Picnic Proms at Harewood House

The sun is shining, the weather’s warmer, and the Summer Holidays are within touching distance. I don’t know about anybody else, but I’m starting to think about plans for the summer!

After the year we’ve all just experienced, the further easing of restrictions and a return to normality (or should I say, the ‘new’ norm), really does make the summer feel like a PROPER summer. Being able to meet up with friends and family, how we want, where we want, is going to feel like such a treat after what feels like a million months of cancelled holidays, postponed events, and coming in and out of lockdowns and tiers. SO, time to get thinking about what to do.

Now, whilst we’re (hopefully! – don’t want to jinx anything) going to be seeing much fewer (if not no) restrictions next month, I feel like we’re all a little bit more keen to look for those outdoor events and things to do. I suppose as well as feeling safer, after spending so long cooped up, we want to be able to BREATHE and enjoy our beautiful outdoor spaces again!

Alfie Boe, Sir Willard White, Aled Jones, Tenors Unlimited and Queen Symphonic will headline
three spectacular concerts at Harewood House this September. Picnic Proms Summer Concert is a three day series of concerts featuring musical theatre legends, orchestral icons, a symphonic spectacular and spellbinding silent firework displays (silent to ensure minimal disturbance to the Harewood House wildlife).

Seems perfect right? Outdoor space, live entertainment – and not just that, but a show, a production, which will involve hundreds of performers, backstage hands, and event organisers who’ll be BACK IN WORK (can I get a few ‘woop woop’s and a standing ovation for that?!) after an incredibly difficult 18 months. The Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra, who will accompany two of the three concerts, is a professional orchestra which has been revived after 66 years, specifically to support freelance musicians from Yorkshire who have been hit hardest by the pandemic. Which is absolutely incredible.

Have I sold it to you yet?! Here are the details you need:

• Friday 3rd September: Alfie Boe with special guests Louise Dearman and Rachel Tucker
• Saturday 4th September: The Great Yorkshire Proms hosted by Aled Jones and featuring The Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra, Sir Willard White, Sophie Evans and Tenors Unlimited
• Sunday 5th September: Queen Symphonic with the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra

The event has been created and designed to ensure potential government restrictions can be adhered to if required – hand sanitising, queueing systems etc. – it all feels like second nature now doesn’t it?! So you can have full confidence in a safe experience, regardless of what restrictions may or may not be in place. Ticket prices begin at £35.

Imagine it now – lovely evening weather, friends and/or family, a gorgeous picnic, a night of beautiful sights and sounds – it feels kinda dreamy.

Head on over to vivolive.co.uk to book your tickets! Go on, it’s a no brainer! The only tricky part is deciding who you want to go and see…

A Long Overdue Life Update

Hey gang! Wow. I can’t believe how long it’s been since I was last sat updating my blog. A year ago, I was posting consistently, every week: then Lockdown happened.

For me (and I think with a lot of bloggers), writing in lockdown was either going to kill, or cure. For me, it was kill. Both Ed and I went from doing wonderful, fun, stagey jobs, to being unemployed, with no clue how long for, and I just wasn’t in the right headspace to write. Never mind the fact I was doing nothing to write about!

Whilst it’s been a hell of a difficult year, I’m not here to vent and rant…that’s not what this blog is about. It’s a means of expressing myself, yes, but I’m all about the positivity! So, all I need say is that after a rollercoaster 12 months, we’re finally allowing ourselves to feel hopeful, particularly with the mass rollout of vaccines.

There HAVE been a couple of highlights though, that I need to update you on.

Firstly, our bezzies got married! I was Maid of Honour (and on ULTIMATE veil duties), and Ed was a Groomsman.

It was touch and go for so many months because of the ever changing rules about weddings, but they tied the knot in September and it was BEAUTIFUL. They ended up spreading it over 2 days which was a great idea: ‘Day Guests’ were invited to the ceremony, wedding breakfast and various other wedding day shenanigans at Grassfield Hall on Saturday 12th, and the ‘Evening Guests’ (plus the wedding party) were invited to Papa’s in Harrogate on Sunday 13th, for food and drink, and a screening (can I call it that?), of the ceremony from the day before (done by their videographer in record time so they could share it with everyone – how amazing is that)?! They’d planned a small-ish wedding anyway, so splitting the guests in half meant everything was Covid compliant. It was an absolutely beautiful weekend, it wasn’t second best to the original plan by any means. It was so special and I (/we!) are so honoured to have been a part of it.

Then, in January, I decided to set up MY OWN BUSINESS! I know, who do I think I am…

The Stage Prints idea was conceived last summer, when I designed some prints for our staircase. The space hadn’t been touched since we moved in, so it needed some life! We didn’t have anything stagey in the house at all (which is CRIMINAL seeing as it’s basically our entire life), so we decided to make a stagey staircase! We decided that we wanted some prints of our favourite musicals, with a motivational quote, and I couldn’t find any to buy – so I got busy designing! I slapped some paint on the wall, we ordered some backstage photographs on canvases, et voila! I then ending up making a few more prints for a friend, and when she shared them on Instagram in January I thought – ‘Could I sell these? Could I make a business out of this’? 24 hours later, Stage Prints opened on Facebook and Instagram! I’ve really enjoyed creating designs, and it’s kept me sane and motivated during lockdown 3.0. Shameless plug: if anyone wants any musical prints, hop on over to the Stage Prints socials to see more designs (I have over 100 now!) and find out more information.

And the rest of the update? There’s not really anything else to say, because life is so different to normal. It’s great that we have a road map now, and dates to aim for, but until restrictions start to lift, we’re just plodding along.

The one big beauty of this year, is I’ve had 12 months with Hubby Leigh…which is the longest time we’ve ever consistently been together! His work takes him away from home, so being together, at home, every day, has been an absolute blessing. I wouldn’t have made it through this year without him here and he’s just an absolute dream.

And that’s 12 months of me summed up ✔️

Now that things are looking a bit more rosy, I’m hoping I’ll have the motivation to get back to writing, hence this post: a bit of a re-introduction, and a starting point for a more creative 2021!

Stay safe, look after each other, and keep following the rules so we can get back to normal soon.

Dutch Nurseries Valentine’s Giveaway!

Well, hasn’t this been the most January-est of Januarys ever?! You know what I mean right, when December lasts for 2 minutes and January lasts for 35 years? The feeling was bound to happen with England in another national Lockdown, but that knowledge doesn’t make it any easier. HOWEVER, I have something exciting to share with you all, to brighten up this extra long month!

Dutch Nurseries are holding a competition to win 100 RED ROSES for Valentine’s Day!

I know, I couldn’t believe it either when I found out! Can you IMAGINE, answering the door to the postman who’s face you can’t even see because the bouquet’s blocking it from view?! Roses are such gorgeous flowers, and a wonderfully romantic way to express your love for that special someone in your life – can you go wrong with red roses? I think not.

SO, who wants to be in with the chance of winning?! And what do you need to do?

Well firstly, you need to be over 18 and be living in the local area. You can click here to see if you’re within that catchment.

Done that? THEN:

Send Dutch Nurseries an email – contact@yorkflorists.co.uk – with a picture of you and the person you love the most, and explain why that person deserves to receive 100 red roses on Valentine’s Day. The team will then decide internally who has the most creative, sweet, or funny message, that deserves to win!

The contest runs from 1st-10th February. Only one entry per email account is accepted and should you have any questions about the competition, you can reach out to the team at contact@yorkflorists.co.uk.

And that’s it! Fairly straight forward, right? If you want more information about the company, the services they offer, or you just want to see the gorgeous flowers and plants they sell, you can check out Dutch Nurseries at their website, Facebook page and Instagram page. Hit like, save a post, share with your friends, give them a follow – it only takes a couple of seconds for you, but to them, the support means the world.

It’s been a difficult year for us all, and I know I’m not alone when I say I’ve been even more inclined to shop local and support smaller businesses. So when you enter this competition, not only are you in with the chance of winning the amazing prize, but you’re supporting your local flower shop: local people who set up the business because it was a dream. When we shop local we support our community, help our local economy, and we help keep that business open! And after the year we’ve had, now really is the time to get behind those smaller organisations and do what we can to help out.

So what are you waiting for? Get your photo and message ready, then set a reminder in your diary so you don’t miss it! Flowers in the home at any time brings such a breath of fresh air…imagine that in lockdown! Hmm… Please excuse me whilst I go and place an order… 🙊

Must Haves For Your Makeup Bag

Is your makeup bag full of random, unwanted or unused products? The ones that were on offer that time, or you thought that you’d try out – that you either never got round to using, or used once and didn’t like? We’ve all been there. I decided to have a clear out of my makeup bag the other day, and whilst I was guilty of harbouring out of date, useless, or unused makeup products, there are some that I ADORE and will buy again and again. And I’m starting with my longest makeup relationship:

💄 Rimmel Lash Accelerator Mascara

I’ve used this for over 10 years! And whilst I’ve dabbled with others, I’ve never come across any mascara that works better than this one. It helps if your curl your lashes first, and with the right technique, this stuff really is amazing. No clumps here!

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💄 L’Oreal Glam Nude CC Cream

Gorgeous for summer when you want a bit of coverage but nothing too heavy.

💄 Wunder2 Last & Foundation

I discovered this through Facebook last year when I was on the lookout for the perfect wedding foundation, AND I LOVE IT. It’s the best coverage I’ve found for my combination skin without being too heavy, and is especially good at covering spot redness. The only problem is that even the lightest shade is too dark for my skin, so I need a layer of tan on when I use it…but it’s totally worth it.

💄 Revolution Cream Countour

Whilst I’ll talk about my favourite makeup products, I’ll never be an expert. So, for a non-expert, and contouring still being a newish thing in everyday makeup, last year I invested in this contour kit. A good (and affordable) option for those who haven’t cream contoured before and aren’t sure where to begin. With lots of different shades, it’s a great way to experiment and learn, without breaking the bank.

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💄 Smashbox Photo Finish Primer

Another discovery during my wedding makeup hunt, recommended by a fellow blogger. This stuff is gorgeous, helps minimise the look of pores, and leaves your skin silky smooth and ready for foundation.

And last but not least:

💄 Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water & Setting Spray

Do you remember back in the day when we used to set our makeup with hairspray? Those times are behind me, because I was introduced to this in readiness for the wedding. The light mist settles nicely on the face without becoming oily, and definitely prolongs the wear of your foundation – a very important factor when you have an active job!

What are your makeup must haves?

Lynette x (3)

Christmas Songs That Bring Back Memories

Music is such a powerful thing. A song can bring back strong memories, memories of a specific time, place, person, occasion or smell…and Christmas music is no exception – in fact, I think it has that ability ten fold! I love Christmas songs, and there’s very few that I don’t like, so they’re played constantly throughout December! But here are some that bring back strong Christmas memories:

It’s Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas

This one reminds me of Bish. The song reminds me of Christmas together, and specifically, our first Christmas together, so it will always be a fave.

Wombling Merry Christmas

This is mine and my dad’s song, but I have no idea why! We used to bounce around the living room to it and it’s amazing. Don’t hate on the Wombles ✋

Driving Home for Christmas

Mama P’s fave, so I think of her every time I hear it 💕 And it’s such a lovely song too!

Marshmallow World

I love this song, but it has to be Darlene Love’s version from Phil Spector’s ‘A Christmas Gift For You’. I love the whole album, it reminds me of family and decorating the house when I was younger, but this song is my fave.

Candy Cane Lane

Okay, if you haven’t heard Sia’s Christmas album yet, get listening! I’m always skeptical about new Christmas songs (the classics are just SO amazingly special, aren’t they?!), and, whilst there ARE a few new songs that I like, I never expected like this entire album! Sia appears to be a favourite at the Studio for Christmas routines, and and now, whenever I hear a Sia Xmas song (particularly Candy Cane Lane), I’m reminded of my Studio fam, my second home 😊

Saviour’s Day

I cant say it’s in my top 10 favourite Christmas songs, but I will forever associate Cliff Richard’s Christmas songs with my brother. I can’t remember when it started, but it’ll be quite a few years back though… Our Christmas Eve tradition was to watch The Muppet’s Christmas Carol, then get the Monopoly board out, drink Baileys, eat Pringles, and put Christmas music channels on. And the terrible music video for Saviour’s Day had us in stitches every year 😂 So, naturally, the song brings back fond memories of me and my bro – which is why I (can’t believe I’m saying this), I like listening to the song now 😳

Believe

Who doesn’t love Polar Express?! It’s beautiful and magical, and Josh Groban’s song sums up all those feelings AND THEN SOME. So I’ve always loved it. It’s also the song where I had a costume malfunction on stage… Throwing it back to the Studio’s Christmas show in 2010 when I was still a student, I did Contemporary/Ballet solo to the song. I’d had a quick change into the costume, and forgotten that the poppers on the skirt weren’t ample and I should be tying a knot to keep the skirt in place. So, down I went onto the floor to do a roll, and when I stood up, the skirt stayed down 😂 I danced through the rest of the number (obviously) in my leotard, but learned to always secure costumes correctly 🙄

Troika

Throwing it back to Christmas 1999 and my starring role of ‘Little Tree’ in the Year 2 Christmas show. I stood there with a cardboard tree cutout (that was bigger than me) stuck to my front, and because I was the only tree in the forest not to be picked to go to someone’s home, Santa sent the angels, elves and various other Christmas creatures to decorate me. To the Troika track! So there you go 😂

What Christmas songs bring back special memories for you?

Lynette x (3)

Bacon & Mushroom Pasta Bake: Fave Winter Warmer Dinner

We all love a yummy (slightly indulgent) evening meal around Christmas time, when it’s cold outside, and warm and cosy inside. And THIS is my go-to pasta bake.

Bacon and Mushroom Pasta Bake Recipe

Serves: 2-3
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooing Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

Pasta (I won’t write down grams, who weighs their pasta? We all just chuck it in a pan and hope for the best)!
200g pancetta/bacon lardons
6-8 mushrooms, sliced
1 small onion, chopped
150ml double cream (but I use Elmlea)
Cheddar cheese, grated
Ground pepper

1. Preheat oven to 180° fan/200°C/Gas 6

2. Cook the pasta. Drain well and return to the pan.

3. Whilst the pasta is cooking, heat a little oil in frying pan or wok and fry the onion until soft.

4. Add the lardons and cook until they start to turn brown.

5. Add mushrooms and cook for 1 minute. Take off the heat.

6. Stir in the pasta and cream. Season with pepper (the lardons add enough salt).

7. Transfer to a casserole dish and sprinkle the grated cheese on top.

8. Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the cheese is browned (though I don’t like brown cheese so I cover with foil for the majority of the cook, then remove for the last few minutes).

9. Serve and enjoy! I like to compliment it with a cheeky glass of Merlot 😊

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VOILA!

Go on, give it a try! If you’ve missed any Blogmas 2019 posts, catch them HERE.

Lynette x (3)

Favourite Blog Posts of 2019

Hello lovelies, welcome back to Blogmas 2019!

This is the first full year I’ve gotten into blogging properly (I started in July 2018), so I thought it’d be fun to have a quick throwback, to share with you all my favourite posts of 2019.

26 Discoveries In My 26th Year

My birthday post of 2019! Whilst a lot of bloggers choose to do ‘__ Things I’ve Learned In __ Years’, I decided to keep it chilled and wrote about discoveries from the year just gone. We’re talking lifestyle, food, beauty, fashion, adulting discoveries and more… and it’s possibly my favourite! It was so fun to write.

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9 Reasons I Feel Like an Adult This Month

I suppose I’ve been living in denial about my adult status for a while…but with a house, a husband, and all the other grown up things going on in life…there’s no denying it anymore 😂 So back in summer, I wrote down 9 things that made me feel like an adult that month.

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New Year: Q&A Time

This was a fun one to start off the year with! I answered a bunch of questions put to me by fellow bloggers, have a look if you’re feeling nosey…

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And now a couple of wedding ones!

If you’re new to my blog, you won’t know that I got married back in May and published a whole series of both pre and post wedding posts, all about the experience! You can read The Wedding Series here, but here are my faves:

Top Tips For Your Wedding Day

The most important tips I would give to anyone who’s about to get married. For this one, we’re not talking planning, it’s tips SPECIFICALLY for your big day, and tips I wish everyone could know.

Lynette & Ed

Our Wedding Timeline

I walk you through the Bish Wedding from 7:00am-12:00am in PICTURES!

Lynette & Ed

Tips for Coping with Moving House

Moving house is ONE OF THE MOST STRESSFUL EXPERIENCES OF YOUR LIFE! I noted down some tips that helped me cope during our move, in the hope it would help someone else out there…

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1 Second a Day 2018

Finishing with this one, which was my first blog post of the year. It included my 1 Second a Day video of 2018, which had been SO much fun to work on! I’ve been doing it this year too, so stay tuned for my 2019 vid!

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Whether you’ve read just one of my blog posts, a couple of them, or all of them…THANKYOU for visiting and supporting Life With Lynette!

Lynette x (3)

Childhood Christmas Memories

Christmas is such a wonderful time of the year, filled with love and magic and family…but what do you remember from being a child, what are those memories that have stuck with you, right into your adult life?

Sure there’s the obvious memories like sneaking into Mum and Dad’s room with our stockings on Christmas morning, and the feeling of utter disbelief and joy when we walked into the living room on Christmas morning to see ‘HE’D BEEN’…but here’s a few others of mine.

Marzipane Fruit Making at School 🍓🍌🍊

The last couple of weeks before Christmas during primary school were AMAZING. We’d alternate each year between either crafts, or a Christmas show. When it was crafts week, we’d make all manner of Christmassy things (you can guess the sort), but the one that’s stuck with me is Marzipan fruit! Shaping and dying it, adding cloves to make cores/stems, and rolling some of them in sugar to make seed effects. I used to love it, and I bloomin love marzipan.

Going On Dad’s Shoulders To Put the Spire Up🎄⭐

Todd and I always took it in turns each year to put the spire on the tree. It was a proper tradition, Mama P even wrote down on the box, year on year, who’s turn it was. But the tradition didn’t stop there! Whoever was putting the spire on top (it turned into a star in our last few years though) had to go on Dad’s shoulders. Which made sense when we were little – but the tradition never died. He was actually insistent on keeping it up, even when we were tall enough to reach the top of the tree ourselves, and even when Todd had grown taller than Dad! Which is why, 2 years ago, at age 25, I was up there again…

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Tug of War 🏊‍♂️📦

A tradition in my home town…pub teams in a tug of war competition OVER the river Nidd…so guess what happens to the losers 😉 It’s a lovely Boxing Day tradition, and although I haven’t gone in the last few years (12pm on Boxing Day? I’ve still been in bed recovering from Christmas Day!), I’d like to introduce it into tradition again…at some point…

Bethlehemdale 👨‍🌾🌟

So at primary school, in the years we weren’t busy making Christmas cards and marzipan fruit, we were getting stagy – and Bethlehemdale in 2002 will stay with me FOREVER. It does what it says on the tin really – the Mary and Joseph story, but set in Yorkshire. It was one of (if not the most!) favourite things about primary school!

“Eh up, by gum, a change is happening it’s going to come. EY UP, by gum, a change is going to come”!
SHOUT OUT to anyone who KNOWS and sung that line in their heads 😉

Making Christmas Cards 🖍️✂️

I used to love crafts, whether that was at school or home, and I absolutely loved making home made Christmas cards for the fam. Felt tips, paint, stamps, glitter glue, shiny crepe paper –  I was in my element!

Santa Visiting 🎅🦌

This has been a tradition in our town for as long as I can remember…a wonderful volunteer group spend the evenings in the run up to Christmas accompanying Santa on his sleigh around the estates of the town. They’ve got their buckets so you can donate (it’s a big charity group in the town), but the MAIN reason is so all the kids can see Santa! I remember waiting in such anticipation, and getting so giddy when Mum would shout ‘Santa’s coming down the street!’. The sleigh would be playing carols, and there he’d be. It was UTTERLY magical. I’ve always managed to miss him in my adult years since moving back here, but I live in hope, that one day, Santa will appear on the estate…

Have you got any specific memories from Christmas Past? Feel free to share below in the comments! Don’t forget, you can also catch up on other Blogmas 2019 posts HERE!

Lynette x (3)

Christmas Gift Ideas for Parents

Who else struggles to find new/different/imaginative gifts for their parents or in-laws each Christmas? We know Christmas isn’t all about the presents, but the thought that goes into them, matters. Sometimes, you have the most PERFECT ideas. Other times, you have absolutely no clue. So, I’ve noted down some ideas I’ve used in the past, or think that are nice…hopefully one or two of them might inspire you if you’re struggling!

Wonky Wine Glasses

Practical, fun, and alcohol themed…what’s not to love?! Tbf, they’d make a fun gift for anyone (we have some ourselves!), but they went down a treat with both sets of parents when they got theirs!

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Spa Voucher or Nail Treatment

If you want to splash out a little, why not book a spa break, either as a solo trip or duo. And the beauty of these places (as well as the pampering), is that you can make the experience completely their own…just one treatment, a gym/sauna session included too, sometimes an evening meal and overnight stay…

Make a Gift Basket

Keep it personal, and create a Christmas hamper specifically tailored to one person. Food, drink, small games, bathroom smellies, books, DVDs…anything you can think of!

Decorated Wine Glass

I should probably wait a few years before I buy anyone any more wine glasses…but these were fun too! I wrote about these last year in my Best Places To Shop Online post.

Wall Art

I got mum and dad a metal wall art piece a couple of years back for a gift that was a bit different. It went down a treat and is now hanging up in their dining room 😇 Hopefully they didn’t just put it up because they felt they had to…

Personalised Calendar

These calendars always go down well, especially if you take the time to source some good and meaningful photos. One year my brother and I made one full of kid pictures of the two of us, other times it’s been photos from recent family holidays/events.

Book

Fiction, non fiction, biography, question book, puzzle book, recipe book…whatever suits them best!

A Game

Whether it’s a strategy game, euro-game, a game involving technology, or something more chilled like Headbanz or Kazoos, games are a good way to inject some fun into the proceedings! I wrote about the best family games last year, so you can check out my faves there! 

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Jewellery

Jewellery can be a predictable gift I suppose, but only if you do it a lot. If you’ve mixed up your present genres in recent years, a lovely sparkly gift will be so nice to unwrap.

Scarves

Chiffon, silk, or woolen, it doesn’t matter…everyone needs a scarf or two in their life 😂

Coffee Syrup and Stencils

I did this for Mama P last year, and is perfect for any other coffee lovers out there! Bring fancy, flavoured coffees into your home easily, and treat yourself early in the morning or on a lazy weekend afternoon.

I feel like parents (especially Dads!) can be tricky to by for, especially when you’re trying to find something new and different for them each year. What gifts have gone down well with your folks or in-laws?

Lynette x (3)

Christmas Decor Wishlist

Can you ever have too many Christmas decorations?

The answer is probably yes, but seeing as we’re still creating and growing our home, and this only being our second Christmas in the house (having moved in last August)…it’d be rude not to look 😉 So I’ve noted down 8 of the decor pieces that have caught my eye this year! One or two mayyyyy have been purchased recently – but Bish, can I have them all please, they’re good investments, promise 😇

LED wooden star – Matalan

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Nutcracker – Debenhams

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Twig Centrepiece – Dunelm

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Festive Star – The Range

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Pre-Lit Twig Tree – Wayfair

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Candy Cane Garden Stakes – Wayfair

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Personalised Christmas Cushion – Etsy

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Present Decorations – George @ Asda

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All of them, totally justified and would make lovely additions to what we already have…CAN I HAVE THEM ALL PLEASE? YES? OKAY? THANKYOUUUUUUUU!

If you’ve missed any of Blogmas 2019, you can catch up HERE.

Lynette x (3)