Wednesday, 28 November 2012

A pretty good weekend

This weekend I didn't leave the house from Friday night through to Monday morning.
I spent the whole weekend inside, in my fluffy slipper boots and various dog jumpers, stuffing my face with finger sandwiches, cake, macaroons, lemon meringue and Christmas cupcakes and miniature fairy cakes, drinking gallons of tea out of super special china, surrounded by loved ones chatting, gossiping and having some long-overdue catch ups.
It was a pretty good weekend!

Afternoon tea for five on Saturday

Afternoon tea for two on Sunday

Buttery, jammy, creamy scones!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Out and about: V&A Museum Hollywood Costume Exhibition

Last week my mum and I went to the V&A museum to check out the Hollywood Costume exhibition. I was desperate to get a visit in the diary before the famous Ruby Slippers, on a short-term loan from the Smithsonian, went back home (there's no place like it...). This was apparently the first time that they’d been outside of the US so I didn’t expect to see them back here in the UK any time soon, and they were replaced the day after I visited with a replica pair. That was lucky!

So, why should you go and see this exhibition?

First, make a list of the most iconic dresses you can think of (wedding dresses excluded) - Yep, that white one, of course the slinky black one, the sparkly red one and don’t forget that one made of “curtains”.

Next, think about all the iconic characters from your favourite films – the intergalactic sociopath with the breathing problems, the guy with the whip and the hat, the “Spaniard”, the girl who “never let go” and the blond with the penchant for Samurai swords.

Then, add a smattering of superheroes, a few historical heroes, legends old and new, some literary characters come to life and you’re pretty much there.

I’m a big film lover, a massive fashion lover and a fan of pretty much everyone on the Hollywood A list, so walking in amongst the original costumes, standing within touching distance (but remembering NOT TO TOUCH, no matter how much the urge takes you, dammit) of the actual clothes worn by some of my favourite actors and actresses, in some of my favourite films was pretty mesmerising for me.

I don't want to spoil the exhibition for you by listing out the costumes, or telling you how they are displayed, so I suggest that if you like fashion, costumes and fancy dress, the film industry as a whole and the feeling of "behind the scenes" then get thee to the V&A before it closes!

Some details: Tickets must be purchased online (here) for a specific time slot but there is no limit on the time that you can spend inside (unless of course it's closing time!). The nature of the exhibition means that at certain points it can become very busy so expect to spend a while waiting your turn to see the costumes and read the information panels. I found this a bit frustrating, but it was worth the wait.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Party dress (round III)

I'm still having trouble finding the perfect Christmas party dress. I'll always be having trouble finding the perfect party dress. There will never be a time that I'm 100% satisfied with the dresses I have in my wardrobe. Even my wedding dress which, incidentally, I've worn more times that I've worn most of the party dresses in my wardrobe (make of that what you will!), still makes me wonder.

I'll always, always, be looking for the perfect dress. I know I'll never find it. I could be a multi-millionaire, or a world famous A-lister and walk a thousand red carpets in my pick of the designer dresses for that season, or the most exquisite vintage gowns and I'll still ask my (long suffering) friends "Is this THE dress? Are you SURE? I just don't KNOW!"

I bought a pretty cool dress for my 30th birthday. It was unusual, had the wow factor, fitted well, wasn't something many people would have seen before, came in at a reasonable price (for a special occasion dress, considering I'm pretty tight with what I spend on individual items) and was pretty comfy. All in all, a winner. So much so, that a minor celebrity recently wore it (8 months later I hasten to add) on the red carpet at the Elle Women Awards. A Hollywood celeb with a fashion range, not a TOWIE or MIC celeb, so that makes it sylish, ok?

I've been looking for another occasion to wear it, but the opportunity hasn't arisen, and seeing as it's white, glitzy and shows a bit of skin, it's unlikely it ever will. I considered it for one of my Christmas events, but it's just not right. But what is right (maybe) is the black version!

Is this ASOS beaded mini dress my Christmas party dress?


Please say yes...

Could I even style it up as a twenties dress for New Year's Eve? I know the cut and shape is wrong, but the pattern and beading? A headdress and some vintage-style accessories and I reckon I can make it work... do you?

Not sure I'll get much "flapping" done in this dress though. It's not really Charleston-friendly...

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

I Love Autumn

In the Summer it may not be sunny. In the Winter it may not snow. In Spring the weather just gets on my nerves.

But in Autumn it's just lovely.

Snuggly parka for Autumn
You're expecting cold crisp days with golden leaves falling from the trees - and you generally get it. If you don't - it's not the end of the world because what's nicer than being snuggled indoors, with a cuppa, a blanket and your fave book/film/ITV costume drama series written by Julian Fellowes, watching the howling wind and lashing rain?

Christmas jammies...
... and a festive onesie

I don't mind rain-watching when it's MEANT to be raining. I don't mind dark and gloomy skies when it's MEANT to be dark and gloomy. I don't mind the cold when I have lovely new boots/coats/hats, gloves, scarves/ear muffs to be worn.

Family birthdays
And let's not forget what Autumn means every year (a mental list I compiled after reading this post on Florence Finds):
  • trashy telly
  • period dramas
  • hot chocolate and other hot speciality drinks (egg nog, gingerbread lattes, mulled wine, spiced cider, winter Pimm's) arriving on menus up and down the high street
  • snuggly pyjamas or, in fact, ONESIES
  • fireworks and sparklers
  • the countdown to Christmas
and this year we also had some added excitement with an engagement party, a trip to see Cabaret, a visit to Harry Potter Studios for a family birthday, some James Bond action and I CUT MY FRINGE BACK IN! Sorry Mr G.

The fringe is back!

 As I said in my comment on the post:

Things I’m specifically looking forward to this Autumn/Winter are:
1) spending a whole weekend with my Mr preparing for our first Christmas in our new pad: picking out new seasonal decorations, putting them up, making christmasy treats, inviting our friends and family over to eat and drink them, and then snuggling up together under a blanket to eat the leftovers together. Now to just find that weekend…
2) listening to rain crashing on the glass of our new conservatory (now the big fat hole the burglars made is fixed of course), and snuggling up under a cosy blanket with a good book and cuppa.
3) similarly, one of my most memorable New Year’s Day mornings was when I slept on a kitchen chair in a conservatory (don’t ask) and I watched the New Year sun rise over a snowy, countryside horizon. I’m hoping it snows a lot (sorrry!) so I can attempt to replicate this feeling, again in our new conservatory. (you might not have noticed, but all of a sudden the conservatory that I once hated is now my fave thing in the world. Strangely, it’s the winter that’s made me love it, not the summer!)
4) getting round to hosting a house warming party – we may not have used the BBQ in the summer, but we are not letting 2012 end without christening it – it’s a beast!
5) wearing colourful opaque tights, boots, knits, layers, scarves, hats and mittens – at ALL times! I look so much better in winter clothes. FACT!
6) wintery drinks at all high-street coffee shops – Gingerbread Lattes, Black Forest mochas, minty hot chocolates
7) burning candles
8) wrapping up warm to head outside and then stripping it all off upon reaching your destination – who doesn’t love a glitzy evening dress hidden under a parka
9) wintery cocktail parties
10) Christmas shopping
11) dark nail polish
12) glitter and sequins… the Christmas countdown makes it acceptable for adults to wear these in daylight.
13) root vegetables – in and with everything.
14) planning my entry for the annual family soup competition

15) eating lots and lots of colourful soup.

I really, really love Autumn.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Obsession: Flapper dresses

Fuelled by the latest series of Downton Abbey, seeing Cabaret on the stage, anticipation of The Great Gatsby coming next year and a Christmas party at an art deco venue has sent me slightly crazy for flapper dresses.

So much so, that after much thought I decided to make my New Year's Eve party Roaring Twenties themed. I had originally planned for it to be a Strictly Come Dancing themed party - sequins, feathers, fake tan, lip gloss, lashes and twirling - but I couldn't resist the opportunity to get all dolled up like a Bright Young Thing.

I posted already about a Ted Baker dress that's in the running for my NYE 2012/13 outfit (amongst others), but I've since found many more, and it's making the decision quite hard!

The biggest problem, though?

Making my fifties-style figure look acceptable in a twenties-style dress. Drop waists and loose silhouettes are not my friend! Hmmmmm.....

Phase Eight, Tina Tassel dress

Ted Baker Balinda dress

Phase Eight Giselle flapper dress

River Island flapper dress

Biba flapper dress in teal
Topshop twenties dress

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Out and about: Life is a Cabaret Old Chum

A few weeks ago I saw Cabaret at The Savoy Theatre.

I'd been thinking about booking tickets since I saw the announcement about its return to the west end as it's one of my favourite musicals, but it went clean out of my mind until I got a email about half price tickets. I bagged a few for my mum, my aunt and myself and then remembered that an old school friend worked on the show. I messaged him to say we were coming over to see it, and we arranged to catch up by the stage door.

I mentioned in my email that the Fosse choreography for Mein Herr in the film is one of my all time favourite musical numbers and that I was excited to see it in person, but he told me that actually it was different choreo in the show, and to bear that in mind. I was a bit upset, but he told me I wouldn't be disappointed.
I wasn't disappointed, it was a good number, a really good number, but in my head I don't think anyone but Liza (with a Zee) could play that part now, so it's probably a good thing that they didn't use that famous chair dance. But, like I said, I was glad I knew in advance so I wasn't upset about its omission. Manage expectations and all that!
On the whole I loved the show, I loved the atmosphere and the way they captured the sinister societal shifts in 1930s Berlin with the staging and the choreography, I loved Michelle Ryan's voice,  I loved the comedy elements and the casting choices for the other main characters but most of all I loved Will Young.
Will Young literally took my breath away, gave me goose bumps and made me shiver.
My view on the story itself, whether on the stage or on screen, is that it's incredibly smart, deep and affecting. If you don't know the topic and subject matter, you could be forgiven for thinking it's an upbeat, high-kicking, Razzle Dazzle-style musical - like Grease! Unfortunately its big, show-stopping numbers are actually full of melancholy lyrics about a terrible, sickening time in history. That's why, in my mind, it's such a clever show. Here is a cast with tambourines and sequins and dancing and singing about money money money, money money money, money money money... Whoo, yeah, join in, sing along, clap your hands, but if you look closely and listen properly you see the dreadful undertones and meaning. Where you can use subtle suggestion on film, I feel it's harder on stage, and the cast did a great job of conveying this changing "mood" throughout. But Will Young, in my opinion, outshone everyone. He does an amazing job of taking the tone from fun, to fear with his breathtaking portrayal of Emcee.
That is why, although the cast perform their little hearts out for two hours and twenty minutes, I couldn't jump up and cheer for them when they came forward to take their bow. I gave them some heartfelt, dignified, appreciative applause. They deserved and I meant every single clap, but the poignant and startling ending makes it difficult to stand up and whoop and cheer as the cast take their bows.

This is the only time I've seen Cabaret on the stage, in comparison to having seen the film about twenty times, but I really enjoyed it and would go again and I'd highly recommend seeing it if you can. I'd also recommend a pre-show margarita in the American Bar at The Savoy. Take it Straight Up and with salt. You won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Party dress (round II)

After posting about my first party dress option for the festive season, I tried it on, and was less than convinced. It might be an option, but I feel I need to investigate further.

One little number that caught my eye was this Lorabelle Sequin Dress from Phase Eight. It ticks a number of boxes:

Grown up sequins? Tick
One of my favourite colours? Tick
The "swish factor" for when I hit the dance floor? Tick.
Room for a big Christmas dinner? Tick

I'm thinking bare legs, some colour-pop shoes, a metallic clutch and a pair of statement earrings... hmmmm.

Could this be The One, or would I look like I was auditioning for The Supremes? Hmmmm.....

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Unlikely style icon: Fleur Delacour

We all know that I’m a massive Harry Potter fan. I love everything about it. The themeing, the storylines, the cinematography, the characters, the actors, the fantasy, the costumes, the morals… I love it all. It’s not often I look to Harry Potter for fashion inspiration though. (Emma Watson at the premiers aside, of course. She's an actress, not a character!)
Costumes – yes. Fashion? No.
Until I went to Harry Potter Studios, that is. (Check out my review here)
Obviously I loved the whole thing, the sets, the props, the tours, the background talks, the Butterbeer but to walk away with some real-life accessory motivation was rather surprising. Anyone who’s read the books or watched Clemence Poesy in the films will agree that, when it comes down to it Fleur Delacour is the only character who gets anything even remotely stylish to wear but I’ve never really thought about it in any detail. One of the charms of the stories, for me, is the fact that the costumes are so “authentic”. I’m not sure if that’s the right word, but you know what I mean – they’re not the clothes modern society wear, but not the clothes characters in your usual “fantasy” stories wear, they just seem to fit with the whole Harry Potter vision.
Seeing Fleur’s Beauxbatons uniform in the flesh was very exciting. That shade of blue is one of my favourite colours (also beloved of Marie Antoinette I think), I love a dress coat, I envy anyone that can wear a shoe-boot/high-vamp brogue (I have cankles), I want a reason to wear powder blue, leather driving gloves one day but most of all I am passionately in love with that amazing hat. On screen I loved it. In the flesh I had to resist the overwhelming urge to jump in, grab it and put it on my head. J'adore.

I’ve always loved a hat. I have literally hundreds of them. I was christened Viki the Hat by one of my friend’s dads at primary school because I was never without some kind of headgear. I can’t walk past a hat shop without stopping to look at the window display, and often spending far too long trying them all on. I used to stare jealously at the girls from the private school in my village that had to wear straw boaters to school every day. I wanted to don a hat on my wedding day (and was vetoed – resulting in two veils instead). I choose fancy dress costumes on the basis of incorporating a hat wherever possible. At my wedding my dad provided “traditional” head wear to guests according to their tables (named after cities Mr G and I had visited) as part of his speech, and I kept one of each in my memory box. I have never attended a wedding without wearing some kind of fancy head décor – even travelling all the way to Australia with a fascinator on my lap.

So it goes without saying that Fleur’s uniform hat rather high up my list of Highly Covetable Head Wear along with, amongst many, many others, a number of Royal wedding hats, Satine’s top hat in Moulin Rouge, Andie MacDowell’s hat in Four Weddings and a Funeral, Eliza's hat (and whole outfit) in My Fair Lady and Lara’s fur hat in Dr Zhivago.
I’ve found a seller on Etsy that makes one similar.

Is it really sad to buy one?

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Rose-tinted glasses

And when I say "glasses" I mean COCKTAIL glasses!

After attending a cocktail masterclass at Harvey Nichols a few months ago I learned quite how yummy rose syrup can be. I already have a bit of an addiction to rose (and violet) crèmes so of course it makes sense that I like my alcohol laced with a pink floral scent too.

I purchased some Monin rose syrup and found a few recipes on the t'interweb to try with my favourite spirits, so I thought I'd share the love.

Edinburgh Rose
30 ml Hendrick's Gin
4-6 fresh raspberries
30 ml Lychee Juice
15 ml Rose Cordial (Rose Syrup)

Shake with ice and double strain into a Champagne flute. Top up with Champagne and garnish with a fresh raspberry.

Rose Margarita 
30 ml Tequila
30 ml triple sec
30 ml rose syrup
1 squeezed lime

Pour ingredients in shaker, shake vigorously with ice, for a minute. Then pour into sugar (or salt) rimmed glass and enjoy.

and of course the one I learned at Harvey Nicks:

Pink Chelsea
1 disc of fresh cucumber
20 ml Creme de peche
15 ml rose syrup
20 ml Hendricks Gin
3 dashes of Peychaud's bitters
Top up with champagne
Take the edges of the cucumber and muddle in a glass with the rest of the ingredients. Shake and pour in to a glass and top up with champagne.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Out and about: Harry Potter Studio Tour

If you don't like Harry Potter, or you do and you are yet to finish the books/films, I suggest you stop reading now - this post will either infuriate you, or bore you!

When the first Harry Potter film was released it coincided with a family birthday and we all toddled off to watch it en masse. From that year on it became a family tradition to watch the films, queue for the books or snuggle up on the sofa to watch the DVDs together. This year, we were running out of Harry Potter related events and, short of heading off to Florida to visit Harry Potter Land, there’s not much more of the HP franchise left to explore. And then I remembered the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour

I booked some tickets for a 2.30pm entrance for my dad’s birthday weekend online, and lucky I did. Two weeks later I went back and all but one were gone, so book in advance to avoid disappointment.
We arrived about an hour early at what felt like a retail park, were directed to a parking bay and, in our hurry to get inside declined the offer of a local pub recommendation for some lunch, opting instead for the on-site café. We braced ourselves for some hideous food but actually it wasn’t too bad… except for the (expectedly) hideous prices.

Anyway, enough about the car park and the café, on to the tour!
We queued, as directed, 20 minutes before our designated tour time, were welcomed in a cinema-style introduction by Daniel, Emma and Rupert and then walked through the grand Hogwarts doors and found ourselves in the Great Hall.

And the magic started.

The tour is self guided upon leaving the Great Hall but there are staff placed strategically around the studios to provide more in-depth information and even mini “tutorials” on the artefacts, sets and costumes.

The tour promises that “Secrets will be revealed” and they certainly are. Normally, I’d hate to see how the magic is created, as it could ruin the enchantment of the films, but in this instance it added to it.

Seeing the actual Great Hall was pretty breathtaking, seeing the (surprisingly small) costumes worn by the actors was fascinating, standing face-to-face with actors dressed as Death Eaters was cool (except for my mum who jumped out of her skin), and being (almost) in the sets and being able to touch some of the props gave me goosebumps.

I’ll admit it – I transformed in to an ultra-mega-super-Harry-Potter-geek-a-saurus. Think the entire cast of The Big Bang Theory all mashed up in to one giant Star Trek enthusiast, attending a Star Trek convention and having lunch with William Shatner. Yip. That was me.

My exceptionally nerdy brother actually commented, as I did a little squeal on discovering a particular item, that it was nice to “not be the nerd for once”. Stating that, in this environment, he felt almost “cool”. Whatevs.
This is a Mecca for Harry Potter geeks looking to prolong the love. I felt right at home.

Highlights for me (after much deliberation over dinner and in the car on the way home) were as follows:
  • Standing in the Great Hall. The ACTUAL Great Hall. OMG! I almost cried.
  • Walking along Diagon Alley and poring over the intricate window displays. So real. I know the names of the shops along this fictional street almost as well as the stores along Chelmsford high street.
  • A rather detailed lecture about a number of key characters’ wands, including the individual aesthetics and qualities of each. Very interesting with some very well-thought out arguments even if it was all completely made up!
  • Sampling Butterbeer which, pleasantly, wasn’t as gross as I imagined it to be!
  • Looking for the cast names in the Wand Room
  • And last but not least, spending the best part of an hour walking around and around and around the scale model of Hogwarts. It took my breath away. Where I held my tears back int he Great Hall, here I was not so restrained!

My least favourite bit? The gift shop. I wanted to buy everything. Sadly I’m not a billionaire (or an eight year old) so I had to restrain myself. In the end I bought some tongue-in-cheek books JKR wrote for Comic Relief, Quidditch through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, to add to my HP book shelf, alongside The Tales of Beedle the Bard and the original seven books.

We headed over to The Grove Hotel, about a five minute drive away (and apparently where some of the cast stayed during filming - squeeeeeal), for some cocktails, in-depth Harry Potter related discussions and dinner.
I’m now planning to watch the box set back-to-back and annoy everyone with lots of pausing and shrieks of “I'VE SEEN THAT!” whilst pointing at the screen.
Overall, a GREAT day out for HP fans old and young. Who wants to come with me when I go back? I’ll sort out our costumes…

Travel information can be found here and tickets can be bought here.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Party Dress

Now that Halloween is over I can finally start thinking about Christmas and the festive season in our new home. I have lots of ideas for decor and party planning that I'm itching to get underway. I've started my Christmas shopping and my present spreadsheet is almost complete. I'm on the lookout for some Christmassy DIY craft projects the keep me occupied in the snugly wintery evenings. Just call me Kirstie!

But the best bit? OUTFITS! Presents, decor and crafting aside, I've had my eyes peeled since the late summer (did we actually have a summer?) for the perfect party dress, or in fact dresses.

Ted Baker Balinda dress

There are work functions, some formal and some less so, family gatherings, various parties with friends and possibly some themed fancy dress. I have some ideas on the go for great outfits, but this little number from Ted Baker is currently top of my list as a multi-event outfit:

  •  I think it'll be rather glam for a formal-ish work Christmas party at an art deco Mayfair hotel with hair up, (fake) bare legs, lots of eyeliner and a leg-lengthening shoe (so I'll probs need to buy an appropriately-named, patent black court too, won't I?)
  • With all that soft "stretch" factor it's the perfect Christmas day dress with black opaques, ankle boots, a long line cardy and a sparkly hair band. A little bit of Christmas glitz but still comfy for all the eating/lounging/gaming
  • Then I can roll it back out for my planned "Great Gatsby" NYE party with sheer, seamed stockings, gold twenties-style ankle strap, peep toe shoes, a faux fur stole and some kind of head dress. It's fancy dress, but not I'm-embarrassed-to-get-out-of-the-car-to-get-petrol-en-route fancy dress so this dress will work perfectly
  • After that I could rock it on my birthday with black tights, killer heels and a big bouncy blow dry
  • I could also wear it for a winter wedding (two invites for the seven in 2013 have already arrived) with a statement hat and a coloured shoe...
Ooooo, this game is fun... where else, where else...?

Friday, 2 November 2012

Namesake shoes

I've spent a little while thinking that, now I'm a proper grown up, I should have a pair of proper grown up shoes. Rather than constantly buying quirky shoes for special outfits that never get worn again or lots of cheap shoes for a one-time only wear, I should buy a single pair of expensive, good quality classically-styled shoes that make me feel amazing, look great, go with everything and are comfortable enough to wear again and again without the I must take plasters and painkillers in my clutch bag fear.

My wonderful wedding shoes. Oh how I love them

Wedding shoes in situ
I know I should do this, because what I literally just described were my wedding shoes. I spent a small fortune on a pair of classic pink suede Christian Louboutin Ron Rons, and I've worn them so many times due to their comfort and simple style and the fact that they pretty much go with everything. I love them. I should also take my lead from one of my all time fave girl crushes (that's Queen-to-Be Kate) with her staple LK Bennett court.

I love my wedding shoes
So, where's the first place you go for a simple but stylish shoe that'll go with everything?

Jimmy Choo.

And what did I find?

The Victoria patent court shoe

The Victoria shoe. MY shoe. Mine.


It's a sign people, it's a sign!

And when i say "people" I mean YOU Santa Claus...

Thursday, 1 November 2012


I love Halloween - it's probably my favourite "festival" of the year.  

Mine and Mr G's pumpkin carving efforts
For starters, for me it truly signals that it's time to get in to the festive spirit, it's then closely followed by my dad's birthday/Bonfire night and then leads nicely in to the countdown to Christmas. I like to think of it as the "Gateway to the Festive Season"

Some pumpkin carving and testing out the spiced cider punch - dangerous!

But most importantly it's an opportunity for THEMEING!

This year, as a housewarming I wanted to host a Dia de Los Muertos party (mainly because moving house later than planned meant we couldn't go to Mexico for the festival itself but also to be a bit different to the usual party and because I'm having a love affair with margaritas at the moment!) but sadly decor in that theme is hard to come by in the UK so I switched it back to a classic Halloween party at the last minute - much to everyone's relief. It meant that fancy dress was a much easier project for all my guests! 

Halloween-themed food I've consumed over the past few weeks: Hallowbeanz, one of my five-a-day, a Ghost cookie (they are invisible don't you know) Dracula sweets and a Screme Egg.

I started my Halloween themeing a bit earlier than planned by accidentally going to work dressed as a pumpkin (see below) in late September. So I embraced it and went with it for a whole month. 

I accidentally dressed like a pumpkin a few weeks before Halloween. My work-inappropriate nail art!
Food, sweets, clothing, nail art, decor... The works. It all culminated in the Pumpkin Patch Party last weekend...
Party planning: hand-drawn pumpkin cups, my Martha Stewart shrunken apple heads for the spiced cider, my conservatory became The Pumpkin Patch and pumpkin puree for all the themed-goodies

A little bit of Strictly Come Dancing Halloween special (my fave episode of the season, and this year it widdled all over the X Factor Halloween special) the morning after helped get me through the 5.55am wake up call from my God Daughter and Mission: House Repair.

So, what now? COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS. How many sleeps? Where are my sequins? Who's got my glitter eyeliner? Can I open my advent calendar now?