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Blogmas!❤️

The fate of Blogmas…

It is with great sorrow that I sit writing this entry. But I think it’s for the best. I won’t be continuing to do Blogmas this year. I am sorry for everyone that got attached and I’m sorry for everyone that I’m letting down.

I don’t want to write for you guys just for the sake of writing and I feel like a few of my pots were just filler and I didn’t like it. I wanted to write to express but it seems like I can’t do it.

I’ve tried so many times, writing and rewriting blog posts but I don’t ever think they are good enough. I doubt myself. And because I doubt myself and my ability I won’t post it. So please know it’s a reflection of me.

I will try to blog at least once a week and maybe I’ll post a Christmas related one or maybe I won’t. I just know that right now, I need to focus on myself and Luna. I’m running myself into the ground trying to juggle everything and if I don’t take a break, I could lose all control. Today, I feel so drained and so sick that I just wanna curl up in a ball and stay there but I can’t.

I love all my readers and I hope to write for you soon.

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Family❤️

Sorry. ❤️

So I want to apologise. I am aware there are a fair few days missing from blogmas and I’m hoping to catch up over the next 48 hours. I’ve just had a rough few days.

Please know that I love writing for you guys and I love expressing myself in a way I can’t do anywhere else. But as much as I try to distract myself with writing, my heart just hasn’t been in it.

I’ve been writing them, most of them are nearly done, I just couldn’t complete them. And I’m sorry for that. I had another mental health appointment this week, with the hopes that I’d finally get my diagnosis, but turns out, my heads even more fudged than originally thought and he couldn’t give me a definitive answer and it sucked.

It sucks because without an answer, there’s no road to recovery. Without a diagnosis I stay in limbo for that little bit longer and it’s taking its toll on me. I didn’t want my posts to be upsetting around Christmas time because I truly love it, I live for Christmas time.

That being said, it’s Wednesday in the UK, and I am feeling a bit more positive. I wanted you all to know that I will be back and kicking ass. It’s just taking its time. I have a few things to do before I post what I believe is the eighth day of Blogmas. That just needs a little tweaking. Sounds a bit blah if you ask me. And then they will keep coming and hopefully by tonight if not tomorrow night at the latest, I will be back like clockwork. Thank you for reading.

Every good day starts off with a smile

❤️

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Blogmas!❤️

On the sixth and seventh day of Blogmas…

On the sixth day of Blogmas, I intended to give you a display of us getting into the festive spirit with our beautiful Christmas jumpers, however, I was so tired. The night before last, Luna had one of the worst nights in a very long time which meant we got little sleep. That meant that the whole of yesterday, I was exhausted. By the time I put my head on my pillow and comfy, I was asleep and didn’t wake up until Luna did this morning. So, I thought, I would do a joint post for both days rather than two separate posts.

Luna wore Rudolf to go and meet Santa. The family photo will be uploaded soon.

Merry Christmas Ya Filthy Muggles.❤️ Thank you to my niece who got me it a few years ago 😍. Comes out every December ❤️

On the seventh day of Blogmas, I want to give you Santa Claus! Today, we took Luna to see Santa Claus for the first time. She couldn’t go last year as we got out of the hospital at 6:40PM Christmas Eve and he already left. We made a point of taking her this year, unfortunately she has been under the weather over the last week, so today when she was a lot brighter, we took her and let’s just say, she was different.

Luna loves a cuddle, she hugs everyone except Santa. She refused to let go of me and refused to go to her dad. She just wanted mummy which I was not going to complain about. She did wave to him when she was leaving but being less than a year old, she was more intrigued by the things moving on Santa’s workshop. And I got thinking, when I was growing up, what did Santa mean to me?

I could swear blind that I once saw Santa Claus. I was about 7, possibly? I can’t be 100% sure but I could swear blind, that across the road, I saw Santa on the roof on the houses. Now, I am pretty sure that I was half asleep, still dreaming but it felt real to me. From that point, I can always remember having Christmas spirit inside me. Even when I got told that Santa wasn’t real and how the presents really came in our stockings, but I still believed in Santa.

I believe that Santa isn’t a person, but more the memory. He is the memory that we should always keep giving without expecting something in return. He is the memory of innocence. A time when things were simpler, and we loved more freely. When we are children, we play with everyone. We make friends in seconds of knowing people and don’t tend to judge. Sure, you get the asshole brats that are everywhere, but generally, when you’re a child, you are friends with everyone, you talk to everyone and you don’t discriminate. Yet, we grow into judgemental assholes. That isn’t fair. We forget what it’s like to be children.

I think for young children, its about a big guy in a red jacket but as you get older, he just becomes a dude dressing up. But think back. When you were children, how excited did you get when you saw Santa? How many of you asked your parents why Santa was at your local shopping centre and not in the North Pole getting ready for Christmas? I mean, I for one, loved to go to my local town centre and see Santa. I remember being excited and telling a stranger what I wanted for Christmas and have no fear.

Now? Well I still believe Santa exists but not in the conventual way. He is the Christmas spirit that lives in us. He is the one who grows with us from children and that we pass onto ours. He is someone who brings hope and excitement all around the world and he is more than just the person. It is the spirit that grows in children all around the world on Christmas Eve, his gift to them is belief. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I want our children to hold onto the belief of Santa for as long as they can. I think we have no right to take that away from them. I mean I’m 25 and I believe in the spirit of Santa and that is my choice.

I think that children learn on their own that he isn’t the big fat man, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t exist. He exists in our hearts, the same as our favourite stories are embedded into our hearts. He is our childhood story. I want Luna to believe in Santa for as long as she can and even longer if she’s like me. People believe in all sorts of things and we shouldn’t tell people they are wrong for it. I can still remember the day I learned out that a fat man didn’t deliver my presents and that was well over ten years ago. I remember being hurt, until I realised that he may not have delivered my presents, but they were delivered in his name, but the person who did, made sure that we believed it was. They went through time and effort to keep up his façade in the name of Christmas, and that was how I came to believe in the spirit of Christmas properly. The spirit that gets people excited to wrap presents, to give gifts and see their excitement. To give without worrying about receiving although, it is always a bonus.

What do you think of Santa? What does he mean to you? Tell me on Twitter @RariAyliffe, Facebook @Openupwithmeblog and Instagram @Openupwithme. Until tomorrow, Merry Christmas.🎄❄️⛄️❤️

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Blogmas!❤️

On the fifth day of Blogmas…

On the fifth day of Blogmas, I gave you a post at a ‘reasonable’ time. (I started at half 7, I’m feeling optimistic.) Go me! Luna is all tucked up in bed, Christmas songs coming through my headphones and my laptop with my plan for tonight set out and I just can’t find the inspiration to write it. Well, I decided that I would just let my fingers do the typing and my heart do the thinking.

Today, I was talking to one of my friends that I used to see weekly at the pub for karaoke and I was in a good mood. He said that it was like looking at a twin because he forgot what it looked like to see me smiling and it looked healthy. It’s true, I was. This is the one time of year that I forget just how hideous I find my smile and lose myself in the magic. Its amazing how something so simple as wrapping presents can bring someone so much joy.

It may sound silly to you, but I consider wrapping presents to be an art form. I think there are so many ways to wrap presents because not every present comes in a box and presents come in every size. Some are big, and some are small. Some cost a month’s wages and others cost an hour’s wage. It’s incredible. But the joy comes knowing that come Christmas day, I get to share in their excitement. I get to see how happy they get over something that to others may seem trivial. So why is it that we can sit there and accept that people want different presents, but we judge them on the biggest gift of all and that’s the life they choose to live.

I mean I can remember one year, my brother had asked for a film that I couldn’t stand, and thought was absolute rubbish, yet its one of his favourites. Now, I for one am not going to tell him he’s wrong for liking that film because we all have different tastes. I didn’t turn my nose up when he opened it because I know that he loves it and that would have undermined his present. This year, I have five things all from WWE, and I don’t care because I will wear my new clothes with pride. Yet, I have had so many people judge me because I will happily watch two men act a wrestling script and buy into it. I have people judge me for being a mark, but I couldn’t care because I enjoy it. So why is it, we can accept peoples presents, even when we don’t like them, but we can’t accept life choices?

I think that there are many sides to a person, the same way there is many sides to a wrapped present. You can only see what’s on the outside not what’s inside until you take off the layer and see it with your own eyes. People are like that. Some people, me included, can be this confident, strong, determined person but on the inside screaming out for help. On the inside, I am crying, and I can’t stop. I pick every tiny detail of everything I do apart and over analyse everything. I doubt everything I do, and I live in fear that everything is going to go wrong like it has so many times before. I’m not what you see on the outside. I have many layers of me that some don’t ever get to know, and others are lucky enough to experience. I mean don’t get me wrong, I can and have been a horrible person. I am only human, and I made mistakes. But that doesn’t define me. The same as the clothes I wear, don’t define my wealth, and the jobs we do don’t define our place in this world. It just meant that I picked the wrong choice and that’s okay if I learnt from what I did.

Way too many people will judge you. Way too many people in this world will try to undermine and devalue you. Don’t let them. You are better at being you than anyone and you should know that. I for one, know what I am, I know who I am, and as much as I doubt that I’m doing the right thing, I’m trusting my heart to lead me to where I want to go and my head to guide me on the right track getting there. There are times I fail, and I get back up and try again.

Even though I’m scared of failure, even though I’m scared of rejection, I will always try again because even on the days I don’t have confidence in myself, people around me do and they are the ones I should focus on. They are the ones that don’t judge the people we are or the people we want to be. Despite the negatives that are all around you, listen and follow the positives.

You readers are my gift. In August 2017, I started this blog as an outlet and posted one thing. It took a whole year to post another and even though I let you guys down sometimes, you still come back and read. It really touches me. I have been having dark days, and one of you will message me saying how you loved my blog and you can’t wait to read more that I believe that my voice matters. Because even though I write on here, I don’t think anyone’s going to read it. Every time that figure goes up and someone, somewhere is reading what I wrote, I sit in awe. It amazes me that a post I’ve written has reached the other side of this planet. And I want you to know that I truly thank you for all your support. Because on the days that I don’t trust what I’m writing, like today, you guys give me the inspiration for a post.

Appreciate those around you, because during your hardest days and longest nights, they love you regardless. They will stand by you if you stay true to who you are. Appreciate that even though today was hard and some of you may felt like breaking down, it’s over another day that you kicked ass and lived. Just make sure those days mattered.

Her 1st Stocking 😍❤️

Twitter @RariAyliffe Facebook ‘OpenUpWithMe’, Instagram @openupwithme.

And until tomorrow. Thank you for reading my post. Merry Blogmas Readers🎄❄️⛄️❤

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Blogmas!❤️

On the fourth day of blogmas…

Today I want to focus on the key point of Christmas for me.

Today, we sadly lost a family member. I hope that he is finally at peace and no longer in pain. I know he will be missed by all those that loved him dearly. My mum, as soon as I saw her just wanted Luna. She wanted to hold onto her and not let her go.

Family is one of the strongest bonds we have in this life. They are what connects us. You don’t always get to spend time with those you love as much as you’d like so make sure to make the most of what you do. Christmas is a time of giving. So give your family the gift of time. Uninterrupted time. It doesn’t cost a thing!

I’m writing this post with an 11mo running about the place. She’s decided she doesn’t want to sleep. So today is more of a challenge. My challenge to you is to think about your family. Go round and have a cuppa with them and send me your pictures of you with your family and Christmas mugs. Heck throw in your Christmas jumpers. Tomorrow we will be unveiling ours. Let me know on Twitter @RariAyliffe Facebook ‘OpenUpWithMe’, Instagram @openupwithme.

Luna is certainly enjoying her advent Callander chocolate. And until tomorrow. Thank you. Thank you for reading and I hope you know a little bit more about me and where my Christmas Spirit comes from. Although I’m not entirely sure. Merry Blogmas Readers🎄❄️⛄️❤

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Blogmas!❤️

On the third day of Blogmas…

Well I would have given you some lovely gingerbread cookies but that went out of the window. They went in the bin.

We had mixed all the ingredients and just needed to put it in the fridge for half hour ready to cut into shapes for the oven… Kieran went upstairs to the toilet and Luna was creating behind me, I turned around to pick her up, so that she could see. By the time I had turned back, a cat appeared out of nowhere and decided that it quite liked the mix and was eating it. Well that put me off making them today as I was pissed off at the waste, it’s been a bad day. Anything that could go wrong, did. However, I won’t let a bad day deter. The gingerbread cookies will be making their Blogmas Debut at some point of the next week.

However, I’m going to give you my list of films to watch at Christmas! I love every one of these films and I could watch them over and over. Like I said before, I’ve been watching Christmas films since October.

Disclosure: So, I have purposely left out films that I don’t consider to be a Christmas film such as “Die Hard” and “Tim Burton’s the Nightmare Before Christmas”. Now, for many of you, I know you would disagree, but they don’t fit my list! I know they are Christmas films as they are set at Christmas time, but they aren’t what I would consider a Christmas film. I love Tim Burton and I love The Nightmare Before Christmas but, I would say it’s set before Christmas although Christmas is the whole reason, he wants to change holidays and has tonnes of Christmas Spirit. I also haven’t included films like Home Alone (because I haven’t seen them) and A Christmas Carol (I love the traditional story and would never want to include it on a cheesy list. However, a version of it is included because it’s not the traditional).

10. Christmas Magic (2011)

So this film is decent if you ask me. Not one of my favourites but it has romance and Christmas. Its about a woman who’s in a coma and she gets sent to help this guy in order to earn her wings and eternal peace, she must save his restaurant. They fall in love and she helps him, and they fall in love. I mean take a young widowed father and a young pretty business woman, chances are they are going to hit it off…it’s a film. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2112127/?ref_=nv_sr_1

9. A Christmas Kiss (2011)

Any film that starts with a random kiss in an elevator gets me intrigued. After about ten minutes, I was glued to the television. It’s a romance story with destiny chucked in. It gives me hope that everything does happen for a reason even if they don’t appear clear at the time. She is also a decorator and they grow closer whilst she’s working on his three trees concept. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1790621/?ref_=nv_sr_1

8. Christmas Cupid (2010)

I absolutely love Ashley Benson and Chad Michael Murray, so this film is always on my must watch. It’s a take on A Christmas Carol in the sense of Ashley Benson in her angel who was her client and is going to teach her to change her ways. It’s a good film and deserves its spot on my list. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1699746/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_18

7. The Spirit of Christmas (2015)

This is probably my favourite ghostly love story. So, this dude comes alive for 12 days ever year. He stays in the same house, in the same place but he’s a ghost so he can’t leave the perimeter. Basically, they solve his murder and gets to live the life he should have. Honestly, it’s a pretty decent story and one I could watch anytime. To be fair, I think this one is going to be watched tonight. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4434688/?ref_=nv_sr_1

6. Crown for Christmas (2015)

This is the story of a maid turned nanny. It’s a great little Christmas story in which the main character falls in love with the prince whilst employed to look after his heir. It’s down to earth meets snob with a great outcome. I love seeing people change over the Christmas period and welcome Christmas into their hearts. Plus, I am a sucker for a love story. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5133572/?ref_=nv_sr_1

5. I’ll Be Home for Christmas (2016)

I watched this for the first-time last week I think and its good! So long lost father comes back to town when his pal dies and it’s all about a family coming together at Christmas. If that wasn’t enough, Giselle Eisenberg is funny and witty. The writers gave her all the best lines. If you haven’t seen it already, I do believe it’s on Netflix. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5860940/?ref_=nv_sr_1

4. Christmas in Boston (2005)

Long before his ‘Suits’ days, Patrick J. Adams stars in this film alongside Marla Sokoloff as Seth and Gina. Two pen pals who fall in love (Okay so I totally wished I could have a pen pal that I met when I was a kid! That would have been awesome (context people! They may not say it, but they were totally in love)) and have been talking for many years when they realise, they are both going to be in the same town (imagine that right, wouldn’t be much of a love story if they didn’t). They get their mates to catfish them and they fall in love as well and it’s a kafuffle. In the end they come clean and all four are paired up. Brilliant film if you love cheese and I most certainly do! https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0497025/?ref_=nv_sr_1

3. The Santa Clause (1994)

This film has been around for as long as I can remember… granted I was 1 when it came out but that’s totally not the point. I grew up knowing this Santa. It’s a Disney film and yet within the first what, ten minutes, Tim Allen has killed Santa… Okay? He killed Santa. He made Santa fall off a roof and Tim Allen puts on the big red coat which makes him the new Santa because of the “Santa” clause. It’s brilliant! (Sorry, SPOILERS!) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0111070/?ref_=nv_sr_1

2. Love Actually (2003)

Missing out on the top spot ever so slightly is Love Actually. Oh, My Goodness! I love this film for so many reasons, so I will try to limit them into a few sentences. The cast is impressive! You have people like; the late, great, Alan Rickman who is an icon because of so many roles, Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Martin Freeman, Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Kiera Knightley and so many others. It’s a comedy and its one time that many stories that all come together play out in certain scenes. It’s truly British and worth a hot chocolate over! I know so many people probably hate it, but I love it! https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0314331/?ref_=nv_sr_1

1. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

So of course, my number one Christmas film is the green machine that is “How the Grinch stole Christmas”. Jim Carey made this role! I love Benedict Cumberbatch dearly, but Jim’s Grinch has stolen my heart.

I remember going to see it in the cinema with my sister and my dad when it came out which was incredible as we didn’t get to do that much. So that film has always made me remember where I first saw it. It’s also a film that brought me and Kieran closer.
Way before we got together, we sat in the kitchen and watched it because I had to have someone looking after me due to collapsing and sickness. He looked after me and we bonded over this film.

The story itself is great because I think a lot of us can relate to the Grinch in some way or another. If you haven’t seen it, I suggest watching it. Because it’s amazing. I love it. I love the one liners and the costume. I love the hair of the Who’s! But most of all I love Cindy Lou Who. I think the way she embodies Christmas Spirit and doesn’t let them forget about the Grinch is the reason it’s my all-time favourite Christmas Film! https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0170016/?ref_=nv_sr_1

Can you think of any that I’ve missed? What are your favourite Christmas films? Let me know on Twitter @RariAyliffe Facebook ‘OpenUpWithMe’, Instagram @openupwithme.
Thank you for reading and I hope you know a little bit more about me and where my Christmas Spirit comes from. Although I’m not entirely sure. Merry Blogmas Readers
🎄❄️⛄️❤

 

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Blogmas!❤️

On the second day of Blogmas

On the second day of Blogmas, you guys got from me, a whole load of ramble about why I love Christmas. Enjoy.

Today is all about things I love about the Christmas time! Now, I don’t know if you know this already, but Christmas is by far my favourite time of year. It’s a time that I look forward to the most. I think everything is magnified so much that I just can’t help it.

throwback to Christmas 2014!

I have loved Christmas ever since I was a little girl. I started getting excited in October and would be on a hype until January. I think as soon as my birthday passed, it was the next thing to look forward to. Halloween and Bonfire night isn’t a big thing over here. Even though we are celebrating the fact that Guy Fawkes tried to blow up Parliament, but that’s for another time.

Traditionally Christmas Day would be for the brothers and sisters and we would have our cousins here boxing day and they would spend the night. Christmas Night, we would all bring out quilts and pillows and whatever else, as well as all our DVDs that we got for Christmas and spend the night eating sweets and spending time with our siblings. It was incredible because growing up they were a massive part of my life. Boxing day would consist of the cousins and my aunt coming over, us all playing together and just being kids really. We were all very close.

Going back to 1999, I remember doing so much around Christmas time that its just in my blood. When I was a Junior Solider at the Salvation Army, I remember going to this hospice every year and singing for them. It always seemed like a long journey but looking back, I loved those trips. I loved seeing their faces as we sung to them. I loved embracing the Christmas carols and spending time with those that didn’t have long left. I remember always being wowed by the decorations and overwhelmed by how loving and warm everybody made it.

Then we have Christmas films! If any of you have Virgin, there is a channel called Christmas24 from the middle of October. It’s basically films24 but Christmas. Obviously. I think that just encourages my Christmas spirit even though everyone around me says its too early. Every Christmas movie is cliché, but I don’t ever care! Give me a soppy, loved up, completely cheesy Christmas film and a hot chocolate and I am one very happy girl. It doesn’t even have to be Christmas time and id still love it. Anything with Santa and romance is a bonus!

Music at Christmas time tends to be jollier! All the Christmas Songs I like are anyway. But I know not everyone has the same taste. I mean I know people that don’t enjoy or embrace Christmas at all! And I hate it! I couldn’t imagine a life without all the festive spirit. More on my favourite Christmas Songs later this week.

Christmas to me, means coming together with family, friends and loved ones. It’s about coming together so that nobody is left behind. I hate the idea of anyone being alone at Christmas because there are always people that care. I love having my family around me, so much so, I arranged a yearly dinner at my mums so that members of the family could have Christmas Dinner all together on Christmas Eve, so people could be with other families on Christmas Day.

I believe that Father Christmas is real in a sense. I believe that he lives in us as Christmas Spirit. I think that he is what we tell our Children, he is what they base their idea of Christmas on. What some consider a lie. But what I hope Santa teaches Luna is to be open and giving. To remember to give more than you receive. That life isn’t about presents, its about good will. I hope he teaches her that the magic is in what you do for others, that he goes out of his way to make sure everyone feels special one day a year. I think that as people grow up, they lose what Santa means to them. They lose the magical side to ‘reality’. “How does he get to everyone in one night?”, “How does he go down chimneys when he’s a fat old man?” and my personal favourite, “How comes no one has ever seen him?”. Yet, he is everywhere at Christmas. He is the ones that are going above and beyond to make sure they see people smiling. Every time a child sits on Santa’s knee and tells him what they want, a man is giving that child hope and belief that if they are a good person, they will get rewarded. It’s just most of us forget that the reward should be the gratitude from others not money or presents.

Think about those around you, think about their plans for Christmas. Now ask yourself, if you were alone, would you want someone to reach out? If the answer is yes, then do it for others. If you know they have no plans and would be alone, invite them over for a cuppa and a biscuit discussing Christmas songs that were number one when you were a child or the best present you ever received. You know they are going hungry? Think about how much food you are going to waste this year? Why not make extra and take it to a local homeless shelter. It doesn’t cost anything to think of others. And that’s what Santa does every year. That is why I love Christmas.

What does Christmas mean to you? Let me know on Facebook @openupwithmeblog, Instagram @openupwithme.

Thank you for reading and I hope you know a little bit more about me and where my Christmas Spirit comes from. Although I’m not entirely sure. Merry Blogmas Readers🎄⛄️❤️