10 Tips for Surviving The Christmas Shopping Trip….

10 Top Tips On How To Survive The Christmas Shopping Trip

Christmas. There, I said it!

I’ve been tiptoeing around the subject for a few weeks now, especially seeing as every year it seems to be thrust upon us earlier and earlier. However as I’m one of these uber organised folk that’s ready with the shopping list the moment Halloween is behind us.

This time of year seems to flick a switch in even the most forgiving of shopper. I’m personally not a fan of risking my life for the latest Disney doll or £10 off a light up toaster… all whilst news crews circle in a chopper above the parking lot reporting on the injury count. Yet every year we brave the hoards of high street shoppers in search of that perfect pressie as we prepare to get trodden on, elbowed and bled dry of our monthly earnings.

Thankfully if you’re on top of your game it really doesn’t have to be as stressful as rumour has it. In fact if you play your Christmas cards right you might actually find yourself having a jolly good time of it – unlikely I agree, but hey, I’m being optimistic for once!

So for those of you preparing to brave the crowds here’s my 10 top tips on how to turn the festive frenzy into tidings of comfort & joy…

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Wandering around aimlessly searching for Christmas gift inspiration can be stressful & tedious. Rather than shopping blindly, curl up with a note pad and jot down everyone you plan on buying for first. Think of their personalities, interests, hobbies etc. and go from there. Alternatively nab a few high street catalogues or pop online and I’ll guarantee your gift buying juices will flow. If you’re still struggling check out Not On The High Street, which is crammed full of unique little gift ideas from some of the UK’s best creative businesses!

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Keep in mind that evenings and weekends are peak times for big spenders so it’s no surprise that this comes with a mass of queues & disgruntled shoppers. If possible save yourself the hassle and schedule your trip for an early week morning, whilst others are busy at work or school you’ll be sure to find the space you need to browse the shelves without risking a bruised rib or trampled toe.

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Last year I witnessed at least 4 major falls from girls slipping or tripping as a result of tottering around in six inch stilettos. Gear up with your comfiest shoes, a cosy jacket that is light enough to pop in a bag should you begin to wilt and a practical handbag that is easily slung over the shoulder – leaving your hands free to grab those bargains.

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It may be the season of goodwill but a high street full of handbags is a winter wonderland for sticky fingered thieves. Don’t be tempted to carry large amounts of cash, keep valuables at home and if you’re leaving bags of shopping in your car make sure they’re stored out of sight. Seems like common sense but it’s amazing how many shoppers just don’t get it – not everyone is as honest as you are!

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If you’re pushed for time or prefer an organised approach to shopping why not opt for reservation instead? Many of the major retailers offer a service to collect your gifts in store that have been pre-ordered online… which is perfect for those who are doomed to miss delivery vans or may want to check sizing. This saves a whole lotta time and energy by allowing you to browse peacefully from the comfort of your own sofa/office chair/loo *delete as appropriate*

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If the thought of stepping out into the harsh winter weather whilst laden with bags is too much for you to comprehend or you have a work schedule that’s busier than Rudolf’s come Christmas Eve, then sticking to ordering your goodies online is probably the best stress-free solution to your quandary. However to avoid a delivery dilemma why not ask a relative or friend if they would mind your goodies arriving at their abode instead? That way all you have to do is call in and collect on your way home without any worry.

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Okay, so it might get a reputation of being a haven for bored housewives but there are actually quite a few nifty little items to be found on the shopping channels these days. Plus anything you see is tirelessly demonstrated, so if your Dad’s scratching his cranium over the new coffee machine you bought him, chances are you’ll probably be able to work it better than any budding Barista – all thanks to the 20 minute sales pitch you endured.

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Don’t forget to check out voucher sites such as Wowcher & Groupon as some of the offers are pretty darn impressive compared to the retail value elsewhere. Keep an eye out for high street deals such as ‘three for the price of two’ and check out Money Saving Expert for lots of really useful money saving tips, advice and voucher codes to help keep more pennies in your pocket.

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Needless to say when most of us think of Christmas Shopping we immediately think of huge glitzy department stores, personal shoppers and gift wrapping services, when in fact there is a multitude of wonderful little shops and businesses out there that provide an outstanding level of service and selection of goods that can’t be found on the shelves of their corporate counter-parts. By supporting local businesses you’re keeping the essence of your town alive and helping a small business stay trading!

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Reminding yourself you’re NOT a machine (or one of Santa’s highly trained little Elves) is easier said than done. Often we hit the high street with a the aim of dashing around getting as much done in as little as time as possible. However, unless you’re one hour from close of business on Christmas eve just sloooow down.

You may think you’re doing yourself a favour rushing around like a bee with a burnt ass but in fact you’re wasting hoards of precious energy, getting flustered & more than likely missing out on all the juicy bargains in the process. Taking a 30 minute break to catch a coffee (and your breath) is imperative to recharging the batteries & getting mentally prepared for the final shopping furlong.

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Don’t forget: it’s easy to get carried away with all the hype in the run up to shopping for the big day but it’s important for each of us to keep in mind the reason for the season. As stock runs low & tempers flair, remembering the person behind the counter is indeed a human being with feelings is much appreciated in the world of retail. If something does go wrong, often staying calm can yield better results than waving the arms about like a distressed windmill. Keep it cool & you’ll merrily avoid a seasonal meltdown & possibly with the help of a kind hearted sales assitant!

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If you have any top tips on keeping stress levels under wraps this Christmas or would like to share how you tackle your festive shopping I’d love to read about it in the comments below. As always, thanks so much for stopping by, wishing y’all a fabulous weekend ahead 🙂

Cheerio chums…

Karen signature

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Saying Goodbye…

Saying goodbye gran

This is undoubtedly one of the hardest posts I’ve ever written, but I feel it needs to be done. When I started this little blog back in October 2014 I never realised just how much it would affect my life – not in a bad way but in an amazing way. It has helped me through some of the toughest days… days where I felt like I’ve wanted to crawl into a ball under my duvet & cry the hours away. When battling Anxiety, GAD & OCD, life can be pretty torturous on the so called ‘bad’ days. However logging onto WordPress & reading such kind, supportive & encouraging comments from people I’ve never even met has given me so much confidence & helped rebuild what was once a crumbling shell of self-esteem. You guys (my readers & blog buddies) have been beyond amazing; therefore sharing my lows (as well as highs) just seems like the natural thing to do…

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On Saturday morning I received a phone call from my uncle. He was barely audible. Between sobs he tried to tell me what was wrong… my beautiful little 83 year old grandmother had taken a major heart attack in her nursing home. At the time my uncle called me, the cardiac crew were desperately trying to revive her heart. As they reached the hospital both doctors & nurses battled tirelessly to bring her back but she just wasn’t strong enough & we lost her. Even writing those words seem unreal ‘we lost her’.

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Since then I’ve cried so many tears I feel like I’ve lost half of my body weight (checking in the mirror this morning, no such luck *rolls a set of very puffy eyes*) However waking up on Sunday, my first thought was ‘today is the first day of my life I have woke up without my wee granny in the world’. Immediately panic set in, anxiety took over. and well, I’m pretty sure you can imagine the rest…

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Although Confetti & Curves is my little online beauty haven where I usually ramble on about the multitude of things cluttering up my vanity table, over time I’ve interwoven a little bit of my personal life into my posts too. As my gran was such an integral part of my life & helped me through so much, she is someone I cherish with every inch of my being, love with all my heart & admire so greatly. I feel it poignant to share her memory, to pay tribute to the woman who was a second mother to me & gave all of her heart to those she loved the most. My only consolation from her death is that she is no longer suffering but called back home to a place where death & pain have no existence.

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So please (if it’s possible) tell your loved ones just how much they mean to you. Hug them, kiss them & savour every single moment you have with them. Hold every memory as close to your heart as possible as someday you too will have to face the heartache of saying goodbye for the last time.

Gran, I miss you with every beat of my aching heart. I Love you more than words could ever begin to describe. Till we meet again…

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In Loving Memory of Freda Tumilson 13/07/1932 – 18/07/2015

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Five Common Fears When Starting A YouTube Channel…

Five Common Fears When Starting a YouTube Channel Bold

Okay, so I still sound a teeny bit like a vintage steamroller – hence the lack of video this week – but that doesn’t mean I can’t blog about YouTube, right ladies? 😉

Actually I’ve been meaning to have a chatter about this topic for quite a few weeks now & today seems like the perfect opportunity to get started… so as most of you know, a few months ago I took a leap of faith in setting up my YouTube channel. Of course for some lively little beings out there this may seem a ridiculously easy thing to do but if you’re anything like me (a natural born worrier with more insecurities than you know what to do with) it ain’t an easy task at all. Nope, not one bit. However after biting the bullet, you lovely lot (along with my own friends & family) have been nothing but darn right supportive – in fact you’ve made it virtually pain free. Yet now the ball is rolling, I’m always amazed at how many others admit how much they would LOVE to set up their own channel but are just too frightened to take the plunge. Totally understandable, it’s a scary thing for many of us to embark upon but it would seem the same five excuses are brought up once too often… I reckon it’s time we tackled them together 😉

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Show me a human being who claims they’re not in the slightest bit concerned about being judged by others & I’ll show you a fibber. We all get the sweats about what others think or assume but more than likely it’ll be ourselves conjuring up the negative assumptions whilst others are just pretty darn impressed that you have the swingers to get out there and make a go of it. Do you honestly think the likes of Zoe Suggs & other huuuuge You-Tubers didn’t (or don’t) have the same hang-ups or anxieties? If we all let our minds run riot about worrying what others would think we’d probably never leave the house… c’mon, YOLO people!

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I’m pretty sure none of us were pre-programmed when we entered the world with the knowledge of how to create a ten minute video and upload it onto the internet – so calm down, you’re in very sympathetic company 😉 I for one am huuuuugely terrified of technology but thankfully there’s a whole tonne of easy peasy tutorials that talk you right through the fundamentals regardless of what device you’ll be using – pc, Mac, tablet etc. It’s all there right at your finger tips & it couldn’t be more simple. If you struggle with reading a tutorial then look one up on YouTube itself, you’ll find a whole community of super helpful folk out there who dedicate their entire channels to helping the likes of you & me get started!

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Wow, hold up! Are you launching a Television network or starting your own YouTube channel? Sure your favourite video stars may have their bedrooms kitted out with ring lamps, tripods & expensive DSLR’s gallore but how do you think they started? Just look up some of their first clips & you’ll more than likely see a very different set up to the one they have now. You don’t need to empty the contents of your bank account by any means – natural lighting, a camera phone & a computer is your 3 basic ingredients to get started. If you’d like to invest down the line (once you’re in the swing of things) then by all means go for it, but for now just get yourself out there. Practice makes perfect & you’re wasting precious time!

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Negativity in your self-belief is a massive confidence killer. However lets look at this from a different angle for a moment… if you’re expecting the rest of the world to love you for being utterly perfect then stop and think about the HUGE expectation YOU are putting on YOUR shoulders – no one else. Yes, we all have things we really dislike about ourselves whether it be shape, size, skin, voice – the list goes on. But you know what the awesome thing is? What you consider flaws makes the rest of us want to know you even more! Being able to relate to someone who’s not perfect is much more fun than sitting listening to someone who thinks they are. Take these gorgeous bunch of awesome YouTubers as an example:

Em my pale skin

Meet Em, from the channel My Pale Skin. This gal is adored by thousands for her ability to help encourage so many others who suffer from acne problems. Don’t get me wrong she’s had her fair share of negativity but knowing that she’s inspiring & helping so many others is undoubtedly what’s keeping Em creating the amazing videos she loves sharing with all of her *almost* 200’000 followers.

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lizzie velasquez

This is Lizzie Velasaquez, she’s one of those people who just literally fill up a room (or computer screen) with her infectious personality. Even with battling her incredibly rare & physically affective illness she just oozes positivity, motivation, encouragement & fun. Most of all she’s adored by over 350K loyal subscribers worldwide – me being one of them!

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Bunny

Finally this is Bunny. Yes *thee* one and only Grav3yard Girl. Although Bunny doesn’t battle acne issues like Em or have a rare illness like Lizzie; Bunny still shares one common attribute – she’s embraced for being herself. Her ability to chatter away in front of a camera with (more than often) a make-up free face, sipping on iced Tea & making the rest of us chortle at her shenanigans is just utterly addictive. People adore her because she’s relatable, not because she’s perfect.

Are we seeing a pattern here peeps? Being imperfect is the new perfect gals 😉

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There’s that pesky word again ‘perfect’ it should be held accountable for causing 90% of the self-belief issues we battle. Starting off on YouTube (like anything new) is a learning curve, we’re all on it, we’re all here to get better at it *fingers firmly crossed* but without actually DOING it we’ll never give ourselves the chance to practice getting better. Always remember YOU control whatever YOU put out there. Just because you’ve rambled for 10 minutes at your iPhone doesn’t mean you have to upload it. If it isn’t right, delete & start again – just don’t get too obsessed with it being ‘perfect’… most of us much prefer to watch someone we can relate to rather than someone who we can’t!

There you have it, my suggestions on tackling five of the most common excuses to keeping  you from starting your very own own YouTube channel. You’ve nothing to lose, just a heap of subscribers to gain. So dust off those insecurities and get filming.

Do you have a YouTube channel you’d like us to check out & subscribe to? If so, do feel free to leave the link in the comments below so we can take a quick peek 🙂 Otherwise do say a quick hello if you’ve stopped by for a read!

Don’t forget you can also check out my channel by clicking on this handy-dandy little link below:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwM3ZfCiQuq-65OGMKYuZ6Q

Cheerio chums…

Karen signature