Audiobooks for the Sleigh!

Through the magic of Christmas cheer and children’s wishes, Santa somehow delivers presents to all the good little boys and girls in one night (although Popular Science did some maths and we’re looking at relativity clouds and six ‘Santa months’). Personally, I love listening to audiobooks when I’m driving, or wrapping, or doing literally anything so these are my recommendations for Father Christmas himself to keep his night/months interesting.

Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Collection by Arthur Conan Doyle
Clocking in at almost 72 hours and read by Stephen Fry, I feel like this is a must for any long-haul journey. The stories are rarely predictable, plus, Santa is a bit of a detective himself! He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, he knows if you’ve been bad or good. I feel like he’d appreciate a fellow investigators methods.

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Since Santa is a bit of a pilot, and he has 16 hours to kill, I think he’s really like Catch-22. I loved it. It’s funny and amazingly plotted, I wanted to start it over as soon as I finished and Santa actually has the time!

It by Stephen King
At 44 hours long, if Santa decides to go a bit more contemporary, then It is a good pick. It’ll keep him awake from fear at the very least! I read it in August and I wish I had been in a sleigh, way above ground and away from any clowns when I read it. Although, I definitely wouldn’t want to visit anyone’s house after this and that is Santas main gig.

Something Fresh by P.G. Wodehouse
When the night starts winding down and Santa is ready for bed, nothing will help him relax more than the slow drama of a Wodehouse book. I started P.G. Wodehouse’s Blandings Castle series back in January and have since listened to six because they’re perfect for easy bedtime listening. Let a posh English accent lull him to sleep after the busiest night of the year!

What do you think Santa would listen to on the big night?
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My Holiday Season TBR!

I don’t tend to get a lot of reading done around the holiday season- it’s busy! There’s cleaning, cooking, decorating and general panicked shopping to be done while family is swarms the house. Plus, I’m a themed reader. I want my reads to have that vibe about how I generally feel about the holidays. I also don’t want anything to dark and heavy since SAD is in full effect these days. So these are the few books that pass the test…

I recently read And Then There Were None and now I really want to get to Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie. I find that cosy crime is better for the colder months and more realistic crime are Summer holiday reads. Plus, I got this for Christmas last year so it’s about time I get to it!

From my 18 books I wanted to read in 2018 list, there are a few left that I’d like to get around to as the year winds down. I have Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy and Mansfield Park by Jane Austen in audiobook format which is super convenient for making cleaning/ decorating/ wrapping much less boring.

I also have my two non-fiction picks; Coming Out Under Fire by Allan Bérubé and Please Take Me Home: The Story of the Rescue Cat by Clare Campbell. I don’t think I’ll get both finished because I read non-fiction very slowly but I’ve started both and should be able to get a good chunk read. They’re fascinating!

And lastly, The Faber Book of Christmas is a gorgeous anthology I’ll probably dip in and out of for a Christmassy boost when I need it. I love having a collection that I can read bits from in the quiet moments of the festivities.

What will you be reading this Holiday Season?
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Under my Christmas Tree!

Another Christmas has been and gone! I really like seeing what people got for Christmas, mainly because I’m nosey, and I like writing this post every year. It’s my way of looking at everything together and feeling ever so lucky. And I get to look back at what I got last year, the year before that, the year before that and the year before that. It’s wild to see how tastes change and stay the same year after year.

Plus, I’ll bet there are other people like me that just love reading these types of posts. Welcome!

Anyone who knows me, knows I do love a good mug. And this year I was treated to two; the My Favourite Murder podcast Toxic Masculinity Ruins the Party Again mug that I wished for. And one that my parents picked up on a trip to Copenhagen! It’s a Royal Copenhagen design that has silicone to protect your hands from hot contents. Perfect for a chilly January cup of tea.

On the subject of podcasts; how brilliant is the Vermilion Minotaur pin from Hello from the Magic Tavern? I’ve really loved pins this year and I’m glad to represent the best tavern in Foon with this!

As I get older I find myself more and more excited about good skincare. So you can imagine my celebratory dance at finding the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate in my stocking. It’s a thinner oil then I’m used to and I love how quickly my skin absorbs the goodness.

The Konjac Sponge is so weird but so cool. It’s solid when it’s dry but after a couple seconds under the tap, it starts to soften up until you have this handful of sponge that is ever so slightly gooey feeling without the goo. I’m into it, and I can’t wait to see the effect on my skin.

Since I only bought a few books in 2017 because of my self-imposed book buying ban (mini-haul here), I was really excited to get some fresh new books in my stocking. Books like the first Miss Marple novel; The Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha ChristieWomen & Power by Mary BeardI Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora EphronTravels with my Sketchbook by Chris RiddellThe Faber Book of ChristmasIt Devours! by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor and the gorgeous Folio Society edition of Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome! Gosh, there’s nothing better than a beautiful pile of books.

The entertainment continues with my new box-set of Golden Girls (in German because there’s no UK full box-set). I couldn’t be more excited to get to know Dorothy, Rose, Blanche and Sophia. And hello future foster cat/ Sims names!

The first expansion to Exploding Kittens; Imploding Kittens is going to make the game all the more fun. If you’re looking for a quick card game for a few people, you can’t beat it. This expansion also comes with a human-sized cone of shame too which is just brilliant.

Santa definitely had a theme this year! The royal cat socks are just fantastic, I’m wearing them right now and they’re keeping my feet cosy as well as making me smile every time I look down. The ‘Cat Lady’ and cat mug patches are going to be sewn onto a boring jacket I have to snazz it up.

And the big man also treated my foster cats too. The heated pet bed is currently under my desk with two very happy cats napping, and the Snuggle Kitty is going to come in handy next time I have orphan kittens!

And, of course, chocolate! The Lindt Santa had an unfortunate squash but tasted good anyway. Probably better because I didn’t have to deal with the guilt of a chocolate-y beheading.

What did you get for Christmas? Link me if you wrote a post like this!
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My Christmas List!

I normally pop up my Christmas list on December 1st but since I was in Mexico, there’s been a little delay! I really enjoy looking back at my old lists (2013, 2014, 2015 & 2016) and I love reading other peoples. It’s so interesting to see the different things that different people want, and get ideas from them for what I’m going to get my friends and family.

I’m a big podcast person and some of my favourites have some really great merchandise. Like the My Favourite Murder ‘Toxic Masculinity Ruins the Party Again’ mug, an ‘All Hail the Glow Cloud’ pin from my favourite episode of Welcome to Night Vale, and a Vermilion Minotaur pin from Hello from the Magic Tavern. You can never have enough mugs or pins, right?

I tend to ask for a DVD box-set of Christmas of something that’s older because they’re generally not on Netflix and are super expensive to buy digitally, so over the years I’ve received absolute gems like FrasierMonk and Home Improvement. This year I have my eye on Golden Girls. A true classic!

I’ve never put books on my Christmas list while I’ve been book blogging because it would make for a very long list, but I was looking for a hardcover copy of Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome over Summer and found that The Folio Society has a truly beautiful copy. And I’m a sucker for having nice copies of my favourites.

This year is the year that I’ve started fostering kittens and while the charity I volunteer for is great at providing everything you need, I keep a list of things I think will make the kittens as comfortable as possible at a pretty traumatic time. Things like a Snuggle Kitty, a heating pad, various scratching toys, and plastic toys that keep them entertained while being easy to sanitize between litters. I also really want some new kittens to foster over the season to banish those holiday blues by feeling helpful so if Santa could hook me up, I’d love that.

What’s on your Christmas list this year?
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Under My Christmas Tree!

It’s been over a month since Christmas but considering I just finished packing up my decorations this morning, I figured it wasn’t totally too late to show what was under my tree this year. I really like writing these posts because I like the memories that are associated and looking back at the years that have come before. There’s like a secondary rush of gratitude which is nice as well.

Usual disclaimer; just showing some of the cool stuff I was lucky enough to get. Not bragging in any way. 

While I was in Germany, I mentioned in passing to my mum how my art teacher at school had told me not to draw. It wasn’t my area. I spent a lot of time with my hands covered in clay while she taught me and I loved it. But I always kind of wished I had drawn, at least a little. Especially after seeing Chris Riddell in Summer. Somehow Santa found out and I now have some fancy drawing pencils, pens and a sketch book!

And since it wouldn’t be Christmas without something Liberty print in my stocking; the cutest pin-cushion mouse that ever existed, thread scissors and a tape measure. Santa really wants me to be crafty in 2017.

Books! Glorious Books! Gladly added to my shelves are The Ladybird Book of the Zombie Apocalypse, F*ck You, 2016 (a gift from my best friend because seriously- f*ck 2016!), Lost Cat by Caroline Paul, The Indisputable Existence of Santa Claus, Cats by Jane Brown, Please Take Me Home: The Story of the Rescue Cat by Clare Campbell and a b-e-a-uuuutiful illustrated copy of Watership Down by Richard Adams

I totally spoiled myself when I picked up my mums phone to play a game of Tetris and found a text from my brother telling her he was buying me Pokémon for Christmas. My bad! I just need to finish Alpha Sapphire and I’ll be right into this one, Lauren’s review has me super excited.

I asked for the Home Improvement DVDs. I loved that show when I was a kid and you just can’t find a good version of it online. I really want to just dive in but- self control prevails. I’m saving it for my week off in summer, not that it has stopped me doing the Tim Allen Grunt whenever I catch sight of my snazzy new boxset.

And chocolate, of course! My new Lindt mug is a welcome addition to my collection and the chocolate Santas were a welcome addition to my stomach. Chocolate coins are a classic. And my dad knew I was really upset about the new Toblerone so he got his friend at the newsagents to hook him up with a box of ten of the old versions. 2017- possibly the year my heart explodes? We’ll see!

What did you get for Christmas? Can you even remember?
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Travel: Munich and the Christmas Market!

Last Christmas Eve, I posted up a blog post about my trip to the Christmas markets of Cologne, or Köln. So, to continue this tradition, I’ve narrowed down my favourites from my recent trip to Munich. It helps me get into the holiday spirit, and hopefully helps some of you too! Willkommen in München…

I love how the markets contrast with the city. It feels so cosy even when you’re in an absolutely huge city. And the Glühwein mugs change from stall to stall, city to city, year to year. I’m a mug collector so it’s my kryptonite.

The main thing being sold in the markets was the nativity. I didn’t really notice it that much in Cologne last year but it was everywhere in Munich. Everything from the traditional little baby Jesus in the manger to little campfires for the stable that flickered and smoked. You could spend an absolute fortune putting one together with an unbelievable amount of detail if you wanted to!

Although most of the decorations I bought there were of cats- I do have a soft spot for how these beautiful etched wooden ones look. They don’t really match any of my Christmas decor, but we did end up buying one that spins slowly when warm for above the fireplace. High above the fireplace obviously.

In general, Munich was just really lovely to walk around. Germany definitely decorate their cities more than the British, and the Nutella crepes were amazing. But I preferred Cologne for the Christmas atmosphere. Rather than the separate and distinct markets, the Munich one just sprawled through the city (and it didn’t have a chocolate museum). I guess it’s personal preference! They’re both amazing and I can’t wait to go back to Germany next December.

Merry Christmas Eve! What do you think of the Christmas Markets?
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