Earlier this month I chatted a bit about having an eco-conscious Christmas & sustainable gift buying. I wanted to build on that with a bit about my goal for keeping my Christmas shopping as local as possible, and how it has gone this year!
*I live in a lovely market town with many super-cute independent shops. Not everyone is as fortunate to have so much on their doorstep, so this really is for the people who are able to shop locally! Everyone & their situations are different, and I’d never want to make anyone feel bad for not shopping locally this Christmas. So – as always – if you’re able to implement what I’m chatting about into your life, please do! But if you aren’t able to, then don’t feel like I’m preachin’ (’cause I ain’t!).*
Christmas Shopping Locally – How did it go?
So, y’all know I love shopping locally & using independent companies as much as possible. And with so much literally outside my front door, I thought it’d be a sin to not make the most of it this year!
I made a pact with myself that I would only shop in my highstreet shops this year (or as much as possible), and do you know what? I’ve done pretty bloomin’ well. All the gifts I’ve bought for my parents & brothers (apart from one little thing for my youngest brother) I bought in Tavistock. My other brother will be especially pleased about that as he’s very eco-conscious. I’ve also bought everything for our friends (and children of friends!) in Tavistock as well – yay!
Where I fell down was with presents for Euan – why are men so hard to buy for?! The shops we have in Tavistock are wonderful, but they do lack a bit when it comes to Euan’s taste. However, his entire stocking are gifts from shops on my highstreet, and I’d say 40% of his presents. That’s pretty good, right?!
The Importance of Shopping Locally
So why is it actually important to shop locally? There are many reasons, but these are the ones which resonate the most for me.
Firstly, the environment. In the grand scheme of things, Christmas shopping locally won’t make a huge impact on the crisis. But every little helps! Items in highstreet shops are already there. They have already been shipped, so you’re not adding to your carbon footprint by having things delivered! And if – like me – you live within walking distance of shops, that’s even better! No need to drive to get your Christmas shopping done.
Secondly, supporting local businesses. This is done by both shopping in their stores and shopping along the highstreet, even if that’s a chain. How? Well, a highstreet only thrives if it’s desirable. It’s only desirable if it has a wide range of shops, and shops that people have heard of. If we don’t shop in our highstreets (chains, independents, or otherwise) then shops will close – including the big ones! Highstreet chains are equally as important as independent shops, because without the chains you wouldn’t have the footfall for the independent shops!
In turn, that also means more jobs for the town. The more shops we have, the more employment there is. The more employment, the more people stay living here. The more people living here, the more money gets spent in the town… and so on. You get the picture anyway!
Lastly… It’s fun! And festive. Nothing gets me in the mood for Christmas more than a stroll down a christmassy highstreet, popping in & out of shops, and eventually stopping for a coffee (or maybe even something stronger…!).
Let me know if you did any local Christmas shopping this year! What is your favourite thing to do to get you in the festive mood?!
If you’re needing a bit of festive inspo to help get you in the mood, check out some of my previous posts…
Okay, so who doesn’t love a Christmas film? I am alllll about snuggling up with a feel good film, especially at this time of year. Everyone’s festive film favourites will be different, but I thought I’d run through mine. You never know, there may be one or two you forgot even existed!
Not sure if this is slightly unconventional or not, but I absolutely adore this film. The cast is amazing to start with (yes – Eva Longoria is in this, thank you very much). But I genuinely love the take on the whole ‘Father Christmas’ story; they make it so legit, to the point where I genuinely could believe such an operation exists…! And who doesn’t love a cheeky cartoon at Christmas?
Home Alone #2
I also love #1, but I have to say Home Alone #2 is one of my festive film favourites. Not sure why, but it’s an absolute must-watch of mine at Christmas! I haven’t actually watched 3 or 4, and I think there might even be a fifth one?! Anyway, love this one. And every time I watch it, it makes me sooo desperate to visit New York!
The Snowman & Father Christmas
Another animation (I think I’m secretly still 6 years old) but I think this film is soooo cute. And I feel like it’s also seriously underrated?! It’s an easy watch, and the music is just gorgeous. I happen to have the double DVD which includes Father Christmas – not complaining! Another super cute silent film. Gosh, all this film talk is making me want to grab a hot chocolate and snuggle in!
So, maybe I’m just a sucker for a big cast… But I can’t get through the festive season without watching The Holiday. Fun fact! They filmed it in a village near where I grew up, and one day we actually went to the set & watched them filming. My mum loves Jude Law, and we stood at the front of a crowd of people and watched them film him crossing a road about 145 times. In the end they actually cut that scene from the film – gutting! They also covered the church in fake snow but it looked so magical. And, Kate Winslet’s house was actually only ‘built’ for the show (obviously not properly) so isn’t a real house at all. Sorry for the spoilers….!
Saving the best until last… This is my all time favourite Christmas film, and I’d almost go as far as saying it’s my favourite film full stop (it’s definitely in my top 5 anyway!). The cast is obvs second-to-none and I love the way they make the storylines in this film. The music is sensational throughout and the opening scene honestly makes me cry (let alone the rest of it). If someone said I had to choose between never being able to watch Love Actually again, or it being the only film I’m ever allowed to watch for the rest of my life… You bet yo’ bottom dollar that I’d drop all other films in a heartbeat!
To Conclude Festive Film Favourites
What are your film favourites at Christmas? Do you love an all-star cast like me, or prefer the more traditional films? Let me know – I’m always up for discovering new Christmas films!
Royal William Yard & Saltram House… I’m lucky enough to live in such a gorgeous part of the world, and I love finding new things to do/ideas for days out in the area. And I thought, why not share some on the blog?! Obviously if you’re not local to Devon, this post might not be as helpful to you. BUT, it might just inspire you to come down for a holiday!
Royal William Yard is one of my favourite places to go for food/drinks (and probably the only part of Plymouth I actually like…). We always have such a lovely time down there, and our day out at the end of September was no exception.
We also visited Saltram House which is just outside Plymouth. Somewhere I’d never been to properly before but what a hidden gem it is! So here is a short overview and a few pics of both…
Royal William Yard – Wagamamas & Cocktails
We almost always go to Wagamamas when we go to Royal William Yard – I mean, it’d be rude not to, wouldn’t it?! I love the food there, and they are sooo good with allergies which is such a blessing!
We had a main each plus a couple of sides. And their cocktails are so inventive too – I went for the Jasmine Bellini and it was wonderful.
You absolutely must have a stroll around (even if it’s terribly windy!!) if you visit. The buildings are amazing, and I think they’re doing up another section which is exciting! We also visited Seco Lounge, and although didn’t stop in this time, I highly recommend Le Vignoble.
After Royal William Yard, we headed out to Saltram House as it is somewhere we’d never been before and only about 20 mins from central Plymouth. The gardens/woodland there are enormous – so much exploring to be done! We of course got some autumnal pics before heading inside…
You could definitely make a whole day of it at Saltram House, but we just went for a quick afternoon stroll and popped inside too. The house itself is stunning, and everything inside is original to when the family actually lived in it. Pretty cool – and had us dreaming about one day living in a house as beautiful!
(I didn’t take many pictures inside out of fear of being rude!).
I’ll hopefully make a few more of these posts, as and when we do interesting things in Devon worth sharing with you! So if you’re in Devon and at a loose end, remember to have a check of my blog to see if I’ve written anything new!
And for something a bit more wedding-related, check out my last post.
Well we couldn’t start October off without some autumn faves now could we?! Today I thought I’d write about a few items I’ve been using a lot over the past couple of weeks. Not necessarily ‘autumnal’ items, but we’ll go with it…
Autumn Faves – Beauty/Bath
First off, the shampoo that dreams are made of…! I change up my shampoo & conditioner quite frequently, and always have a couple on the go. But when the weather starts to get a bit colder I find my hair needs something to give it a bit more moisture. Enter… Coconut milk!
And in autumn, who doesn’t love a bath? (I bloody love a bath). These bath tea bags are from a gift shop in my town, but I think you can find them (or certainly ones similar) pretty much anywhere. I love a bath bomb too, but find these are more subtle but really leave your skin smelling glorious afterwards.
And, something I haven’t actually used yet because it’s too darn pretty… This amazing soap cupcake that I bought at the Yorkshire Soap Company in Harrogate (check out my Harrogate recap post to learn more). Surely I’m not the only one who thinks it looks too good to use?!
Home & Office
Also from the Yorkshire Soap Co is this amazing candle that I genuinely can’t get enough of. I wanted an autumnal smell and the lady in the shop suggested this one. What a dream it is! Can’t have autumn without a few new candles now, can you?
Finally, the thing that I don’t think I could live without… My giant planner! I bought this at the end of August so I could get a bit more organised with my blog posts & content. It has been a miracle, and keeps me totally on track. Plus, I am an actual stationery geek so any excuse to buy something new!
So there you have a few of my autumn faves. And for more autumnal vibes, check out my last twoposts! Next up on the blog, it’s back to weddings with some wedding decor inspiration that I’m having at my own wedding.
In my last post, I talked through my autumnal outfit staples. Now for another favourite topic of mine… Home decor inspo!
Autumnal Home Decor Inspo
I’m not overly keen on the garish halloween-type decorations, but I do love a few simple touches to make the house feel more cosy. Especially as we don’t have a fireplace, which I think make all the difference to a cosy living room!
Candles & Fairy lights – Absolute essentials in my house. I have too many tea lights to admit and I hang fairy lights wherever I can (including off dressers and around picture frames…). But the living room feels instantly more cosy when everything is on, and I L-O-V-E it. Nothing like coming home from a long day, lighting some candles, putting pjs on, and eating ice-cream for dinner (yes, I know that’s not a terribly ‘adult’ thing to have for dinner…).
Pumpkins & mini squash – I am obsessed, especially with mini squash. You can use them to decorate your home without it being OTT. And if you love the OTT autumn home decor inspo then they just enhance the overall look! You can pick them up in most supermarkets or greengrocers – I can’t get enough of them!
That’s it for my getting cosy for autumn & home decor inspo. But my next post is going to be all about some autumn faves, so keep your eyes peeled for that!
Keep up-to-date with all things Lila Bailey over on my Instagram account!