Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Guest Post: The Perks of Christmas in Farmington

Hey everyone it's Carolyn here.  I just want to say a really huge thank you to my friend Allie for writing this post, I absolutely love it!  You can have a look at her blog here and I highly recommend you do because it's brilliant!

Carolyn x

Hey, people of Carolyn's Simple Life!  (Sidenote:  you all recently helped Carolyn reach over 100 followers on Bloglovin - woooooo!  Give yourself a high five.)  I'm Allie, and I usually do things like this over at Reckless, but today Carolyn's letting me take over and I am so excited about it! Carolyn's one of the lovely people I've met through blogging (thanks, Blogger!) and we've been excited about working on this project together for quite a while!

I'm from America and Carolyn is from Scotland, and as we excitedly started to talk about Christmas (this was over a month ago, so, yes, we're basically overgrown 6-year-olds when it comes to Christmas) we realized that we celebrate Christmas in pretty different ways. 

The basics are similar - twinkling lights covering every available surface and an overabundance of super delicious holiday foods, for example, are parts of Christmas on both sides of the pond.  Beyond that, though, there are a ton of really cool differences, so we're trading spaces today for a global Christmas experience.  Global.  How cool does that sound?  Anyway, you can check her post out here and keep reading for a taste of Christmas in Farmington, Michigan.

| America's Thanksgiving Day Parade

I always start getting excited for Christmas long before Thanksgiving, but it seems that the rest of the world officially starts celebrating on Thanksgiving Day.  In Detroit, there's a parade downtown (and Christmas lights!) that's named after Thanksgiving but is otherwise Christmas themed.  The marching bands play carols and the float people wear Santa hats, and the parade ends with Santa rolling down the street in his sleigh.

There's Santa!  Try to notice him and not my family's extraordinary ability to look a little uncomfortable when we're asked to take a picture together.

| Wayne County Light Fest

There's this long, winding road near where I live, and every year it decks 4.8 miles of itself in Christmas lights so that every family in the area can pile into their car and take a drive through.  We've gone every year ever since I can remember, and I like to think that I could probably drive through it with my eyes closed and accurately name each light display as we go by, but I still love it and get ready for an all-out protest when someone suggests that we skip it one year.  There's also an 8k night run through the lights at the beginning of November, which sounds like torture but actually isn't - it's really, really pretty, and you have constant excuses to stop and "take pictures."

| Ice Skating

There's ice skating everywhere!  If I want to be close to home, downtown Farmington sets up an ice rink for the winter complete with - you guessed it - Christmas lights and music.  It's adorable and two minutes away.  Downtown Detroit does its own thing, icing over Campus Martius and adding a huge Christmas tree to make it festive.  


| Frankenmuth & Bronner's

Frankenmuth, Michigan is home to Bronner's which claims to be the world's largest Christmas store.  I totally believe them - it's 5.5 football fields worth of anything and everything Christmas related.  I mean, it's insane - I'm pretty sure there's a life sized Darth Vader nutcracker in there.  It's open year round, available for whenever you need a Christmas fix, and it is the most festive thing I've ever seen in my life so I love it. 

Now that I'm done with exams, I've got a chance to finally sit back and enjoy all the Christmas things - in the last couple days, I've ice skated, consumed several steaming mugs of hot chocolate, and taken in twinkling lights in so many more forms than I previously thought were possible.  I'm off to wrap presents and bake cookies (I'm pretty good at procrastinating, oops!) and otherwise binge on Christmas spirit!  Merry Christmas to all of you - I hope you eat get exciting presents and spend time with your families and do all of the exciting Christmas things.  I really do.


P.S.  Because I'm a bad blogger and didn't actually take pictures of all of this, Google helped me out with a few of these.  If it's not mine, the photo's linked back to its original source! 


Sunday, 14 December 2014

My Reading Habits Tag


Hey everyone!
I saw this tag over on Bethan Likes and thought I'd give it a go, seeing as I spend a lot of time with my nose stuck in a book or a notepad.
So, I hope you enjoy my Reading Habits tag.
Do you have a certain place at home for reading?
Preferably in my room or just anywhere that's quiet.

Where do you like to read? 
Again, my room or anywhere that's quiet so I can concentrate on what I'm reading.  If I have a day when I forget my earphones then I'll read on the bus instead of listening to music.

Bookmark or random piece of paper?
Most of the time it's just a random piece of paper, whatever I can find when I need to keep my place.  But I really hate folding corners on books, I never do it and it's one of my pet peeves.

Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter/certain amount of pages?
I have to stop at the end of a paragraph.  I can never stop in the middle of a paragraph, I'm so bad with this that if someone talks to me while I'm reading then I make them wait till I've finished the paragraph or sentence I'm on!

Do you eat or drink while reading?
Sometimes, if I'm at home then I probably will have a hot chocolate and a digestive biscuit.  But any other time probably not.

One book at a time or several at once?
One book at a time!  But if I'm reading a series then I may read a different book when I'm in the middle of the series.  And after I've read a whole series then I'll just read whichever one I want after that, they don't have to be in order anymore.

Reading aloud or silently in your head?

Silently in my head, I'm not very good at reading out loud cause I jumble up my words.

Do you read ahead or skip pages?

I'm guilty of reading ahead a little but I can't skip pages (unless I've read the book before).

Break the spine or keep it like new?
Keep it like new.

Do you write in your books?
No, I like to keep my books how they are.

Who do you tag? 

Any fellow bookworms who are reading this, and if you do it then leave me the link in the comments and I'll give it a read.

 I hope you enjoyed my reading habits tag, let me know in the comments what some of your books are and I'll try and read them.


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Sunday, 7 December 2014

My Christmas Playlist 2014

Hey everyone!

 Photo Credit (x)
Last year I posted a Christmas Playlist (which you can read here) as well as a monthly playlist and I've decided to do the same this year.
This years playlist features quite a few of the same songs as last year with a few new songs thrown in as well.  I think this is because Christmas music doesn't really change, it's always the classics but that's something that I love about Christmas music.
There are only a few Christmas classics in my playlist but I hope you enjoy it anyway.

All Time Low - Fools Holiday
Michael Bublé - Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
The Ready Set - I Don't Wanna Spend Another Christmas Without You
The Summer Set - This Christmas
Casting Crowns - Peace On Earth

Hazel Hayes & Dodie Clark - Silent Night

Train - Shake Up Christmas
The Pogues Ft. Kirsty MacColl - Fairytale Of New York
Jona Lewie - Stop The Cavalry
Gabriel Aplin - The Power of Love
Yellowcard - Christmas Lights
The Beach Boys - Little Saint Nick

Jason Lancaster - All I Can Give You

Yes I know, the majority of these songs are from the 'Punk Goes Christmas' album but that's because it's my favourite Christmas album (alongside 'Instant Xmas Party).
To be honest the overall sound is definitely more pop punk than punk but I think that's kind of perfect considering it's a Christmas album.

Photo Credit (x) 
 My absolute favourite from this album has to be 'Fools Holiday' by All Time Low.  They're probably my favourite band on this album (with The Summer Set coming a close second) and I love this song so much.  It's a Christmas song but definitely still has that All Time Low sound to it, which is what I really, really love.
 Like I just said, The Summer Set are probably my second favourite band on this album.  They're music in general has a definite pop feel to it (although it is still punk) and 'This Christmas' is no different.  I really freaking love this song!  It's just so Christmas-y and happy but (like 'Fools Holiday') it still has that 'The Summer Set' sound and feel which I love, love, love!

Photo Credit (x)
One of my other favourite Christmas songs (not from 'Punk Goes Christmas') is 'Shake Up Christmas' by Train.  They're a band which I love and this song always puts me in a really excited, Christmas-y mood.  I highly recommend listening to this song, it's brilliant (I'm currently dancing away to it while typing this).

I hope you enjoyed my slightly hyper (I've had too much sugar today!) Christmas playlist.
Please let me know in the comments what your favourite song from my playlist is as well as some of your own favourite Christmas songs.



Monday, 1 December 2014

The Christmas Tag 2014

Hey everyone!
I've seen this tag floating around  a few blogs such as The Musings Of Em and Milk Bubble Tea and I thought I would jump on the blogging bandwagon.  Also, I'm starting to feel very festive so I hope you like my Christmas tag!
1.  What is your favourite Christmas movie(s)?
Oh my goodness!  Where to start?  I absolutely love 'It's A Wonderful Life' and I actually got to see it in black in white at the cinema at Christmas time a few years ago.  It was such a lovely Christmas-y experience.
I also love 'Elf', 'National Lampoons Christmas Vacation' and 'Nativity' with Martin Freeman - they're some of my must watch films at Christmas time.

2.  Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?

 Definitely on Christmas morning, I feel it's more exciting!

3.  Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?

 Not really.  I have lots of great memories from lots of different Christmases!

4.  Favourite festive food?
This is probably just me but I love mini apple pies (especially from Mr Kipling) because I don't like Christmas mince pies so, when everyone else is munching on mince pies I treat myself to a mini apple pie.

5.  Favourite Christmas gift?

 I honestly can't decide, I'm lucky enough to have been given lots of lovely Christmas gifts that I can't chose just one!  Probably my Sony eReader, my camera or my All Time Low 'Don't Panic!' album.

6.  Favourite Christmas scent?

 I love 'Sweet Apple' from Yankee Candle although I'm not sure if it's really a 'Christmas scent' but I love it anyway.

7.  Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?

 For the past few years I've really enjoyed helping out at a local Christmas Eve church service.  I really enjoy it and it always makes me really excited for Christmas the next day!

8.  What tops your tree?

 A very glittery gold star.

9.  As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?
I went through a phase of really wanting a Nintendo DS.  I remember one Christmas I really thought I was going to get one but I didn't.  But then I got one for my Birthday instead so I'm not really sure if that counts.  Otherwise I can't really think of anything.

10.  What's the best part about Christmas for you?

There's so many amazing things!  I love Christmas lights and I love exploring the Winter Wonderland and European Market in Edinburgh.  I love spending time with family and friends.
I always love wandering around Edinburgh at Christmas and taking loads of photos, everything always looks so magical and breath-taking.

I'm tagging:

Esmee from Ezzlepops

Allie from Reckless

Nina from Niness

Marie from Rainbows & Unicorns

Leah and Rachel from Beyond The Velvet

I hope you enjoyed reading my Christmas Tag.  If you've done it then send me the link in the comments and I'll give it a read.  Or if you just want to answer some of the questions at random then tell me your answers in the comments, I'd love to hear from you all.