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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🎄⛄️❤️

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Blogmas!❤️

On the first day of Blogmas!

On the first day of Blogmas; I’m giving you an excuse…

Okay, so I wouldn’t be me if something didn’t go wrong at the first chance. I started today off by saying white rabbits like I do every month (it’s supposed to bring good luck) and I had originally planned for us to take Luna to her meet Santa for the first time, however that has had to be rearranged as she has a cold. I don’t particularly want to take her out in the cold so we are gonna keep her wrapped up warm with plenty of snuggles today.

I thought, considering what I had originally had planned failed, I’d bring a bit of Christmas Spirit to this post.

My little brother is allergic to traditional Christmas trees… I know right, what a sucker. Being allergic to Christmas! But because of it, we can’t really have the real or even fake Christmas tree so we got this one.

It was £25 from Wilkos but it’s perfect! It’s different and colourful and once it’s got a bit of tinsel it’ll be festive. And it also means we still have a tree that we can put our presents under, even if it’s a twig light tree.

Although it’s only the first day of Blogmas, I’ve been in the Christmas spirit for months! I just can’t wait to have my first proper Christmas with our daughter. She’s gonna be awake for most of it this year and be able to open presents.

I hope today is the start of Christmas for everyone. I hope you spend time with your families as your decorating the trees, wrapping presents or listening to Christmas songs. Just enjoy the festive spirit because it’ll be gone quicker than we realise. ❤️

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Being a mum❤️ Family❤️ Lifestyle❤️

My silver lining. ❤️

I feel like my post earlier was pretty dark. I mean yes I have bad days but I have the greatest light of all.

My daughter is my everything. I live every day for her! I push myself when I feel weak because she is my strength. She has the cutest smile and the best cuddles. She has the brightest eyes and the warmest laugh. If you ever have the pleasure to meet her, I bet you remember her.

She saved me. Last year, I was going through some of the hardest moments of my life. We found out we were having her and it gave me purpose. She gives me purpose. She is such a happy baby girl that I couldn’t have asked for more. Every morning she will wake up between 7-9, she has her breakfast, listens to music and dances about. She loves a good swivel! She laughs and plays with us. She’s learning to walk and loves to explore. She’s such a little character. She has her nap and sleeps at about 8. All day we are on our toes but all day she keeps us smiling.

I live for cuddles with her because they make everything perfect.

See. No matter how bad my day may get. No matter how low I feel. She is enough to keep me sane. She gives the sloppiest kisses and the silliest high fives. She will copy my laugh and then laugh at it. It’s beautiful. There is nothing more honest in this world, than a child’s laughter.

Yes today was a bad day. But Luna is alive, she’s happy and she’s healthy. And that’s all I could ever ask for as a mother. So although mentally it was exhausting and draining, I have way more to be thankful of.

I am truly blessed. And I am so thankful for her each and every day! She is by far my greatest moment. She is the love of my life. A love that is pure and unconditional. I will love her beyond my lifetime because she is my legacy. And if I get one thing right in this world, I know it will be her.

I am thankful for being alive and sharing memories with her. I am thankful that I get to be her mum and bring her up with her amazing father. Because I am beyond thankful for him. He keeps me sane most of the time and is beyond perfect with her. He is the definition of a father. He lives and breathes for her. And that’s all I could ever ask. I love you both beyond words. Beyond actions.

I am thankful for all my readers. For helping me smash records. You let me write what I want and read it with great feedback. You support me and I truly appreciate it.

I am thankful for my friends that know who they are. That I don’t give enough credit to. Thank you for still being here even though I’m tough to handle sometimes. And to my family that put up with me day in and out. I love you all. ❤️

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Being a mum❤️ Family❤️ Lifestyle❤️ Uncategorized

Don’t be afraid to be who you are.

Long before I found out that I was pregnant, I wanted to be a person that my siblings and nieces could look up to. I know there are times where I have failed miserably and sometimes, I lose it way too quickly but one thing they can say is, that I stand up for my views and what I believe in. I may just be one person, but I believe that my voice matters. Everyone’s voice matters!

When I started this blog, I wanted a space to share my views and my beliefs without feeling like I was ramming them down people’s throats. I gave myself the space to write what I want and how I feel and if people wanted to read it, it would be down to them. I wanted to cover a range of topics, no matter how personal or controversial they would be. Now, I know, not everyone will agree with what I’m saying and loads of people with have their own opinions which is great. I want to provoke healthy discussion on issues.

A few weeks ago, me and my partner were walking to the shops just down the road, we were talking, and he realised that I was wearing all his clothes. It’s true. I had my bra and underwear on, but I also had his boxers over the top, his joggers, his top and jumper on. I have always found that men’s clothes are better comfort wise compared to women. It got me thinking, why is it socially acceptable for females to cross-dress and wear men’s clothes but not the other way around? Why is it that many people of the world have such a problem with men wearing women’s clothes but not vice versa? Why is it that the world we see today, the world in which our children are growing up in, so hypocritical? Why are there such views around what we wear? It’s not just men that receive this but women also.

Some men are taught from a young age that its not acceptable to wear women’s clothes, they are taught that it’s feminine and that it means that they are gay or have gay tendencies. This isn’t true. You can be completely straight and still wearing a dress. I have friends that have dressed up with their daughters because they asked them to. I have friends that let their sons wear fairy wings and put on a dress. They wanted their children to be comfortable and wouldn’t knock them for trying.

Some of them said there wasn’t a problem whilst they were playing, but they would find it awkward in other situations and that’s where their problem was, whilst others have said there wasn’t a problem with them, but they would avoid it as it was a problem for the outside world. Some people felt that by saying no, they would be putting issues onto the child and others felt that saying what they can or can’t do will only push them further into it.

Now for me, I want my daughter to be open and accepting. I want her to be who she wants without fear of discrimination and without fear of others. I want her to wear what she wants, be who she wants to be and love whoever she feels she has a connection with. I want her to be able to go out in what she wants with her head held high and pride in who she is. Had she been a boy, I would be the same. If I ever have a son, and he said to me that he wanted a pram, I’d go down the shops and buy him one for his birthday or Christmas, because he shouldn’t have to feel like it’s a girl’s toy. I know many men push their children in prams and that is all you are setting them up for. If he wanted to go out to the shops or to play in a princess dress and pretend, he’s a princess, then guess what, I will help get him dressed and I will sit him down. I will explain that although there is nothing wrong in how he wants to dress or what he wants to play with, the world has their own opinions and may think it’s wrong. I’d tell him that people would point and stare with possible comments because he was different, and they couldn’t accept that.

I think children need an imagination. They need to believe in magic and make believe because it helps them broaden their minds. It helps them become more creative and more unique. It helps develop writers and poets, acting and theatre stars, it helps them become musicians and activists. It helps create a brighter world. The world gets gloomier as you grow older, so let a child be a child. Let them live with no fear of the outside world, they will grow up and have enough of it. The world will have rules for them that will attempt to limit who they are and what they can do. So just let them live while they are young. Let them play with what they want to play and wear what they want to wear.

I do not have a problem with allowing children and people to be who they want to be. But the world we live in does. I have been alive 25 years, and its only recently that a gay couple, whether it be men or women, are finally allowed to marry each other. That’s horrendous. Why as a society do, we feel that we can dictate who we can or can’t love just because it’s not traditional? Why is it, as a society, we feel that its okay to victimise people because they are different? Why, as a society, do we think it’s okay to belittle people because they are different?

I know many people feel differently, and I get that. It is okay to think differently. We are all individuals and are all unique. Even identical twins have different fingerprints. Each person on this planet matters. If they want to dress different, why do we feel that we are worth more and can tell them differently? We are all made up on skin and bones. We all will live in this world and wear clothes. We will all have different views, and nobody can tell you that you are wrong. Just don’t be hypocritical. That is where my problem lies.

When I wrote this, I wanted to have some research behind me. I looked at celebrities that have cross-dressed and they are still respected. Celebrities like the entire band Queen, who did the I Want to Break Free video in drag. They are one of the greatest rock bands this world has ever seen and yet, that video caused so much controversy at the time, where as now is considered iconic. Weasley Snipes, Patrick Swayze, John Leguizamo who dressed up in drag for a role in a film and yet they are still great actors and it hasn’t changed who they are. The film in question is ‘To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar’, check it out on IMDB if you believe me. Another iconic film with drag, is Rocky Horror Picture Show. That film is incredible but also banned in some countries. They are all living and breathing. Wearing a dress didn’t change who they are. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114682/

I know for me, I will allow my daughter to be who she wants. I will hold her hand and show her off with pride. Because I want her to know that she is who she is, and we love her regardless. I just wish the world was a bit more accepting. I’d rather surround myself with people that express themselves freely than try to determine who they should be.

 ❤️