With Christmas now just 10 days away I wanted to tell you about a little stat that I read this week. In a YouGov 2018 survey conducted by Aldi they found that 50% of people are ‘Christmas planners’ they start shopping early, budget their money for food, drinks and gifts whereas 20% of people are a ‘Christmas Panicker’ and leave Christmas shopping until the last moment and often run over budget.

I’ll be honest, usually I am the latter, usually it’s Christmas Eve and I’m still buying a few last gifts and attempting to wrap everything just in time. I am lucky enough to have a huge family but that does mean I have a lot of people to buy for
at Christmas and spending Christmas Eve wrapping last minute gifts isn’t the best way to spend the day.

Which is why this year I have started early, I have bought almost all my gifts back in November and I’ve almost finished wrapping. I think this year I’m finally a ‘Christmas Planner’. I even have a spreadsheet.

A lot of my Christmas shopping was done at Aldi this year, I love Aldi, it’s not only an affordable supermarket but they have some real standout quality products.

The first Christmas thing to catch my eye at Aldi this year was their beauty range! They have everything from makeup to skincare and although they are very affordable I have found the quality to not be at all compromised! The pink mask is one of my favourite items from the Aldi beauty range and it’s the perfect stocking filler but I’m still hoping to try the Lacura Broadway Shape & Glow palette, which I have heard rave reviews about.

And for the person that has everything I love their hampers, I have one which I’ll be sharing with my mum but I’m after another one for my aunt who is kind enough to host us every Christmas. I think the hampers are a great gift that the while family can share. They are different hampers filled to the brim with different items; from cakes and cracker to cranberry sauce and wine. There are also different hampers at different price points starting at just £24.99. The one I have is the £59.99 but it feels so much more expensive!


They also have some great pamper hampers that are just £29.99! I’ve unboxed one over on my IGTV, inside there is a hand wash, reed diffuser, hand & body cream, a beautiful two wick candle and- to finish it all off, a bottle of prosecco! Although the whole hamper is cheaper then many luxury candles alone I love everything that is inside, we currently have the hand-wash in the bathroom and the reed diffuser in the entrance of our home. It scents the whole house really well but also looks great. They’re available in Pomegranate and Lime, Basil & Mandarin– I wish I could recommend one but I love them both!


If you’re looking for affordable but luxurious-looking candles then I have just the thing! Aldi’s two wick Luxury Fragranced Candles are best sellers and often hard to get as they’re so popular. I have these scenting my house at the moment but I’ve also got a few wrapped ready to go under the Christmas tree. You can get single ones for just £3.99 and a trio for £11.97.

As a family we love Aldi food but for me their Christmas food really stands out. Personal favourite are slow gin mince pies and their fudge- I’ve stocked up on both and I’ll be giving some away as gifts but also keeping some for myself to eat throughout December. It may only be mid-December but I’ve made my way through a whole box of mince pies- they’re my absolute favourite. I really think Aldi is the place to go for all your Christmas snacks/starters too; we eat their smoked salmon year round but I have my eye on their Scottish Salmon Carpaccio and mushroom arancini. I must admit I know nothing about cooking Turkeys (Aldi have those too) but I do know about all the trimmings and Aldi is the perfect place for them! Everything from stuffing Yule logs to Honey & mustard parsnips and my personal favourite, the giant Pigs in Blankets.


If you have a sweet tooth then they also have some great desserts and treats! I’ve mentioned the mince pies and fudge but they also have some great bits to really dress up any dessert table. Their Panna Cotta Wreath is tasty and beautiful, they have a melt in the middle sponge pudding, which I haven’t tried yet but really need to! However, for the real wow factor have a look for their chocolate carousels, I spotted one in store and they’re beautiful! I even managed to get my hands on some halloumi fries. Not for Christmas but I’ve been dying to try them and I finally found them in stock. They’re so popular and sell out so quick that I was starting to wonder if they’re even real!


How is your Christmas shopping going? Are you a Christmas Panicker or a Christmas Planner?

*Post kindly sponsored by Aldi, as always thoughts are honest & my own. I really do love Aldi!

We had such a fun time in Barcelona- which means we ate lots! Michael and I absolutely love food so our days we’re quite focused around where we ate. We really indulged (trying to be super healthy now!) but we walked so much whilst away that we didn’t feel super guilty and to be honest I just had such a great time that I’m not too worried about the calories. I think what I’m trying to say is that if you’re looking for a super healthy list- this isn’t it. We ate doughnuts from local bakeries, Filipinos (biscuits we don’t get in the UK) from the supermarkets, pancakes for breakfast and burgers for dinner- it was great!

Brunch & Cake
If you’re in Barcelona for the Instagram posts you simply have to visit here, just check our their Instagram here. I have never seen such Instagramable food! That said the lighting inside is awful so I’d recommend sitting outside if you can. Michael went for Pancakes, which were completely covered in beautiful fruits and a pink coffee (I can’t remember what it was), I opted for their take on egg benedict: shrimp, poached eggs, lobster hollandaise and salad on house made black bun with a fresh juice. It was one of our healthiest meals but the portions are huge- although I’d say it’s a tiiinny bit of style of substance, the food was nice, don’t get me wrong, but not amazing, although it looked amazing. It’s great for breakfast, lunch and dinner and has vegan/gluten free/dairy free options too.


El Petit Princep
This is a really cute little cafe that services coffee, breakfast and lunch. Great if you’re looking for something not too fancy but still delicious. It had a nice mixture of locals and tourists. We went for pancakes, toast and an acai bowl. It was my first acai bowl ever and I really like it. Service was a little slow so probably not the place to go if you’re in a rush but great for a little stop off and to relax with some great coffee, a fresh juice and a delicious sandwich.

365 Cafe
Unlike some cities (particularly Rome) Barcelona is a city where you an easily find good, affordable food/coffee. We stumbled into 365 coffee on the way home as we still had a 30 minute walk and to be honest needed a little hit of caffeine and sugar. It’s probably not worth going out of your way for but it was lovely, we had a doughnut and a coffee each- it was affordable and they had white marble tables.


El Tiet Taver Teca
I really wanted to have some tapas whilst in Barcelona but they can be quite pricey. I’m not too sure where I originally heard of this restaurant but I had it pinned to my map and it was just round the corner from our hotel. As it was Valentines day we did book but when we arrived after 8PM the hotel was completely empty and although it didn’t really fill up whilst we were there they were turning people away as the tables had been reserved so I’d definitely recommend booking. We shared about 7 tapas, which came to about 60Euros with soft drinks, which I think is quite reasonable for tapas but quite expensive for the amount of food. Everything was delicious but it’s not necessarily the most filling food (well my boyfriend doesn’t think so) but I love the idea of small plates and getting to try lots of different things. We had patatas bravas, Spanish omelette, the octopus, squid, the veil and a few other bits.


Granja Petitbo
We visited here for breakfast on route to Park Guell (don’t get me wrong, it’s a long walk but doable) and it was our favourite breakfast of the trip. It’s a really cute restaurant with high ceilings, the staff was super friendly and I’m so sad I didn’t get a photo of the pink bathrooms! Michael opted for Huevos Rancheros (which I did test and they were amazing!!) I went for simple scrambled eggs, which were delicious too- although Spanish bacon is nowhere near as tasty as English Bacon! If you’re in Barcelona a little longer and looking for a good place to work from I also think this would be great as it big enough that you’re not taking up too much space. Would definitely be going back next time I’m in Barcelona.



Marmalade
Everyone had recommended we go to Milk restaurant- literally everyone! I had decided to go there for breakfast the morning after and instead go for dinner at Marmalade, which is Milk’s Sister restaurant. We didn’t end up going to Milk as I wasn’t blown away by Marmalade. Cocktails and atmosphere were great! If you’re looking for a cool place on a weekend, it even has a pool table, I’d definitely go here but the food was just average. I wasn’t blown away but the vibe is great- again I’d recommend booking.



Citizen Cafe
Our final breakfast of the trip was here, quite a dark restaurant so if you’re looking for that Instagram shot ask for a table outside/at the front of the cafe. Michael and I got eggs Benedict and scrambled eggs- they were great.


Chök
We went a little out of our way for this (although it’s near the food market which we were too late for) and I must admit it wasn’t anything special other than providing a few pretty shots I may later use on Instagram. They weren’t bad but I’d rather the ones we bought in a little bakery that we happened to stumble across, they were far more minimal and therefore had less calories, they we’re cheaper and easier to find.





SURF HOUSE
If I had to go to any of these restaurant again tomorrow, I’d chose Surf House. It’s on the beach, so I was basically sold even before we got there but the food was the best we had on the trip too! Food is only served outside so remember that if the weather isn’t great but otherwise it’s the perfect spot. Michael has a Chicken Burrito, I had a burger and we shared fries. The must have item though has to be the Kinder Bueno Milkshake, I don’t usually like Milk Shakes but it was AMAZING! And it’s outside, on the sea front. I’d happily go there again tomorrow. 10/10.

I’m now currently Googling ‘Kinder Bueno Milkshakes in London’, if you know where I can find one let me know

There were still so many places I wanted to visit so hopefully I’ll be back in Barcelona soon! Since returning to London, I’ve been eating far less burgers and I’m back in the gym but it was so worth it!

Have you been to any of these? What is your favourite place in Barcelona?

PS- Check out my first Barcelona vlog below