The night before Christmas

Well, here we are on Christmas Eve, ready to hang our stockings and celebrate one of the most exciting days in the calendar!
I wanted to end the blog this year on a merry little note and wish you all well as we turn over to a new year; a new start.

Tonight we will be snuggling with the children by the fire and we will read Clement. C. Moore’s  ’The night before Christmas’. This is such a beautiful poem that really mirrors the excitement and anticipation we feel contemplating the arrival of the child Jesus on Christmas Eve. I really hope you have a restful and joyful Christmas, whatever plans you may or may not have. I hope the new year will bring you an opportunity to start afresh and to continue your journey with a glad heart.

I thought I would leave you the poem below, it really is a beautiful little Christmas Eve read- especially if you have excited littles around!

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

"Now, DASHER! now, DANCER! now, PRANCER and VIXEN!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

Merry Christmas to you!




A Very Country Christmas

I've really been enjoying incorporating fresh spruce into the christmas decorations this year. Last year it just wasn't practical to do as we lived in a high rise apartment and, aside from the physical difficulty of getting a real tree in the lift and up to the apartment,  somehow I felt our old home wouldn't suit such a 'country Christmas' vibe. 

As a result, this year I have definitely felt tempted to go OTT with the decor! Whilst on the whole, I have managed to restrain myself from going completely crazy with it all, I have settled on having two pieces of swagging to sit above our radiator covers in our kitchen and hallway. They really help to create more of a 'flow' and most importantly, help to spread that wonderful Christmas tree fragrance all over the house!

The swagging is full of dried fruits, berries and pine cones which give a really lovely, traditional feel. I have also weaved some copper fairy lights into the branches to create a warm glow and make the piece more eye catching. I love that by 3pm when the natural light fades, these little twinkly lights come into their own and really brighten up our downstairs space!

Swagging has been around for such a long time as a traditional Christmas decoration and it's lovely that it is still used today to create a festive, celebratory feel within the home. I totally cheated this year and had mine made up, but with more time and organisation, I would love to be able to create my own (maybe next year!) 

My children are also really enjoying all the added fairy lights around the home and 'christmas trees' everywhere! We are starting to slow down now as Christmas approaches. With the house cleaned from top to bottom, I feel ready to switch off and enter into the spirit of the season properly.
Here's to a wonderful Christmas to all!
I'm off to read the story of the Nativity and take some time to really contemplate the next few days!




Raising Those Rascals

Hey everyone and welcome to this week’s #RaisingThoseRascals post!
It’s so lovely to finally be on the wind down to Christmas, isn’t it? The 'to do' lists are getting shorter, the presents are nearly all sorted and the copious amount of wrapping, almost complete!
We’ve definitely had a jam packed week; it’s just been so busy preparing, organising, hosting friends over the weekend- whilst snatching every spare minute to just be as a family. I’m certainly not complaining though! Christmas is all about family isn’t it? Joseph, Mary and the little baby Jesus coming into the world!

I’ve definitely had a real sense of thankfulness this week. I saw a programme the other night about how families across Britain spend Christmas on the poverty line and it broke my heart seeing the hardships many of them go through, day in and day out. But what really struck me the most was their unshakable love of family through thick and thin. For some, gifts didn’t really play a part in Christmas; what was cherished above all was the family all being together and being grateful for what they do have.
It really touched me the more I thought about it. No matter what your situation in life is, we all have something to be thankful for, something to be grateful for. For me, our faith and family are it. We don’t always get it right and we don’t always get along, but these are the people we have been specially placed with to share our lives with. I guess there’s a responsibility there to maintain, preserve and encourage our relationships with one another from a place of love.

As you can see from my own images, our week has involved a lot of cosy pyjama mornings. While I've been wrapping like a crazy person, my boys have enjoyed scampering around the place playing together. Jonah is particularly fond of wet wipes at the moment and I keep catching him sneaking off with them in his mouth...apparently they're the most tasty thing to munch on! 

It was so lovely seeing all your entries on the hashtag #RaisingThoseRascals this week, especially all the festivities, the fun and the cheekiness! For the first time I feel a sense of this little hashtag growing into an expanding family of parents and littles, walking this life together. So thanks for continuing to share and support this!

As always, I’ve included some of the images that really captured me! How cute are these?:
@thewoodlandlife- We're right there with you, apparently Christmas trees make the best dens ever!

@rachelwill87- Jumping in muddy puddles, what better way to spend your time!?

@the.life.of.charlie.and.me- This is such a gorgeous photo! What a cutie pie!

@mrspthefarmerswife- This gorgeous photo takes me straight back to my newborn days with my own boys. It's such a special time isn't it?! I'm pretty sure you're making all of us #RaisingThoseRascals followers broody! :p

Thanks once again to all you lovelies for joining in and sharing your moments in #RaisingThoseRascals. I'm looking forward to seeing all your Christmas celebrations and sharing with you some of our festivities too!

Merry Christmas!




Feeling festive with Dirty Pretty Vintage

This week I’ve posted a few times about some different gift/ decorative ideas and businesses worth exploring before Christmas. For any of you last minute shoppers out there (like myself), keep reading because I have another gorgeous home accessories shop to introduce you to this evening! 

When I first discovered Dirty Pretty Vintage, I warmed to their curation of products that really conjured that feeling of 'home'. Whether looking for gifts for loved ones, or indeed decorative pieces for your own home, Dirty Pretty Vintage have a fabulous selection of treats that will certainly inspire you to feel all Christmassy this season! 

To help me on with my decorating for Christmas, Dirty Pretty Vintage generously gifted me this beautiful wooden reindeer, which has since taken pride of place in various locations around our home. I especially love the simplicity of this design and how easily it fits in with our other decorations.
My toddler Noah also has his eyes set firmly on our Mr. Reindeer- it seems he has a keen desire to 'make friends' with him too, which is rather sweet!

Having enjoyed this little guy in our home over the past few days, I feel as though it's the kind of piece that could find a place in the house at any time of the year really. If you like all things rustic and shabby chic, then i'm sure you would be able to find a little nook or corner to enjoy this festive friend throughout the year.
 I've actually been thinking that once we get past the Christmas season, I might let Noah keep this one in his bedroom, where they can become best buddies!

Simple, rustic and utterly charming, I feel this reindeer really encapsulates a lot of Sass & Belle's character as a business. If you haven't visited their website, (here) I would definitely encourage you to take a wee look. But I warn you first, there is temptation everywhere! 

Have a great weekend everyone!


*This is a collaborative post with Dirty Pretty Vintage. Whilst I was kindly gifted the product mentioned above, all opinions expressed are representative of Bunty Living*



A few changes around here...

Hey guys, 
I mentioned yesterday that a few changes are going to be happening around here. I just wanted to let you know what's going on with the blog and introduce you to the new website address! (yay!)

This year the blog really came into its own in ways I did't expect. Aside from the amazing businesses I have had the opportunity to collaborate with, I'm even more grateful to each and every one of you who have continued to read and follow the blog and I really appreciate your thoughtful comments, emails and ongoing support. 

I have always wanted this blog to be a fun and engaging space. Primarily, my hope was that it would become a happy little escape for you to enjoy on your coffee break. With more of you reading, I really wanted to ensure that the blog looked the best it could be in order to make your experience of it more enjoyable, easy to navigate and with a heavy emphasis on clear imagery.
I also wanted the blog to get away from the standard format it's been relying on and to really push to make it my own, whilst gravitating towards a more current scheme in the general blogosphere.

My first port of call was to come up with ideas for the new website and how I wanted to represent the blog to you all. Secondly, I wanted to take hold of my own domain name to individualise my blog and create a more professional identity within the world of blogging. I had deliberated on buying my own domain name for months but I refused to rush the process as I wanted to be sure of the name I was finally going to commit to. In the end, Bunty Living won through- I guess this little corner has grown and has taken on an identity that I don't want to interrupt now!

I want the blog to feel professional but still very personal and these are elements that have played a huge part in the overall design. Introducing little details such as my signature to sign off each of my blog posts have been a fun way to make them retain more of a 'pen-friend' look as opposed to a computer generated script!

I guess the biggest news is that we have moved to www.buntyliving.com, I know, I know...it might seem kinda mundane or even unsurprising, but for me this is such a big step forward. It's a really positive way to end a year that has also been full of steps forward and I have been overwhelmed by the support I have received by many of you. Thank you!

I know I have been going on about how I've changed my blog this way and that, but really, this is OUR blog! You have played a huge part in helping me realise the potential here by just taking the time to read. You don't know how much that means to me as 'a small fish in a very large pond!' Thank you, thank you!

I hope you don't mind my rambling but I wanted to take a moment to explain where the blog is at and also to thank you for allowing me to do this. Your generosity and supportive nature have really spurred me on and amazing things are happening as a result.

Those are some of the big changes for this week. I'll keep you updated with more as and when :)

Have a fab rest of your evening all, 



Clarins Love

Hello loves, I wanted to squeeze in a little beauty post before Christmas and so I thought I would mention two skincare products that have been making a real difference to my skin over the past few weeks.
When I stopped breastfeeding Jonah a few months back, the skin on my face kinda went a bit crazy. Having never suffered from acne in the past, I developed a permanent outbreak on my chin that just wouldn't budge and could hardly be covered even with makeup. 
I was also a lot more prone to blemishes and redness and quite honestly felt like my face was having a mid-life crisis come early! It seemed that no facial scrub, wash, cleanser or cream seemed to make any difference whatsoever and I was beginning to wonder if this was it now!
It seems such a silly thing in the grand scheme, but with everything going on at the time, feeling self-conscious about my face was one extra stress I didn't need. I pretty much quit wearing makeup in the last couple of weeks and just stripped back my face routine to the bare minimum in the hopes everything would settle down.

In a bit of a last ditch attempt, I decided to go back to the routine I had for my wedding. Honestly, I had completely forgotten how lovely Clarin's skincare products are! I practically begged the lady at the counter for everything she could offer and finally went home with their eye revive cream, the Hydraquench cream and the promise of a visible difference in the next few days.

The beauty flash eye revive cream is apparently an extremely popular product and a long time favourite with Clarin's customers. Created to tackle most eye area concerns, this all in one cream packs a punch for its small size! I began applying this twice a day and pretty instantly had good results. These days, my eyes are far less tired and puffy, especially in the mornings or with interrupted sleep. The formula is really soothing and gentle, basically it's everything you would look for in an eye cream! It also seems to last all day as when the evening comes I can feel it washing off my face- even if i've had a full face of makeup on that day. This really is a lovely product that I can see myself being quite attached to! 

The Hydraquench cream is hands down my favourite product of the two. It really feels like a burst of hydration on the skin whenever I wear it- I really love this stuff! Again, I use this twice a day and it totally banishes any feeling of tightness or irritability. What's more is that within the first week of using this, I noticed quite a significant improvement in my skin. Not only was it no longer feeling so dry and uncomfortable, but the blemishes were beginning to calm down and disappear. 

This is a really lovely product that seems to magically understand the needs of your skin and work to meet them. In the winter especially, this is the ideal facial cream to protect from the effects of the temperature. I've been so pleasantly surprised by my little pot and now I can't imagine not using it!

 Are any of you Clarins fans? What's your favourite product?




Gift guide with Perfectly Lovely Interiors

Finding the right gifts for loved ones isn't always an easy task but it's certainly made a heck of a lot easier when you come by shops that excel at tapping into your own sense of creativity and drawing it out of you.
I know that's exactly how I felt when I made the happy discovery of Perfectly Lovely Interiors last month. Well, if the name alone doesn't hook you in, the goodies on offer in this gorgeous little online shop are sure to bring a smile to even Ebenezer Scrooge's face this Christmas!

It was such a pleasure chatting to Jen who runs Perfectly Lovely Interiors and it was inspiring to get to see her real enthusiasm for what she does. Jen's shop is very much a family run business with a strong incline towards pretty, shabby chic and french styled decorative accessories. 
She kindly gifted me this beautiful LED star light which I have been using all over our home. I think the usability of this star is one of it's best assets- my only problem is deciding where to keep it as I want one in every room! 

I think this is such a lovely idea for a gift this Christmas. Not only would it be suitable as a night light for little one's in a nursery, (We've had it in Noah's room and he loves it there!) but it's also very pretty just around the house as a decorative piece. I've been playing with ours quite a bit: setting it up in our hallway, moving it into the lounge and then through into the kitchen and I STILL can't decide where I like it best!

I feel this is the kind of decorative piece that can have so many variations and is extremely family friendly as a result. It looks just as lovely with the light off as it does switched on, and being battery operated, it's very easy to place wherever you want without having to linger near an electric socket! 

Carnival lights do seem to be all the rage this year. I know I've  noticed that you don't have to look far to see them in many shops. However, what I particularly like about this one is how neutral the wooden frame is and therefore, easy to place alongside various decor schemes. It doesn't clash and it's not too overbearing either. The glowing light the star emits is so gentle and I feel it makes our living space all the more cosy in these deep mid-winter evenings.

Are you a fan of the classic carnival light? 
You can find this star and plenty of other lovely gifts over at Perfectly Lovely Interiors
Perhaps a little pre-christmas treat for yourself? Go on...you know you deserve it!

Love Bunty

*This is a collaborative post. Whilst I was kindly gifted the product mentioned above, all opinions expressed are representative of Bunty Living*



Oh Christmas tree!



Raising Those Rascals



Teaching Noah about Christmas



Christmas style with Laura Ashley



Wild and free


Wedding baubles!

Getting out our tree decorations this year filled me with the same excitement it always does. The memories of where and when we purchased each one came flooding back. I love that they bring back the joy we had of decorating our first ever tree as a married couple. I really hope most of our baubles will stay intact for years to come as they hold a lot of sentimental value. Having said that, glass and toddlers don't mix very well!



Raising Those Rascals

Hi lovelies, welcome to another week of Raising Those Rascals! If you're new to this campaign, then hello to you! Raising Those Rascals is all about promoting a supportive and friendly atmosphere in our social networks, where parents can share the highs and lows of their parenting journeys together. Sometimes we all need reminding that most of the images posted online are representative of the 'better moments' in our days. We don't normally post about the nitty gritty, the tantrums, the tears, the toddler drama, and the exhausted mama or daddy struggling to get to the end of the day. Raising Those Rascals is all about promoting authentic, real life and more importantly, recognising that sometimes as a parent, you just need to hear that you're in the same boat, (or ferry!) as most other parents out there!
 Mamas you are not alone!

We seem to have had a pretty full on week again. Today was particularly hectic, hence how late this post is getting online! (Sorry!) I turned my back for a second earlier and found Noah running around with our Sky viewing card and Jonah sampling some left over ash from the fireplace... I mean, I really couldn't make this stuff up!



Winter baby hat!

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