Introducing our 2nd Guest poster for the Xmas themed posts – 24 days of Xmas!
1, Introduce yourself, tell us about you, what you do, why did you start blogging?
Hi, I’m Bex and I’m a mum of two and a full time healthy lifestyle blogger. I’ve always loved writing and I remember as a kid I would spend hours putting together little books about my pets – I still have them now! After graduating from uni I worked London in advertising for some small magazine companies and a large broadsheet newspaper, before moving back to the country and settling into family life. Once the kids had started school however, I yearned to be working again. But this time I wanted to do it on my terms and I was hit by the writing bug once more. I set up my website The Art of Healthy Living about 4 years ago and it has gone from strength to strength. It kind of has an online magazine feel to it, with a combination of my own writing as well as posts from other bloggers and experts in their fields. I cover all things fitness, health, wellness and food but from a more sustainable and realistic approach. I love to run but I also love cake and Prosecco. I’m very much a believer in balance and that us women should be helping raise each other up rather than buying into this whole perfectionism lark. When I write, you get a warts and all account and the photos I share on social media also show me as I present myself to the real world on a daily basis – hair scraped back, shiny face from rushing around everywhere and no make up. What you see is definitely what you get from me!
2. How do you spend Xmas day?
We spend the day just the four of us at home and it works really well for us. The kids wake up quite early, although the older they get we are starting to get a bit more of a lie in thank goodness. The kids open their stockings on our bed while the hubby and I try and wake up with a cup of coffee. We then head downstairs to see if Father Christmas has left us any presents under tree and then it’s a massive present opening sesh. It’s carnage! After the presents have been opened the kids usually like to just sit and fiddle about with their new toys so I’ll use that time to phone the family and wish them a Happy Christmas. Usually we stay in our pyjamas for most of the day, although by about 1ish I start to feel a bit sluggish and will go and put a glittery jumper on. I don’t like to feel the pressure of cooking all day so we have a brunch at about 11 and then I aim to get the main Christmas dinner ready for between 4 and 5, and I always prep everything the night before so I can spend as much time as possible with the family. In the afternoon we’ll play a board game or sometimes I buy a couple of family games that we can play sat at the table. Once we’ve demolished dinner, we all collapse on the sofa and watch a Christmassy film before rolling ourselves into bed with massive smiles on our faces.
3. Best money saving tip for Xmas?
Make a list and stick to it! I start by writing everyone’s names down that I need to buy presents for and then I spend a fair amount of time researching suitable presents online and saving links next to their names. By doing this you’re less tempted to buy silly spur of the moment gifts that can increase the budget without you even really realising. It definitely helps you keep track of how much you’re spending.
4. What present would you love to receive if money was no object?
Well I mean I’d quite like a season pass to Necker Island if it’s going spare, or failing that maybe a gorgeous piece of artwork to put up in the massive house that’s on the list as well 😉 Joking aside, I’d actually quite like my kids just to get on a bit better. As I keep telling them, that is priceless!
5. Breakfast on Xmas morning usually consists of?
We have chocolate brioche in bed and a cup of coffee whilst the kids open their stockings and then we have brunch about 11ish once all the presents have been opened. This usually comprises of toasted muffins with scrambled egg and smoked salmon and of course a couple of glasses of Bucks Fizz.
6. Do you do anything special on Xmas Eve to celebrate?
We do the whole putting a plate of food and drink out for Father Christmas and I usually buy a new Christmas related book each year that we all read together snuggled up on the living room. I sounds idyllic I know, but it still usually results in arguments because one child wants to turn the page and the other’s still looking at the pictures!
7. Favourite Xmas song and why?
‘Fairytale in New York’ by The Pogues. I just LOVE it. I love how there are two such distinctive voices in it, I love that it’s a bit naughty and the whole song just instantly makes me smile and the moment I hear it on the radio for the first time – that’s when Christmas has started.
8. Favourite festive film?
Without a doubt ‘Elf’ – I have to watch it EVERY year without fail because it cracks me up so much. I’ve started a bit of a tradition where I’ll make some homemade chocolate truffles with the kids and then we’ll all sit round watching Elf and scoffing the choccies in our onesies. Me and the hubby will have some mulled wine on the go and we’ll all just pile onto he sofa and start quoting all the famous one liners from it.
9. Who do you spend Xmas with?
Christmas always used to be rushing around to the relatives and we’d take it in turns with whose parents we’d see on the day itself each year. However, since having the kids we’ve done things on our terms and now every year we spend Christmas day just the 4 of us – our terms, our plans, our way. So if we want to spend the whole day in our PJs we can. If we want to eat our Christmas lunch really late, we can. We watch what we want on telly, eat chocolate all day, drink alcohol whenever we want, and the kids get to actually play with the presents they’ve opened from us that morning. We still see family obviously, but now we spread it out so that we’ll see one side of the family on Boxing Day and then visit the other side a couple of days after. This way it makes it feel as if Christmas lasts longer, the kids appreciate their presents more and nobody gets stressed or winds each other up. Perfect!
10. What does Christmas mean to you? Do you think we have lost the original meaning of Christmas?
Yes possibly we have lost the true meaning of Christmas, but then if you’re not religious the true meaning was lost a long time ago right?!?! For me it’s about spending time with your loved ones, watching the joy on the kids faces, creating traditions and memories, and just basically having a day of indulgence and relaxation – when else do we ever give ourselves time to do the things we do on Christmas day?!
To Read more about Bex and family life why not check out her social channels below