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Over the past few weeks, the house has slowly become more and more festive. The tree is up and twinkling, I’ve been playing Christmas music since the first, and I’ve just been feeling generally festive all month long. One of the things I’ve been loving most in the run-up to Christmas, has been my SpaceNK Shimmering Spice Candle.

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It’s a fragrance the store brings out annually, and it is the perfect Christmas scent – not too spicy, not too orangey, it’s a candle I look forward to lighting, and believe me when I say that it’s a real crowdpleaser. (So if you’re looking for a present this is going to go down a treat). A perfect balance of cinnamon, cedar and spice, it burns cleanly and evenly, and it creates the perfect atmosphere.

SpaceNK Shimmering Spice Candle is priced at £26 and is available here

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With just over a week to go until Christmas Day, I’m very much loving the festive build up. From evenings out, to entertaining at home, it feels like there is something on nightly. This year has been an incredibly busy one, so I’m savouring every cosy evening, and as usual, M&S has been an absolute lifesaver when it comes to stocking up on seasonal goodies.

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From turkeys to artisanal gins, M&S are a one-stop-shop for getting ready for Christmas, and I love how I can mix and match festive classics, like their incredible Christmas cakes (I chose the traditional fully iced version) with fun new arrivals like Salted Caramel Pine Cones and Shimmering Milk Chocolates.

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M&S vol au vents are a bit of a running tradition in my family – there are stories about how my grandmother was never without them, just incase friend dropped by, and who am I to break tradition? My favourites are the Mini Deep Filled vol au vents (£10) – coming in three flavour combinations (bacon and mushroom, salmon and cream cheese & tomato and mozzarella) you can pop these in the oven a few minutes before guests are expected, and they disappear in front of your eyes!

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If you’re heading to someone’s house around the Christmas period, one of my favourite things to take is a great cheeseboard, and M&S is absolutely killing it with their selection. Whether you opt for one with board included, or my favourite, the Perfect Pairings collection, it’s guaranteed to go down a storm! The Perfect Pairings box includes a selection of four cheeses with accompanying chutneys and jams. I loved the pairing notes tucked inside, and the combination of flavours are absolutely perfect.

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At this point, it feels like M&S is pretty much synonymous with Christmas, and with good reason! From gorgeously scented candles (their Mandarin, Cinnamon and Clove and Mistletoe & Fir scents are divine) to easy gift buying (their beauty sections are an absolute dream) a trip to M&S seriously reduces any festive stress, and once your shopping is finished, you can even reward yourself with a drop of their Christmas Gin – made by Edinburgh’s own Old Curiosity Gin.

This post is sponsored by M&S but all opinions are my own. Thank you so much to M&S for working with me.

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At this time of year, it can feel like everything is a bit non-stop. There are events on most nights, and heading somewhere straight after work means a makeup-touchup in the car on the way there. Because of that, I’ve been on the hunt for products which last all day long, well into the night.

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I got my hands on Charlotte Tilbury’s The Sophisticate palette a couple of weeks ago, and it’s been a daily go-to since it arrived. With acurated selection of three brows and a neutral bone – the palette is an absolute dream for people like me who love a everything from a chic neutral through to a smoky brown eye.

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For day looks, I tend to focus on the top two shadows – I buff the bone shade into my lids and inner corners, and then blend a little of the taupe into my crease and lash line. The whole palette is pretty cool toned, so it’s perfect for my colouring – and it’s really adaptable for amping up day looks into night.

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I’d never tried a Charlotte Tilbury palette before, so getting to grips with The Sophisticate has been an absolute dream. Each of the four shadows is well pigmented, and they all apply smoothly with a great colour payoff. Most days, I buff the top right shade into my lid, with a little of the bone in my brow bone and inner corners. The effect is subtly elegant – it provides the perfect amount of definition without feeling too ‘done’, it’s also easy to ramp up the drama, with a little of the lower two shades buffed into the lash line.

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The Sophisticate Palette has been such a dreamy product to use, and it’s been a wonderful entry into the (very) glamorous world of Charlotte Tilbury beauty. From the stunning palette packaging to the pitch-perfect shadows inside, this is a classic, I’m going to be reaching for all 2019-long!

Charlotte Tilbury The Sophisticate Palette is priced at £39 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

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Edinburgh’s Dine is a restaurant which has been on my radar for a while now. Situated in the same building as the city’s Lyceum Theatre, it’s perfect spot for pre-show dining or post-show drinks, and it’s central location means that it’s easy to pop into if you’re looking for a lunch or dinner spot when you’re out shopping too.

It’s a stunning space – located on the first floor, you have to pass the most gorgeous living wall beautifully lit with the restaurant’s name. It’s a gorgeous spot, and sets the scene nicely for things to come. The dining room is equally beautiful – all twinkling lights, and a tree seemingly growing through the floor.

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The restaurant is currently serving their Festive Market Menu – available for lunch, pre-theatre and evening dining, it has a curated selection of seasonal dishes, which are perfect for getting into the Holiday mood!

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We started the evening off with glasses of Prosecco as we perused the menu. There was a great selection of seasonal dishes, which although they had traditional elements, didn’t feel too cliched. There is no turkey on the menu, instead duck, lamb and sea bass all have a starring role.

We kicked things off with the Smoked salmon, served with lemon and dill cream cheese, compressed cucumber, toasted brioche. It was a deliciously rich start to the evening – the toasted brioche was toasted and buttery, with a curl of smoked salmon, as well as a smoked salon mouse. The lemony cream cheese really cut through the fish, and I’m more than a little obsessed with the compressed cucumber!

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We also had to try the Caramelised goat’s cheese which came served with soused winter vegetables and a bitter leaf salad. Another absolute delight – the mix of bitter salad leaves, root vegetables and goats cheese was heavenly.

I couldn’t resist the sound of the Crisp Confit Leg of Duck, which came served with mulled wine cabbage, fondant potato, cardamom and orange puree. I am beyond glad I did. With skin perfectly crisp, this felt like the ideal festive meal – the duck flesh was rich and delicious underneath, and it absolutely came alive with paired with the zesty orange puree. The cabbage was delicately scented with mulled wine spices. The potato fondant was absolutely perfection too – buttery soft with crisp edges, and it just melted in the mouth.

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We also ordered the Roast Chump of Lamb, with thyme and garlic mash, honey-glazed baby vegetables and kale. This felt like winter on a plate – with perfectly medium cooked lamb which absolutely melted, along with perfectly roasted vegetables. A delicious alternative to the traditional turkey roast – this is perfect to enjoy if you’re looking for something a little different.

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Even though we were absolutely stuffed, we could resist a little dessert, with both of us going for the traditional Christmas pudding with brandy butter. Perfectly spiced, and wonderfully dense, it was a picture perfect end to the meal.

The Dine Festive Market Menu is priced from £21.50 at lunch and £23.50 at dinner. Thank you so much to Dine for having us!

 

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Getting presents for friends and family can be the definition of stressful. I never want to get anything too boring or too predictable, but at the same time, I want my gifts to be something that they’re going to love. So, when Amazon got in touch to share some of their handmade-options for present ideas, I couldn’t wait to see what was available.

Everything is better with a little personalisation – which is why I just love my new cheeseboard. Big enough to hold a variety of cheeses, crackers and fruit – it makes such a gorgeous centrepiece for entertaining, and I can see this being pulled out year after year.

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It’s also the perfect size for sharing, without seeing too big, meaning I’ll get to pull this out pretty regularly. The iron handles feels sturdy, and it looks absolutely adorable too! Not only would this make a gorgeous Christmas present, but a great wedding or new home gift too!

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This Christmas I’ll also be enjoying my drinks in my rather adorable personalised wine glass. Another great gift (especially for those awkward people like Secret Santa recipients or co-workers) the glasses are etched with a name of your choice – so there will be no mix ups over the dinner table, and no one can steal a slug of your wine either!

Amazon Handmade has a fabulous selection of gifts in a range of budgets, and there is still time to order before the big day!

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