Your Christmas tree – it’s as individual as you!

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Talk to a room of people about their Christmas tree and you will get a variety of different traditions, preferences and experiences.

No two trees will look the same – from the actual tree you choose to how you adoringly adorn it. For some, decorating it is a time honoured tradition – for others it changes each year.

I can remember the excitement of putting the tree up with my siblings as a little girl and have passed that excitement onto my own children. It’s still a big deal even thought they are no longer little!

There are so many different types of Christmas trees available now – how do you choose what kind to go for?

Are you a traditional kinda guy – green spruce (real or artificial) with snow covered branches and some pine cones?

Do you prefer the rustic, reclaimed type – reloved materials and extremely eco friendly?

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How about something that resembles a piece of art – clean lines and fabulously interesting?

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Or do you go for a different approach – unique shape, material or simply designer?

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How about small and barely there – a slight nod to the season, but very subtly done?

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The next question has to be: what kind of decorations do you go for?

Traditional – think The Nutcracker, wooden toys, Santa and his elves?

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Or classy white and glass – opulence at it’s best?

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How about a modern, contemporary look – I’m seeing bright colours and vivid patterns?

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We have a couple of Christmas trees in our house, they’re both traditional trees but are decorated differently. One has ornaments from places we’ve visited and some that have been bought as special gifts – it’s a tree of memories. The other’s colour scheme changes regularly as I get bored easily and like to come up with new ideas each year!

Let’s share our experiences…

How would you describe your tree? Do you have any traditions, special memories or stories to tell?

Let me know below or tag me on Instagram (@shimmerwithin) – I’d love to have a look!

xo

All trees and decorations from a selection at Liv’s. All photographs taken by myself. 

It’s the Little Things *Christmas Alphabet

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Christmas means different things to different people.

It’s easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing or feeling that you need to keep up with the Jones’s.

How about this year you focus on what’s important to you. You make time for the things that make you smile. You fill your days with little things that enhance your days.

Here’s my little list of Christmassy things that can make a big difference to the holiday season!

Chocolate – gotta be done! I have memories of eating a whole chocolate orange to myself before breakfast as a little girl!

Happy thoughts – rather than getting caught up in the fast line of excess, why not take a moment of gratitude? Be thankful for the everyday, simple things like warmth, shelter and food. Not everyone will experience that this year. Enjoy the silly jokes, the children’s excitement, spending time with family – who knows what the next 12 months will bring.

Rest and relaxation – when the last cracker has been pulled, the last pig wrapped in a blanket and the kids are off happily devouring another selection box, take time to just sit and be still. Your body needs some recouperation time and you need a moment of peace and quiet!

Ice cold – as in the weather which allows us to wrap up warm. To me this means fluffy jumpers and warm socks. Or maybe it’s as in ice cubes in a cold winters drink?!

Stockings – give me a bunch of little gifts over one large present any day! Fun filled, carefully thought out little bundles of joy. And they look so festive hanging there – don’t you think?

Traditions – we have the ones we’ve always done (new pyjamas on Christmas eve) and ones we’ve recently created (creating a new hot chocolate). Whatever your family dynamics, Christmas needs traditions that you do, your way.

Memories – sharing time with our friends and family is always special at this time of the year. It can be hard though, when we remember those who are no longer here. Treasure those memories like the precious gifts they are – they’re always here in spirit. Be spontaneous, have fun, go with the flow and don’t forget to laugh! In the words of Kelly Finch from the movie Deck the Halls,

“That’s what Christmas memories are made from, they’re not planned, they’re not scheduled, nobody puts them in their Blackberry, they just happen.”

Advent calendars – the variety and fun of having a gift to open each day never gets old! Whether you go for the traditional chocolate ones, little gifts each day or simply cross off the days in your planner – one thing’s for sure…Christmas Eve is just around the corner!

Snow – maybe…maybe not! I live in the UK so snow is a bit hit and miss. In London we’ve only had 10 white Christmas’s since 1900!

If you had to come up with a list of things that make you smile around the Christmas season, what would be on your list?

Monthly Musings: November

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November is no longer with us, never to be seen again and the end of the year is nigh…

Bit dramatic, I know! But seriously where has this year gone?

Here’s a round up of my favourite bits on the blog this month…

New things for me this month

🌸 Anna shared last months musing post on her fabulous blog The Self Actualized Life

🌸 I was nominated for the fabulously named Mystery Blogger Award and mentioned on The Untamed Wildfire‘s blog too

🌸 I celebrated my 200th post!

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Best of #itsthelittlethings

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Penpal parcels
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The Shimmer Within household got festive
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Christmassy photo opportunities with our local shopping centre mascot
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Christmas coffees

My favourite posts

🌸 Need a little pick me up? Read A letter for when you are struggling.

🌸 In my other life…find out where my mind wanders to and why I believe it’s helpful.

🌸 Read about one woman’s revolutionary year Can I get a hell yes?


My favourite thoughts

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Blogs I’ve recently found that I think are worth checking out

Betcha Didn’t Know

Honey lemon Chai

The Thriveness

Where Is Adri

An Orchid’s View

The Little Mermaid

From This Window

Dancing in Violent Fields


Looking forward to next month

🌸 Christmas, Christmas, Christmas!

🌸 The posssibility of snow

🌸 Visiting the German market


Thank you to everyone who is still with me🙂

I write because I love it and have learned so much in the past 9 months of blogging. I love connecting with you all (although lately I am struggling to find the time!) but I think it’s great to mix, meet and share our thoughts with so many fabulous people such as yourselves!

As we head into December, here’s one final thought to keep you company…

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What did you get up to this November? I’d love to know in the comments below or why not follow my Facebook Page and get in touch there? 

Nicky 💋

What Are You Thinking?

Did you know that on average we think between 50,000 and 70,000 thoughts per day?

That’s an astounding 40 thoughts per minute!

As an overthinker, I have to work really (and I mean really!) hard to govern what those thoughts entail.

If I’m not having a good day or am tired, I will often find myself caught up in negative self talk, being judgemental or simply wallowing in the depths of a pity party.

We’ve all been there.

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But I’m here to tell you, you don’t have to think every thought that pops into your head

Our thoughts and the effect they have on our lives have been pondered upon by some of the greatest thinkers in history. So it’s not a new subject – but it is one we haven’t mastered yet.

For me, the trick is to notice when you are in this mindset.

When you find your thoughts are less than helpful, negative or unkind – simply acknowledge them and move on. Don’t dwell on them, give them room to grow (because they will) or allow them to take up anymore of your headspace.

Let them go.

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When you allow yourself periods of quiet time, to reflect, journal or simply be still – you give your soul the opportunity to communicate and maybe influence your thoughts.

The stillness is where you can be mindful of your thoughts; when answers might be presented; when your intuition takes centre stage; when your muse comes out to play; when you can really hear what your body is telling you.

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Our thoughts can make us anxious. We fill our lives with stuff and expectations and rarely get off the treadmill long enough to recharge our spiritual batteries. It can be difficult to put life into perspective sometimes and we may feel that everything and everyone is against us. But rarely is that the case.

For me, anxiety rears its’ ugly head when I have not taken care of myself. When I have allowed myself to become overwhelmed, overworked and forgotten to meet my own needs in the process. Do not let yourself get caught up in the shoulda, coulda and have-to’s of life.

Remember to be kind to yourself. Always. Not just when you are feeling low.

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We need to actively be aware of how much our thoughts affect our lives. If you are a glass half empty kind of person, your brain will work hard to confirm that; to show you where your life is not up to scratch or where you are not successful. Likewise, and I truly believe this – if you choose to live your life in a way where you look for the good in people, have gratitude and are more positive – more will come your way.

I promise you this is true.

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You can choose to be happy. Choose to be your own kind of beautiful. Choose to smile. Choose to connect with others. Choose to look after yourself. Choose to notice the little things that make your day brighter. Choose to think helpful thoughts; warm, loving thoughts.

About yourself and others.

Every single day.

Care to share?

What thoughts occupy your mind? Are they productive, helpful and beautiful? Are they full of love and excitement and kindness? Are you in control of what you think?

I’d love to know

xo