There’s so much great content out there now we’re in the run up to Christmas, it can be hard to filter through it or even know where to begin. So I thought I’d put together a little list of some of my favourites at the minute. These are some of (if not all) the blogs and vlogs I’ve been loving in the last couple of weeks in a handy little list, they’re not all producing work daily but they are all making some inspiring and festive content.

So, in no particular order…


You will know from my latest run down of some of my favourite YouTubers that I absolutely adore Liv’s work. But today, instead of her YouTube I want to talk about her blog. I became a fan of Liv’s through her blog initially. She redesigned it this year, and it is absolutely stunning and her festive content is always absolutely top notch. She’s just finished her 12 days of Giftmas series, so if you’re still looking for ideas they are the ultimate gift guides, and some of the most beautifully shot too.


Holly is another one of my favourite YouTubers. If you haven’t heard of her before, she is an incredible watercolour artist and just all round lovely lady. Her style is very laid back and down to earth, so perfect for when you need to take a moment in all of the chaos. I’ve really loved keeping up with her vlogmas content this year. Plus, her videos also feature her two lovely pups which is always a bonus.


Oh Happy Day! always has so much decoration inspiration – I’m talking the kind of set ups you could only dream up but brought to life in full colour with plenty of balloons. So, unsurprisingly, it’s somewhere I keep going back to now we’re in the run up to Christmas. If you’re after some inspiration for how to spice up your living room for the big day, or you just want some magazine quality scene setting check them out.


I’m including Jen, not for her Christmas content but for her motivational and reflection inspiring pieces in the run up to the new year. I recently read her Whole Hearted Year mini book and it’s definitely put me in the right mind to tackle 2018.

So, it might be mid-December now, but there are still so many festive things you can do in the city. London isn’t always my favourite place, but it’s an incredible place to spend Christmas. Here are my favourite festive picks:


I love Christmas lights. There’s just something so festive about twinkly lights over the streets. I’m lucky enough to go past the ones on Oxford Street and Regent’s Street everyday, and as busy as the highstreet may be at this time of year nothing detracts from the lights. Or, if you don’t want to head into central, this might sound like a bit of a cop out but I always think it’s worthwhile wandering the streets where you live to see everyone’s personal displays. It’s something I used to do at home, and still do now.


There are so many good Christmas movies out there, too many to list in fact. But Prince Charles Theatre is managing to show a good chunk of them on the silver screen. So why not swap your TV for the big screen and make a night out of your movie marathon.


To me there is nothing more wonderful and wintery than a walk in the cold. So, don your warmest coat (you might need your hat and scarf too) and hit up one of my favourite London trails. Bonus points if you manage to get out when it’s snowing.



Is there anything more traditionally Christmas-y than carolling? I don’t think so. This year children’s charity Street Charity are doing their annual carol service twice to share the love. So, if you want to get your sing-song on for a good cause, this is the place for you to be.


Once again Dennis Servers house is decked out in full Christmas sparkle, well sparkle from 1724. So step back in time into the 18th century complete with all of the sights, smells, and sounds that you would have experienced if you were sharing Christmas with the Huguenot family 300 years ago.


Singing Tree

If traditional trees aren’t your thing, you might want to pay a visit to the V&A. This year their tree is a digital projection designed by Es Devlin. The tree is brought to life via machine learning based on thousands of words collected from the public – that means you can contribute too!



Museum of Architecture’s Gingerbread City

Just a stone’s throw away from the Singing Tree at the V&A, there’s a whole gingerbread city at the Museum of Architecture. Made by architecture firms from across the city, the model spans two floors. As well as getting to feast your eyes on the incredible structure, there are also workshops happening throughout the duration of the exhibition.


Finnish Rooftop Sauna

If you’re feeling a bit wild, or rather a bit steamy, along with the usual market this year the South Bank also has a Finnish Sauna. Not only is it a great way to sweat out your festive indulgences, it also has one of the best views over the river.

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is undoubtedly one of the most well known Christmas stories of all time. It has been made and remade into countless movies and TV series, and its format used even more. It’s a classic and it’s my pick for this month’s book club because I was feeling festive and decided to reread it.

You probably already know the story of A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge is a cold-miser who doesn’t believe in the spirit of Christmas until he is visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, so why read it?

First off, the book is almost always better than the movie, fact. There’s so much more depth in the novella than any of the movies. There’s a reason it’s timeless.

Second, it’s the perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit, the true Christmas spirit, within a couple of hours. A Christmas Carol is only about 100 pages long. Dickens really has a gift for painting a scene. He can go from darkness to light, outrage to compassion, gloom to humour without ever breaking the scene.


  • How do you think the structure of the ghost of past, present and future would have read the first time?
  • How does reading the book compare to any other versions of the story you know?
  • Does the story still hold up so many years later?
  • Did Scrooge’s tale make you think about Christmas any differently? Does Dickens’ didactic moral still apply?


  • Watch any or all of the versions of A Christmas Carol made for the screen including but not limited to: the 2009 version, Scrooge from 1951, a Muppet Christmas Carol, and the animated Christmas Carol: The Movie from 2001. There’s even a retelling this year called The Man Who Invented Christmas, which imagines how Dickens wrote the story
  • Or, watch the Grinch which is pretty much Dr Seuss’s version of a similar tale
  • Read this review from The Guardian – when do I not include a Guardian review?



Putting up Christmas decorations is pretty much my favourite seasonal activity. I love the planning, the reshaping my space, and getting to go hard on the sparkle. But decorating in a small space, especially one you rent rather than own, can pose some challenges, so I thought I’d share some of the workarounds I’ve found when doing my own decorating.

Play with scale

If your space is limited playing with scale can be a really fun way of tricking your eye into thinking you’ve got a bit more. Try using miniature versions of certain decorations. I used mini baubles on my tree last year and because it ended up having the proportions of a family tree, it made my room feel so much bigger and better decorated as a result. Or try having really big versions giant fairy lights or ornaments can add a touch of over the top fun.

Washi tape, Blu Tac, and Command Hooks are your friend

This comes as standard, but you want things you can take down again easily if you’re in a rented space. I mentioned the wonders of washi tape (way stronger than you think), blu tac, and command hooks (way easier to take down than you think) in my room design post because they’re great all year round, but they really come into their own when you want to decorate. Use them to stick up your lights, display cards, or give that decorative pine cone the attention it needs.

Fairy lights

Put fairy lights anywhere you can. They’re wonderful. Lighting can make such a big difference to how a room feels. They can give your room a lovely magical twinkle, which you can enjoy long after the 12 days are over. Pro tip: where you can avoid the battery powered ones, they never last that long (unless you have recommendations – share below!) and you can get the plus in ones super cheaply now.

Use what you’ve got

Knowing that I’m not going to be in this room forever, I’m always conscious of the amount I will have to pack up. Plus I only have limited storage space. If you’re in a similar situation it’s great to reuse anything you’ve already got. For example, I’ll be dressing up my other plants as well as a tree and using string I already have to hang bits and pieces. Making displays out of any cards you receive is a lovely way to do this too. If you’re on the hunt for DIYs, there are literally thousands on Pinterest or throw it in as a search term to Bloglovin or something similar. In the same line of thought, if you’re buying things trying and find bits you can use when it isn’t Christmas. My fairy lights (sorry to keep mentioning them) were bought for Christmas last year but I’ve used them all year, and my festive tea light holder gets turned around and used most weekends.

Think about your tree

A Christmas tree is a must for me. It’s the first thing I that comes to mind when I think of the season. It’s at the core of any Christmas decoration planning. It’s also quite hard fit into a smaller space. When it comes to trees you have 2 options, artificial or real. Artificial trees have the benefit of being cheap, reusable and available in pretty much any size you might need. But this year (like last year) I will be going for a real tree. Small trees are much easier to find than I thought, and if you get one in a planter you can rehouse it outside when the season is over, which was why I liked the idea – it means you don’t have to find somewhere to save a box filled with branches. You also get that lovely evergreen smell. But you do have to be careful to get one that won’t cover your room with needles – it’s worth the extra for the vacuuming hassle you save.

What are your Christmas decoration tips?

After my post on my commission process to help explain some of the things on offer in my shop, I want to spend a little bit more time here talking about my work, and how it actually gets done. So, today, I’m going to talk you through a recent illustration project I took on at work for my old grad scheme website.

As a quick bit of background if this is the first post of mine you’ve read, last year I was a part of the Engine Graduate Scheme. The Grad Scheme is a year-long look into the world of marketing and communications, which comprises of four three-month long rotations in various best in class agencies covering everything from consultancy, to sport sponsorship, to events, PR, data and, of course, above the line advertising.

Every year the most recent group of grads take over the website, so this year it was our turn and we wanted to give the site a bit of a spruce up. The first step in this process was moving to the Engine Group site, from our .wordpress site. Then we moved onto content and visuals, which is what we’re talking about today.

So how did we go from a need for a new style to the site that’s up now?


First off, we came up with a bit of a brief, which was relatively informal and more of an agreement between ourselves as to what we wanted. We knew that we needed something fun and colourful and that suggested we were a more creative scheme than the visuals we had before.

As well as deciding what we wanted we also had to work out what our limitations were. We knew we weren’t going to be able to get any new photography done, so we decided to go with something illustrated. We were also limited by the structure of the web pages on the Engine site, which meant we were mainly just working with set header images.

But we also knew we’d need designs that could work for our social media in terms of branding and generating content later.


The ideas for the images bounced off the copy, for example, the sweets in the companies page came from someone describing the choice of placements as a bit of a pick and mix. The one image I really struggled with was the scheme page, so we came together as a group (over WhatsApp because I had a meltdown at 10 pm) and tried to come up with the simplest image for building we could, which turned out to be children’s building blocks.


Then we got to my favourite part, the illustrating! I started by gathering reference images for the portraits, then drew from those. I also found references for the hands and the sweets in the companies header. Once I’d drawn the outlines of all of the images I came up with a colour palette. I started with the red of the Engine logo and worked from there, adding a darker version of the red, two shades of the blue, and the yellow for highlights. I stuck to this palette for everything other than the skin tones, and I think it really ties all of the images together.


As anyone who has ever made a commission like this knows, the work isn’t actually done until it’s signed off and on the site. In order to get sign off, I put the designs into very basic web page scamps in powerpoint, to give an idea of how the pages would come together. Once we’d made all of the amends to the copy and visuals we needed to, I worked with the guys who run the Engine site to get everything live which included editing sizes and doing a few tests on a staging platform. I also made versions of our imagery for the scheme Facebook and Twitter.

If there’s something you’d like to work on together, or you just want to say hi, feel free to drop me a line!