Yesterday was the first Sunday of advent.

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Christmas is coming earlier and earlier, at least it feels that way.

Feeling a sense of Christmas spirit, Thomas and I thought it fitting to visit the Christmas markets.

We went home with a sense of disappointment. Not because they weren’t spectacular, just because I’ve seen it all before. The annual mug. The John Lewis advert. The ice-skating rinks. Maybe it’s all too commercialised. Maybe our expectations were too great. Maybe we are getting old. Maybe we are starting to question the existence of a certain Mr Claus.

The 20minute drive home from the market left me wondering whether Christmas 2016 was ruined.

Deciding to take a walk down the road to clear my head, hope was restored.

In the distance I saw the a light. Candy canes, Parma Violets, baubles and glitter in the window of local furniture shop, David Gavin rekindled my faith in humanity. This wasn’t another carbon copy Christmas sales pitch. This was just a window of happiness.

Hopefully you’ll find something that puts a smile on your face this Christmas too.

Sunday Walkies – Tatton Park

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Fresh air and green spaces are fundamental to my sanity. Living in a city that is constantly adding more and more to pavements and roads, it is so important to leave the never-ending rush hour behind. Every Sunday I try to take my dog for a long walk. I thought it would be nice to share some of the places we’ve been, just in case you want to go for a walk too.

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Tatton Park will always hold a special place in my heart.

number of deer that roam free here never ceases to amaze me, especially because it is something that you’d never imagine to stumble upon so close to Manchester. There are brown, stoic deer and cute little ‘Bambi’-like deer. I am probably known amongst the deer as ‘the creepy girl that is obsessed with us’. I just stand and stare at them.

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The park is HUGE, you have to pay a parking fee and entry fees for certain areas, but it is worth it. There is an old victorian carousel, two lakes, grass for days, dragonflies, trees, sheep, deer, a stately home, gardens, a little farm and special events. What more could you ask for?

My week with Nadine

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Earlier this year I wrote about how bored I was.

I then got a message from fashion designer, Nadine Merabi asking if I’d like to come and see a bit of her world.

Nadine has created some of the most beautiful dresses I have seen in real life. Sultry, classy and empowering all in one dress. I would be crazy not to say yes to this opportunity.

Then came the doubt:

I study law, law is so black and white… I know nothing about fashion… Oh my gawhhhhd, this is too cool… I know nothing about design… I can knit though… I once fixed a hole in a sock… I’m not that outgoing… I can’t draw… We both come from sporting backgrounds… I do wear clothes and like to feel pretty, so i suppose it could work? 

After deciding I had nothing to lose, I said yes.

Unfortunately it was during exam time, so I didn’t get to spend as much time as I would’ve liked with her and her ambitious team.

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Whilst there I was fortunate enough to go the behind the scenes of two awesome Manchester based brands Nadine Merabi and Bodaskins. Both have been successful in creating more than just items of clothing. When you wear those dresses or leather jackets, you become part of a certain lifestyle, you develop a certain persona.

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I am no doctor, but I quickly figured out that Nadine is probably clinically insane! She brings her tortoise ‘Frank(ie)’ everywhere with her, initially she thought it was a boy, but then found out that it was a girl. She talks to Frankie like she’s a little person. I somehow managed to manoeuvre my way around the organised chaos which was Nadine Merabi. As I spoke to her more, I realised that she was brilliant, true to herself and full of life. You could tell that behind all of the personality and sparkle was a determined young woman that would work her butt off to transform her visions into a reality.

For all the young girls searching for a role model, I think I just found one for you.

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