November Favourites

November has seen the sky filled with fireworks, the return of the red cups and the first snow flurry (!!!). I have stirred the Christmas pudding and made a wish, chosen my advent calendar (Thornton’s, this year) and I’m soo ready for December and all things festive!

A switch seems to have flicked this month and the temperatures have seriously dropped. I’ve found myself pulling out all of my favourite winter warmers and I’m thoroughly enjoying getting to use them again. I’m also crazily planning Christmas presents, festive activities (ice-skating, come at me) and getting ready for my lovely boyfriend’s birthday next week – watch this space, plenty of exciting things to come!

Anyway, here are the things that I’ve been loving this month…

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*Bonfire Night: As I’ve mentioned here before, I love Bonfire Night and experiencing it in London for the first time was quite something. On the 5th November I found myself curled up on my boyfriend’s window sill, at 12 floors high it was incredible to watch fireworks going off all across London. We also went to the Victoria Park firework display which was the biggest and best I’ve ever seen. The display was in time to music and it was like watching lights dance across the sky. I highly recommend it if you’re in London this time next year!

*Rude Health 5 Grain 5 Seed Porridge: There’s nothing quite like a big bowl of porridge on a cold morning is there? As a student I was always a Quakers Oats kinda gal (one sachet, bit of milk – Bob’s your uncle) but I’ve branched out this year. This Rude Health porridge is beyond delicious, really nutty and filling. As you’d expect with Rude Health, it has great ingredients with no nasty chemicals and the packet lasts forever. If this doesn’t seem your thing, they have an enormous range so there is something for everyone. With this one I highly recommend adding a drizzle of honey and sprinkling of blueberries!

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*Candles: Two new candles came my way this month and I adore them both. The first is the Anthropologie Volcano candle, which is in a beautiful, iridescent jar and comes with a copper lid. The candle itself is very fruity, so it is perfect for all year round. It comes in a variety of sizes and jar colours, this is the smallest size but bigger versions are on my Christmas wish list! The second is the Yankee Candle Christmas Memories, which was brought to my sick bed as a ‘cheer up, it’s nearly Christmas!’ present. For the past few years, the Yankee Christmas Eve candle has been my favourite from the range, but this may have just replaced it. It’s a sweet blend of gingerbread and cinnamon, to remind you of Christmases from your childhood (cute!).

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*Wanderlust: This month, Tiarnan and I booked a Christmassy weekend away in Paris, which is so exciting. And, after the horrible attacks in Paris this month, it seems all the more important to go and show the city of love some … well, love. I’ve been cruising the internet and guide books for city break inspiration, and it’s looking to be a weekend filled with decadent chocolat chauds, ice skating and perusing the Christmas markets. If you have any suggestions then I would love to hear them!

I hope you all had a great month, bring on December (… and Christmas!!)

How to spend … November

For the past three years, I seem to have missed autumn. Shivering as temperatures dropped in the center of Newcastle, trapped in my room reading books to complete my degree, I completely failed to notice the changing colours. Now I’m back home in Kent, I’m amazed (and sad) that I haven’t seen them for three years.

So here are my suggestions on how to spend November, based on what I’m planning to do. A month’s bucket list if you will…

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Get outside: As I have just stressed above, it’s looking beautiful out there at the moment. If you have a dog then you really have no excuse to not be out enjoying the season. If you don’t then grab a friend, your family, your partner, whoever and head out into the countryside. The best walks always go past a pub, so you can rest your feet for a while and refuel. This is also a good bribe for the less enthusiastic walking buddies.

November is a great month for this because it’s not freezing yet. Soon enough it’ll be so cold we’ll all be reluctant to leave the house, so now is the time to enjoy the fine-ish (if a bit crisp) weather while we’ve still got it.

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See fireworks: Remember, remember the 5th of November … Bonfire Night has always been a thing in my family. We love a good firework display. We would always have fireworks set off in our back garden and between rockets we would run around with sparklers spelling out our names. Don’t you just love the smell of smoke in the air around Bonfire Night, and the crackle and bangs from distant firework displays?

Whether you have them in your back garden, build a bonfire and throw a Guy onto it, attend a local display, get a pack of sparklers or simply watch someone else’s rockets go off from an upstairs window, see some fireworks!

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Whip up some baked treats: A great way to warm up the house as the evenings get colder is by having the oven pumping out some heat, while you warm yourself up by hand stirring mixture! Check out my chocolate orange cupcakes or I always think bread is a great thing to be making around this time of year. Plus, freshly baked bread makes the entire house smell delicious. Combine going out for a walk with some tea and cake for afters – guaranteed to go down a treat!

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Get reading: Whether you like to peruse a cookbook for recipe inspiration, flick through the fashion pages of the latest Vogue or get lost in a good story, now is a great time to bury your head in a book. As December creeps up on us, we will start getting busier and busier in the build up to Christmas. Now is the lovely calm before the storm, and taking some time to yourself is always a great idea. Choose a relaxed setting, settle down in a bubble filled bath or curl up with a blanket and cup of tea by the fire, light plenty of candles and turn your phone off (or at least to silent). The best way to enjoy a good book.

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Go to the cinema: In the summer, I always think that going to the cinema should be saved for rainy days only. Being cooped up inside while the sun is shining seems utterly pointless. However, we’ve left summer behind now and that changes everything. If books and reading aren’t your thing, then there are so many good films on at the moment! Of course, the main attraction is the shiny new James Bond film (which my local cinema is showing hourly) but don’t forget about Suffragette and Pan.

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How are you planning on spending November?