Where are all the elves and fairy godmothers when you need one? Ah, yes ... heck ... that's us isn't it!? .... and breathe. So, there are 2 ways of doing this, we can either do it the hard way and do ourselves in trying to create the perfect Christmas experience, whilst trying to hold down paid employment, preserve world peace, save the planet and make a showcase pud worthy of a Paul Hollywood handshake … or we can slow down, recognise we can’t do everything, or at least not in 2 weeks! Look at what’s important to you, cherish your family traditions and focus on who’s around the tree and not what’s under it.
If you’ve offered to host (firstly, what were you thinking!?), why not ask people to contribute, most guests are keen to also do their bit, plus it’s much more fun and social in the kitchen that’s for sure and let's be honest, after a glass of fizz, timings and ingredients never quite go to plan, well not while I'm cooking anyway as my friends and family will know. A family game is always a nice idea too – a new one on me is ‘Scattegories’ – although I appreciate it's for slightly older kids (maybe 10 and upwards) .. but it’s generally a winner for most ages. Laying a jigsaw out too may sound a bit old fashioned but honestly, it's a really nice thing to sit down and chat over, not that we completed ours last year, but hey ho! Also, why not start making a few things ahead of time, this sloe gin cranberry sauce is super easy to make and already frozen ready for Xmas lunch - https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/sloe-gin-cranberry-sauce - I used Hayman’s sloe gin, which is really delicious and can even be sipped neat on ice too while you're making it.
Last but not least, be kind to yourself, don’t skip on your fitness, yoga classes or whatever fills your happiness tank - at this time of year it’s more important than ever - why not treat yourself to a little advent calendar with your name on it, or plan a cheeky trip to the cinema with a girlfriend to see ‘Last Christmas’ – haven't seen any reviews, but I like who’s in it and the music for it - https://www.radiotimes.com/news/film/2019-11-15/last-christmas-movie-release-plot/
Let's try not to hurtle through December unconsciously and end up a wreck, make time to sip your Bailey’s slowly and stay emotionally connected with the reason for the season … probably with your apron on, but hey ho.
Talking of fitness, fun, gin and 'me time' - here's a photo from my last event of the year
What have I been up to lately?
November has been another exciting month at Gin & Yin HQ - first up was a 'Gin Sipping and CBD Social for the Curious' at Mews of Mayfair in partnership with Cara @ginandinteriors - we had a brilliant turn out and our partners on this were from OTO CBD, Haymans Gin & Cocktail Circus and they were spot on - fun, informative and delicious, a winning formula. Next up is where this photo was taken at the Sweaty Betty shop in Kingston, collaborating with Concrete Jungle Yoga and The House of Renaissance - Groovy flow yoga to cool tunes, followed by a Gin tasting again by Hayman's Gin to try their new 'Small Gin' - wellness & gin in one, seriously now people, what's not to love - huge thanks to everyone involved.
So, What's up next?
'Down to Earth' Restorative Retreat Thurs 11th - Sun 14th June 2020
Only 2 rooms left on this retreat (twin & single occ) - This promises to be another wonderful escape from life as we know it for just a long weekend, which I can assure you will feel like a week . The views you'll see on the hike will blow you away - the coastline in N. Ibiza is stunning. Our yoga teacher on this one is Jo Youle, she is an ex BBC music journalist and DJ, who is also is passionate about fusing music to breath, she's a great podcaster too - we are in for a treat, Jo's style is fun, grounding and liberating. All yoga abilities welcome including newbies. Daily yoga + great food from the garden + a wild hike followed by supper on the beach + mini wellness discussions + R&R time + G&Ts = a lovely retreat!
A Deposit of £150 secures your room
Thurs 17th - Sun 20th Sept 2020
This will be my 5th Retreat to Shanti-Som which speaks for itself - this gorgeous photo was taken by Vicki Knights who took some amazing shots of us all on my last retreat here in Sept - see my FB account for full gallery and link to Vicki's Personal Branding website. This is a special place, you really do feel your shoulders drop as soon as you arrive, it's like a slice of Indonesia has been airlifted to Marbella. The yoga teachers are both wonderful, the food is outstanding, the rooms are sanctuary's of calm and relaxation and only a short drive to the Marbella Old Town and the beach, which we also go to - plus it's only short flight from the UK. Get something in your diary to look forward to in 2020 - positive anticipation is a great energiser x
Looking ahead - Wishing you a Happy 'Hygge' December
In one of my recent Instagram posts, I talked about the Danish concept of 'hygge' (pronounced 'hyoo-ghu') roughly meaning cosy contentment, togetherness and wellbeing, which might explain why Denmark is often ranked as one of the happiest countries in the world - I also mentioned in my last newsletter that I was on the look out for a gorgeous soup bowl/mug to sit, sip and savour - well I found it - see photo https://ellajames.co.uk/collections/crockery/products/grey-amara-cup-and-saucer
We might not all have log burners sitting in the corner of our lounges, but we can switch our big lights off and light a candle or two, play some mellow music and snuggle up while we plot and plan our way through what needs doing and when - welcome a spot of hygge in for a G&T - simply lovely - good luck and take care.