Christmas Crafting: Gift Bows

Even though we're still in November, Christmas is already in full swing in shops up and down the country, as well as on my blog! I've already shared a delicious Christmas cookie recipe which you all seemed to enjoy, so today I'm here with another crafty activity, allowing you to create gorgeous DIY Christmas wrapping. I learned how to do this myself at the recent Jingle Mingle blogger event hosted by the lovely people at PrezzyBox, and the results are so effective that I think you'll be BOW-led over by them! You've guessed it, I'm going to teach you how to create these gorgeous (and very professional-looking, if I do say so myself) bows for your Christmas gifts! This festive craft activity was just one of many on offer at the PrezzyBox Jingle Mingle, but more about the event later! Let's get stuck in to the tutorial!

What will you give this Christmas?

What will you give this Christmas? When I ask this, I’m not thinking about standard things like that box of smellies for your Mum or new slippers for your Dad. I’m talking about giving that little bit extra and making a difference in someone’s life. Because, after all, that’s what the Christmas spirit is all about. It really doesn’t take a lot of time, money, or effort on your part either. A small gesture from you could be exactly what’s needed to transform someone else’s Christmas from just another day in a miserable year to a truly magical occasion. To help inspire you to be that positive force in someone else’s life, I’ve come up with a list of what you can do to spread a little festive cheer. The lovely Hayley has already published a charity gift guide, which you can also turn to if you need extra help!

Pass The Love On with Thorntons, intuDerby*

Visiting Willy Wonka's fabled chocolate factory was the dream of every Roald Dahl fan back in the day. Just imagine it: a chocolate river, sweets growing on trees, lickable wallpaper, the list of delights goes on! What could be better? Well, what I have to share with you today might just top it! Recently, I was invited to the launch event for the newly revamped Thorntons' Chocolates store and café at intuDerby! My morning at the store involved taste testing some of Thorntons' best products, watching the chocs in production, and lots more besides! But don't worry, nobody was turned into a giant blueberry during our visit and I didn't meet anyone called Veruca either, phew!

Blogger Book Nook #3: Young Adult

I can't quite believe we're into our third month of Blogger Book Nook posts already! Doesn't time fly? For those of you who may not be familiar with it, the Blogger Book Nook is a reading group set up by myself and Tabitha to bring together a group of book-crazy bloggers for discussions, book swaps, recommending authors, and reading motivation. Each month we share a reading prompt and a related Q&A to encourage the group members to pick up a book and write about it on their blogs too. October's spooky theme was really successful and the lovely Hels, Fleur, Gemma, and Llinos all produced fantastic blog posts sharing their Halloween reads! To help decide on November's reading prompt, I started a poll on the Blogger Book Nook Facebook group to ask our members what they'd most like to read and Young Adult came up very strongly in first place! So without further ado, let's dive into the YA themed questions...

Getting Bus-y on the River Rapids Route*

oxford henley bus go ahead river rapids wallingford reading

This post is going to start off with a pretty embarrassing fact about me. Are you ready? WELL, even when I was 18 years old, I used to think that going on a bus was rather exciting. I'm weird, right? Hear me out. I grew up in the very rural Suffolk countryside where our nearest neighbours were about half a mile away - public transport was not something that was even an option because no bus routes really went by our house and the one that did was incredibly unreliable to say the least. Moving to Oxford as a student and having things like buses on the doorstep was an amazing novelty for me and I still get a little childish buzz whenever I get to use public transport. Yes, you can tease me about this and no, I don't care!

For today's post, I've partnered with Go Ahead, who have asked me to share a few destinations that I'd most like to visit (as well as some I've already experienced!) along their brand new River Rapids bus route, which connects Oxford, Henley-on-Thames, Reading, Wallingford, and surrounding areas. Whether you're local to Oxfordshire or if you're just planning a day-trip, there will hopefully be something new for you to discover! Riding the bus is a fantastic way of exploring, public transport is not only an eco-friendly option but the free wifi capabilites of the new Go Ahead buses will ensure that nobody is bored on the journey either! Contactless payment on the bus also means that travel couldn't be easier. So, let's get bus(y) *teehee* with planning a fantastic day out!

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