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My Minimalist Christmas Decorations

My Minimalist Christmas Decorations

The terms at uni were so short that I was always home in Boston in time for the holiday decorating season let alone the holidays themselves. This year, however, The Monkey and I are together in Edinburgh late enough in December to justify some festive cheer. 

My Minimalist Christmas Decorations

A non-negotiable for the Monkey was that we get a real Christmas tree, even if it’s tiny and potted like this one! We picked it up from the florist down the street, with a wreath ^ to match. Apparently we can pot it in the back garden after Christmas and repot it for next year, and though I am not confident enough in my gardening abilities to guarantee that, it’s a nice thought.

My Minimalist Christmas Decorations

I’ve hand-stitched all the ornaments using this Cath Kidston craft book as my guide! I love little crafts, but refrain from them because I’m often like what am I ever going to do with this?, so this was a good productive excuse to craft! 

My Minimalist Christmas Decorations

My Minimalist Christmas Decorations

Monkey was in charge of the tree topper, so he made a paper wizard hat.

My Minimalist Christmas Decorations

I love using our little widow panes as spaces to decorate. Here are some cardboard decorations that came with my Graze box and a Christmas card from Coco!

My Minimalist Christmas Decorations

There are always crayons and colouring paper in the house, so when guests come over they can help us decorate. An unanticipated bonus of hosting a Christmas cookies party was filling the space with a fresh stack of hand-drawn cards.

My Minimalist Christmas DecorationsMy Minimalist Christmas Decorations

miss xandra bee

P.S. my guide to wrapping gifts like a minimalist!

Mini Adventure: Pandas in the Speakeasy

Soundtrack for this episode of Mini Adventures: 

Mini Adventure: Pandas in the Speakeasy

Sometimes letting others take the lead brings about the best adventures. I’m normally the one to research, plan, and reserve outings, but I’ve never been the expert on cocktails, so when my friend said she knew a place, I said let’s go for it.

On the phone, I thought I heard “Panda and Sons“, but that seemed like an odd name for a cocktail bar – was it Pandersons or something? Nope. Definitely pandas. Even more confusingly, the place appeared to be a barber shop, and appeared to be closed. The 25¢ shave advertised should have been a clue. 

Mini Adventure: Pandas in the Speakeasy

Around the corner was nothing but a wall of books. But push through it, and voila. Speakeasy. It’s the kind of thing I’ve only read about in books and blogs.

Mini Adventure: Pandas in the Speakeasy

Pandas indeed! Meet the sophisticated namesake of the establishment.

Mini Adventure: Pandas in the Speakeasy

Munching on spiced popcorn, I first perused the menu, but decided to go for the classic Bamboo Cocktail, first on the list. It turned out to be pretty swanky, but not as the Robinson Crusoe, whisky on a platter with grilled pineapple syrup to mix in yourself, and a treasure map.

Mini Adventure: Pandas in the SpeakeasyMini Adventure: Pandas in the Speakeasy

“Rewind back to the days before the Internet when a classic novel would let your mind run free with imagination. These drinks are designed to do the same with your taste buds.”

Of course I was giddy to read this description, being me, and especially given my current project, Letters from Jane Austen, 52 weeks of simplicity via some of my favourite heroines [are you subscribed?].

Sure, I could have read about this place on Yelp or in one of my coveted travel books, but really. This was the way to do it. So when adventure calls, sometimes, don’t ask questions. Just say yes.

miss xandra bee

P.S. more lessons on living in the moment: Content is Queen.

Mini Adventure: a Most Curious Afternoon Tea

Mini Adventure: a Most Curious Afternoon Tea

Edinburgh is the city of hidden gems. Really hidden, and in plain sight. How many times have I gone down Frederick Street and completely overlooked the Alice in Wonderland tea room up a short, tucked away flight of steps? Once in on the secret, I simply had to sip tea with lady friends in this curious café.

Mini Adventure: a Most Curious Afternoon Tea

Mini Adventure: a Most Curious Afternoon TeaOnce in on the secret, I simply had to sip tea with lady friends in this curious café.Once in on the secret, I simply had to sip tea with lady friends in this curious café.

With topsy turvy tables and tea that is divine, Curious Tea Rooms will be the place I dip into whenever I need a whiff of Wonderland.

miss xandra bee

P.S. little steps towards believing in magic.

Sunday Sampling: Put Your Own Oxygen Mask on First

SUNDAY-SAMPLING

♡ brush up on your rockefeller christmas tree knowledge on this adorably informed history blog.

♡ the science of how writing is good for you! Yay :)

♡ note for self care: put your own oxygen mask on first!

♡ solutions to ALL of your laundry problems, including stains & smells galore.

♡ the real-life inspiration for disney’s princess tiana!

♡ a very personal, vulnerable, article about hitting rock bottom – with a happy ending!

♡ and finally. cookie science.

miss xandra bee

On Waiting

On Waiting

When was the last time you sat still? Do you remember what it feels like to wait patiently?

Sat alone at a table, alone outside, waiting for a friend, it feels awkward to just stand or sit. 

So we pull out our phones, fiddle with our things, pretend to be busy.

We open new tabs while we wait for the first one to load.

But it is so much more restful, calm, and mindful to simply be. Look at your surroundings instead of scrambling to distract yourself from them.

When I remember to do this, I feel wonderful.

miss xandra bee

P.S. There isn’t room





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