Christmas Presents Galore!

Here’s everything I have been gifted from others (or myself) for the Christmas season! Just like with my Birthday Haul, I wanted to share everything on my blog!

What others got me

Bunch of Food, Movie Voucher and Perfume

All from the lovely families and staff at work! This time of year is always filled with goodies at my work, and it’s such an amazing time!

Cards

cards

I wanted to include this somewhere, but I have done a card exchange with quite a few bloggers, and have this lovely little collection! I love having a physical item from these lovely ladies! It makes our online friendship feel a lot more tangible, you know 🙂

Calendar

It’s become a thing now for Rory to get me a calendar for Christmas each year. This started 2 years back, when I was lamenting that another year had gone by and no one got me a calendar. So I had to buy one myself. I love calendars. I always use them to keep track of life things, on top of my phone calendar. I just love having something physical to write on too. So now, I can always rely on someone getting me a calendar for Christmas!

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Illustrated Edition

harry potter

I’ve been eyeing up these books for years. I always umm and ahh about getting them, but I do absolutely love them. Rory got me this one, and the illustrations are just stunning! I love it so much!

Lord Voldemort Pop Figure

voldemort pop

It’s become somewhat of a tradition to get each other pop figurines. Last year, I got Rey from my dad. This year from my dad, it’s our favourite Dark Lord.

Duvet Cover Set

duvet covers

A practical gift as ever from my mum. Always good to have another set of blankets!

3000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle

3000 puzzle

A new puzzle from my sister! I’m quite excited to get started with this, as I’ve never done a puzzle larger than 1000 before 🙂

What I Got Myself

Colour Pop Shadow Palette – You Had Me at Hello

I have been eyeing up the ColourPop palettes for a bit. The one that first caught my eye was Yes Please, which is filled with bright, pastel colours. I realized though that I probably wouldn’t use it much, so I opted for this one, which has a nice mix of nude and warm colours! They are very pigmented and so easy to apply, I love that it comes with a little mirror too!

Spiral Notebooks

notebooks

I’ve been pretty good at not buying too much stationary lately, but with all the sales going on, I had to get at least some. I bought an A4 and an A5 size.

Electric Mixer

mixer

I’m actually really excited for this! I’ve never had an electric mixer, and it just felt like time to get one. I’ve been loving baking this whole year, and this will just help me with that, as it means less manual mixing!

HP Sprocket

I have been very interested in this since I heard about it from you guys. I have already started printing a bunch of photos and I’m so happy with how they come out! They’re quite small and the quality isn’t perfect, but I love the mini size. They’d be perfect for scrapbooking! The price for the paper is also way cheaper than for my Instax mini.

Clothes

clothes

Finally, I got a bunch of new clothes. The thrift store near me closed down on December 23, so I went on the final day to their closing down sale where everything was 60% off. I got quite a few things. A beige knitted cardigan. This sweet white skater dress with floral patterns all over. A silky white blouse with black accents.

How was your Christmas?

Angela.

Find me elsewhere:

Instagram               Pinterest                YouTube                  Bloglovin’

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas everyone! If you’re not celebrating Christmas, then I wish you a Happy Holidays instead!

For everyone not on this side of the world, then it’s probably still Christmas eve, but I’m sure you may already be in a festive mood since Christmas is lurking around the corner. But for me, it’s here, so I’m off to celebrate.

Today, we’re going to hang out with Rory’s family, and tomorrow, we’re celebrating with mine. Lots of celebrating, eating, and hanging out with loved ones!

I just wanted to wish all my lovely blogger friends a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays as well!

Angela.

Find me elsewhere:

Instagram                   Pinterest                  YouTube                  Bloglovin’

Christmas Memories

For this Christmas Eve post, I wanted to share some Christmas memories. In no particular order or importance, here’s some random Christmas memories I wanted to share.

One year for Christmas, we were playing at my dad’s old school which is close to my grandparent’s house in Blenheim. Jo and I were playing on the playground. She was standing on the see-saw and balancing herself well, then she jumped off and played elsewhere. Me, being the little sister I was, decided I wanted to copy her and could do it just as well despite having zero co-ordination or balance skills. I stood on the see-saw, and tried to jump off. Instead I fell, and landed weird on my left arm. I had sprained it really bad and couldn’t lift my arm above my head for weeks.

angela 09

One year for Christmas, I got rollerblades. I spent the whole day wheeling around everywhere and having so much fun. But a few days later when we were playing Badminton on the back yard and I was convinced I could jump over the net with the rollerblades on… I got tangled in the net and scraped up my hands and knees pretty bad.

1999.kids4

One year for Christmas, I got a walkman. I spent the whole holiday season with my earbuds in, either listening to the radio, or to one of my mixtapes I had made. You know, I really wish I still had those mixtapes now. I was either eleven or twelve. I do remember one of the songs was “Dirty Little Secret” by The All-American Rejects.

One year for Christmas, we were taking our usual ferry ride across Cook Strait to the South Island, to spend the holidays with my grandparents in Blenheim. My sister and I were really into this one card game called Speed. Basically, you have to play very fast, and we get competitive. We were really loud and into it, that we didn’t notice we had accumulated a crowd who were watching us. Later that week, when we were wandering around town, we were spotted by someone who recognized us as the “girls who were really into the card game on the ferry”.

cards

One year for Christmas, I put on The Hunger Games to watch, cause it had come out in the cinema earlier that year. Surprisingly, the whole family ended up watching it, including my brother-in-law and dad. Everyone really liked it. As dad said, “It has a lot more meat than other YA movies”. We all saw the rest of the movies in the theatres as they came out. I like to think it was all thanks to me.

Image result for the hunger games dvd

Hope you enjoyed reading some random Christmas memories! Two ended up being about stupid (but non-serious) injuries I gave myself when I was younger. There’s actually a lot more, but those ones weren’t around Christmas. I could probably make that into a separate post sometime.

Anyway, what’s a random Christmas memory you have?

Angela.

Find me elsewhere:

Instagram                   Pinterest                  YouTube                  Bloglovin’

A Summer Christmas

It still tickles me every time I get a comment from one of my lovely friends on the other side of the world stating “I can’t imagine a summer Christmas”. So, I thought a post like this would be fun. Sharing with you all what a typical summer christmas for me looks like.

I shared the food aspect in my post yesterday, so I thought I’d talk about some outdoor activities we might do during the Christmas holidays. We also sometimes watch a movie, or play games, but with the sun shining outside, you can bet that we’ll head out.

Go to the beach

Go for a day trip somewhere

Go to the park

Mini-Golf

Cherry-Picking

Since it’s summer and the family is all-together, we do like to wander around outside in the sunshine. Basically, we do regular summer activities, but it’s at Christmas time. Easy enough to wrap your head around right? 😛

What’s one of your typical activities you do during the festive season?

Angela.

Find me elsewhere:

Instagram                   Pinterest                  YouTube                  Bloglovin’

Christmas Food!

I’m a fan of food in general. Holiday food is even better, so I wanted to share with you guys, some of my favourite foods that we eat during the festive season!

It took me some hunting through my photos to find one of a typical Christmas meal. Growing up, we would alternate with having Christmas at home with just the immediate family, then with our extended family in the South Island. The picture below is one we had with just immediate family a few years back.

christmas lunch

The main part is always ham. We always have a big ham, which lasts for literally weeks. Then we have lots of side dishes, pasta, salads etc. But the ham always returns. One year, we did do turkey, but for the most part, we always have ham!

In terms of dessert, a kiwi classic is the pavlova. It’s made from a meringue base, with lots of whipped cream and fresh fruit on top. For example, kiwifruit, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, or any other summer fruits really. The picture below is one from a few years back as well. I really had to hunt through my photo collection to find these photos!

pavlova

For other desserts, I’m gonna share a photo of our dessert table from a few years back again.

christmas dessert

In terms of drinks, we normally just have soda and sparkling apple and grape juice. My family isn’t too big on the alcoholic drinks. I’ve just never been fond of the taste personally. For the dessert, we have a few staples. The classic Christmas cake, and normally a trifle of some kind. Always so yummy! If you look to the left in the blue pot, I believe that’s a traditional Filipino dessert called Ginataan.

Mum (and previously Grandmum) are the ones who do the bulk of the cooking for our Christmas feast. Even though it’s summer, we still do the big meal. There’s often lots of leftovers which means snacks for days! My sister Jo and her husband Tibor often dive in to help during recent years, adding some European and Hungarian dishes to the mix of Kiwi and Filipino dishes we already have. It’s always awesome to see what feast appears each year. As for me, I do help occasionally, but I tend to follow orders before just drifting off and playing games with my brother. Then coming back when they need another hand ?

That’s what typical Christmas food to me looks like! What’s a typical Christmas meal for you guys?

Angela.

Find me elsewhere:

Instagram                   Pinterest                  YouTube                  Bloglovin’

Favourite Christmas Songs

This post is all about my favourite Christmas songs. I’ve chosen 10! They’re a mixture of old and new ones. Let’s see if we share any favourite festive songs!

Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You

A pop classic in the Christmas world. I first heard this in Love, Actually, and I listen to it every year around Christmas.

Straight No Chaser ft. Kirsten Bell – Text Me Merry Christmas

I can’t remember how I came across this song, but I still absolutely love it! It’s such a cute, cheeky play on ‘modern communication’.

Wham! – Last Christmas

Another classic. How can you not love this ballad? It’s irresistible to sing along to! always sing along to it as loud as possible.

Pentatonix – Dance of the SugarPlum Fairy

I had to include one Pentatonix Christmas cover. I love so many, but this is one of my favourites. I’ve always loved this song since forever, and since Pentatonix has covered it, it’s become another Christmas favourite.

The Royal Guardsman – Snoopy’s Christmas

An older song on the list. This has always been another Christmas song I can’t help singing along to. “Christmas bells, those Christmas bells. Ringing through the laaaaaaaaaand”.

The Killers – Don’t Shoot Me Santa

I still remember when this came out. I went off and bought the single CD of it. It’s a peppy sounding song, but it has a bit of black humour going through it. Always fun!

Alvin and the Chipmunks – Christmas Don’t Be Late

I go through a love/hate thing with this song. I go back and forth between it being cute and annoying. Right now, it’s back at cute!

Amanda and Matthias – Baby, It’s Cold Outside

I’ve listened to a lot of these songs, but I always like the more laidback versions. This cover is so cute, and the fact that it’s done by one of my favourite YouTube couples makes me love it even more.

Ariana Grande – Santa Tell Me

Another pop Christmas song! They’re catchy for a reason. Also, as a fan of Ariana Grande in general, this was going to wind up on the list.

Glee – Santa Baby

I actually like quite a few of the Glee Christmas covers. However, in terms of the Santa Baby song, I really love their version! It’s sung by Naya Riviera, who played Santana, and I love her voice.

Weird Al Yankovic – Christmas at Ground Zero

Ending it on the most ‘darkest’ Christmas song. I deliberated putting it on here, but I do listen to it. I’m a fan of Weird Al’s parodies, and when I came across this, I couldn’t stop laughing (while feeling a little bad). It’s very peppy and festive sounding, while the lyrics talk about a nuclear attack.

There you have it. 10 of my favourite Christmas songs!

Credit for the cover photo goes to Unsplash

What do you listen to around this time of year?

Angela.

Find me elsewhere:

Instagram                   Pinterest                  YouTube                  Bloglovin’

Favourite Christmas TV Show Episodes

This turned out to be more harder than I thought. I wanted to do ten like with my previous Christmas songs post. But I literally couldn’t do more than 6. Let me know what your favourite Christmas specials are in the comments!

Here are mine:

Community – Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas

My first one is from Community. A show about a study group full of misfits who have strange adventures. This is from their second season. It’s all in stop-motion which I adore. Without giving away too much, Abed (a character who is kinda self aware), has a breakdown of sorts and announces to everyone that the world is now in stop motion. Full of amazing animations, catchy tunes, and both bittersweet and heartfelt moments, this is my favourite Christmas special ever!

Community – Regional Holiday Music

Another Community one. If you haven’t watched this show and you’re into hilarious sitcoms, definitely give it a go. The second and third seasons are both amazing. This episode is their Christmas special from the third season. Basically, it’s a parody of both Glee and Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The basis of the plot is, the study group accidentally causes the original Glee club members to have a collective meltdown, so one by one, they are recruited into the Glee club themselves through songs that pick at their character’s insecurities. Trust me, it’s incredible.

Glee – A Very Glee Christmas

Now we have an actual Glee episode. This show is still a guilty pleasure of mine, as are a lot of the songs. Especially when it comes to the Christmas songs. Out of their Christmas episodes, this one is my favourite. Last Christmas and Baby It’s Cold Outside just sell it for me.

Friends – The One With The Routine

One of my favourite Friends moments in general is this routine. The Gellers are just adorable doofuses, and this dance routine is a perfect example of this. A close second favourite is also definitely The One With The Holiday Armadillo though.

The Simpsons – The Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire

Literally, the first ever Simpsons episode, and it’s so sweet. It’s our first introduction to the dysfunctional Simpsons family, and introduces the family to Santa’s Little Helper.

Futurama – Xmas Story

Ending it on a show that is another favourite of mine. Futurama! In their world, Santa is a robot who has become incredible picky on who makes it onto the nice list. Nobody does really, and he’s a bit murdery and psychotic. He’s also voiced by John Goodman. A great choice if you like a show with a bit of a twisted sense of humour.

What’s one of your favourite special Christmas episodes?

Angela.

Find me elsewhere:

Instagram                   Pinterest                  YouTube                  Bloglovin’

Pinspiration – Christmas

Its been a while since I’ve done a Pinspiration post, so what better subject to do one on than Christmas itself! I’ve made a board with a whole random collection of Christmas inspiration, so here’s some I wanted to share with you all!

Let’s break it up by section.

Let’s start with some Christmas Decoration Ideas!

Washi Tape Tree! A festive way to organize all of your holiday cards...I would probably do it on a board fixed to the wallWashi Tape Card Tree – This looks like such a fun way to display your christmas cards!

Popsicle snowflakes. After a little paint job you'd never know. These look amazing Create a DIY santa ornament out of popsicle sticks. These are SO CUTE and super easy to make!

Oversized Snowflakes, Popsicle Stick Santas – Get creative with some popsicle sticks!

Easy Christmas Craft Tutorial: how to make a christmas tree from a paperback book This Paper Cone Christmas Tree Kid Craft added some dimension to our crafting and resulted in a lovely kid made Christmas decoration. #christmascrafts #kidscrafts #christmastree

Paper Back Christmas Tree, Paper Cone Christmas Tree – Make mini Christmas trees for eaxtra decorations!

Now obviously, the main thing I pinned was lots of cute Christmas themed foods!

I am sharing 25+ Christmas Tree Crafts and Treats that are great for gifts, decor and to keep the kids busy over Christmas Break.  Perfect for an Aussie Christmas! More

Christmas Tree Meringues, Melted Snowman Cookies

This FROZEN HOT CHOCOLATE with whipped cream, chocolate sauce and chocolate curls is the stuff hot summer days are made for!! Reindeer Rice Krispies - the cutest treat you will see all Christmas season. Make this recipe and deliver them to family and friends!

Frozen Hot Chocolate, Reindeer Rice Krispies

Santa Crunch Popcorn - a fun Christmas treat. Sweet, salty, crunchy and delicious and it is so easy to make. It would be a great Christmas Party Food or a movie night dessert! Follow us for more fun Christmas Dessert ideas. Peppermint Oreo Truffles! Delicious holiday treats with only 5 ingredients!

Santa Crunch Popcorn, Peppermint Oreo Truffles

Finally, some amazing Christmas makeup ideas that is way beyond me, but I am amazed by!

Ideas of Fairy Christmas makeup looks to be the most fabulous girl at a party More “Candy cane” eyeliner is a sweet holiday makeup trend we’re weirdly excited to try

Fairy Christmas, Candy Cane Eyeliner

Eccentric Christmas Eye Makeup | 25 Days of Christmas Ali Nordahl, a self-taught Canadian makeup artist, drew a dreamy holiday landscape, fully-decked out with a reindeer, a Christmas tree with a present, and a starry, snowy night—all on the few centimeters of her eyelids.

Red and Silver, Snow Globe

There you go! These have been some of the favourite pins that I’ve found recently. They’re definitely getting me more excited for Christmas!

Credit for the featured photo goes to Unsplash.

Angela.

Find me elsewhere:

Instagram                   Pinterest                  YouTube                  Bloglovin’

The Ultimate Christmas Q + A (+2100 followers!)

There’s been quite a few Christmas tags going around in the community, and I was considering joining in just for the fun of it. Then, last week, the lovely Maggie from Dreaming of Guatemala nominated me for one! So, let’s get into this Ultimate Christmas Q + A!

What is your favorite Christmas film?

To be honest, probably Die Hard. It’s a silly, over-the-top action film, with hilarious quotes, and Alan Rickman. It only classifies as a Christmas movie since it takes place around Christmas. But I definitely count it.

Have you ever had a white Christmas? 

No, and considering all of my Christmases so far have been summer, it would have been a literal miracle.

Where do you usually spend Christmas? 

With my family in Wellington. Although growing up, every two years we used to go down to Blenheim to see my grandparents and spend the holidays with them.

What are your favorite Christmas songs? 

I’ve got a whole post coming on this later this week. My favourite at the moment is “Text Me Merry Christmas”, cause of the whole tongue-in-cheek humour of it all.

When does your family put up your Christmas tree?

I don’t really remember. Normally a week or so into December I think. I do remember it being up during my birthday.

Do you open presents on Christmas Eve?

Nope.

What holiday traditions are you looking forward to most this year?

We don’t really have any honestly.

Who decorates the Christmas tree?

Growing up, it was a mixture of mum and me. Now, in my house, it’s just me. Rory isn’t really interested in it.

christmas decor

Is your Christmas tree fake or real?

Fake. A real tree sounds like too much hassle. Also, I don’t think you can get real Christmas trees down in New Zealand since it’s the middle of summer.

Do you like giving gifts or receiving gifts?

Both. I like thinking of a present they may like and buying it. But I also love receiving presents and getting lots of goodies.

What is your favorite holiday treat/meal?

Pavlova. It’s a classic Kiwi dessert.

pavlova

What is the best Christmas gift you’ve ever received?

There’s been lots that I’ve loved, but one still sticks in my head. I was 10 or 11 at the time, I was just getting into songs I heard on the radio, and in the habit of recording songs off the radio and making a mix tape. Of which I would listen to on a stereo, with giant headphones. Well one year, both my sister and I received a walkman for Christmas. It made me so happy! I could now listen to my mix tapes on the go!! Since then, I’ve always had earphones in my ears, playing my music.

What would be your dream place to visit for the holiday season?

I think it would be fun to experience a white christmas once in my life. So I would visit somewhere in Europe, with lots of mountains and castles. I’d love to see it covered in snow, it would be so magical.

Are you a pro present wrapper?

Sure. I’m pretty good at it, but what I do love more is trying to wrap really crazy looking things. Boxes are easy enough, but what about a giant air bazooka gun. I got that for my brother one year, I wrapped cardboard around it, then wrapped that in like 3 layers of wrapping paper. I found it hilarious at least.

What’s your most memorable holiday moment?

I can’t think of one for Christmas at the moment, so I’ll go with a New Years one.

I spent New Years day of 2014 in Cusco, Peru. It was the first and only New Years I’d spent so far from home. It was incredible, and definitely memorable.

Do you make New Years’ resolutions?

Sometimes. But I already go into them doubting myself.

What makes the holidays special for you?

The lovely weather, lack of work, and just being with loved ones. It’s all fun.

Are you a late Christmas shopper?

Nope. I finished shopping for Christmas gifts a few weeks back now!

Do you like having your Christmas gifts kept as a surprise?

Yes, I like the surprise. Although, recently in my family, everyone asks what the other wants, and we give a little list. It’s just something we’ve started to do, which I actually really like as it’s made gift buying so much easier.

Have you ever peeked to see what your present was?

When I was younger I do remember holding up gifts to the light, trying to see through t wrapper. Or shaking it to try hear something. I don’t now, though.

Does your family have a special holiday recipe that you make every year?

Kind of. I talked about Pavlova before. That tends to show up every year. Like I said, it’s a classic.

pavlova

Have you ever gone Christmas-caroling?

No.

What tops your Christmas tree?

At the moment, nothing. I should probably put something on it.

When do you start getting excited for Christmas?

Generally, as the end of the year arrives. Around the end of October since I don’t really celebrate Halloween. I get excited for it especially as December arrives, but that gets mixed up with my excitement for my birthday as well.

What makes Christmas special for you?

At this point, it’s mixed with the feelings of nostalgia. Each year when we celebrate Christmas, it’s another time for our family to get together, eat lots of food, share presents and hang out. It’s an extra special holiday.

Why do you celebrate Christmas?

I kind of answered it in the previous question, but I also just get into the marketing and creative side of it. It’s so much fun looking at the houses that get super into decorating. Even when Christmas shopping gets crazy, it’s still fun. I love seeing how excited everyone gets, especially the kids. I think it’s a lot bigger for them, and their excitement just fuels my own.

If anyone else feels like doing this tag, feel free to!

Before I go, Life of Angela has reached another 100 followers, bringing us up to 2100! Thank you to everyone who comes by, this really is an amazing community. Especially as the year comes to and end, I get even more reflective. I would never have thought my blog would get this many followers when I started in March. I remember dreaming it would get to 1000 one day, and now we’ve doubled that in under a year! Thank you again, and happy holidays!!

Angela.

Find me elsewhere:

Instagram                   Pinterest                  YouTube                  Bloglovin’