Tag Archives: christmas

Co-wheels car club Bristol

Have a very #CowheelsChristmas

14th December 2015

The festive fun continued this week as I took a trip to Westonbirt Arboretum’s Enchanted Christmas event with some blogging buddies and my friends at Co-wheels car club.

westonbirt arboretum

Forget the glitter and tinsel, this year Christmas is all about the greenery. The Forestry Commission’s National Arboretum at Westonbirt celebrates nature all year round, but it’s especially magical at this time of year as their spectacular illuminated trail through the trees is an unforgettable festive experience. Continuing the green theme, we teamed up with Co-wheels, who loaned us a fantastic low emission vehicle to get us all there.

Co-wheels car club Bristol

Photo by Nina Allwood, Lifestyle District

Westonbirt Arboretum picnic

The trail takes places every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening until 20 December and features exciting interactive displays throughout the woodland walk. There are magical misty smoke rings, glittering bubbles and even pretty little fairies which eagle-eyed visitors will enjoy spotting!

Westonbirt Arboretum Enchanted Christmas

It’s an ideal festive activity to enjoy with kids as it features Christmas crafts and a learning centre at the end of the trail, where they can make pretty things to take home with them. Grown up kids (like me!) will also find lots to enjoy – there’s a little shop at the end selling Christmas cards, gifts, foodie treats and all things festive! There’s also a lovely picnic area at the end where you can enjoy a mulled wine and listen to Christmas carols, performed by a super talented choir.

Since we were quite a large group, we hired a seven-seater Toyota Verso with Co-wheels, which we were able to pick up in nearby Cotham in Bristol. I had never driven a seven-seater before, so I was nervous at first, but once I was in the swing of it, I found it really easy to drive and it had a great stereo inside for pumping out those Christmas tunes!

Westonbirt bloggers

Co-wheels is an independently owned car club which specialises in low emission, hybrid and electric cars. You can hire the cars on a pay-as-you-go basis, which is really useful if you want one for special occasions like this.

Co-wheels smart card

Once you’re a member, you can book a car online or on the phone, and then you get a handy little smart card, which you can use to access the car. After you’ve used the car, you just return it back to its parking bay and your debit card is charged. It’s as simple as that!

Co-wheels how it works

As someone who has hired cars for work and events before, I found this so much easier than the usual process. The fact that you can just order what you want online at short notice is really convenient and, because they have cars across the UK, you’ve got a huge choice of locations you can pick them up from.

Picnic for Westonbirt

After our very festive evening at Westonbirt (which included a winter picnic of toffee apples, mulled wine and mince pies packed by yours truly!), we headed back to Cotham and I got back to the warmth of my cosy fire and another cup of mulled wine at home. Yes, more mulled wine – but then it is Christmas after all!

Christmas wreath

Westonbirt’s Enchanted Christmas event is now sold out for this year, but do check out www.forestry.gov.uk/westonbirt-christmas for more information of what’s on at Westonbirt into the New Year.

For more information about Co-wheels, visit www.co-wheels.org.uk or you can join as a member here.

Disclosure: I was contracted by Co-wheels to organise this event, but all views are my own.

luxemme high neck dress

Christmas party outfit 2015: Back to black

8th December 2015

You can’t go wrong with a little black dress and, thanks to my pals at Luxemme, I’ve got this year’s festive party frock sorted!

luxemme high neck dress

This cute little LBD from Luxemme comes in at just £35 and is the perfect length for a work party – it’s demure enough to wear in front of clients, but the sheer fabric and swing style hem means I can dance in it as well, which is perfect!

For those of you who haven’t shopped with Luxemme before, they’re an online fashion brand combining Parisian chic with Manchester street style. Their signature look is cool, clean and classic, but with edgy cuts. I’ve been spotting them around on quite a few blogs recently, so was really excited to discover their glam style for myself.

Luxemme swing dress

Luxemme black dress

This quite a loose fit dress, so I’ve cinched in the waist with a studded belt from Mango, which gives it a bit more of a fit and flare look. It would look equally good in the summer worn loose with flat sandals, so I might be loaning it to my cousins in Seychelles after I’ve worn it, as I know they’ll go crazy for it at the beach bar with jewelled flats. Here in Blighty though, it needed a Primarni leopard print jacket and furs on top to keep out the cold!

Lulu Guinness bag

When wearing a simple dress, I like to luxe it up a bit with accessories – in this case I went with my trusty Lulu Guinness Izzy satchel which, as you can see, I’ve already worn to death! The fur stole is actually a detachable collar from a River Island parka jacket I bought recently, but I think it works well worn as a standalone piece.

Brantano shoes

These shoes look a bit  vertiginous but are actually quite comfortable because they fit me perfectly. Believe it or not, I found them in Brantano, which is not somewhere I would immediately think to look for stylish shoes, but in fact they have an amazing selection of smaller sizes. I am a size 35 (UK 2.5), which is almost impossible to find in most high street stores, so this was an amazing discovery for me!

The hat is a bit witchy, I confess, and all black doesn’t sound very festive, but with a red lip and a blingy belt, I think you can wear top-to-toe black and still have a holly jolly Christmas if you want to!

What are you wearing to your Christmas parties this year? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Disclosure: Luxemme gifted me this dress, but all views are my own.

BIG thanks to Amie Kewley at CreditCrunchChic.com for taking my outfit pics for me! 

Christmas with Marks & Spencer

26th November 2015

You know it’s the festive season when the glitter comes out! M&S invited local bloggers to indulge in some sparkly fun at their recent Christmas event in store at The Mall at Cribbs Causeway. Here’s what happened…

M&S Christmas table

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As usual, the food and drink selection did not disappoint, with some beautiful new additions including a White Christmas cocktail, which is a sweet yoghurt liqueur ideal for after dinner drinks. If you’re having a Christmas party this year or have family round, you can find a huge selection of canapés at M&S – they do a 24 piece luxury canapé selection for just £14, which I think is pretty amazing – my guests will be lucky if they even get a look-in, to be honest!

The M&S team also created a photo booth for bloggers to dress up and take festive pics. Of course, Emily from Mermaid Gossip and myself too full advantage of this…

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If you’re not been to M&S at The Mall for a while, you might be surprised to see just how much the beauty department has grown recently. They now stock a huge range of branded products alongside own brand ones, including Stila, Leighton Denny, Nuxe and Ren. It’s a beauty junkie’s paradise up there! What’s more, they have some brilliant box sets, like the ones shown below, which make great Christmas pressies.

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The womenswear team were also on hand to show us this season’s key trends. Of course sparkles were on the agenda, but they also had a wide selection of faux furs- my personal favourite is this coffee-coloured yeti number below. It was just so soft and snuggly!

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As ever, the M&S team put on a fabulous festive event and fed my ever-growing shopping addiction even more. Thanks guys!

If you want to see what the M&S Cribbs Causeway ladies have been up to, check them out on Instagram @cribbs_causeway – I warn you though, their pics will make you want to go shopping!

Disclosure: While I work in PR for The Mall at Cribbs Causeway, I’m not connected with M&S in any way and all these views are my own.

‘Tis the season to be Jollie

7th November 2015

Put your best foot forward and help someone less fortunate this Christmas with socks from Jollie Goods…

jollie socks tinsel 2

Whilst speaking at Fashion Exchange in London last month, I came across a lovely fashion start up called Jollie Goods. They’re a more-than-profit enterprise that sells beautiful socks and – here’s the best part – for every pair you buy, they’ll give a pair to a homeless charity. So this Christmas, I’m encouraging all my friends and followers to “wear a pair and share a pair” and help make the festive season that little bit brighter for someone living on the streets.

My cat Olive also liked the socks

My cat Olive also liked the socks

Jollie Goods was founded by Ed Vickers, who, while volunteering for a homeless charity discovered that there was a serious demand for fresh pairs of socks among people who sleep rough.

socks on jollie socks

“We realise socks are a very small step in the long journey of helping those dealing with homelessness, but we see it as our mission to do what we can to help look after the feet of those trying to get back on them,” said Ed.

“We’ve started with socks after seeing the unacceptable level of foot hygiene of many folk who sleep rough. We’ve seen many suffering with foot infections and diseases simply from not having spare pairs of clean, sturdy socks to change into.

“After spending time with many homeless charities and their clients, it was clear that amongst clothing donations, sock donations were minimal and in great need. We give warm, durable hiking socks suited for looking after the feet of those who live in tough conditions”.

Jollie open can

The socks retail at £15 a pair and come in a cute little recyclable tin which pops open. They’re designed in London and knitted in Leicester and they come in a variety of cheerful colours.

Jollie socks 3

For the fashion-forward among you, I can reliably reveal that the lookbooks for Spring/Summer 2016 are full of stripes, so you’ll be bang on trend with Jollie’s brightly coloured stripy socks. Also, they come in sizes 4 -12, so they make a great gift for both men and women.

Do your bit at jolliegoods.com

Disclosure: Jollie Socks approached me to write this post and I’ve been gifted a pair, but I plan to buy some to give away at Christmas too, so I am doing my bit!

Christmas pressie haul

12th January 2014

Santa was really kind to me this year. Just look what was under my Christmas tree…

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My New Year’s resolution was to try and keep up with my blogging more, but sadly I’ve broken it already and am only just getting round to sharing my Christmas present post with you all. Still, better late than never!

My husband got me the most amazing Lulu Guinness handbag, which was totally unexpected. (Yes, that’s the Izzy satchel sitting proudly in my dressing room!) I’ve always loved Lulu because her designs are quirky and quintessentially British. You may not realise this, but she’s actually a West Country designer – born in Gloucester – so really we’re supporting the local economy. Er, kind of!

The hat was a gift from my parents-in-law, who got it at Fox & Feather on Gloucester Road. We went shopping just before Christmas and I tried it on, unsure of whether I could get away with something so outlandish. My very stylish mother-in-law, who is a 1970s chick herself, was really enthusiastic about it and said I could definitely carry it off and, would you know it, she was right! What a fab pressie!

As if that wasn’t enough, my dad-in-law found this in TK Maxx for me…

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I’ve always wanted to learn how to do proper fashion illustrations, so this how-to guide was a really thoughtful gift. It covers everything from shoes, to handbags, hats and gloves from all eras of fashion. Among my favourites were the 1990s style illos that remind me of the outfits worn by supermodels like Cindy Crawford…

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There are also some really bright and ‘out there’ 70s looks to be drawn…

christmas haul 4

I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into these on the long winter nights we have ahead of us…

Merry Quizmas!

18th November 2013

Bring your friends and pit your wits against the West’s finest bloggers at our fabulous quiz night! 

quiz

Last year we hosted a South West Bloggers Christmas quiz, which was really popular, so we’ve decided to make it a more regular event. We’ll be hosting the first one in December and we hope to continue it throughout next year if we can.

This time, it’ll be a more casual affair – so there’ll be no need to buy tickets, you can just show up on the night and bring friends/colleagues, etc.

There’ll be five rounds of questions, with a break in between so you can mingle and buy drinks.

It will cost £1 per person to enter the quiz, and the winning team will take home the entry money, plus a bottle of wine to share

When? Tuesday 3 December 2013, 7.30pm

Where? The Greenhouse, 37 College Green, Bristol, BS1 5SP

Tweet us @SWBloggers use the hashtag #SWBloggersQuiz

Find us on Facebook: Facebook.com/SouthWestBloggers

 (Thanks Hayley for the graphic above!)

#MerryBristmas!

18th November 2013

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I’m delighted to announce that I’ve been nominated as Visit Bristol’s fairy godmother this Christmas, answering all your Christmas gift dilemmas and they’ve drawn this rather fabulous illustration of me to celebrate!

If you’re in Bristol and you’re looking for the perfect present for a special someone this year, fear not! I’ll be hunting down the quirkiest and coolest gifts this city has to offer – and I’ll even answer specific queries if you drop me a tweet using the hashtag #MerryBristmas or leave a comment over on the Visit Bristol blog.

Ho ho ho! Just call me your Bristmas fairy!