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Guest Post - Mario and Me Blog

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I wanted to add something a little bit different to the blog today - I'll be honest when I first contacted Laura from 'Mario and Me Blog', it was because I really wanted to add content to my blog but was feeling very uninspired to do so! I was sat reading the lovely Laura's blog & all about her life since the birth of her beautiful son Mario & her journey through Judaism...
...and I had a lightbulb moment, maybe you guys would like to read all about it too??because I genuinely learn something overtime I read it!
So I contacted Laura & she kindly agreed to write her next blogpost especially for my little space on the internet.
I hope you enjoy reading it and get a chance to pop over to 'Mario and Me Blog' to read more about Laura's fascinating journey... Thank you Laura <3

Happy Chanukah

Following on from my last blog I thought it would be appropriate to write about Mario's first Chanukah next!

After sharing my journey with you about my conversion to Judaism you've probably guessed that 'Christmas' is now well and truly off the agenda! I found this really difficult to accept and get my head around in the buld up to Christmas. It was so hard when people kept asking me if Im going to celebrate or not. Of course I knew that once I had converted fully, celebrating Christmas would be hypocritical. But I hadn’t really put too much thought into it. I had forgotten how much I actually do like Christmas! The bulid up is so magical, especially for children. This picture below was taken of Russell and I at home about three years ago. Before I converted I did put a tree up, I loved decorating the house and having all the family over.

Chanukah is probably one of the best known Jewish holidays. Not because of any great religious significance, but because of its close proximity to Christmas. Many non Jews and some modern day Jews refer to it as the Jewish Christmas! And some even go as far as celebrating "Chrismukka"

The Jewish festival of Chanukah is also known as the festival of light and it remembers the rededication of the second Jewish temple in Jerusalem. It is Celebrated for 8 days in honour of the miracle oil that burnt for 8 days in the holy temple. We light a candle each evening at sun set, give gifts to the children and eat foods cooked in oil... Donuts are a tradition.

So... as we had decided not to celebrate Christmas this year I wanted to make Chanukah special. Each evening, Russell read the blessing whilst I lit the candles with Mario. Afterwards we gave him a small gift to open and spent some time together sitting as a family enjoying the candles, whilst Mario played with his new toys.

The build up to Christmas was difficult this year, but in the end the day it's self was actually lovely. We spent it at home just the three of us, we had no presents or cards... No tree, and no turkey! We treated it like a normal day, except I made a nice roast dinner, we had a few glasses of bubbly and lots and lots of chocolate treats! We watched junk on tv and just really chilled out.

So after much deliberation and endless discussions I feel I've made the right decision to give up Christmas in our home and put my all into celebrating Chanukah instead. As Mario grows up we will be very open and honest with him about my conversion and he will still see Christmas but he will understand the reasons why we don't celebrate it like our non Jewish family & friends.


My next blog will be coming up soon as we are about to celebrate Mario's half year birthday! I'm going to review the last 6 months and all of his milestones!

Thanks for reading! Wishing you all a very happy & prosperous 2016.

Thanks again Laura,  I'm looking forward to reading about Mario's half birthday! 
Don't forget to go and follow Laura at 'Mario and Me Blog' if you want to read more.

Also, are you interested in doing a guest blogpost for me? I'd love to hear from you if you are, pop me an email across to :) x


What inspired my Christmas Day dining table?

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I'll be the first to admit it, cooking has never been my thing - I mean, I've got better & I genuinely love it once I get into it! .. but I'll be honest that when I used to live on my own in Manchester, my staple diet was pasta, dolmio sauce and far too much cheese.

So when we agreed that Christmas dinner would be out ours for the first time to give our mums a break, everybody knew that what that really meant was Stu would cook & I would make the place look pretty...

Well hey, if I'm given a task, I put myself into it! & the look of the dinner table got me faaaar too excited for my own good!

I had some lovely compliments when I posted a pic of our table Christmas Day & even messages from people asking where I got some of the bits from which was a fab compliment - So I thought I'd write a post about what actually inspired me to step away from the traditional red & green..

Enjoy the read & feel free to ask any questions :) xx

Our Christmas Day Table 

Here she is.. Oh I wish I could do it all over again! The crackers were from TK Maxx & I literally bought them two days before in the sale, I couldn't believe how perfect they were!
I got a lot of my inspiration from the brand Kate Spade for the use of pink and chevron - you'll see in a couple of pics time the images I found on pinterest which are similar.
I very last minute cut some of the Christmas tree on christmas morning, I was inspired to do this by one of my favourite Instagram accounts @kerrylockwood_  - seriously, if you follow one account today it NEEDS to be hers. I've never been so inspired by an account, her homeware style is insaaaaane <3
Managed to get a picture of the starters before the mayhem began... The chevron place mats & coasters were from eBay,  you can buy them HERE for a £11.99 for a set of 4
I got the sequin table runner from eBay too - I think you may have caught on now but I BLOODY LOVE SEQUINS.
I've had these wine glasses for a while now (aswel as the matching tumblers) they are from NEXT and still in stock - you can buy them HERE. They are one of my favourite purchases (aside from the house! whoops) in 2015 <3
(especially for you @lauraparry33 :) )
I picked up the flowers from Sainsburys on Christmas Eve, I love that they came with cones that had been sprayed - perfect finishing touch to the table and they last for aaaages, infact they are still on my table now!
I had to get a picture of what the table became as after about 10 minutes it was literally carnage - I am NOT happy with whoever bought that huge tub of salt out of the kitchen!! Not the look I was going for!!! haha ;) You might be able to see all of the pieces of xylophone all over the table - these came in our crackers & thought it would be a real nice touch to all play a tune with the music sheets they came with - safe to say that didn't happen!


So as I do with most things which require a bit of inspiration - I took to Pinterest and even made a 'Christmas Table' board. Yep, that actually happened. Here are some of the pictures I had pinned - I just love the colours against the black and white, and of course, the sequin table runner was the main attraction.


Hope you've enjoyed reading this & use it as inspiration next time you need to make your table pretty - I'm already excited for the next time I need to do it, I'm drawn to a yellow colour theme next, can definitely tell I'm ready for Spring to arrive!

Do you follow me on bloglovin? That way, you will get an email notification when I post on the blog, don't worry - as you can see - they don't happen often so you won't be constantly spammed!hehe.


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