’s probably the tradition I miss most since he passed away.
What made you realise the truth about Santa?
I was in fifth class in school and one of the girls in my class told me, I went home and asked my mam who proceeded to lie to me about it until she eventually caved to tell me the girl in my class was right.
Do you make New Years resolutions?
I used to make the usual resolutions like: exercise more, eat healthier, etc. which would last all of about 2 weeks if I’m lucky. The last few years I’ve started setting myself goals, things I want to do or places I want to go to instead.
What makes the holiday special for you?
For me I just love spending time with my family, its the one time of year you know everyone makes the effort to visit everyone.
As I mentioned in my gift guide and my wishlist post, I love getting Pandora charms as presents. If you know me you’d know I wear my Pandora charm bracelet every day and it’s one of the most sentimental pieces of jewelry I own. Each charm on my bracelet has a special meaning to me and I thought I’d use today’s post to share that.
To start of with the bracelet itself. I bought the bracelet myself out of combined money I got for my 18th birthday from my Granny and my Godfather. The reason I bought the bracelet was because my Granddad passed away the April before my 18th birthday (my birthday is in June) and it made me realise that people won’t be around forever so I decided I was going to put as much money together from my birthday as I could to buy something that would last forever and I could keep adding to as the years went on.
With the bracelet I bought 2 clips that stop the charms from falling off and an 18 dangle charm for my 18th birthday.
That Christmas my parents got me my second charm which has a pretty funny story behind it. The charm they got me was a snowman, relevant as it was Christmas time but also because of a home video we have of me when I was 5 or 6.
One year we had really good snow so myself, my brother and 3 girls we lived next door to were all out in our backyard collecting snow to make an attempt at making a snowman. My dad being the old-school “vlogger” he was decided to film us from inside the house. We all went off with our buckets collecting snow from various areas around our garden but the cunning 5 or 6 year old that I was decided to follow one of the girls and steal the snow from her bucket and claim it as my own. The video is funnier than reading it but unfortunately the footage is buried on some hard drive somewhere that we can’t find a the minute.
The birthday cake was the next charm to join the family. This was given to me by my godmother for my 19th birthday.
Another birthday present I got was my camera charm. My best friend Sarah (shout out to you Sarah 😛 ) gave me this. I love taking pictures and in more recent years I have started to become one of the unofficial family photographers at any of our family occasions. I have two really large families on my mam and dads side, dad being one of 14 and mam being one of 10 there’s always a crowd at our gatherings and I love being able to capture the moments and memories at those events.
Next up is probably the most meaningful charm on my bracelet because it’s not actually mine. Four months before my 21st birthday my aunt passed away, we hadn’t been close for a lot of my childhood but in the 7 years previous as a family we all got really close and we were always in and out to each other or meeting up for lunches and my 21st kind of became the big event of that year, I was having my entire two large families to my house for a massive party and everyone was really looking forward to it. Unfortunately, Rita passed before that and her daughter was going through her jewelry collection and was giving Rita’s Pandora bracelets to her 3 little girls. But she spotted this little present and decided to give it to me as Rita’s 21st present to me. Having a little piece of Rita with me everywhere I go means so much so this charm is definitely the most special one on my bracelet.
My cousin and his now fiance bought me this little ice-cream cone for my 21st birthday also.
Christmas 2016 brought me this little charm with my initial on it and I love it. The detail in the charm is just beautiful, and very similar to the Gemini charm in my wishlist 😉
This year saw two new additions to my bracelet.
First up, my graduation cap. I did a post back in August about my college experience and how I never imagined I’d graduate from where I did with a degree in what I studied so this little cap is pretty special to me. The inside of the cap is engraved with the words “Hard Work Pays Off” which has 2 meanings to me, the work I did in college to get the degree but also the work I did when I was on my work experience in college. I was given an opportunity to really prove myself so I worked really hard and it really did pay off because I got a permanent job out of it.
Last but certainly not least.. My little Big Apple. It’s no secret I went to New York this year after many many many years of waiting so to add a memento to my bracelet I bought a little “Big Apple” charm when I was in New York to add to my collection so I’ll always have a part of New York with me.
My bracelet is filling up quite quickly now but there’s still load of room to add more memories and more meaning. If all comes to all I’m just going to have to get another bracelet!
I’m one of those people who never really knows what they want when people ask and to be honest I’m kind of at the stage of my life where I’m just buying the stuff I want now so creating a wishlist was a little difficult but there are a few things I have wanted for a while but never got around to buying. I also had my friend Vanessa (shout out Vanessa :P) give me a list of make up I need to add to my collection.
Instax Mini Camera
I love taking pictures and I have always wanted to get an Instax Mini Camera but never got around to buying one myself. I’m always taking pictures but rarely manage to print them so this Polaroid camera would be ideal cause I’d get my pictures printed instantly.
Pandora Gemini Charm
My birthday is June 6th so I’m a Gemini and although I’m not super into my astrology I do enjoy reading my horoscopes and I put my everlasting longing to be a twin down to the fact that I am a Gemini. I love this little Gemini Pandora Charm.
Now on to the suggested items from Vanessa for my makeup collection.
With all these begin said I’m pretty easy to please at Christmas time. As long as we have our Turkey and Ham dinner, our visits to Granny’s and my uncles and we have a Disney movie on Christmas night, give me a pair of fluffy socks and pjyamas and I’d be as happy as Larry!
I find men really difficult to buy for at Christmas time, my dad is a mechanic so usually he just sends us a list of equipment he needs and we pick from that and myself and my brother usually just pick out what we want and get the other to buy it for us – life is just so much easier that way! So here are a few generic ideas for gifts for him.
Wallets are a quick and easy gift suitable for any man in your life. This John Rocha one from Debehnmas is perfect for €58.
Coffee, Coffee, Coffee
Most the men I know really love their coffee if you know what coffee machine they have, it’s a good idea to buy the coffee pods or some different variations of the pods to try out a new selection. Another gift idea for the coffee lover in your life could a French Press. This 8 cup one from Brown Thomas is perfect for entertaining or the coffee addict for €50.
Everyone seems to be into tracking their fitness these days making this Xiaomi fitness tracker the perfect Christmas pressie for someone who doesn’t already have one. Available from Amazon for $33.80.
Wireless speakers are an ideal gift for the party or music lover. This Sony one from Harvey Norman for €85 is perfect.
There you have it a quick & simple gift guide for the men in your lives!
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored. Opinions on products are my own. Product recommendations based on word of mouth feedback and reviews online.
Welcome to Blogmas Day 1 – I’ll be posting different posts everyday between now and Christmas day. Today’s post is a gift guide for her. From mam’s to sisters to aunts and grandmothers each gift can be tailored to who you need to buy for.
One of my favourite gifts to give my mam is what I like to call a “Pamper Hamper”. Basically I fill a basket of a load of different bits and bobs to help your mam treat herself.
Chocolates, pyjamas and slippers are a must for this hamper.
Other optional bits to add to this would be movies (newest rom-com or chickflick is always a good option), my mam loves her tea so I’d throw in some fancy tea and a nice mug.
And finally I’d pop in a voucher for a nice spa treatment, massage or even just for a manicure – something as a little extra treat.
Everyone likes jewelry so something sparkly is always welcome at Christmas time. Personally I love getting Pandora charms for Christmas as I am building up my bracelet & their Christmas collection this year is just beautiful! How cute is this little Santa? €45 form Pandora
Alex & Ani are also a great option for jewelry with lovely collections of bracelets, rings and also the Harry Potter Collection – how could you not love that? This snowman charm bracelet is available from Alex and Ani for $38
I know myself I hate spending a lot of money on perfume but I love having nice perfumes, making a nice perfume the perfect gift. Boots & Debenhams sometimes have great offers on perfumes so definitely worth checking them out.
Hymalian Salt Lamp
I got one of these for Christmas last year and I absolutely love it. They’re supposed to purify the air around your room and create a more relaxing environment.
Similar to the Pamper Hamper a weekend away is a great treat to give someone. Be it in Ireland or foreign (if you want to go all out), weekend breaks are perfect gifts & there are so many places now where you can get great deals with hotels & activities.
There’s just a small few ideas of possible gifts for the women in your life, tomorrows post will be Gift Guide for Him so be sure to come back for more gift ideas.
Thursday was our last full day in New York, our original plan for this day was to keep it free and do anything we might have missed. Mam was hoping to go to Jersey Gardens to do some more window shopping but given that we didn’t get to go up to the One World Observatory on Tuesday and we had already paid for the tour we decided we’d make the most definitely longer than 5k trek down to the Financial District to do that.
As we were up and out of the hotel by 7:30 or 8am every morning we made it down pretty early & thankfully there was no rain or strong winds on the day so we were able to go up to the observatory. The elevators are pretty cool inside, there is a warning for anyone who is afraid of heights or gets motion sick to either close their eyes or face the elevator doors as you go up the 102 floors in 47 seconds and you see the city build it’s self around you as you go up.
The view’s from here were much the same as the Empire State Building but still worth the visit! Mam had made a promise to conquer her fear of heights by stepping out on to the glass floor of the observatory however there isn’t any – that’s in the Sears Tower in Chicago! But there was a little screen that mirrored the ground below us so we’re all really proud that Mam stepped on that!
There’s a couple of observation decks in the observatory and you can buy a tablet to use as a guide to point out the buildings you can see and gives you some facts about them. We didn’t bother with that as we got so much information from our bus and boat tours we decided we’d just enjoy the view!
Next we walked over to the Irish Hunger Memorial – something my cousin mentioned to us before we went over but neither of us had heard about it before. Reading up on it, it’s a memorial for the Great Irish Famine back in the 1800’s. There are stones from each county in Ireland in the memorial and there is a reconstructed Irish cottage incorporated into the memorial. It was nice to see a bit of Irish history in New York as so many Irish fled to the states during this time. The only downside to this is you wouldn’t really know what it is unless you went looking for it. There isn’t much information on the site about what it is or represents. It’s kind of just left to speak for itself and maybe that was the intention but I felt a little bit lost trying to understand it when we were there!
After the memorial we decided to be idiots and WALK the entire way more than 5K back to our hotel! Luckily it wasn’t raining but man are my feet broken now (especially since we did a 10K walk on Sunday when we came back too!!). When we eventually made it back to our hotel we freshened up and went to John’s Pizzeria on 44th street for a whole load of garlic bread, chicken wings and pizza cause how could we not have pizza in New York?
After dinner it was showtime, literally.. We had booked tickets to see Wicked on Broadway before we went over. I had a half an idea of the story line but the show was absolutely amazing! I’m still listening to the songs!! One thing I loved was a little novelty to trick people into buying a drink at the show. When you bought a drink it was served in a Wicked travel cup so when you got your drink you automatically got a keepsake from the show rather than having to buy a t-shirt and if you didn’t add alcohol to the slushie it only cost $7 which of course is all I spent cause I’m a cheapskate sometimes!! But it was well worth the $7 for the travel cup!!
And that’s it our New York trip certainly went out with a bang! Friday all we did really was have a dash around the shops to pick up some presents and sweets to bring back & checked out of the hotel and went to the airport 5 hours before our flight for fear we’d be late!!
New York has quickly become my favourite place, I just loved everything about it! I was afraid that I’d hate the busyness about it and all the hustle and bustle but surprisingly I think that was my favourite part! The place was buzzing all the time and it was just incredible. I was 100% not ready to come home when we did, I’d have stayed there so much longer if I could! I guess I’m just gonna have to go back again!!