Wrapped up for christmas!

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Busting the January blues

Busting the January blues

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So Monday the 16th of January came and went. To most people this is another normals day but apparently over recent years it has been coined as the most depressing day of the year. With the all the fun and festivities behind us and just enough time to let some of those new years resolutions starting to slip away, it can be all to easy for mid January to turn into a bit of a downer. However, having spent one to many evenings alone in the flat nursing a one too many bowls of weetabix and nearly resorting to watching everything in my subscription box a second time round, i’ve finally unearthed myself from under the duvet to get out and get proactive and try to set an example to myself for the rest of the year. Only time will tell if this works out or not! So here is a list of my best ways of trying to bust the new year blues this January! 

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Taking up a new hobby 

Be it tap dancing or tiddlywinks there is never a better time than any than at the beginning of a new year to pick a new hobby. After all the socialising of the party season I will be the first one wanting to turn into a bit of a recluse and spend the best part of the month hiding under a pile of pillows. However taking up a new hobby will not only get you your creative juices flowing and your brain back into gear but it could also give you the opportunity to socialise more and meet more like minded people. And who knows what might happen, you find that you rather quickly become the best miniature model cake crochet-er in the country! (Genuine failed hobby of mine #807) 

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Get out and get active! 

Now hear comes the old cliche of starting off a new year by getting fit and healthy. By this I really don’t mean you have to go out and sign your life away to a new gym that you will use once, get intimidated by the large muscly men and continue to spend your evenings at home binge watching Lost with a large bowl of trifle (got to put the weetabix down on some occasions). Getting the so good old fresh air pumping through your lungs from a simple walk around the park or leisurely bike ride can do you the world of good after being cooped up inside all day. After all, it will give you an excuse to try out that new pedometer that you were so lovingly given by your mum for christmas, not as a hint or anything! 

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Go to the cinema 

With Brent and Bridget making their returns to our screens last year, cinema has definitely been on good form recently. But with awards seasons now well underway the beginning of a new year is always brimming with brand new brilliant films to take a good gander at. Whether it be action or animation that tickles your fancy, I find its a great way to pass the time in the cold winter night. 

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Having a “spring” clean and getting rid of all the crap 

Lambs may not have started leaping, daffodils may not have started growing and spring may not have sprung quite yet however spring doesn’t have to be here quite yet to have a good old clear out. I always find having a good old cleanse of your surroundings at the beginning of a new year will make for a much happier and healthier you. All the stuff which we have manage to accumulate over the year that we have desperately convinced ourselves that we need can either be chucked out or given a brand new how for someone to love more than you. And besides, you need to make some room for all those brand new christmas presents anyway. 

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Find some new meals. 

I know its a pain but with most of the tins of biscuits laying bare and selection of various cheeses all finished off, its time to put down the tin of quality street and find actual proper meals made with actual proper healthy things and stuff. I’m not saying go on some crazy celery juicing health kick (if celery juice is even a thing) however after having one to many batch cooked, reheated bolognese’s at the end of last year I definitely think it is time to broaden my culinary horizons and try something which isn’t 90% pasta! 

Now I just have to go and put all these into practise!

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Photos | Tom Flathers

Getting the best of Boxing Day

Getting the best of Boxing Day

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After usually giving it a few days to the crazed bargain hunters to retire and the shelves to have been tidied up a bit, for the first time this year I braved the boxing day sales on actual boxing day, I mean how could I resist when it was on my way home from work. 

For the first time of experiencing the January sales in London I definitely saw some of the true madness of it and I am not surprised why so many people have moved online. But if you are like me and prefer to go the the actual shops and pic things up in person its a good idea to go in with a  ready prepared game plan to tackle that madness head on! 

So I have come up with my top 5 items to splash the cash on and look out for this January. 

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COATS

It may be January but at least in the UK there is still plenty of winter left to get a great deal of wear out of a new winter coat. A good old winter coat is something that I definitely look forward to cracking out every winter when that cold weather comes back around (even if I do have to put the leathers away for a while). I definitely have a less is more approach with coats. Its always the way despite there being a lot of nice lower price ones available on the market, that the one you fall in love with that season has a slightly higher price point. If you are able to find that perfect one that will carry you through the whole season and years to come then in this event it is good to wait it out and catch a lovely little bargain in the sales! 

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SHOES 

As someone who will wear boots shoes all year round, winter is away the best time for me to buy shoes. Like coats, i’m not a big shoe shopper with being perfectly happy with a good pair of Dr Martens on a daily basis. However when this year I seem to have caught the shoe shopping bug and used the sales as the perfect opportunity to expand my shoe collection slightly. My fave bargain this year would have to be my pair of Adidas Gazelle trainers. I may be slightly cheating with this being a 40% off black Friday purchase but a winter bargain is a bargain right? 

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BOOKS 

Having always dreamt of having my own little library in my house consisting of floor to ceiling book shelves and a lovely collection of very instagramable coffee table books just casually laying around . Despite not owning a coffee table of my own, on many a day in Foyles I have spent stroking all the beautiful books they have on sale, most of that time spent wishing they weren’t so damn expensive with not even being able to justify them as being educational. But this year appear to be becoming more of an adult by the day choosing to spend my money on some good old reading material, potentially even throwing in a cook book or two. My favorite little find this year would have to be Bloom by the lovely Estee Lalonde. This is one I have been itching to read since it came out and I managed to pick this up half price at Olivier Bonas and have been flying though it not being able to put it down. 

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STATIONARY 

And with a new year ahead of us sometimes it is nice for us to literally turn over a clean page and start anew with some brand new stationary. With a small collection of un-used notebooks at the ready, I seriously don’t need anymore for myself however I thought I would let you in to the not very secret secret that the January sales is a great time to stock up for the year ahead. 

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THEATRE TICKETS 

This may be something that most people won’t think about during the January sales however there are some great deals out there at the beginning of the new year for various different offers on theatre tickets. If you are a theatre mad a I am then you will know that seeing some shows in  London can seriously eat up that weekly student budget. Their never going to be cheap but if you are able to find some money of any that you have been desperate to see then you would be stupid not to take advantage. 

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PHOTOS | TOM FLATHERS | BRICK LANE LDN

Christmas for the un-christmassy

Christmas for the un-christmassy

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Well for starters Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all had a good day and are still sleeping off the food comas and hangovers that you acquired from a little bit too much of everything. I can safely say having a day reserved pretty much for eating far too much food while watching far too much tele was just what I needed. 

This year christmas has been rather different for me. With being wrapped up in the crazy old world of Panto, working all the hours god sent up until christmas eve and getting back to work on boxing day, I was far more excited this year for christmas day than usual if for nothing more than a nice day of rest! 

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I would never usually consider myself the most christmassy of people. Don’t get me wrong I love the idea of christmas, spending the day with the people you love, eating some great food and getting a couple of nice presents along the way but somehow between childhood and growing into an adult the whole occasion somewhat lost some of its magic. Maybe it was from at the age of 13 being told by your parents Santa isn’t actually real and you no longer get a stocking or being given one to many body spray sets you seriously start to question how badly you must smell or being forces to watch the christmas day episode of Eastenders year on year (evidently I don’t have the most festive of parents!) Also with usually only letting myself vaguely entertain the idea of christmas until after my birthday is done and dusted (3rd Dec), which by this point advent calendars are all sold out and Black Friday present deals have been and gone I tend to miss the bandwagon. 

But as I said this year I have been determined to make the most of christmas, enjoy my time of to relax and see family and try to forget about the last stressful term and before a probably worse one. So I decided to put together a little collection of the ways in which this year I will try and make myself enjoy the festive period. None of these are going to be ground breaking, I’m sure probably all of you do this already but these are just a couple of ways I will be spending my christmas hollibobs!

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CHRISTMAS TELE

I really have been rather crap on the tele front this year. With not even getting around to watching what was once the highlight of my TV calendar, Strictly Come Dancing, christmas will be a bit of a shock to the system with actually sitting down to watch some TV on an actual tele! With christmas specials in abundance (outnumbered being this years personal highlight) and the good old classics being pumped out to fill the gaps (how can anyone not like Blackadder), its the best time of year to have a good old TV binge and enjoy watching Chicken Run for the 8th time. 

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UNAPOLOGETIC REST

Anyone like me who can be a bit of a workaholic, sometimes it is hard to completely shut down and and forget about deadlines and projects and what I should be doing next. But if there is any time of the year that this can and should all be forgotten about it is christmas. This may be somewhat hypocritical writing this now but just put dow the notepad, sit down, relax and watch that whole series of lost in 2 days with a family size pack or bourbons by your side (to share, obviously). 

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CHRISTMAS BAKING

Anyone around me who knows me will know that I am some what of a foodie. Not in the sense of fancy Michelin star restaurants with caviar and quails eggs but in the sense of just loving a good old bit of grub! With christmas being the one time of year when you can drink and eat chocolate before lunch time and eat cake convincing yourself that its healthy because it has fruit in it, I love to crack out the cooking equipment and make a lovely batch of biscuits or muffins for either yourself or to be a lovely hand made present for a relative. 

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SEEING FAMILY

Now I know this is kind of the obvious thing for people to do over the christmas break but having been away for the whole term without a reading week and working full time over christmas, getting to go home and see some family on christmas day is a rather exciting prospect. 

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EXPLORING THE CITY

With living in London there is so much going on over the christmas period that it would be stupid to miss them all. So on the small time that I have of I am determined to hit up the christmas markets even if just for the smell of mulled wine and gingerbread, visit Winter Wonderland to see what all the fuss is about and plainly have a nice wonder around the city to see all the beautiful christmas lights.  

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PHOTOS | TOM FLATHERS  | At Raglan Castle

 

 

 

The classic coat

The classic coat

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Every year winter rumbles on around (funny that) and it was finally time to tear myself away from my beloved leather jacket and into something a little bit more practical for the season. Despite last years orange number still being very much in my good books, Zara has pulled it out the bag again this year with this beautiful double breasted grey number which I have had glued to my shoulders.

Not to diminish my love for a good jumper but probably my favourite things about winter dressing is being able to crack out a good old coat and wrap up all warm and cosy. This look really encapsulates all of my favourite styles at the moment of with the ever so practical for the ankles culottes, a good knitted jumper and obviously a good old cosy coat. With the simple accessories of a chunky black belt and small and simple bag, they nicely finish this simple yet stylish look and keep everything very comfy with my Adidas Gazelles .

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PHOTOS : TOM FLATHERS 

COAT | CULOTTES | JUMPER | SHOES | BAG 

Style File – Christmas Market

Style File – Christmas Market

Once again I popped along to the Birmingham Christmas Market and with the beautiful bright lights of the christmas wheel behind me, what better place to take some outfit photos.

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After a long time reluctance too avoid the 70’s bandwagon with feeling my hippy phases should stay as distant memory as all those gypsy skirts back in 2005, I finally gave in and broke the seal with the button down mini skirt from Topshop. I may not be adopting the full on suede and fringing look complete with cow boy boots quite yet, however it is a nice change from my usual black denim jeans. 

This ended up a very colourful look for me with the addition of this spotted wrap around top from American Apparel with this lovely colourful circle pattern. When I first think of a wrap top I can’t help but be transported to being a little girl running, rather ungracefully through my ballet class, but with them becoming ever more fashionable all grown up I get to wear them again.  American Apparel has always been brand I have loved for their simple and stylish basics however, spending 3 times my weekly food shop on a basic is rather unjustifiable for any student, especially when Primark is just around the corner, but with their 75% off black Friday sale, this top along with a pair of jeans very soon became all mine at a fraction of their normal prices.  

With wanting to avoid adding anymore colours or patterns to the look at the risk no longer recognising myself I simply paired it with this large black scarf and my patent black Doc Martens. 

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Buy the look

Wrap top – American Apparel (various AA wrap tops) 

Skirt – Topshop 

Scarf (simular) – Asos

Shoes – Doc Marten 

My design portfolio

Chloe Natalie Knott Textile Design facebook

Etsy shop 

Photographs by Tom Flathers

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Spotlight On – Birmingham German Market

Spotlight On – Birmingham German Market

Happy Christmas Eve everybody! With it being rather bright and sunny outside for me at the moment sometimes it is hard to believe that the day for snow and cozying up by the fire is tomorrow. With this blog having been in the festive spirt for quite some time now with all my festive features it only seemed right to continue this up unto the big day. With a major perk of student life being that of the long holidays it’s been a great opportunity to busy myself with the blog.

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What better way to get in the festive spirt than a visit to Birmingham’s Christmas Market. Many cities throughout the country have their own versions but as the holder of the largest in Europe outside of Germany covering the near enough the whole city centre, Birmingham’s is a lovely day out. Ever since the first time I visited it years ago its been a staple part of my festive season activities in the Knott household. 

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From your bratwurst’s to your baubles, these can all be found amongst the beautifully decorated stalls. When the sun had set and despite the rain and cold trying to dampen our spirits but the beautiful orange and red glow amongst the rides and stalls helped to make us feel warm and toasty.  

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Chloe Natalie Knott Textile Design facebook

Etsy shop 

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Festive Favourite 3 – My decorations favorites

Festive Favourite 3 – My decorations favorites

Instead of just doing the normal run of the mill gift guides as every blogger does at christmas  (I’m not shunning them, I do love reading them) I decided to try something a little different, something a little more closer to home, literally, the process of decorating your home for christmas.

With the decorations as you can probably see I went with quite a neutral theme this year with a lot of golds, silvers and white, mixing together metallic’s and wood like textures with geomatics shapes and pretty feathers. With a lot of them being on a neutral theme many of them will be great to work year after year as stable decorations which you could mix and match around with different styles and colour schemes of additional decorations. 

I have collated together a mixture of some cheaper products and some more expensive ones for you to have a browse at. All the products are linked below the images and If I wasn’t on a student budget living in a tiny box I would love to adorn my house with all these beautiful pieces. 

I have really loved compiling this collection of decorations for you all and I hope you love them as much as I do.

* My star buys

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I) Geometric baubals *

II) Globe baubal

III) Hanging star 

IV) Photo frame tree decoration *

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I) Spiky tree baubals*

II) Build your own reindeer 

The White Company

I) House tree decorations 

II) Beaded wall star

III) Ginger bread men bunting 

IV) Hanging houses advent calander *Not on the high street

I) Large hanging paper snow fakes  *

II) Personalised name flat ball balls  

III) Hanging feathers  *

IV) Star candle holders 

V) Copper tea light holders

VI) Large star candle stick holders 

Etsy

I) White diamond tree decorations 

II) Origami folded gold lights  *

III) Wooden leaves 

IV) Christmas typography print 

John Lewis

I) Snow squirrel ornement 

II) Mini gold pine cone and acorn 

III) Hanging birds

IV) Zig Zag knitted stocking 

V) Feather wreath  

VI) Clock bauble 

Anthropologie

I) 12 days of christmas cushions 

II) Golden detailed stocking

IV) Peacock *

V) Mouse

VI) Letters for tree 

Liberty

I) Peacock baubal 

II) Fox in a globe baubal  

III) Bee

IV) Special edition liberty London heart *

Next

I) Rudolph card holder

II) Wooded christmas tree *

III) Alphabet baubles 

IV) Christmas bunting

V) Cooper geometric wreath *

House of Fraser

I) Acorn wreath 

II) Acorn

III) Gold birds

My design portfolio

Chloe Natalie Knott Textile Design facebook

Etsy shop

Please feel to leave comments/messages in the comments and follow me on instagram at @chloenatalieknott or on twitter at @ChloeNatKnott 

Festive Favourite 2 – The bright red lip

Festive Favourite 2 –  The bright red lip

When you think of typically christmassy colours, red is definatly for me the one which springs to mind first and If there is ever an excuse to wear bright red lip, then christmas time it the time to do it. Bold lip colours are always something I would associate more with the winter months with being surrounded by the darker autumnal colours and darker winter clothing. It was always one of those things that I looked at the other people wearing and dreamed of being able to confidently pull it off. Now I’m not claiming that now a days I can effortlessly pull it off but I now managed have the confidence to wear it on a every day basis

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My favourite red lipstick and the one I’m wearing in this post would have to be this classic from Mac ruby woo.This one is very much the classic bright red in my eyes with being light enough and dark enough at the same time. This is part of their retro matte collection. For me I would never go for anything other than matte. With the colour its self being so bold you don’t want to overdo it with piling shimmer or gloss onto that as well. Also, obviously you cant dispute mac’s staying power with their matte lipsticks. With this one being their retro matte formulas it is more drying than their others so by the end of the day can be a bit uncomfortable on the lips but if you keep them well moisturised before and after its perfectly fine.  

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A couple of my other lip favourites:

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Mac’s Russian Red – another Mac lippy, this one is slightly darker and more of the classic ‘movie star red’ and is very comfortable on the lips. If you find ruby woo a bit to drying then this is a great alternative.  

The Bourjois rouge edition velvet liquid lipstick in 04 peach club – So this one isn’t strictly a red and more on the side of an orangey red is on that I still wear a lot. This one tends to be my more red alternative in the summer months with it not being quite as brightly pigmented and lighter in colour. With it being a liquid lipstick it is very weightless on the lips. 

The Rimmle Kate Moss lipstick in 107. In terms of lipsticks from the drug store Rimmle would tend to be the brand I would go to with having such good formulas and colour ranges. The Kate Moss range has to be my favourite one of theirs. Again this one isn’t really a red more of a dark pinky plumy colour and overall a lovely berry colour for the winter.  

The rest of the products I used for this look I have all detailed in my everyday makeup routine post here. 

Products: 

Mac Ruby Woo

Mac Russian Red

Bourjois rouge edition velvet liquid lipstick – peach club

Rimmle Kate Moss lipstick 107

My design portfolio

Chloe Natalie Knott Textile Design facebook

Etsy shop 

Photographs taken by Tom Flathers at St Fagins Castle in Cardiff 

Please feel to leave comments/messages in the comments and follow me on instagram at @chloenatalieknott or on twitter at @ChloeNatKnott