What I Got My Family For Christmas | Edinburgh Edition

Processed with VSCO with ku1 presetI love a good old gift giving. I’m SUCH a sucker for it. My family is not big on Christmas, at least not on the gifting part. Last year we weren’t going to do any gift exchange whatsoever, but I caved at the last moment and ended up on a little shopping spree buying each person from my family a little Christmas present. Then, on Christmas Eve, I wrapped them all up, wrote a little Christmas card with a little explanation as to why I brought them each what I brought, then I signed it from ‘Santa’ and then put it all out on the kitchen table once everyone else had gone to bed. I told you, I’m SUCH A SUCKER. This year is no exception. I went to all of my favourite local shops in Edinburgh to get the best of the best for the people I love most. …

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A Beginner's Holiday Nails!

I’m definitely still a beginner when it comes to doing my nails. No matter how hard I try, I just never have the patience or stillness to do them nicely, but I still love to have them done! I think it looks so professional and fancy when you’ve got nail polish on, but my nails are really brittle so if it’s not shellac it’s going to start peeling or chipping REALLY fast. Here are my holiday nails, which have a solution to every one of my problems :)…

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25 Things to do This December

Let Blogmas Begin! I thought a nice way to kick off December would be a little bit of inspiration for those of you who aren’t sure how to spend your extra time, or how to get into the holiday spirit! All of these are going to be fairly low-budget because let’s face it, I’m low budget. Here we go:

  1. GO THRIFTING! Either alone or with a friend, find the most ridiculous and wonderful things for cheap – bonus points if you find a killer holiday sweater.
  2. Harry Potter Movie Marathon. This is a must for anyone that has more than a few days off. Even if you’ve never seen it, do it. Trust me. Bonus points for lots of snacks, extra points if they’re homemade.
  3. BETTER YET: Read Harry Potter. Or any other book, I just feel like Harry Potter has a holiday feel to it. My favourite is the Prisoner of Azkaban but you can’t really start in the middle if you haven’t read it before so….. The Philosopher’s Stone it is!
  4. Make a moodboard about literally anything you want. Holiday party moodboard? Do it. Fashion inspiration moodboard? Get! That! Blogging inspiration board? WONDERFUL IDEA. Mood! Board! It! Up! It’s such a fun way to self reflect AND get crafty. Win, win. moodboard ---
  5. GO ICE SKATING! Ohhhhh it’s getting wintery up in here now. Ice skating isn’t quite so cheap if you don’t have skates but it’s FUN! Best part of skating: super fun and great work out if you know how to do it AND if you don’t then there’s only super cute and funny times to be had. Bonus points if you know how to play hockey and you scrimmage when you skate (someone do this with me please).
  6. An hour long (at least) dance party. Alone. In your room. Bonus points if it’s to Taylor Swift’s new album cause that’s where I’m at currently. Seriously, I’m bopping as I type this. I guess bonus points if it’s Christmas music too but I can’t really get down to that. Except Text Me Marry Christmas – ICONIC SONG. IMG_0587
  7. Go through an old photo album (or your Facebook profile) because SO MANY LAUGHS. This one is for the days you don’t want to leave the house but your brain feels like it will melt if you watch anymore Netflix. Photo albums are simultaneously hilarious and nostalgic and they’ll make you ugly cry and snicker at the same time, and there’s nothing better than that.
  8. Make yourself the best, most ultimate, rich and luxurious hot chocolate you could possibly have. You’re going to want it so over the top you’re going to question yourself whether you got this baby from Serendipity 3. I’m thinking whippsed cream, I’m thinking marshmallows, I’m thinking peppermint sprinkles, chocolate shavings, a candy cane and stick of cinnamon. TREAT YO SELF, HOLIDAY STYLEhot choco 1
  9. Visit your grandparents if they’re still around. If not, spend time writing a letter to someone you love that lives far away. If neither of these apply to you, find a dog and hug it. If you’re not a dog person I don’t know what to tell you ’cause I’ve never seen a cat hug. Just spread some love to people who always love on you and maybe don’t always get alllll the love they deserve back. It makes a difference to them, I promise.
  10. Girls night with wine and cheese and glitter and gossip. Everyone needs a stupid write off night with their friends every once in awhile – especially after a loooooong semester.
  11. I for real just scrolled up to make sure I didn’t promise these would be fun (and I didn’t)…ready for it? CLEAN UP! One of the benefits of having a lil extra time is to have time to clean up the clutter and chaos in your life, so if you’re not there yet, here’s your reminder. Clean your room, wash your sheets, throw out things you don’t need anymore, reorganise, revitalise, REINVIGORATE! I’ll be fun now ok.
  12. Go for a hike with a friend! (Even if they’re furry! Bonus points if they’re furry!) In my case this hike involves snowshoes but usually that just means double the laughs every time one falls off or I fall over. There’s something reeeeally nice about getting outside when it’s snowy and cold and taking in the nature after you’ve been holed up inside for awhile. dogies
  13. Practice your Christmas/NYE makeup or hair ~look~. I just think it’s fun to play around with makeup, and it’s nice to get the hang of a look that’s a little more ~out there~ than usual. Also it’s fun to get dressed up and feel fancy so do it up! Then take 50 selfies and bask in your own gloriousness, you go. (I just googled if that’s how you spell bask lol)
  14. Bake some mf christmas cookies. Who cares if you celebrate christmas bc cookies, cookies are for everyone. I’m talking shortbread, I’m talking christmas spices, cookies shaped like trees and snowmen are here for EVERYONE and they are delicious. I’m invisioning biting of the snowman’s head and I’m filled with glee. This is what the holidays are about. My favourite recipe is, you guessed it, Taylor Swift’s Chai Sugar Cookies. I’m coming off like a crazy swiftie aren’t I? This is a side you’ve never seen of me.
  15. Do a puzzle. That’s right, I’m bringing back puzzles. Listen guys, puzzles are GREAT. I rediscovered this a few years ago when at an impromptu girls night my friends and I decided to do a puzzle and listen to – guess who? – old T-Swift. It was wonderful. I bought a Christmas puzzle and my mom and I are already planning it out – because yes puzzles needed planning. We don’t mess around.
  16. Go to a Christmas or craft market. Best thing about these is that there’s no pressure to purchase, so you can get a coffee and browse around looking at all the wonderful little things and just take in the ambiance. 10/10 holiday thing to do.
  17. Bubble bath time – I really want to use a bad word but then I think, what if my little cousins find my blog? What if I become really famous for an unknown reason and then I’m scrutinized for things like this? Anyways. Bubble baths are pretty straight forward, you know what you like. Note: no bubbles are necessary, perhaps a lush bath bomb is more your speed, or a little Epsom salt. You do you, get a lil drink, get a good book (or Netflix show and set that laptop up on your toilet) and relax because it’s December, school is done for now and you have no responsibilities. The world is wonderful. bb
  18. For month-long entertainment, go pick up a disposable camera. Haven’t you watched Stranger Things? Retro is in. Seriously these are pretty cheep and they’re fun to have around and pick special moments to document! You can easily play around with film photography and also make funny memories (because people will laugh when you whip yours out).
  19. Spend some time catching up on your journal (ngl this is more of a personal reminder ha), or if you’re into it, google up some writing prompts and get CREATIVE! I know this isn’t for everyone but I love it. Writing prompts can be great to get them creative juices flowing. I dare you to write something inspired by these prompts (I’m looking @ you Taylor. Write a song about me already).
  20. Learn all the lyrics to a new song. Bonus points if you do it with a sister/sibling/friend. My sister and I used to sit with a pen and notepad and listen to songs at caterpillar speed, write out the lyrics, and then learn them all. This is how I learned how to sing The Element Song – one of my greater talents, Dan Rad doesn’t have anything on me. Nowadays you can easily Google it but is it just me or is it getting harder to remember lyrics? Am I getting old?? Bonus points if you can play an instrument on there (I’m doing New Years Day on piano. I can’t play piano).
  21. Take a printed picture you have – sidenote: if you don’t print your pictures, pick your favs and print them out. Okay now take a bigger piece of paper, and get all Tumblr in it. By this I mean create a lil art around the picture, based on the picture. This is a wonderful way to inspire yourself to get artsy. Even if you’re not good at it (like me) it’s fun and you spend time on your own just getting creative and thoughtful and it’s just the best.
  22. PHOTO SHOOT IT UP! You had to see this coming. Bonus points if you have friends who don’t care and will go out in public and do a photo shoot with you. Extra bonus points if you try it with a film camera. This is just a fun way to push yourself out of your shell – because yes it feels weird for everyone doing it, but once you decide you don’t care and you’d rather just have a good time with your friends and get some cute pictures and memories out of it, no one cares anymore.
  23. People watch! This can be hard if you live in a smaller town like me, but malls are always bustling around this time of the year so that’s a sure bet. I’d like to get a gooood coffee and just sit and watch society for awhile. You’d be amazed at some of the stuff that goes on out there. Insane. coffee date
  24. Do a Youtube tutorial – but, like, a wild one. Pick something you love – music, makeup, hair, nails, dance, whatever, and find a tutorial of something that looks hectic and awesome, and try it. Dance tutorials seem like a good idea (hoedown throwdown anyone?) but I’m the worst dancer – does it make it any less fun? Not in the slightest. I’m really trying to cut back on how often I use the word fun.
  25. I CAN’T BELIEVE I MADE IT HERE THANK GOODNESS GRACIOUS! The one you’ve all been waiting for: give it up and spend the day watching Netflix. I’m serious. Take your OTT Serendipity3 hot chocolate, your Taylor Swift chair sugar cookies, and sit your ass (ah! a curse!) in front of the TV for awhile. Lucky for you, tomorrow’s post is a Netflix guide for only the best in Netflix – it’s the worst to flip through there with nothing to watch. The worst.

I did it I really did it! One other thing I’m doing during Blogmas is a daily “Moment Behind the Blog” because I feel like none of you know me me and I want you to! Hi! I’m Sabrina Mara! This is my blog! Welcome! Here’s today’s…
Moment Behind The Blog: Day 1
I’m writing this on November 28 – I just finished one heck of a paper. Background: I’m in my final year of my HBa in History. I love it. It’s horrible and I am such a hecking nerd I genuinely love it. That being said – it’s SO HARD to write about fun things to do when you’re free of school knowing I still have this one HECKIN long paper to write between now and then. FRUSTRATION.
Also – Heckin is officially my replacement word for every swear. Just decided that right now. It’ll be like Eleanor on The Good Place (what’s that?! Wait until tomorrow!)
Your question of the day: Since I was so extra about TSwift in this – what’s your favourite song on reputation?! (Don’t lie, I know you have one).

For More Fashion Stuffs | What’s In My Wardrobe?

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Baking | Taylor Swift's Chai Sugar Cookies

Taylor tumblred about the cookies wayyyyy back in the good old days of 2014. Ever since, I’ve baked these bad boys on the first snow of the year. Ladies and gentlemen and everyone in between, today IS IN FACT the first snow of the year. That’s right, October 27 and she’s snowin’ up a storm in gooooood old Canada. Winter is here. Again. And so are these cookies.

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December in Instagram!

I’m on top of my game this month and am actually writing this post on the last day of the month! Only took me 12 months but here we are. If you’re new here – throughout the year I’ve been posting a review of my month as seen through my Instagram. I find it’s a nice way to show you guys what I get up to in between blog posts (and also showcase my stellar photography skills – I’m joking). Here’s December!

(The pictures run from most recent to least, top to bottom, left to right.)


a friendly reminder for the end of the year!  ♡ layering appreciation post  ♡ journaling

wishing everyone a happy holiday!  ♡ check out my gift wrap  ♡ winter adventures!


decorating with nutcrackers  ♡ literally wrapped all these gifts ♡ steph‘s 22nd birthday!!!

luscious hair/chubby faced selfie  ♡ christmas work party!  ♡ look at my pretty dress!

#tbt dun laoghaire  ♡ instead of an angel, we have an owl  ♡ #tbt national conservatory


annual dying of exams selfie  ♡ i touched those antlers!!!!!!  ♡ love to my history girls

#tbt national conservatory  ♡ tbay art gallery appreciation  ♡ 20s party!!!

i want to live here. 1st pic of december!  ♡ these last two are from nov but ya know  ♡

(Pictures are generally edited with either the G3 or M5 filters on VSCO, and Ludwig on Insta!)

Any mention of a blog post or video has been made into a clickable link so please do click through and explore my month a little more if you feel so inclined. I didn’t post a ton this month, I’ve been having a bit of an Instagram inspiration block – especially recently. Comment your Instagram usernames so I can check them out!

x Sabrina

You can check out my past Instagram 2016 posts here:

January ~ February ~ March ~ April ~ May ~ June ~ July ~ August ~ September ~ November

Find me: Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | YouTube | Facebook

ps. when you’re reading this I’ll be heading to NYC! Make sure you give my instagram a follow so you catch all my street style snaps, x

Beauty | L'Occitane Advent Calendar Review

14875321_10154707350703493_371023932_n14885722_10154707350288493_316362347_nIt’s almost December which means it’s almost beauty advent calendar season! I found the L’Occitane  was the best one in terms of quality of products and cost. If you’re new to beauty advent calendars, or if you’re still looking for the perfect one check out this lil review I’ve done.

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