For me the lead up to Christmas is the best part, it’s festive, exciting and full of tradition, I love it. Back when I was a child I remember being bored in the afternoon of Christmas day when everyone wanted to sit on the sofa and snooze after a giant turkey lunch. Of course, I now love this opportunity to kick back and get some rest after a busy month of preparations but let’s get back on topic. How to make your home smell like Christmas. This technique is super easy, cost effective and lot’s of fun.

Simply add the following ingredients to a medium pan that’s 3/4 full with tap water.

  • 2 large handfuls of fresh cranberries.
  • 2 or 3 cinnamon sticks.
  • 2 mandarins or satsumas, sliced in half.
  • 2 star anise or a tablespoon of cloves.
  • 1 vanilla pod.
  • 100ml of pomegranate juice or apple cider.
  • 1 small branch of pine.

Bring the whole lot to the boil and then take it down to a gentle simmer allowing the aroma to fill your home. Leave for up to 4 hours and remember to top the pan up with fresh water as and when you need to.

If you are planning a mammoth day of Christmas shopping in London then I suspect you will be around Oxford Circus and Bond Street. At 5 o’clock when the knees begin to buckle I recommend hiding out somewhere warm a cozy with a good glass of wine and a tasty snack to avoid rush hour before heading home. Soho is a smart place to head to when it get’s a bit hectic as it’s just 10-15 minute walk from the major shops.

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VINOTECA 53-55 Beak Street

Vinoteca has a great selection of fine wines by the glass and there is the option for light sharing plates or full out lunch or dinner. If you arrive early it’s easy to grab a stool at the bar for a casual glass of wine. Located just off Regent Street & Carnaby Street.

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Dean Street Townhouse 69-71 Dean Street

Dean Street Townhouse is a lovely hotel with a great restaurant and bar. It get’s super busy at night but if it’s an early evening drink and snack you are after then getting a seat at the bar won’t be a problem. Located just off Oxford Street.

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Fernandez & Wells 43 Lexington Street

Fernandez & Wells holds a place close to my heart as I used to rent an apartment a couple of doors down on the same street. Serving incredible sandwiches during the day, this place transforms into a laid back wine bar in the evening. They also serve sharing plates of cold meats and delicious cheeses. Be warned this place does not have a toilet! The staff will point you in the direction of the John Snow pub just a few doors down. Located between Piccadilly Circus and Carnaby Street.

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Ham Yard Hotel 1 Ham Yard

Another hotel bar situated in Soho is the Ham Yard Hotel which is located close to Piccadilly Circus and lower Regent Street. This is the newest place on the list and a great option if you are on Bond Street as it’s only a short walk.

This morning I woke up with parched skin, it feels tight, dehydrated and a little sensitive. I have a love/hate relationship with the central heating – it plays havoc with my skin yet keeps me cozy and warm whilst it’s freezing outside. Time for damage control! Today will be spent layering serums, moisturisers and a drop or two of oil. This got my thinking about new products I want to try and Sisley came up on my radar. About 10 years ago I was prone to breakouts, mostly around the forehead and jaw area. At the time I was working in Harvey Nichols and the team at the Sisley counter soon became my best friends. After trying some heavy duty cleansers that left my skin stripped and sensitive I was advised to start a new regime using Sisley products. I started cleansing with the Phyto-Blanc Buff and Wash Facial Gel which I found gentle and refreshing. This was followed by Ecological Compound which is a lovely light moisturiser that soothed and hydrated my skin. Around twice a week I used the Express Flower Gel Mask which again was nice and light plus it really brightened and hydrated. My skin cleared up and for a long time I was a Sisley advocate, recommending it to anyone and everyone. But you know how it is, over time I was lured toward other brands and different products but I still have fond memories of the brand that helped fix my problematic skin. Recently I’ve heard great things about Sisley face masks and the Black Rose Precious Face Oil, these seem to be hero products within the range and are definitely on my 2016 wish-list of new products to try.

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A weekend of long walks with my dog are great but they can leave me vulnerable to the common cold or even worse the flu. To avoid this I have a selection of go-to supplements that keep me at my best. Work is particularly demanding at this time of year and with the party season about to enter full throttle I’m going to be busier than ever. Warm water with lemon first thing in the morning makes a huge difference when it comes to cough and cold prevention, the high dose of vitamin C is a warrior when it comes to killing unwanted bacteria. You can check out my ultimate hot water with lemon recipe here. Staying alkaline is key to keeping fit and healthy so I mix a couple scoops of PH Miracle Greens to a bottle of water, add some alkaline drops for an extra boost and drink this throughout the day. When combined with water and lemon in the morning this mixture should keep unwanted germs at bay. Lastly I take FOUNTAIN Super Green Molecule* daily which provides the equivalent of 6 green salads in a teaspoon.

*PR Sample

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A lot of my posts open with a comment regarding the weather. Hmm, I guess I’m obsessed except I like to differentiate myself from the majority of folk as I tend not to complain about it. Hot, cold even fog or rain – I love it all and I always feel the need to alter my skincare routine to ensure I get the correct type of protection. The first snow fell over the weekend and it’s now super cold here. I like to run outdoors and freezing cold air is way harsh on my precious skin. So! I switched up last weeks moisturiser to my favourite face oil from Herbivore Botanicals*. This moisturising powerhouse contains Organic Golden Jojoba, Organic Argan, and Organic Rosehip oils. The juicy cocktail of goodness absorbs into my skin perfectly, leaving me hydrated and happy! Face oil’s are great for many skin types including oily or combination. They provide essential fatty acids which maintain the nourishment and hydration levels of the skin. You can purchase a bottle for yourself at WOODBERG the website is also in English and they deliver worldwide. WOOP WOOP!

 

 

*PR SAMPLES.