The Winter Garden at Mottisfont in Romsey

The Winter Garden at Mottisfont in Romsey

Travel, exploring and discovering something completely new comes in so many different forms. You don’t have to go far to find a little bit of everyday magic.

A garden that comes to life in the depths of winter is something really special. The winter garden at Mottisfont in Romsey was full of bright, colourful plants that could brighten up even the dullest day!

Getting some fresh air, stretching my legs and admiring the beautiful plants in bloom was a great way to brighten up January.

Take a look…

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Christmas at Mottisfont in Romsey

Christmas at Mottisfont in Romsey

There’s nothing quite like catching the last of the Christmas feels just before Twelfth Night!

Just because the festivities are over doesn’t mean you have to be done with all those gorgeous decorations and twinkly lights.

I’m loving making the most of my National Trust membership and ticking some local travel hotspots off my bucket list!

Take a look around the gorgeous estate at Mottisfont in Romsey. It embraced a Flower Fairy theme to celebrate Christmas and bring a touch of the beautiful gardens and a bit of fairy magic to the inside of the house.

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How to make a Christmas snowflake jingle bell garland

How to make a Christmas snowflake jingle bell garland

In this ‘how to’ creation I’ve embraced this year’s resurgence of the macrame trend and mashed it up with Christmas for a festive make.

I hope you like this festive creation from my brain, once you have the individual bits it’s relatively quick to put together.

The knotting of the macrame garland is the bit that takes the most time though.

I gave these as gifts this Christmas and some have been hung up and others put on Christmas trees as alternative tinsel decorations.

Here’s a step by step guide if you fancy making your own…

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Merry Christmas 2019

Merry Christmas 2019

An alternative belated Merry Christmas from me to you…

Typical, I had a message prepared and then I went and caught THAT bug that’s been going around which stopped me from posting it.

And, I’m actually really pleased it did. It was just too darn fluffy and not realistic, so here’s a shortened re-worked edit for all of you in chrimbo limbo out there.

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Bright Lights Big City is featured on CNN Travel

Bright Lights Big City is featured on CNN Travel

Happy Winter Solstice!

Celebrating the shortest day of the year at Stonehenge in Wiltshire is a real privilege. Winter and summer solstice is the only time of the year you can go into the stone circle and touch them. It’s totally incredible and my second year spending solstice at the stones.

The unique experience is one to tick off the bucket list for many people and CCN Travel were interested in my trip and images to share with their readers…

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Festive Aesop’s Fables at Hinton Ampner in Winchester

Festive Aesop’s Fables at Hinton Ampner in Winchester

A day date to Hinton Ampner was everything I needed to embrace all the festive feels this winter!

Classic childhood tales were brought to life through decorated Christmas scenes in each room of the elegant country manor house based in the heart of Hampshire.

Here’s a few snaps of the beautiful rooms and stories from the day…

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An evening at Winchester Christmas Market 2019

An evening at Winchester Christmas Market 2019

In the crazy countdown to Christmas every weekend in the lead up was fully booked and this year’s annual trip to the Winchester Christmas Market was in jeopardy!

It always makes me feel festive and as it’s so close to home and I was gutted at the thought of missing out on it.

Spontaneity struck and Friday night after work I picked up Henry and surprised him with a visit in the evening.

Take a look at how stunning the market is as night…

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Etsy Made Local Festive Market Southampton 2019

Etsy Made Local Festive Market Southampton 2019

How hard is it to find unique gifts for that special someone? You know, that person that’s super difficult to buy for, the one that has everything. I always find that a local Christmas market is usually the place to buy a gift for these people you might get stuck trying to find a gift for.

The third annual Etsy Festive Market in Southampton was the biggest yet!

Local independent Etsy makers showcased some incredible gifts in real life in The Spark Building at Solent University.

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How to make homemade recycled Christmas crackers

How to make homemade recycled Christmas crackers

I love a seasonal ‘how to’, and if you do too you’ll want to check out my festive makes from previous years under the ‘Seasonal’ section in the menu.

This year I knew I wanted to make some of my Christmas gifts and crackers are a little luxury that really lend itself to a festive make and gift that goes down well.

I don’t know about you but I loathe spending money on Christmas crackers because they are really expensive, usually rubbish and a horrible drain on the environment.

I first tried making recycled crackers last year and they went down a storm with friends and family, so I’ve decided to make them again and refined the process a little.

There’s plenty of things you can use from your home to make these, and the key to making sure they are made from recycled materials is good preparation.

Here’s my step by step guide to making your own Christmas crackers…

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