AMII @ THIRTY

Lifestyle blog by a thirty-something city dweller


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Blogmas Top of the Pops

Ok, so I’m not doing Blogmas this year as 2016’s attempt was challenge enough in a month that is already insanely busy.

Instead, I’m bringing you the highlights of my top 5 Blogmas 2016 posts as they seemed to be enjoyed so much that I thought I’d recycle some Christmas cheer. christmas, christmas lights, fairy lights, zwolle, netherlands, christmastimeThese chart-topping 5 posts were calculated from comments, likes and views and in true Top of the Pops Christmas number 1 countdown-style, we’ll kick-off the most popular posts at number five with… Continue reading…


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My top 5 posts from 2016

Having re-started this blog in July, I have since written 42 posts and received nearly 3000 views. Now for some bloggers, this probably isn’t very much but I haven’t really put much work into growing and promoting my blog so I’d have been pretty chuffed to end the year with 10 views!

I love to write and to share little parts of my world with you all. Work- and life-permitting, I would like to do more with my blog in 2017 – that isn’t a New Year’s Resolution though (I’ve never been one to make resolutions).

Blogmas saw me set and complete a new challenge and I saw a lot more traffic on the blog throughout December (thanks!) so when I started looking through my stats to pull together my top 5 posts from 2016, I definitely thought it’d be all about Christmas. It really isn’t though…. Continue reading…

cocktails, diffords, drinks, christmas food, festive, party


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A boozy Christmas

For no particular reason, there are some drinks that I only drink at Christmas time and I know I’m not the only one. Yes, I’m thinking of Baileys, port, sloe gin, brandy and anything hot and mulled.

To really make the most of some of these drinks, I’ve pulled together some great cocktail recipes from Difford’s Guide and with the experienced help of my brother and sister-in-law so that you won’t be dragging that bottle of Baileys from one Christmas to the next (you know I’m not wrong here!) Continue reading…


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Food, food, food

As we prepare for the biggest week of eating most of us do all year, I thought I’d post a few healthy Christmas snack suggestions so that we can at least pretend that we’re not forgetting the well-balanced meals and snacks we’ve tried hard to stick with throughout the rest of the year!

To avoid you having to spend even more money on food, I thought about what people are likely to already have in the house as part of the ‘big shop’ for Christmas. Continue reading…

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My Christmas biscuit recipes

I love to bake and I especially love to bake at Christmas time. For yourself, to share, or for gifts, home-baked goods can be easy to make and really yummy! Over the years, I’ve perfected my Christmas biscuit recipes and I’m going to share two of them with you in this post. One is a classic (with a little twist) and the other is a simple but versatile option. Continue reading…


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Blogmas Day 8

Whilst I can’t believe I’m now on day 8 of my quest to complete blogmas and had been planning on posting about work Christmas parties (mine’s tomorrow), I’ve done quite a lot of Christmassy things recently so thought I’d write a little run-down of them instead.

Christmas trip to London

Now, I feel like so many people are desperate to visit Winter Wonderland and see the Oxford Street lights every year. But I’m here to tell you that you really shouldn’t bother. Continue reading…

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Customised advent calendars

Don’t get me wrong, I love opening a window with chocolate behind it every morning and I’m grateful to have two this year – one from my employer and one from the PR company we work with. But, I also love my memories of being a child and having the beautiful hand-crafted one my mum made for us. It was a big fabric christmas tree with a bag full of lovely little decorations – we had to close our eyes and pick one decoration out of the bag every day and hang it on one of the little bells on the tree. By Christmas, the tree was full of decorations.

knitting, knitted, advent calendar, christmas tree, christmas, festive, blogmas, advent

Another of mum’s lovely creations

Over the last few years, more and more ‘alternative’ advent calendars have been sold. From craft beers to designer make-up; gin to candles. Continue reading…

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Shops I’d be stuck without

Whilst I’m a keen supporter of local, independent shops, I do also believe that there’s a place for big chain stores too. During this manic shopping season, here are a few of the stores I would really be stuck without…

HobbyCraft

For someone as craft-obsessed as me, HobbyCraft is total heaven. I always go in there with a list of things to buy and then get side-tracked by a million other amazing things. Me at HobbyCraft is worse than a kid in a candy shop could ever be. I was at a HobbyCraft shop last week and the cashier offered me a loyalty card, which I declined. I mean, I really don’t need extra reasons to spend more time and money in there!

Primark Continue reading…

big wheel, fairground, festive, birmingham, christmas, markets, ice rink, ice skate


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Christmas in Birmingham

When people think of Birmingham at Christmas, they tend to think of the Frankfurt Christmas Market and Christmas Craft Market which fill up New Street, Victoria Square and Centenary Square every year and are accompanied by the ice rink and the big wheel. For those who live in the city centre though, it is the time of year when eye-rolling, crowd-hating, and needing additional time to get anywhere becomes the norm.

Don’t get me wrong the markets are lovely to look at but year after year they’re set out exactly the same, selling the exact same products and charging the earth for food and drink, and yet people come in their thousands. Continue reading…