Sunday, 9 December 2018

Christmas at Chatsworth 2018 | Once Upon a Time

Every year since 2014, Tom and I have visited Chatsworth at some point in December to see the house decorated for Christmas. Each year has a different theme; this years is Once Upon a Time and we both agree that it is our favourite theme so far! As is tradition on here I'll take you on a virtual tour of the house, and I'll link all the previous years at the bottom of this post. 

This year we ended up going the same weekend as Chatsworth hosted its Christmas Market, and so we had to park about a 20 minute walk away (still in the estate) rather than in front of the house like we usually do as it was really busy. This was fine as it wasn't raining at the time (there were a few cars getting stuck in the mud where we parked) and on the walk to the house we actually came pretty close to the deers of the park!

We had never been to the market before; in previous years you still had to pay extra for parking even if you had booked to go in the house, but this year it was all included. I would say if you want to go to the market that you actually book to go in the house, because our ticket was around £25 for the house, gardens and farmyard as well as being able to look round the market, and people were paying £20 just to park for the market on the day. It was a really good Christmas market but I wouldn't pay that much to park and have a look around. 

After having a little look around the market and making a mental note of where to return to later, it was time for our visit to the house! What we really liked about this years theme was that it ran throughout the house but every room featured a different story such as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, James and the Giant Peach and Mary Poppins, rather than focusing on one story for the whole house. The attention to detail demonstrated the amount of effort that had gone into curating each room, and all of the decorations were beautiful!

After looking round the house our tummies were rumbling, and normally we go to the fancy restaurant but unfortunately for us this year it was fully booked! (Next year we'll definitely prebook a table). We ventured out to the market and found a hotdog stand, which after a bit of a faff with needing to pay at one point to receive playing cards to then hand to the server in exchange for our hotdogs (?) we got our lunch. After lunch we headed into the gardens, and had a short walk around before it started to rain. 

We went and had a brownie and a drink in the cafe, before looking round the stable shops and the market properly. We did stop off at the farmyard on the walk back as I hadn't realised this was included in our ticket in previous years, and although it was nice to see the animals I think this is aimed more towards families with children. 

As this was our fifth Christmas at Chatsworth trip, it was really nice to have something additional to have a look around and I definitely think we'll go back again next year when the market is running. The market has finished now, but you can still see the house decorated for Christmas until the 6th January (this is in no way a post affiliated with Chatsworth, I just love going and think you will to!). Do you have anywhere you visit every Christmastime? 

Jess x

Previous years:

Sunday, 2 December 2018

December Bullet Journal Set Up

December is finally here and it's my final bullet journal set up for 2018! I've found having a bullet journal super helpful throughout the year, and so as well as showing you my general set up for December, I thought I'd show you how I'm using my bullet journal to prepare for Christmas. 

For my title page I went with a vintage Christmas theme and I think this has to be my favourite title page of the year! Sometimes I draw on my title pages, but a lot of the time I think of a theme, find some photos for it, and then print them off and stick them in. Throughout the year I've tended to draw out a calendar across a double page spread, but I found I wasn't tending to flick back to it and so I thought if I simplified it even further into a list of the key things that are happening, I'd be more like to remember them!

Onto the first Christmas related spread! Tom and I have a LOT of Christmas films, and so when it comes to deciding which film we're going to watch, we write them out in a list and assign them all a number, and then leave it up to a randomiser to choose! We actually started watching our Christmas films in November as we have so many (I'm a Celeb has slightly got in the way of watching any at the moment) and then cross them off as we go. It's a lot easier doing it this way rather than debating which one to watch, and it's nice to have a surprise of which one it'll be. 

Dare I say I've actually finished all of my Christmas shopping? To keep on top of what I've got, I've drawn out a tracker where I can list each gift, who it is for, and whether it's been wrapped. This might seem a bit excessive (Jess can't you just wrap the gifts without making a list) but I like to get little bits and pieces rather than a big present for people, so I thought this would help to keep track of what I have got, and I can clearly see when I've got everything rather than having to back through the collective bag and wonder if I need anything else!

I'm trying something a bit different this month, as I usually don't do a weekly spread because I use google calendar at work for tasks and things, but I thought I'd try out a more 'to do list' type spread, and start to take this into work with me so I can tick some things off in my lunch break!

Finally I've created a festive mood tracker in the shape of a tree made from fairy lights, which I'm going to try really hard to remember to fill in every day. Rather than go with the general smiley face, unhappy face, and what I would call the 'meh' face, the moods I've gone for are happy, festive, stressed (as I would generally say I feel this more than unhappy) and mixed because we all know that days are mixed with many emotions and sometimes it's all bit of a blur. I'm hoping by the end of the month I'll have a full coloured set of lights!

I'm going to make a list of who I need to write out Christmas cards for and cross these off as I write them to make sure that I haven't forgotten anyone! I think at a later date I'll add in a page about food as we're having about 3 different Christmas meals and I'll need to be able to keep track of what we're having and what we need for each. I'll also start thinking about how I want to set out my bullet journal for 2019 (ah it's scary that it's so close!). I hope this has provided you with some inspiration for your December set up an how to use your bullet journal to prepare for Christmas, and I'd love to see any of your spreads for the month! Be sure to come back in a few weeks time to see how I've set up my bullet journal for 2019.

Jess x 
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