I am lucky enough to have some amazing blogger friends. Katie, from Life on Vista Street, is one of these fantastic women. Towards the end of October she asked a number of us if we wanted to be involved in a Santa blog hop or ‘not-so-secret’ Santa. We had a pretty rough time in October and the idea of some festive fun and frivolity sounded perfect.
I was paired with the lovely Julia from Rainbeaubelle and had a budget of £5.00 to buy her a fabulous present. I may have doubled this budget and spent £10.00. This is purely because I wanted to buy from my local high street and I was willing to spend more to do this. I also added a couple of home-made treats for good measure. I included:
A star shaped salt dough Christmas decoration – Little Miss H and I made these decorations on 8th December as part of our special Christmas activities Advent calendar. I have never made salt dough anything before and I was really proud of how these turned out. I especially liked the effect created by the red and silver glitter.
Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate – As far as I am concerned, you can not have enough chocolate at Christmas. Luckily Rochester has a traditional sweet shop called The Candy Bar. It sells the most divine fudge and every type of chocolate you can imagine. It was my first port of call and whilst there I bought Julia some ‘Death by milk chocolate’ fudge, a few chocolate coins and a Lindt chocolate reindeer.
Relaxing bath tea bags – All mums deserve the chance to relax. My favourite way to do this is with a long soak in a hot bath filled with divine smelling bath treats. When I saw these lavender, patchouli and white tea bath tea bags I knew they would be perfect. I bought them in a shop that I often spend a fortune in and visit at least once a week. Frances Iles is a fabulous family shop run by three sisters. It includes an art gallery and their sister shop across the road is an Aladdin’s cave for anyone who loves arts and crafts.
“Don’t get your tinsel in a tangle” Christmas decoration – I fell in love with this the moment that I saw it. It is witty and covered in red glitter. What is not to love? Julia, you’re a lucky lady. I was very tempted to keep this beauty for myself. I bought this from Kiss Kiss Heart a quirky boutique that sells a range of products from clothes and jewellery to cute pottery, bedspreads and Annie Sloan paint. It is a lovely little shop and I often buy my presents from there.
A home-made Christmas card – Every Christmas parcel needs a Christmas card. I sent Julia one the first Christmas cards that Little Miss H’s has made. There are only 5 in existence.
I adore wrapping presents. I like to steal from “The Sound of Music” and give people “brown paper packages tied up with string” (or ribbon in this case). I also had to wrap at least one present in the gorgeous red and green Emma Bridgewater paper. The parcel was finished off with some green and red packing paper and some gold and silver star confetti.
Merry Christmas Julia! You can read all about what Julia thought of her presents here.
I then received these beautiful parcels from Julia.
The presents that I received are fabulous. Julia, you have obviously been doing your homework. This is what I was given by my ‘not so secret’ Santa:
- A cute notebook with a print of an owl on it – I have a notebook addiction but recently I’ve gone for a whole two months without buying a notebook. To be bought a notebook for Christmas is amazing. It means I haven’t succumbed into purchasing the stationery myself but I have another cute piece of stationery to add to my collection.
- Glittery nail polish – I am looking forward to using this to give my Christmas nails some bling.
- “Follow your dreams” tin – I love this. Mr H and I have had quite a rough year and this is a motto that I really need to take with me into 2015. Mr H will also be happy as I plan to use the tin to house all my hair bands and Kirby grips which often end up lying around the flat.
- 2 Hershey cookies ‘n cream Santa bars – Yummy. I was very kind and shared one of these bars with my husband as a reward for doing the ironing.
I adore Julia’s blog. Reading her posts is like receiving a big hug from your best friend. My favourite post is from October when Julia wrote about the retro caravan she had purchased . You can read it here. All my childhood holidays were spent in caravans and this post brought back so many happy memories.
I now know that Julia is as fantastic at buying presents as she is at writing. Julia, thank you so much. I am a very lucky girl. I am thrilled that I agreed to be part of the bloggers ‘not so Secret’ Santa. I wonder what the real Santa will bring me on Christmas morning.
PS What is the best present you have ever received in a Secret Santa?