Estonian Christmas

Hello, my most amazing blog readers. Many months and blog posts later – it’s finally Christmas. It was here, it happened. For those of you who don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope you still had an amazing day. And for those who do, I hope it was as magical and incredible as it should be.

The older I get, the more I realise that Christmas isn’t about the presents at all, it’s about being together with your family. This is the time of the year I know that no matter what, I will be together with my family, no matter where we are based in the world.

In Estonia, Christmas is usually celebrated on the 24th – having Christmas dinner and then later Santa will bring the presents. Everyone has to recite a poem or sing or do something creative in order to redeem presents. I find it so cute when children prepare for all of this and get really excited and nervous to ‘perform’ to Santa Claus.

This is my first ever proper vegetarian Christmas meal! I had potatoes, sauerkraut, bean and beet patties, cheese wrap rolls, eggs with creamy filling and potato salad! And for dessert – ice cream. It was so delicious and I am currently feeling like I’m in a food coma.

To see our Estonian Christmas, click here.

I hope you’ve had the best time of your life. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! I hope you achieve your dreams in 2017.

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Magical Frozen Palo lake in Põlva County, Estonia.
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(Credit: Tauri Valdmets)

The Beautiful Tallinn Christmas Market
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(Credit: Tallinna Jõuluturg)
Estonian Christmas

Unique Cambridge

Hey guys! I hope you’re doing super well! Recently, I went to Cambridge and it looked incredible. However, the experience was influenced by an issue we encountered so I thought I’d tell you guys about it just in case any of you want to go to Cambridge as well because I want you all to be safe.

When we first got there and were walking around, we were approached by someone who claimed to be a Cambridge student offering punting tickets, and of course, we were thrilled because who doesn’t want to go on a boat and see all the grounds of this incredible university? He showed us pictures and discounts and it all seemed pretty real until he took us to a News Agent to pay. I was a little bit hesitant but we bought the tickets and left and we were supposed go back in a few hours for our boat tour. Since I wasn’t feeling too comfortable with this transaction, we looked into it and to our surprise – what they were doing was illegal! They weren’t Cambridge students, they weren’t trained nor did they have safe boats! Needless to say, we didn’t go on this boat tour. We then contacted the actual punting ticket office and they said it happens all the time. However, there’s not much the council can do. So I just want to warn you to not buy the tickets from anywhere on the streets or news agents! Go to actual offices to get your tickets, don’t get talked into it even when it seems okay in the first place. I’m sure the actual boat tour with legitimate tour guides is amazing though so definitely do it (we couldn’t as it was pouring rain)!

Other than that, Cambridge looked incredible. The architecture there reminds me a little bit of Venice, which is my absolute favourite place on earth. The buildings are all so beautiful and definitely a work of art. We ended up walking around for hours trying to find a pizza place and eventually ended up in Bella Italia, where we had Queen Margherita pizzas – the best pizzas in England! Definitely recommend.

Here are some pictures of our trip (click here for a video of the trip) and I hope our experience didn’t scare you off from this beautiful city!

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Unique Cambridge

Magical Christmas Market

Hello, everyone! I hope you’re doing well and I also hope you’re getting just as excited for Christmas as I am! Have you gotten your Christmas tree out? Have you bought and wrapped your presents? Let me know because I’d love to hear!

This time I wanted to write a little bit about the Birmingham German Market. I have never really participated in the German Market’s festivities nor bought much from it, as to me it seems way too chaotic and to get to a stall seems like a huge mission. This year, however, my best friend Debby convinced me to go and spend some time at the market and I loved it so much! If you’re like me and you’d rather stay away and look at the market from a far, then here are some tips because honestly, if you don’t go, you’re missing out!

1. Pick a Good Time

There’s nothing worse than ‘going with the flow’ of people. It makes me feel so stressed when you just have to move with a crowd of people instead of walking at your own pace and stopping at your favourite stalls. Timing is super essential! Obviously, as you can imagine, the weekends are the busiest so I would stay away if you’re not one who deals well with being in massive crowds. We went on a week day around lunch time and although there was still a big amount of people, we could walk around, look at stalls and pick up our favourite goodies.

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2. Relax

This might be an obvious one but just relax and forget about all the people around you. Focus on all the nice bits of the market – after all it’s going to be gone after Christmas! Look at the decorations and all the amazing things they have to offer. Or go with a friend and enjoy your time together with them! There’s nothing more fun than grabbing some Christmas snacks with your friends and laughing until your stomach hurts.

3. Favourite Places

Some of my favourite places are at the Craft Market as they have the yummiest veggie options! Balti chips and vegetarian pizza (right at the entrance coming from the library) are mine and Debby’s favourite! If you’d rather have something sweet, they offer crepes and waffles, which smell incredible even when you just walk past the stalls. The one thing that’s not in the Craft Market is the fudge. You can choose from so many different flavours and they all taste amazing! It’s located on New Street on the left side if you enter it from Victoria Square. Definitely try some! Also, don’t forget to go on the wheel! I recommend going at night because seeing the lights of the beautiful city is amazing.

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I hope this helped you if you’re feeling a bit anxious or just a bit hesitant about going and enjoying the market. Trust me, it can be stressful for anyone but it’s completely worth it!

– Helina x

 

Magical Christmas Market

Christmas Gift Guide: Under £15!

Hello, everyone! Welcome to another blog post! I hope you’re all well and super excited for Christmas now that it’s finally December! Since now is the time people start thinking about Christmas presents, I thought it would be perfect to give you a few ideas for affordable presents, if you’re a student like myself! Here are my favourite ideas for some adorable gifts…

1. Jewellery

Who doesn’t like jewellery, am I right? You could get some statement pieces or some lovely delicate necklaces, all depending on what the person likes! Jewellery Box UK kindly sent me the most lovely Christmas gift, containing three items – a necklace pendant, a bracelet and some earrings – all in the theme of a star. The items on their site are very affordable but the quality is amazing! They come in a little box and you can even choose to get it wrapped if you’re feeling lazy. Definitely something worth checking out for good quality, beautiful and affordable jewellery! There’s something for everyone.

2. Adult Colouring Books

If the person you’re looking for a present is creative, this is definitely something worth considering. These books are much more difficult than your usual colouring books, they need serious precision skills haha. The one I have bought is Harry Potter themed because my friend loves it. This is such a good present idea as you can adjust it to their liking and get it themed. However, if you do not know a specific theme you’d like to go for, there are amazing colouring books like ‘Lost Ocean’ and ‘Secret Garden’ so have a look at those!

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3. Books

Books are always a good idea and there is definitely something out there for everyone! I have chosen Girl Online Going Solo by Zoe Sugg as an example but there are so many amazing books out there! If you’d rather get a more interactive book, I’d suggest ‘Calm’ for someone who’s stressed or Wreck This Journal if they want to bring out their creative side! Always add a pair of cosy socks with a book because they’re the comfiest things on earth.

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4. Make-Up/Beauty Sets

If you know someone who loves make-up, get them a Christmassy make-up palette! I have the Tanya Burr ‘Beautifully Defined’ palette and I think it’s amazing to give to someone as a present. There are a lot of Christmassy beauty/skincare sets in Superdrug (such as Zoella and Tanya Burr) so go have a look – there should be something for everyone.

5. Cup / Mug and Goodies!

You can never go wrong with a cute cup or a mug that’s filled with candy and chocolate! So get a mug or cup of your choice (there’s loads of affordable ones in Primark), fill it with their favourite sweets (or cosy socks) and you’re good to go! Simple but so lovely!

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I hope this gave you some inspiration for Christmas presents! Have a lovely weekend!

– Helina x

Christmas Gift Guide: Under £15!