My own Christmas music

Enjoyment, Inspiration

Throughout December (actually it all begins in mid-November…) the radio stations terrorises us (read me) with awful Christmas music. I’m sorry but I can’t stand the “All I want’s”, “Red-nosed” and “Last Christmases”. So this year I will make my own Christmas music. Correction; I will listen to selected music during December thus making it Christmas music.

I know it probably doesn’t make much sense but I gave this idea some thought and now I’m practicing it. The Christmas music of 2016  consists of five records:

  • Dirty Dancing (The Original Soundtrack)
  • More Dirty Dancing (Even more music from the film Dirty Dancing)
  • Hair (The Original Soundtrack from the musical Hair)
  • Flashdance (The Original Soundtrack)
  • Top Gun (The Original Soundtrack)

And there you have it. Don’t ask me why it’s so 70’s and 80’s; I don’t know either. So if you’re like me just remember – you can make your own Christmas music!

⇝K

Dreamy Winter Dates – Everywhere!

Adventure, Inspiration

As promised, here is the list of my favourite dates during winter, a bit less “London-only” (but if you’re in this cool city, check out this too!). I hope that this inspires you, or that you find a few that you would like to go on. Tailor them to location, likes and date, and you’re set!

  • Winter picnic! Picnics are always so great, so put on your warm clothes, stock up on some warm drinks and snacks! And head out in the winter evening, to a cool (literally) location. And if it’s too cold for you….
  • Indoor picnic! As I said. Picnics always work. Even inside, with blankets etc!
  • Christmas markets! Favourite. Will get you in a great Christmassy mood, just seeing all the happy people, great food and decorations.
  • Parks and lights! Not only in London are the lit up parks and streets amazing.
  • Café dates! Just as mentioned earlier, Starbucks is great, but so are also other cafes, and when are cafes not a good bet?
  • Explore in the cold! Go somewhere new in the cold! Adventure. Get lost.
  • Christmas tree shopping! So cute, the smell, the greenery, the trees!
  • Bake or cook together! Ehehe, probably mostly because I love it.
  • Sledding/skiing/etc! Go on, go out, get cold, have fun, and then get warm inside again. After ski, anyone? Snow might be a requirement though.
  • Snow everything! IF you have snow, build snowman, snowforts, or have a snowball war? Same as above, basically.
  • DIY hot chocolate bar! Make your own hot chocolate with all the toppings!
  • Christmas/winter party! If you’re anything like me, hosting parties are awesome.
  • Christmas films! Cosy up with films, snacks, pillows, dimmed lights. Perf.


Aw, now I just want to drink hot chocolate, curl up under a blanket and watch 1000 Christmas films.

~ J

Dreamy London Winter Dates

Adventure, Inspiration

I love London. One of the many reasons is that this city is endless. Endless inspiration, endless life, endless fun. And – most importantly, at least for this post.. – endless date material! When we moved here, I started following a few blogs and Facebook pages (I know, shocker, not only my parents use that old social media..) so now I constantly see posts about “the 10 best ice rinks in London this winter!”, “these interesting pop-up bars will blow your mind” and endless pictures of all the Christmassy parks and lit-up streets.

The fact that we also slowly but surely start to figure out favourite places to go and things to do, gives me even more material for this blog post! So here is the list of London winter dates I’d love, weather I’ve actually been on any of them or not is up to you to judge (who am I trying to fool, really?). By the way, a side note is that “dates” doesn’t necessarily mean romantic ones. You can spend one of these dates with your BFF, squad (lol), pet, or why not just by yourself? So yeah. I might have been on a few of these, but so looking forward to doing more!

  • Ice skating! There are loads of cute places, including Hyde park and the one by Tower of London. If you want less of the cold, maybe inside of Westfield Shepherd’s Bush? Or try BUMP by Southbank, it’s a roller disco place and it looks amazing.
  • Southbank stroll! While we’re talking about BUMP, the rest of Southbank is amazing, with Christmas market, beautiful view, Rekorderlig Cider Lodge, etc. It’s my favourite place right now!
  • Walk through lit-up parks! I’ve heard so much about both Hampstead Heath and Kew Garden! 
  • Cute café chill out! I barely want to say this but ScooterCaffe. So great.
  • Winter Wonderland! In Hyde park, and the rest of Hyde park is amazing.
  • Christmas markets! There’s loads, and other markets are also great, like Camden market and Spitalfield market.
  • Starbucks date! When can you go wrong with Starbucks? Especially with all their winter Christmas specials (more about these later maybe? 😉 ) that you can make vegan!
  • Boat ride on Thames!  Might be cold but yes. Either on the River transport between stations for some easy transport combined with sightseeing, or there are a bunch of other cool things like dinner or drinks on Thames.
  • More Christmas lights+shopping! Check out the lights on Oxford street or Regent streets, etc. Or swing by Harrods for extra sparkle!
  • Theatre/cinema! So many amazing films and plays right now, i.e. Fantastic Beasts! I’ve also heard about some “outside” cinemas that are open in winter too.
  • Skyline bars/roof top bars! Who can anyone be anything than happy of seeing the breathtaking view of London? And there’s of course always London Eye too!
  • Christmas tree shopping! Just too cute – and the smell!
  • Pop-up winter shops/cafés etc! Check out secretldn.com for full list!



Most of these are very specific to right now in London, but even if you’re not in this magical city right now, you can find your own sparkle and hopefully this inspired you! There will also be a post very soon about more general inspirations for dates and activities for the winter time! 

~ J

Two years – still going strong!

Inspiration

In May I celebrated one year being vegan, which may or may not be something that will only be celebrated in May (see what I did there). But, alas I have something to celebrate related to my diet today as well. On this very day, two years ago, I said goodbye to meat and hello to a vegetarian lifestyle. And even though I’ve since then gone a step further (and may I say in the right direction?) I still like to celebrate this day. Because this day, this decision, was a stepping stone towards the greater thing; veganism. I have no doubt I eventually would’ve ended up vegan but I still find this step worth celebrating.

Last year I celebrated the day with a smashing selfie (what else?) and an ironic text saying I would celebrate with a bloody steak. As if. This year I just want to share this day with you guys. Well, to be honest I’ll probably post another selfie, I can’t help it, I just want to be a little bit proud today.

So to all of you who are vegans and vegetarians; keep up the good work! If you’re vegan – awesome and if you’re vegetarian – have you heard about veganism (and yes, you’re still awesome)? Today, and everyday is a day to celebrate our enlightenment! So let’s spread the word! Want to be awesome? – go vegan! I cannot stress this enough! (and therefore using a lot of exclamation marks). If we can, so can everyone. Let’s do what Gandhi said: let’s be the change we want to see in the world (I’m a bit vegancheezy, I admit). Let’s never stop #veganchalkchallenge and all the other fun and beautiful things we do for our fellow animals. Today. Tomorrow. For ever.

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(Please do enjoy one of Earth’s lovely creatures; the peacock)

⇝K

Survival Study Guide – Back 2 School w/ EC

Inspiration

I’m no expert when it comes to studying, I’m not the best at it. But I actually like it and I think I’ve found a few things that work (at least for me). So here are my best tips for surviving your studies!

  • calendar + lists = planning
    I’ve mentioned it before but I really like planning. Having a really good calendar or planner is essential and will most definitely save you a lot of stress, time and confusion. You will know when to do what, and also it will stop you from forgetting exams and reports. Basically, it will just make your life and your studies so much easier.
  • study strategies
    Finding your own strategies to get things done and focus is very important, but how do you do that then? You try different things to see what works best! Try listening to music, does that help your focus or is it making you wanna dance instead of studying? Where and with who should you do your homework or review notes? Sometimes it’s a good idea to have study buddies but not always. Maybe you work best in the library, or maybe in the comfort of your own bedroom. Try it all and see what works, and then use the strategies you find works the best! It can also be different strategies for different subjects or scenarios. And sometimes combining strategies can really be the best bet (for example, to prepare for an exam, discuss with friends and then review)!
  • procrastinating
    I’m not going to tell you straight up stop procrastinating and just do it (insert meme here), because I should know that it’s not easy to do that. But, what I can tell you is that you will have to learn how to be efficient if you procrastinate. Of course, the best would be if you started writing/preparing for that report way in advance, but if that’s not possible for you, then just be efficient with your work and learn how to get things done. This is difficult to explain… But if you start studying for an exam or writing the report just a few days before due, then you can afford to waste time. Don’t sit there and wait for the report to write itself or for the knowledge to jump into your brain – do it! And do it without distractions, don’t try doing it for a couple of hours with your phone next to you or watching a movie, instead take two hours and be efficient! This goes hand in hand with study strategies, naturally.
  • stay active during lessons
    This is a very obvious one, but it might also be my best one. Pay attention to the lesson (if that’s what works for you)! You might think the lesson is super boring but the only one losing on not listening is you. And if you listen, be sure to actually be an active listener, take notes! For me, this is (most of the time) essential to my studies. Then review those notes to really get the information into your brain. Make sure to bring pens! Also, when reading and sorting through your notes, make them more fun and easy to follow by using different coloured highlighters and markers. Always bring your pencil case – see it as your chosen weapons of battle; pick them carefully and make sure they work wonders for your notes.
  • take breaks
    One thing as important as being efficient during the time you actually study – take efficient breaks! What do I mean by this? While your doing your homework or whatever, take breaks where you truly pause your studies and just do something different. Also snacks. Snack loads, okay? You can forget to eat when you’re stressed, so remember to refuel! I also recommend longer breaks. D0 things that make you truly relax. Friends and study buddies help here too. Stress relief is so important. I just recently started meditating and body scanning, but it’s so good and it truly helps you focus on what’s important. It brings clarity to everything. Your health is always crucial.
  • be interested – stay positive
    Okay, I was wrong when I said active lessons was my best tip. This is what truly has helped me throughout my studies. Be interested in the subjects, be eager to learn more and do more, don’t just see it as something you “must” do. See it as something you want to do. Of course getting good grades and stuff can motivate you, but I find that if you’re genuinely interested, you’re more likely to actually do your best and learn more. Stay positive, school is not the worst! If you think of it as dreadful and a prison, it will become just that. I try to not hate school. I know saying things like “you’re lucky to be able to go to school” might seem like a cliche but it is true – but see it as your job and also what you want to do. Just stay curious!

 

I think that was it. I probably missed loads but that’s okay. Please remember that school is not forever, and when you stop seeing it as the most boring thing in the world, it actually can become fun! You will find yourself missing school in just a couple of years. And even if you think nothing you learn about will help you in the future, it actually will. Maybe not the derivative of x, but other things like planning, writing, learning new things, staying interested, checking up on the sources and being persistent in your work.

Good luck!

~J

 

J’s Current Makeup Favourites

Inspiration

Maybe this is a time of writing different blog posts, since I was actually choosing between this  and writing about my thoughts right now…(something I’m usually too scared to do). But the latter will have to wait a little while.

I’m not the biggest makeup geek out there. I actually don’t wear makeup that much, I definitely don’t wear it every day and it’s most often not a full face of makeup. Despite of this, I actually quite enjoy makeup, meaning I think it’s fun. I wish I was better at it and knew a lot more – I would definitely not say I know what I’m doing when it comes to makeup, but I do enjoy it.

I don’t really know why I suddenly decided to do this… But I guess it has something with recently going vegan, and realising that I don’t really want to repurchase some of these products no matter how much I like them (regarding animal-cruelty and ingredients from animals..). By the way, I’ve decided to not throw everything away immediately. So I decided to do this blog post before I decide to go completely vegan with everything I own.

But anyway, here are my current makeup favourites:

NARS Sheer Glow Foundation Mont Blanc (light 2)
NARS Radiant Creamy ConcealerVanilla (light 2)
E.l.f. Cream Eyelinerblack
Bhcosmetics 6 colour palette – bronzer,  powder, highlight and blush
The Balm Schwing black liquid eyeliner
Maybelline Lash Sensational black mascara
Gerard Cosmetics Hydra Matte Serenity, liquid lipstick
The Body Shop BORN LIPPYraspberry
Ardell Brow Pomade – blonde
The Balm NUDE’tude – naughty palette

These are products I use a lot if I wear makeup, some of them I use on an (almost but not really) daily basis and some of them I only use when I want a more full-on makeup look. The mascara for example is quite a new favourite, I’ve been using for just a little while now. I picked it up when I was in desperate need of a new mascara (are you ever though? haha). I always used Maybelline The Falsies before but for some reason I decided to try the Lash Sensational one and it’s pretty good. And after I bought it – knowing nothing about it -, I’ve started to hear of a lot of people using it and loving it, so I guess that’s nice.

The Cream Eyeliner however, has been a favourite of mine for long. I should probably re-buy a new one since it has lasted me so so long so I haven’t gotten a new one… Woops. But it’s great, since I’m usually allergic to other eyeliners but… I do like (and am not allergic to) the Schwing eyeliner! I got it as a present from my sister and I really like it – no itchy eyelids yet!

The two palettes are probably my absolute favourites, and also the liquid lipstick of course – which by the way is like the only lipstick I ever use. Okay, I probably should stop writing about all of the products, since it will probably be too long and I’m a bit of a rambler so I’ll stop now. But yeah, soon I’ll probably write about which of these are vegan makeup products and also about other vegan makeup brands and products out there… I’m very interested in it and I want to know more.

 

~J

1st of April

Inspiration

As you know, it’s the first of april today. Although, this day is probably famous as April Fool’s Day. A year ago on this day, we (M and J) had a presentation in school. We got to choose a subject to talk about ourselves and we thought the most appropriate considering the date was to pick Pranks and April Fool’s Jokes! We presented some facts and talked a bit about the history of this special day, and we also made some quizzes. It was super fun and the presentation went quite well. So, we thought that we would give you some inspiration for pranks and jokes to pull this April Fool’s (a bit late though, but I mean, if not this year – maybe next year, or just any day, right?). As we’re not really big fans of the mean-disgusting-life-ruining-pranks spreading on the Internet lately, we hereby present fun and imaginative ways to prank and pull jokes on your friends:

  • cover something of theirs (think car, room, house, inside of fridge…) in post-it notes in fun colours!
  • put plastic cups filled with water EVERYWHERE (maybe you understand we watch ThatcherJoe on YouTube…)
  • make strangers/your friends whom they don’t know tell them a random word or sentence throughout the entire day, something to just confuse them (works well in school or workplace, or just trough texts)
  • fill a room or a locker with balloons (we did this for K’s birthday last year!)
  • buy someone a plane ticket and take them to the airport to give them a last minute surprise trip to a cool place! (this of course require the money and time… but this would be the best surprise ever)

 

So, what do we know about April Fool’s Day? Before doing the presentation; almost nothing. And now, our memories are failing us a little, but we have some of the notes! Apparently, ancient cultures used to celebrate New Year’s Day on April 1st. Pope Gregory  the 14th ordered to replace the old calendar with a new one. According to the new calendar the new year began on the 1st of January. Some people continued to celebrate New Year’s Day on April 1st and they were made fun of, hence April Fool’s Day which is also known as All Fool’s Day.

Here is the quiz we made, the key to this is further down in this post:

Is this an actual April Fool’s joke or not? (Yes means it’s a joke that has actually been made on April 1st. No means it’s a joke we made up.)

  1. In 1983 a Professor in Boston claimed that the April fool´s day was invented when Konstantin , as a joke, allowed a group of jesters and fools to run the empire for a day. And the professor said that this is why it’s called April fool’s day. Yes            No
  2. In 1957, BBC news announced that the Swiss were harvesting their spaghetti from trees thanks to the mild winter.        Yes      No
  3. In 1987 the newspaper The Times made an announcement which claimed that the Queen wanted Buckingham Palace to be painted pink.      Yes     No
  4. In 1962 when Sweden only had one TV channel in black and white a technical expert announced that you could get instant colour TV by pulling a nylon stocking over the TV screen.  Yes    No
  5. There once was a French aviator who dropped what appeared to be a bomb in a German camp (during one of the world wars). The germans were terrified and scattered immediately in all directions. This ”bomb” was actually a football with a note saying ”April Fool’s”.          Yes      No
  6. In 1998 an article was posted claiming the Alabama state voted to change the value of pi from 3.141592… to 3.0    Yes    No
  7. A British scientist said that due to the combination of molecules in a cucumber they were impossible to freeze. This is were the idiom ”Cool as a cucumber” comes from.    Yes      No
  8. Three years ago J woke up very early on the first of April and put sticky notes all over her parents’ car.       Yes       No
  9. The year after J.K Rowling published the seventh Harry Potter book, she said that she was going to publish a book series about the Marauders, James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew.         Yes      No
  10. In Australia a news program revealed that the country would start using metric time. For example 100 seconds to a minute and 100 minutes to an hour.    Yes    No

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We also found a mad libs but we never used this for the lesson, and it probably won’t work out if you were to do it here, but here it is anyway… Put down the requested words here first:

adjective: (1)
emotion: (2)
a friend: (3)
adjective: (4)
noun: (5)
type of liquid: (6)
amount of time: (7)
adjective: (8)
costume/character: (9)
emotion: (10)
place: (11)
noun: (12)
funny phrase: (13)
sound: (14)
noun: (15)
place full of people: (16)

And then transfer them to the correlating number in the story below:

Tomorrow is April Fool’s Day, so I am going to be super______ (1) so no one pranks me this time. Every year I am always ______ (2) I am going to get pranked, so this year I am going to plan to prank ______ (3) instead. I am going to need a friend who is very______ (4). First I will cover his/her dorm room in ______ (5). I will then set a ______ (6) on top of the door so it falls when he/she opens the door. Then I will wait ______ (7) until they come back. When they go in their room they are going to be very______ (8) that their room is now completely covered.  While they are in shock, I will come into the room dressed as a ______ (9) and scare them, making them so ______ (10) they scream and fall to the floor. Later I will text my friend to meet me at the ______ (11) but really I will be waiting behind a ______ (12) and pop out to scare them. Finally, I will be known as the prank champion when I stick a note saying ______ (13) on their back without them knowing. But just when I am about to fall asleep believing I have gotten out of being fooled, I hear a ______ (14) and look up to see a huge ______ (15) above my head staring at me and scream, waking the whole ________ (16).

 

Hope you enjoyed this extra-long post about today’s date! Happy April 1st and… safe pranking!

 

The answers to the quiz:

1.Yes 2.Yes 3.No 4.Yes 5.Yes 6.Yes 7.No 8.No 9.No 10.Yes

 

/J and M

Easy DIY Peppermint Sugar Scrub

Inspiration

This christmas I haven’t got very much money for christmas presents. Previous years I have always bought all of my presents. Since I still wanted to give nice gifts despite the lack of money I decided to make some.

For example I made peppermint sugar scrubs today. They look and smell really nice and I think my friends will be happy with them (hopefully)! To get the instructions for how to make this scrub click here.

One thing I noticed while making the scrub is that if you want a scrub that smells purely of peppermint be sure to buy a odourless coconut oil. If you don’t mind the combination of coconut and peppermint you can use the regular coconut oil. I ended up using the regular coconut oil and had to put in quite a lot of peppermint extract for it to smell more of peppermint than of coconut.

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In the end it was quick and easy making this sugar scrub and not to expensive. I bought the jars but you could use old ones you have at home if you want to save even more money.

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➢ M

DIY Yuletide Garland

Inspiration

I know from experience that people can blabber on for ages before the instructions for their DIY:s begin. Thats something a find quite irritating and a promise I won’t do that. I do have to say something first though. The garland consists of three different types of handmade ornaments and it will therefore take quite some time making it. With that said I think we should get right into the instruction!

Things you will need:

  • Pinecones
  • Different coloured paper (white, silver, green and red)
  • Thread (2,5-3 meters long)
  • Glue
  • Sewing thread
  • Needle
  • Pen
  • Ruler
  • Circular object (glass)
  • Scissors

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Before you start saying anything about me buying pinecones DON’T because my dad have already teased me about it!

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The amount of paper and the measurement of thread will depend on how long you want your garland to be. As you can see by the picture the silver coloured papers I used where quite an odd shape. You could always start out with a normal paper and then cut it into the right shape.

We will start with the instruction of how to make the silver “bauble”. (I used quite a thick paper which made it hard to fold so I would recommend using quite a thin papper instead.) The first step is to draw lines on the back of the paper using a ruler to get the lines straight.

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After drawing the long lines you are going to draw diagonal lines from one line to another. (see picture)

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When you are done with drawing the diagonal lines it’s time to start folding the paper. This can be a bit tricky. Every line is divided in the middle by the short diagonal lines. Starting from the left making your way the right your going to fold the top half of every other line one way and then the other top halves the opposite way. After you have folded the top lines you are going to do the same with the bottom lines. HERE comes the tricky part; you have to fold the bottom half of the line the opposite way to how you folded the top half of the same line.

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The last part in the making of the silver bauble is; using a sewing thread and needle you have to sew the thread through the top between all the lines in the top and then through the bottom between all the lines at the bottom. (see picture) When doing this use a strong thread or make the thread dubbel som that it won’t brake.

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After you have done that pull the thread until the bottom and the top closes. Secure the thread with a few stitches and then your done with the first ornament!

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Now it’s time to move in to the red and green bauble. The first thing you have to do is find a circular object. With the help of your circular object of choice you are going to trace circles on the green and the red paper. In total you want 6 circles of each colour. Cut out the circles and place them in the order shown in the picture, fold them in half and then stack them into one pile.

The next step is to attach all the circle together. Using a needle and sewing thread (again) I pushed the thread through the top of all the circles and then the bottom. You could use a stapler but I did not have one and fund that my method used extremely well. Secure the thread with a few knots before moving on to the next step.

After sewing the circles together it’s time to use the glue. Glue the tops of the circles together in pairs (red with read and green with green).

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Lastly glue the bottoms of the circles together in pairs but this time a green with a red. When you have finished this the ornament should be done and you are free to move on to the making of the last ornament.
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The last type ornament is a snowflake. For the making of the snowflake I used a white slightly shimmering paper. The first thing you want to do is to cut the paper. I cut the paper into a oblong shape with the measurements 10,5 x 18 cm. When finished with cutting the paper the next step is to fold it like an accordion. DON’T fold it to many times because then it will be difficult later on.

The next thing to do is to fold the folded paper in half and tie a thread around the middle. Continue by drawing a shape on each side of the thread and then cutting off the excess paper.

When you have cut the shapes on both sides of the paper gently pull the paper until it looks like the picture.

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To finish it and make it a snowflake, glue the pieces that are not already attached to each other.

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To be able to finish your garland you have to make a couple of more of these ornaments. In total I made 2 silver baubles, 7 green and red baubles and 5 snowflakes. After finishing them all I cut ended up using a brown thicker thread (2,5-3 meters long) as the string which the ornaments will hang on. Lay the thread on the ground and start placing the ornaments in the order you want them to hang. Remember the pinecones as well!

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To secure the ornaments and pinecones to the thicker thread I used the sewing thread once again. All you have to do is tie it to the ornament and then to the thicker thread. Use multiple knots so you know the ornaments are secured safely and won’t fall off.

All that is left to do now is to hang the yuletide garland somewhere where it will look festive! (Just remember to secure it tightly wherever you hang it because you don’t want it to fall down. Mine did while I was sleeping and  the sound it made smashing against my window scared me half ro death!)

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➢ M

Christmas Chaos Organiser

Inspiration

As I might have mentioned here before, I like planning. What I don’t really like is going through with my plans, I’m not really great at that part. Although, that doesn’t stop me from planning and making lots of lists.
Christmas is for a lot of people a wonderful time of the year, but it may also be a very stressful period. To ease this madness and find a way through the chaos, you can make lists. Even better, you can have a Christmas planner. This is the first year I have one, normally I just keep my lists of gifts, activities and budget laying around.
So here’s some inspiration if you want one yourself! I think I will use it a lot – I still have left to fill it in – and maybe this will even make me realise all my plans and actually check off my lists?