Side Street Style

Side Street Style

A family lifestyle, interiors & travel blog


Getting the Festive Party Started

Party style

So I have been talking a lot about how to make your home warm and cosy, focusing on our winter outdoor adventures, collecting holly and bringing Christmas into the home, but the festive season is also about having fun with friends, letting your hair down and perhaps dressing up, dancing and adding a little sparkle into what is normally the coldest time of the year. 

It is of course the time to be merry as well as wave goodbye to the past year and welcome the new. I have seen a few fun pieces that really captures that fun party feel such as these gold high top converse and gold clutch. I have always loved the tutu skirt Carrie wears in sex in the city but I have never had the nerve to wear one although I do love peachy midi skirt number from BooHoo. There is a fantastic website called Woznow which finds everything on sale from over 200 UK retailers such as this super cute pom-pom Breton top from Boden.

New Years

For many this time of the year can be the social highlight of their dairies, whether your single, a young couple, parents or grandparents it often means family gatherings, nights out, events, theatre shows and even playdates. Right now in our life we have two young children, one of which who doesn't settle well so late nights out are pretty much out the window at the moment but that doesn't mean we can't bring the celebrations to us, especially on New Years.

We are planning a fun little family orientated shindig with lots of good food, music, early movies for the little ones as well as games and hopefully dancing like know ones watching with some colourful glow sticks. As much as at times I would love to have a night out right now thats not possible and some of the best memories are made when you become creative and in my personal opinion it's all about the company so why not invite some friends over this festive season, get all dressed up and let your hair down.

Here are a few things you can pick up to make a party at home one to remember

1. Lighting, candles and lanterns - they are a great way to create some atmosphere
2. Child friendly canapés and finger food - think hummus, crudités, mini burgers
3. A range of child friends movies to keep the little ones entertained.
4. Ballons and Glow Sticks - simple and budget friendly but always keeps kids happy while adding some colour to any room.
5. Lots of music (just make sure they are the censored versions so suitable for everyone)

Are you planning a party at home or do you have lots of nights out planned

lomo camera

Associated post 


Preparing the Home for Christmas

traditional wreath

The novelty of log fires, the smell of a fresh fir tree, pine cones and a small glass of sherry or hot chocolate to warm you up on a cold wintery night while counting down the days to Christmas will never fade on me. Having spent my childhood in a hot southern hemisphere climate the idea of a traditional Christmas was never fully realised, well at least not in the way I imagined or had seen in the movies, dreaming of waking up to a white dusted landscape wearing thick pyjamas and running down the stairs to a tree surrounded by presents. Of course we celebrated Christmas and there was always an element of British flair in the home with my mother being a Welsh Expat but rather than it being in the depths of winter it was the height of summer and opening presents was swiftly followed by jumping in the pool to cool down.

Having settled in Wales for nearly ten years now I get more excited with each year when it comes to the festive season and bringing Christmas into the home. Its the time of year I can indulge in deep reds, dark greens and elements of nature with pinecones, holly and red berries which is what the Ruskin House Range at John Lewis encapsulates and if you had recently seen my Christmas Decoration Vlog you will know my love for John Lewis at this time of the year.

One thing that is also very important during this time of the year is family and making the home as inviting to visitors and guests. Hanging a beautiful wreath above the door to me really signifies that we are open for the festive seasons and having a welcome tray on hand with mince pies and a warming drink is a must. Its the smaller details to me that I love the most such as these pretty napkin holders with pinecones and jute as well the fun fill your own holly crackers.

While growing up my mother would bring down these boxes of beautiful glass decorations and that was something I always wanted to bring into my home, a collection of unique and eye catching decorations of all different shapes and sizes. So as you can image this deer decoration caught my eye as well as this large glass bauble in antique gold which has been hand blown in the Czech Republic.
Following on from the currently Hygge trend making waves across the UK, I personally love nothing more than getting cosy this time of year so the pinecone votives are perfect and I know I will be using them throughout the winter along with good food and a big cup of indulgent hot chocolate.

When it comes to Christmas style what do you lean more towards Traditional, Modern, Minimalist, Colourful? I think whatever takes your fancy have just have fun with it.

Thanks to John Lewus for having me involved with Preparing my Home for Christmas 

Raising Money together & the art of giving back


Like most mothers today I worry about the future, about what kind of world we are bringing our children up in as well as what we are leaving behind. I am mindful of trying to leave as little trace as possible, to replant, to recycle, to be aware and make educational choices. Living in the UK I am fully aware of how unbelievably lucky we are, my worries revolve around what we are going to eat for supper or what crafts I can set up to entertain the children while others in this world of ours are faced with hardships many cannot fully comprehend. Growing up in South Africa has meant my eyes have always been open to suffering, we saw it daily and I try and make my children aware of what gratitude really it and how comfortable our life is in comparison to others. Each and every year we try and giveback as much as we can from little gestures of purchasing Christmas cards where the profits go to charity to making small donations to select charities of our choice.

This year however I am avoiding some of the larger charities I would normally donated to in previous years because a lot of the funds get eaten up in admin and I rather support smaller, people led campaigns. I know most are aware of pages such as JustGiving and GoFundMe which are fantastic at crowdsourcing although there is a smaller company called Leetchi which allows you to setup small collective money pots up to £20 000 and for online fundraising has the lowest fees of all three meaning these smaller campaigns get the most back, directly to the people who need the money and also allowing them to spend the whole amount with zero charges on Amazon for those who are saving for an actual team.

Of course you can also use this service to simply club in together for a friends Birthday, wedding present or to help your local sporting group get to their next event, whatever the reason this is a fantastic platform which helps to raise money online into a collective money pot.

Soul Food Greece
The Soul Food Kitchen in Greece (Image)

There are some fantastic community projects and non-for profit small fundraising efforts on the site at the moment, you could get your children involved in pick one they would like to donate too such as the Money pot Lebanon Refugee Appeal - Children's Winter Clothing packs or The Soul Food Kitchen which is helping feed refugees in Greece and can provide one hot meal for  as little as 30 cents a day but with more than 1000 displaced people to feed this winter they need help.

As I get older the more passionate I get about helping grass route organisations and community projects. We can all make a different if we work together and I love seeing so many passionate people trying to collect money for a variety of reasons and I am happy to be working with Leetchi in encouraging people to think out of the box this Christmas and perhaps enjoy a little random act of kindness.

In association with Leetchi, this year we are making a small donation to the Soul Food Kitchen
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