Author Archives: Bomo

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Sentimental Christmas

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Sentimental Christmas

I am a very sentimental person and even more so at Christmas time. I believe one of the nicest parts of Christmas is the memories and traditions that we come back to each year. Even more so when I get out the decorations for our Christmas Tree. I’m not one for a Christmas tree theme, even though I do agree they look very nice, our tree has a mix of decorations that tell our story and are all different colours and types. I thought I would make a very sentimental list of some of the important decorations on our tree and what they mean to me.

The Sleigh

This is a very old decoration that used to hang on my parent’s Christmas tree when I was a child. When my Mum was putting away some of her older decorations from her tree and buying new ones she was going to throw this away but I couldn’t bear to see the sleigh thrown away as it is one of the d

ecorations I most remember. My love of Christmas comes from the amazing memories I have of being a child. My parents worked really hard every year to make it a special time for me and my sister and this sleigh reminds me of that and the excitement I felt as a little girl.

The Snowman and The Angel

These wooden decorations I bought for my husband and I for our first Christmas together in our first little flat in Salford. We had both finished university and set up home together in a little one bedroom flat and we absolutely loved it. Even though we didn’t have much money we bought a small artificial tree and some sets of baubles to make our own little Christmas. That year on the Manchester Christmas Markets I bought these two little wooden figures and had our names carved into them and they mean a lot to me as they remind me of my love for my husband. He proposed to me that year just before Christmas so it is always special to think of that time.

Pink Liberty Bauble

Oh I love this bauble. I bought it one October w

 

hen I was in London with my best friends from school. I made them trudge all the way to the Liberty of London store just to look at the Christmas floor. I bought this bauble because I believe that it was my kind of bauble, pink, gold and glittery and slightly trashy! But also the wording on the front ‘Liberty’, for Liberty of London and a memento of that day, but also at this point I had quit a job I was very unhappy in and decided to change my life for the better. I felt like I was finally free of the terrible position I had been in, Liberty at last and I like to remind myself of how far I have come each year.

Handmade Wonders

There are a few decorations on the tree that I have made myself and the two I like best are the Santa’s beard and the green Christmas stocking. I love knitting and I always try and make a knitted Christmas decoration each year. These are ones I made previously and I just like the way they look and I remember making them and making more of gifts. I love yarn and the way it looks so I need them on my tree and it’s important to see how much you have improved each year with a craft.

Glass Nativity

This is another decoration I bought a long time ago. I am Roman Catholic and my faith is important to me especially at Christmas and it plays a big part in my celebration of Christmas. I have our larger Nativity scene that I put out each year and this little glass ornament is the only religious decoration I hang on our tree as a reminder of the true meaning of Christmas and my faith. It’s also rather beautiful with the lights shining through it.

Baby’s First Christmas

 

There are two new baubles on the tree this year that are for my beautiful baby boy. He arrived this November and we are very happy little family. We had wanted a baby for so long and Edwin means the absolute world to us as he is a little miracle. The wooden red bauble with a reindeer I had made this year which has the year of his birth and his name and goes with our wooden ones with mine and my husband’s name. The other is a present from my sister in law and is a Peter Rabbit Bauble which is absolutely beautiful. Peter Rabbit has been a big part of Edwin’s life so far and this beautiful bauble is a lovely reminder of that. I will hang these up each year and remember Edwin’s first Christmas and our first Christmas as a family. 

 

 

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Christmas Q&A

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Christmas Q&A

Christmas is nearly here and to get into the spirit of things I’ve decided to do a Christmas Q&A. I found these questions from watching a YouTube video from BrummyMummyof2 and I will link her video below. I love a bit of festive youtubing!

1) What is your Favourite Christmas Movie?

Ah there are so many amazing Christmas films that I love for all different reasons! I like The Grinch because it reminds me of being a kid and having a laugh with my best friend. I like Love Actually because ‘Love is actually all around’. I also like Arthur Christmas because it is so funny and The Nativity which reminds me of my husband. And then I always watch A Christmas Carol with my Dad at Christmas. The ultimate Christmas story!

2) Favourite Christmas Song?

Again there is so many but I really like White Christmas this year as this is the song that my baby likes. It sounds odd but he settles a lot easier when I sing this to him. I like the Michael Buble and Shania Twain version from his Christmas album.

3) When do you put up your Christmas Tree?

I always like to try and put it up on the first weekend in December I love the house to look as festive as possible as quickly as possible.

4) Do you peek at gifts or do you like a surprise?

I used to always peek at presents and open them straight away but now I’m older I like to save them for Christmas day and open them all together. I have also never had a true surprise, like a party or anything, nobody can hide things from me as I know all, so I like to try and keep gifts a surprise.

4) Who would you like to kiss under the mistletoe?

Tom Hardy! Haha. No I would like to kiss my husband he really is the love of my life and the only person I want to be with at Christmas.

5) Do you have any Christmas Traditions?

We always go to mass on Christmas Eve which is just lovely and we have a buffet at my parents house with a big ham my Dad makes. On Christmas Eve my husband and I buy each other Christmas pyjamas and we watch Die Hard together. Christmas Day morning after opening presents together we have bagels with cream cheese and salmon and bucks fizz for breakfast. Christmas just isn’t Christmas without these traditions.

6) What will you be wearing on Christmas Day?

I like to dress up a bit on Christmas day and usually have a new dress. I haven’t had chance to find a dress for Christmas day just yet but I’m hoping I find something soon. Otherwise as I now fit into my pre pregnancy clothes I will squeeze into a dress I haven’t worn for a while and it will feel new.

7) What does Christmas Day look like for you?

Christmas morning we will wake up at home with our beautiful baby boy. Drink copious amounts of coffee and open our stockings and presents for each other. Then we will get dressed up and walk up to my parents house which is such a nice walk. There we will have salmon and cream cheese bagels and bucks fizz! Then there will be more drinks and presents and my Dad will make the best Christmas feast ever. After dinner we will play games and all fall asleep in front of the tv. Eventually my husband and I will peel ourselves off the sofa and wander back to our house and cosy up with our boy and watch a film before bed. I love Christmas Day.

8) Have you had any Christmas Day disasters?

Last year we were out of our house due to flooding and Christmas was a bit miserable because we missed our home. Also before I had Edwin and we were struggling to get pregnant there was always a bitter sweet feeling that we didn’t have our little baby. Luckily we have him now and this Christmas will be magical!

9) What would you like for Christmas?

I would like the baby to sleep well Christmas Eve! Ha! And I would like a new perfume and some nice make up and clothese. But to be honest, it sounds very cheesy, but we have already got our best present ever to have Christmas with our little boy and I can’t wait to wake up Christmas morning and dress him in his Christmas outfit!

10) What has been your highlight of 2017?

Edwin of course! But also moving back home after the flooding. So nice to be home.

11) Will you be making any New Years Resolutions for 2018?

I liks to make myself a few goals for the year ahead. This year my goals are:

1) To be kinder and less critical of myself and others

2) To lose the rest of my baby weight! Slimming World here I come!

3) To go to groups and classes for the baby and meet some new Mums even though I get so nervous meeting new people

4) To enjoy and make the most of my time with my little family

1 month post partum

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Week 1 Ah the baby is here! It’s been absolutely amazing and then absolutely terrifying to have the baby home. Our first night in the hospital was hard as my husband got sent home and I was alone, in a bit of pain and a bit confused about the whole thing. But the first night at home was the worst. At the hospital the baby had latched on well and was feeding with me but that first night he couldn’t or wouldn’t latch on and I just couldn’t feed him. I ended up crying as he wouldn’t stop crying and I felt like such a failure. He didn’t eat for 12 hours so my husband drove to Tesco and bought formula. Luckily I had listened to my friends and got bottles and steriliser machines in before he was born so we had the means to feed the baby on formula. I have never felt like such a failure and it’s been a big internal battle for me battling guilt from not breast feeding. The battle is between me really wanting to breast feed him and be that mother vs. me just getting the baby fed. In the end he made the decision for us and I am happy to bottle feed him. He only lost 3% of his birth weight at his first midwife weigh in at 6 days so it must be working. We have had some lovely walks out in his pram and lots of visitors which has been nice. It’s also all been a bit overwhelming and tiring but so lovely at the same time. My mum has been such a support as well she had to teach us how to bath the baby and we are starting to build some routines around him and keeping him clean is one of them!

Week 2: This has been a nice if not tiring week, It’s my husband’s last week at home on Paternity leave so we’ve been trying to make the most of it by spending lots of time together as a family. Sleep has been the issue this week as for three nights in a row the baby would wake up and then not settle back down again and was awake from 11pm or 12am till 3 or 4am. That was really tough but we think it was because the baby was suffering from a bit of constipation from going onto formula feeding full time. Thus increasing my guilt! once he had had a ginormous poo (no joke) he settled and has got himself into a three hourly sleep routine of waking up at midnight, 3AM, 6:30AM and 9:30AM which is much better and I am hoping this will last once my husband goes back to work so that he doesn’t have to sleep on the sofa everynight! It’s taking some getting used to but we have been out and about this week and even made it to a Cafe and to do some Christmas Shopping with the baby in the Car. His travel system is really good and we can just slot the car seat onto the wheel chassis for going round the shops. He can only stay strapped in it for 90 minutes so we just need to make sure he gets out for cuddles which is not a problem for me. I love just cuddling him and staring at him, we are a pretty loved up little family at the moment. Other good news is that we have been discharged from the Midwives now and he weighs 8 pound and 2 ounces which is one on from when he was born and he has gained a few ounces this week which is what we wanted. I am worried about my husband going back to work next week but I am planning to go to some groups nearby and meet up with friends which will make it easier.

Week 3: So this week has been extremely tough as my husband has gone back to work and I have been at home alone with the baby for the first time. We have got the feeding, changing and bathing of baby down but sleep is still a distant dream. To distract myself I planned to do some activites this week, so on Monday Edwin and I went to our first Mum and Baby Group. Edwin was the youngest one there and they were very surprised that I had made it out of the house. I am quite a sociable person and don’t enjoy being completely alone but I do sometimes have to force myself into new social situations so it was a big effort for me to go. The leader of it suggested a smaller group for younger babies ‘might be better’ as they have to tailor the group to the majority which is babies 6 months+ but its further away. I’m not sure what to do and might wait till he is a little older and I am a bit more confident with him to go back. I’ve booked us onto two other classes starting in January which I am excited for and he will be two months old then so should be better.

On Wednesday my two friends who both have baby boys came round which was lovely and we caught up and played with our babies. It was so nice and was just what I needed. Unfortunately, Thursday was a write off again. Wednesday was a really bad night for me. Edwin didn’t sleep till 2:30AM which kept my husband awake and as well as this we are living in an area and house which is at risk of flooding all the time and it poured down. The risk of flooding causes me a lot of anxiety and I feel sometimes that I have a bit of PTS from the previous floods. I get so scared and have nightmares about water coming into the house and I can have panic attacks which make me sick. I’ve also been suffering with a few anxieties about being a Mum. I don’t have very high self esteem and the slightest criticism or thoughtless comment can cause a meltdown and a shame spiral. I am my worst critic and so I was very emotional Thursday due to Wednesday night being so bad. I’ve been reading ‘Happy Mum, Happy Baby’ by Giovanna Fletcher and it really is a brilliant book. She is very honest and is just writing about her experience getting pregnant and being a Mum. Her story is very similar to mine and it’s really comforting to read a book which is really talking about what I am going through right now and how it is ok to make mistakes. Friday was much better and as it was my husband’s birthday I went and bought some lovely things for his tea and a birthday cake. We had a lovely evening as a family and he helped with the feeds in the night on Friday and Saturday which was amazing. Back to me solo again on Sunday for a new week so hopefully we will start getting a bit of a plan down.

Week 4: We did it we made it to week 4! This has been a hard month with a huge learning curve to get over. Edwin has really been coming on its amazing to see his development. He can hold his head up for a bit longer and he has learnt to grab onto things and hold them. He has also outgrown his newborn baby grows and is in 0-3 its wierd to see he has already started to grow! He has also smiled for the first time this week which is amazing. His first smile was at his Daddy and it made me cry to see it. We have come over some hurdles this week I took Edwin into town on the train and we went round the shops and I even managed to get into a cafe and have a coffee with the pram. Which was lovely. I’ve been planning his Christening which is coming on now so I’m excited for this and also for his first Christmas.

Two of our best friends also came up this weekend for a visit and we told them we wanted them to be his Godparents which was a lovely moment as they were so touched. On Sunday we went to our friend’s baby’s Christening and Edwin was so well behaved and just looking around all the time at the lights in the venue. We need to get him a projector or something to have at home for baby sensory!

I’m impressed if you’ve read through my ramblings and made it this far into the post. It certainly has been a crazy month and a huge learning curve. But I am learning everyday about my little guy and he means the world to me. Motherhood is hard work but I wouldn’t change it. After all we have been through Edwin is our silver lining. I won’t be doing a post like this every month but I will carry on updating you on his development over the year.

Christmas Pom Pom Wreath

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I have always wanted to make a Pom Pom Wreath to decorate the house with for Christmas. This year I finally decided to take the plunge and make the wreath! I went to Hobbycraft to buy everything and I’m pretty pleased with the final result and it was a lovely easy craft to make for Christmas just don’t underestimate the amount of pom poms you will need!

You will need:

  1. A polystyrene wreath
  2. A glue gun and glue sticks
  3. Yarn in a choice of colours I bought red, green and white and needed just over 100g of each
  4. A pom pom maker
  5. Smaller pom poms for decoration
  6. A ribbon/decoration
  7. Some free time to enjoy making pom poms

Method:

  1. Start by making the pom poms I chose red, green and white and I ended up making 70 of these in large, and medium sizes using the Hobbycraft pom pom maker. The machine is a really fun way to make pom poms. What you do is you wind the yarn around the U shaped parts of the machine on both sides, clip both sides together, cut a piece of string and tie this round the middle of the pom pom, then cut the edges and fluff out the finished spherical pom pom. Love it! 70 was a lot but I had bought a large wreath!

2. Next position the pom poms, you can tie these on using the string used to tie around the middle. I went for a bit of an organic style Just placing them where it needed volume and colour but you could be very neat and arrange the pom poms in size order. Once tied into position I secured them with the hot glue

3. To fill any gaps I bought a bag of tiny pom poms already made from Hobbycraft, I liked these as they had my colours of red, green and white but also some sparkly ones that will catch the light.

4. To finish I made a bow out of Green ribbon and attached a large silver jingle bell that I had kept from a present last Christmas because I am wierd hoarder, but you could put an extra decoration you like on at this stage.

5. I then attached some more of the ribbon to the back so that it can be hung on the door.

I love the overall pom pom wreath effect its so colourful and voluminous and it looks so festive. It would make a great Christmas present for someone or you could make them in different colours for different occasions such as Easter or for a Baby Shower. I really enjoyed making this so I will be coming up with further pom pom crafts just so I can keep using my new little machine and so I can write posts with the word pom pom in them 100 times like this one.

New Look Winter Haul

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New Look Winter Haul

Since having the baby I have really enjoyed squeezing back into my pre-pregnancy clothes especially my beloved Topshop Jamie high waisted skinny jeans. It’s been lovely getting my clothes out that I had put away in Spring when I started growing a human. It’s like having a brand new wardrobe.

But the wierd thing is I didn’t seem to have any warm winter clothing like cosy jumpers or many tops to wear with my beloved Jamies. So I decided to do a little shopping and update my winter wardrobe. I found the majority of this in New Look. I do shop at New Look but I usually mix it up with H&M, Topshop and if I’m lucky Joy too but New Look had everything I was looking for this year so here is my haul. (Disclaimer: if you do not like pink you will not like my haul!)

Mustard Yellow Pearl Embellished Jumper. Sounds revolting but I absolutely love this and I chose it as I wanted to try a new colour in my wardrobe. It’s a really soft knit jumper and I love the bit of sparkle the pearls that are stitched on give to it. It’s an oversized jumper so is great with skinny jeans or leggings and is super cosy. I really like the warm burnt yellow colour as it’s so Autumnal. This was £27.99 which for a jumper like this is a good price. They are now doing this in pink which is very tempting.

Off White Embroidered Fluffy Jumper. Now I will admit I did not know this was cropped till it arrived but with high waisted jeans or a skirt I think I can get away with it. Even with my new Mum tum as well. I love fluffy mohair inspired jumpers because I love fluffy mohair yarns and I am yet to make my own. I also like the red embroidered hearts they give it a splash of colour and it’s really nice to wear. Only downside is that there is fluff left everywhere when you wear it. This was £24.99

Pink Longline Jumper. I got this for £9.99 and I just loved the bubblegum pink colour. This is a slouchy fit jumper like the yellow one and it’s really cosy. I think it’s really good value for £9.99 as the knit is really soft and it’s really cosy. The back is slightly longer than the front for hiding your bum and I just think it’s really cosy for winter walks or for cosying up inside the house. They have this in lots of colours and it is a great purchase for winter.

Puff Sleeve Jumper. This is a thinner knit jumper and is a lot more fitted then the others. I like the dusky millennial pink of it and the puff sleeves. They really make it look smarter and I think you could wear this with jeans or with a fitted skirt and dress it up. I bought it to wear with a leather skirt I have as I think it would make a great outfit. They had this in other colours including a gorgeous burgundy colour but they didn’t have my size in this. Here’s hoping they will be in the January sales as I would buy a few of these! This was £14.99.

Whilst I was in the shop I came across this Blue Check Floral Embroidered Shirt. I really like wearing shirts with jeans or skirts. I have three already at home but this is a checked shirt with the flower embroidery so what’s not to love? I liked the contrast of the wintery colours of the shirt alongside the prettiness of the flowers. I also liked the price as I got this in their current 40% sale for £13.99 so it is an absolute bargain.

I did buy some boots. Some Black Buckle Strap Side Biker Boots to be exact. These were necessary as my previous boots were wrecked in out latest flood. I really like big chunky black biker boots. Not only are they great when it’s snowy and slippy in the winter but they are cosy and I like the big chunky heel and clompy feel. (Is clompy a word… you know what I mean). New Look have great shoes and boots and I couldn’t resist these. I like the contrast of wearing skinny jeans with big baggy boots and a really feminine top.

So there is my New Look Winter Haul. I’m really pleased with it and these items should see me through this year and hopefully next as well. I love being able to try and buy clothes again and I feel much more like myself. I don’t think my style has changed too much from before I was pregnant apart from wanting to wear clothes that are comfortable and easy to pull on and go whilst still looking feminine. That is my aesthetic.

First day as Mummy

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So the time has arrived and my husband has gone back to work. It’s so sad that men don’t get more time at home with their babies. Anyway when I am writing this it is Monday 20th November and today is my first day looking after Edwin on my own so I thought I would record a diary of our first day together. It starts very early!

2:30AM

Edwin has woken for his second bottle of the night. He is doing so well at waking up without crying, having his bottle and then going back to sleep.

5:45AM

Edwin is awake again for a feed and nappy change. Unfortunately this time he has peed himself and it has leaked onto the babygrow so we need an outfit change stat. Don’t know how he manages to pee himself when he has a nappy on!

7AM

Daddy goes to work 😦

8:30AM

Nappy change and breakfast time for Edwin. He only manages 2 ounces this time but he has eaten 3-4 ounces at the previous two feeds so I’m not too worried. We have lots of cuddles and he falls asleep on me which is really nice. I can put the light on and make a fuss of him now it’s daylight as we are trying to get him used to day and night so the earlier feeds and nappy changes are all done in the dark.

10:00 – 11:00 AM

Mummy is up and dressed and I’ve quickly eaten some cereal and had a much needed coffee. I can now de-camp downstairs with his Moses Basket and changing things. I have got him changed into his outfit for the day which is a rather nice blue and white striped John Lewis number. He has been wide awake for the last hour so we’ve been playing on his prop mat. When writing this now he’s having cuddles and a little doze. I’ve put a wash on of all his things as he is going through his newborn baby grows and is already getting slightly too big for some of them.

11:30AM

Bottle time and then he’s down for a nap for an hour giving me chance to do some jobs. Hang some of his washing, tumble dry the rest, load and turn on the dishwasher and sterilise all his bottles. As well as quickly eat some soup for lunch. Fun for the whole family.

1:00PM

So I went to a Mum and Baby group. It was so nerve wracking I nearly didn’t go it felt like the first day of school. When I got there I had to collapse the pram and I completely forgot how to do it and one of the Mums had to come help me which was kin of embarrassing. It was nice to be at a group and to chat to some other mum’s about babies and all kinds of things but I did worry that Edwin was a bit young for the group. There is another one for babies birth to 6 months in another town I can go to but it would be kind of awkward to get to. But this group does say it is from birth to 1 year so I probably will still go back. Next week is Christmas craft!

2:30PM

Home from class and Edwin has peed himself so needs a change of clothes luckily there was an outfit in my bag. I don’t know how the wee gets up his back from a nappy? Is it just boy mechanics?

3:30PM

My Father in Law called to check on us as it is my first day on my own which was lovely. And then Mum came for a little visit to see how I was doing as well. Edwin and I are very lucky to have all this support. Whilst Mum was here I wrote some thankyou cards for her friends who have given us presents and we organised his clothes to find some new outfits for Edwin to wear during the day which is great. Lots of options.

6:00PM

William is finally on his way Home from work so I started cooking our tea, Spaghetti Bolognese (yum!). Edwin has been asleep now for 3 and a bit hours but he hasn’t slept much today so I’m going to let him sleep as much as he wants.

7:00PM

Daddy is home! So after quickly eating our dinner it’s bath time and bottle with Dad for Edwin. I clean up the kitchen and have a shower and put my pyjamas on as well. Once Edwin is asleep it’s chill time for Mum and Dad and I do some knitting.

9:00PM

Too tired to function so we start to get ready for bed. We have to make sure we have enough sterilized bottles and tubs for the formula for the night and then we take the baby to bed in his basket upstairs and hope he stays asleep.

10:30PM

Ohno Edwin is awake! And unfortunately for Mummy he doesn’t want to go back to sleep. He has two bottles and two changes and doesn’t go back down to bed till 1AM. Poor Daddy has to sleep on the sofa for a while to get some peace and quiet.

So there is my first day as Mum. It is really hard work being solo parent at night as I just get so tired. But hoping that Edwin will settle down into his 3 hour pattern that we get some nights and hopefully this will stretch to a little bit longer as well as he reaches the 3 month mark. But I absolutely love being Mummy and looking after my beautiful boy.

Christmas Online

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I have been impressing people recently as I have finished all my Christmas shopping in November and the majority of this was done before the baby arrived. This was no fluke and it actually took some organisation on my part and a few hours to complete. Online shopping and I haven’t always been friends I am one of those annoying stereotypical women who does actually enjoy shopping and looking round the stores for a long long time. But with the new baby this year I knew that this year there was no chance I would feel able or even want to go round the shops hunting gifts so I sat down and completed the whole lot online and the majority of them in one morning. Like a technically savvy Christmas Elf it actually went very well so I thought I would write my hints and tips for a successful online Christmas Shop.

1) Organisation and Budget.

I love a list and I love to be organised, throughout my career I have to had to be incredibly organised and manage a few different things at once and this has spread into my daily life. So I write my Christmas List on a Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet. This means that I can colour code it and it also helps with the budget as you can set up simple formulas that calculate how much you have spent. If this seems like too much work then just handwriting a list and setting a budget will help to control any urges to spend more cash.

2) Decide before you start

Deciding on the type of gifts is hard, I have a smaller family whereas my husband has a larger family and they are very different. We have friends and their children to buy for and I always end up spending too much on one person and having to add to another to make it even. So this year as well as my recipient list I started to come up with a list of gift ideas for each person. So this helps if you have a brain that stores away information for each person throughout the year. For example if that person has1 recently moved to a new home and tell you that they have no nice furnishings there is a gift, or if they tell you they like a certain brand or shop, my sister for example loves Cath Kidston and my Mum loves No7. Once you have an idea of that person you will know where to start hunting.

3) Marketplace Sites

The best thing about the internet is lots of sites now collect other brands and sellers together so in one online shop you can bunch a whole load of presents together. I used ASOS for a few presents for my sister’s in law because I was able to search through lots of different brands I could tick off a few presents at once. Another site I love and use all year round and not just for Christmas is Not on the High Street. This site is full of gifts that are handmade, a bit quirky and can be personalised. It’s a great way to add a personal touch to a present as it can feel like cheating when you just buy it online. Another similar site I use is Etsy which is perfect for any crafters in your life as it’s a marketplace for lots of tint craft companies. The big one of course is Amazon which I know is controversial but it’s not just books anymore and Amazon just know how to make it easy to shop online.

4) Gift Guides and Filters

Let the site guide you if you are stuck for presents. Lots of them now have their own gift guides or you can filter the products you are looking at to tailor them for the recipient and this can sometimes spark an idea or present you with a gift you didn’t even contemplate before.

5) Let the store treat you

Another thing I do is imagine what shops I would have visited if I had been able to go in person like I did last year when I worked in the centre of Manchester. I like big high street stores like Next, Debenhams, Marks and Spencers, H&M, Topshop, New Look and Boots. A lot of these stores have a great online selection and if it’s clothing have multiple views and even models walking in the clothes so you can see how the garment moves. They also have huge Sale sections and when shopping in sales it’s much more civilised than scrapping around in the rails. It’s always worth checking the sale section just in case the item you want has a slightly cheaper alternative. The big stores as well have the offers such as the 3 for 2 on gifts for Boots which can be a life saver or result in a nice treat for you. Always sign up for the emails if it offers it to you, you can always unsubscribe later, but by signing up you can sometimes get a further discount code which can make all the difference.

6) Fill your Basket

Another thing I do is I fill the basket with anything I like for that person or people. That way if you spot something early on you don’t have to keep scrolling back through to find it again. Once I’ve finished ransacking the online store I then sieve through the basket removing items and whittling them down to the perfect gift. Just make sure you don’t checkout with the whole basket without checking the price first.

7) Update the list as you go

Always ensure you update and tick off the list. You don’t want to forget a present you have already bought for someone or overspend and completely blow the budget. This is why I use Excel for the colour coding and formulas as it is so honest and calculates the whole lot to the penny for you.

8) Delivery

The downside to online shopping is that you don’t get the instant gratification of leaving the store with that item it can take a few days to arrive. But when that parcel comes and is full to the brim of your clever purchases it is a different kind of gratification. I love opening the parcels and checking each item to make sure it is correct. I hate sending stuff back and I luckily haven’t had to this time due to giving each item time and consideration before pressing checkout.

The other downside to delivery is if you are not at home to receive it. This can be a pain and result in a boring visit to the Royal Mail warehouse in the rain, moments after it has closed (true story). But if you work full time a lot of workplaces kindly allow parcels to be sent there. Or there are places in cities where a parcel can be sent for pick up such as an Amazon locker or a P.O. Box shop. Or even pick up from the store itself you just have to really browse the delivery option at checkout. It can also be a nice way to meet the neighbours!

So there you go there are my hints and tips for a successful online Christmas shop. It does take time and planning but it can be enjoyable shopping from the comfort of your sofa and when those parcels arrive I promise you will feel like Christmas has come early.